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Cameras help the fightback against fly-tipping

June 1, 2020
Rural Crime Advisors Bob Church (left) and Baz Bains (right) with Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe at Umberslade Road, near Earlswood, where one of the CCTV cameras is sited. A camera is fitted to the tree behind while the Rural Crime Advisors hold up signs warning of the CCTV coverage.

Rural Crime Advisors Bob Church (left) and Baz Bains (right) with Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe at Umberslade Road, near Earlswood, where one of the CCTV cameras is sited. The photo was taken prior to the lockdown restrictions coming into effect.

The fight back against the scourge of fly tipping in rural parts of South Warwickshire is continuing with CCTV cameras being used at hot-spot locations, thanks to continued funding from Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

Stratford on Avon District Council’s Rural Crime Advisors Bob Church and Baz Bains have been working hard in concert with Warwickshire Police and the Environment Agency to address illegal waste dumping, which has become a significant issue in some parts of the county, particularly those close to the motorway and trunk road networks.

Before and during the lockdown period some people have turned to waste carriers to remove unwanted rubbish from their homes. However, unscrupulous operators are simply dumping waste in rural locations, often at the roadside or on areas of private land, rather than disposing of it correctly.

Fitting conspicuous CCTV cameras at hot-spot locations is helping to reduce the numbers of people dumping waste illegally, while also providing further evidence to help identify those that continue to offend.

Bob Church explains: “Fly-tipping has become a serious cause of concern in our rural areas and communities, so we have been using innovative new ways to deter and disrupt people from dumping waste, including using CCTV cameras at hot-spot locations throughout South Warwickshire.

“This has had a marked effect in the areas we have trialled it, with a reduction in offending of around 70 percent. We would like to see that figure rise over the next 12 months and thanks to continued funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner we are able to purchase and deploy more CCTV camera equipment within South Warwickshire.

“The scale of fly-tipping ranges from people leaving old electrical items and household rubbish on the roadside to the dumping of commercial waste by unauthorised waste carriers. In one recent case an individual who opted not to take their old fridge freezer to the local tip wound up with a £300 fine after being caught by our cameras dumping it on the roadside. At the other end of the scale we are investigating more widespread commercial dumping and we have ongoing investigations into a number of individuals some of which are being conducted with neighbouring local authorities.”

Not many people realise that you have a legal duty to only pass your waste on to an authorised waste carrier and if you fail to do that and any of your waste is found to be fly-tipped then you may be liable to prosecution.

Residents and businesses can help to reduce fly tipping by ensuring that they pass any waste onto a registered waste carrier. Bone fide waste carriers will only be too happy to show their certificate of registration.

Baz Bains adds: “I would always recommend withholding payment for waste collection and disposal until you have been provided with evidence that your waste has been disposed of legally. I would also recommend that you obtain a receipt for any rubbish you pass on which details exactly what waste has been collected and the waste carrier’s registration certificate number.“

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, who funds the Rural Crime Adviser posts, said: “Fly-tipping is a cause of considerable concern to some of our rural communities and I am pleased to see that use of CCTV technology is having an impact already an reducing the number offences. By placing more cameras in the community, I hope we can have an even bigger impact and really signpost our intention to stamp this practice out.

“I’d also urge all businesses and households to follow the advice when looking to dispose of any waste. In this way we can all work towards eradicating fly tipping and deterring unlicensed individuals from operating within our county.”

For details of waste and recycling options in Warwick District, visit: https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20465/rubbish_waste_and_recycling. In Stratford-on-Avon District, visit: https://www.stratford.gov.uk/waste-recycling/.

You can also now book appointments to visit the six larger Household Waste Recycling Centres in Warwickshire. The slots are available for essential visits only, with a limit of one visit per fortnight.  For more details, visit the County Council’s website at:  www.warwickshire.gov.uk/recycling.

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