Council to buy more CCTV to help catch Northampton fly-tippers

Fly-tipping remains a problem in Northampton
Fly-tipping remains a problem in Northampton

A trial using CCTV to help catch fly-tippers in Northampton has proved successful enough for the authority to invest in more cameras.

In September, it was reported at a Northampton Borough Council scrutiny committee meeting that the authority was turning to CCTV in a bid to tackle the growing number of fly-tips being reported.

Although the percentage of fly-tipping incidents removed within two working days is down overall on 2018/19, previously promising figures have plummeted in recent months during what the council describes as the ‘busiest’ quarter for fly-tipping of the year.

But the trial of the new CCTV which started last month, and can help the council prosecute the perpetrators, appears to have had a good start.

In his latest monthly report to full council, cabinet member for the environment Councillor Mike Hallam writes: “At the scrutiny meeting held on September 30, I was able to brief scrutiny on the trial of a new CCTV camera that we have been trialling in the borough.

“The camera has a long life battery so does not need to be wired into mains electricity and whilst the location it is deployed here has clear signage saying CCTV is used to capture potential fly-tipping offenders – the camera itself cannot be seen.

“Following an analysis of the trial, we have now moved into purchasing extra cameras with funding coming from our contractor Veolia, we will be updating our policy and procedure to ensure compliance with current legal requirements, offenders caught will now be prosecuted and we are looking at potential other locations within the borough to extend the use of this type of technology in tackling fly-tipping.”

The next locations for cameras have not been revealed, but during September the top three areas for reported fly-tips outside of the Castle ward were Talavera (126 reports) and Billing and Semilong (both 60 reports).

There were 5,000 reported incidents of fly-tips in the busy quarter from April to June this year, and the council admits that fly-tipping ‘continues to be a problem’ with increased incidents adding more pressure to the service. Dealing with the issue across the county costs taxpayers over £750,000 every year.