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Mobile CCTV Camera Moves to York to Catch Dumpers

The use of mobile CCTV cameras designed to catch dumpers will increase dramatically over the next few months, York advisers have been told.

The implementation of the moving cameras has been delayed due to the pandemic and the absence of staff, according to the council’s community safety officer, Jane Mowat.

But surveillance will now intensify as officers seek to identify spill hot spots, according to rules set by the Office of the Oversight Commissioners, which oversees the conduct of covert surveillance.

Cameras can only be used in areas where it is agreed that there is a problem and signs advising people that filming is in progress should be placed.

The council issued just two warnings for fly spills in 2020-2021 under the Environmental Protection Act.

Executive member for economy and strategic planning Andrew Waller and executive member for housing and safer neighborhoods Denise Craghill supported the movement, noting that they had tipping hotspots in their respective neighborhoods.

Cllr Waller said: “I think it’s important to say that we can’t be everywhere, every time, but we actively do it and when there are successful prosecutions it is announced so that people can change their behavior if they think they have a high chance of being arrested and fined.

“Because all of this costs the council money to clear up. ”

Cllr Waller also praised the efforts of officers who tackled a recent wave of fly spills on Askham Lane.

The couple requested that a report on the results of using mobile CCTV cameras to combat fly spills be presented at a future meeting.

During the council’s enforcement policy meeting, Cllr Waller noted that there had been a “fairly exceptional” number of noise warning letters sent – 689 in total over the past year – by the board.

People being more at home during shutdowns may be part of the reason for the rise, Cllr Waller said.

Cllr Craghill added that the enforcement action against litter and dog fouling appeared “fairly weak”.

Four tickets for not cleaning dog dirt were issued in 2020-2021, while no tickets were issued for litter.

Ms Mowat replied, “These are the two areas where it’s really hard to catch someone red-handed. In order for us to take enforcement action, we need to actually see the act being done.

“Because my officers are a team in uniform, quite often when they are on the move people don’t tend to do things when they see them – they act as a bit of a deterrent to this regard. ”

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