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Cutting edge cameras join fight to keep Swale clean

Published Tuesday 7 December, 2021
Last updated on Tuesday 7 December, 2021

People caught dropping litter from a vehicle, or fly tipping waste, could soon receive an automatic fixed penalty notice (FPN) thanks to new cameras that are being trialled in Swale.

The cameras are being trialled for three months at littering and fly tipping hotspots around the borough as part of Swale Borough Council’s littering contract.

Used to identify offences such as litter being discarded from a car window or fly tipping being left at a location, the cameras can be moved around the borough to areas with a high number of incidences.

The camera’s technology catches the litter being dropped, or items being left, in real time, and a £150 FPN for littering or £400 FPN for fly tipping is sent to the registered address of the vehicle.

Cllr Julian Saunders, cabinet member for the environment at the council, said:

“This is the latest technology available to councils to help tackle littering and fly tipping.

“We spend on average £1.1m clearing up litter and fly tipping in Swale every year. Discarded cigarette butts are the biggest culprit for discarded litter, and items ranging from bags of household rubbish to large items of furniture are often fly tipped instead of being taken to the household waste and recycling centre.

“We’ll start the trial on Unity Street in Marine Town, Sheerness, to help tackle the ongoing fly tipping in residential alleyways, and we’re considering a second location on Sheppey Way in Bobbing where littering from vehicles is a longstanding problem.

“We have to install traffic lights to collect the litter that accumulates on Sheppey Way every month, which then impacts people who do the right things and take their rubbish home with them.

“It’s important for people who drop litter and fly tip to remember that while we’re making a start with one or two locations, the cameras can move around the borough and will catch repeat offenders.

“Previously our officers have had to rummage through fly tipped waste to find a clue about who had left it there, but with this new technology, we’ll know who they are and where they live within minutes.”

John Roberts, Solutions Director at LA Support Ltd who deliver the littering contract, said:

“We’re excited about the pilot to use Waste Watch CCTV to tackle litter and fly tipping in Swale.

“We hope to see the same excellent results from this technology that we’ve seen in other parts of Kent.

“In Dartford, a fly tipping hotspot was almost eradicated after installing the new cameras.”

To report fly tipping or littering in your area, visit www.swale.gov.uk/bins-littering-and-the-environment/littering.

Notes to editors

To see how the camera works, visit www.lasupport.co.uk/wastewatchcam