Council Uses Camera To Catch Fly-Tippers - Could It Work In Your Area?

Fly-tipping, dumping and littering have become quite a serious and seriously frustrating problem in many areas, but could cameras be the solution? A council in Derbyshire has proven that external CCTV cameras can help secure convictions against fly-tippers and others who show complete disrespect for community areas. South Derbyshire District Council has a team of safer neighbourhood wardens who carried out an operation earlier this year involving surveillance cameras.

The device captured a 38-year-old man illegally disposing of dishwasher parts on a country lane in Caldwell. He was caught red-handed throwing scrap metal into the bushes, seemingly smiling at the camera. He wasn't smiling for long, as the council used this video evidence to secure a conviction and a £1,200 fine for the fly-tipper. Speaking to the Derby Telegraph, the council’s environmental health manager Matt Holford said of the outcome: “This is our fourth successful conviction for waste offences in the last six months and sends out a strong message that we will not tolerate behaviour which threatens the District's reputation as a clean, green and safe place to be."

A campaigner in Derby, Dawn Gee, now wants to follow the council’s example and purchase a spy camera to catch fly-tippers in her area. She told the Derby Telegraph she would lend it out for free to others wanting to stop this anti-social behaviour in her area, explaining: "I think the camera could make a real difference. It would provide good evidence, and spreading the photographs in the media will allow people to tell the council who they are. "It would work as a police appeal does for information. The public's help would prove vital.”

Using cameras to catch fly-tippers in your areas –as a guide

If you're tired of waiting for the council to take action on fly-tipping in your street, the solution could be to gather the needed evidence. An external surveillance camera can be used in a fly-tipping hotspot to film evidence of people and businesses dumping waste, and it can also act as a visible deterrent. However, there are a few things to remember before you start filming:

  • Your cameras must not invade anyone’s privacy. This means not pointing them into someone’s living room or back garden.
  • You should only install them on your property or with the permission of the property or land owner.
  • You must have a legitimate reason to film and only use the footage. If there’s a fly-tipping hotspot on your street, you can film it and only use the footage as evidence to assist the council or the police with their investigations.
  • You are responsible for the footage if you bought and installed the camera. This means that you must ensure that it does not get lost or fall into the wrong hands, and you also can’t share it online or sell it to a third party without breaching UK privacy laws.