Spy cameras helping to beat fly-tippers

SURVEILLANCE cameras hidden inside drinks cans are helping in the battle against fly-tippers in Suffolk.

Dave Gooderham

SURVEILLANCE cameras hidden inside drinks cans are helping in the battle against fly-tippers in Suffolk.

The innovative spying technique has helped officers at Babergh District Council crack down on the illegal activity which is costing the eastern region a reported £4million every year.

The fly-tipping problem has been met head-on by authorities in west Suffolk, who yesterday revealed about £75,000 was being spent on addressing the problem after a series of successful initiatives.

Jo Hart, environmental protection officer at Babergh, said covert CCTV, with tiny cameras tactically hidden, had seen fly-tipping at various hotspots dramatically decrease.

The council said there were 363 reported instances between 2006-7 but “rapid response” teams had quickly removed any problems.

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Mrs Hart said: “Babergh faces a constant battle against the evils of fly-tipping and littering. However, we are getting smarter as to how we detect some offenders and deter others.

“The investment in our covert camera has been especially helpful in deterring would be fly-tippers as many of the previous hotspots in Babergh have seen sharply reduced amounts of rubbish.”

Peter Stevens, portfolio holder for the environment at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said only £15,000 was spent in the last year after 400 fewer cases were reported over the past three years.

He said: “We are always vigilant and have found the instances of fly-tipping have significantly dropped in recent years. Although we do have the odd instances of fly-tipping which we investigate seriously and as quickly as possible.

“We will even look at people's rubbish to try and find some evidence of an address. Fly-tipping can escalate into a serious problem but fortunately the borough seems to be on top of the problem.”

According to figures released by local authorises, more than £500,000 was spent in Northampton while Peterborough topped the league, spending £600,000.

Building materials and hazardous waste, which are both costly to dispose of properly, made up most of the 67,000 incidents recorded in the region.

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