SEVENTEEN cases of alleged flytipping are being investigated after 24 extra CCTV cameras were installed at rubbish hotspots.

Durham County Council has set up the extra cameras in a bid to deter people from dumping waste illegally and gather evidence for flytipping prosecutions.

As a result, 17 investigations are ongoing and council chiefs say there is now a greater chance than ever of flytippers being caught red handed.

Loading article content

Councillor Brian Stephens, the council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “It’s encouraging to see that the additional CCTV cameras are proving effective.

“We hope this sends a strong message to everyone to think twice before dumping rubbish as you never know where our cameras are and who might be watching.”

The cameras were paid for partly by local councillors and are part of Operation Stop It, the biggest ever crackdown on flytipping in the area, involving the council, police, Crimestoppers and the Environment Agency.

In the south of the county, three incidents recorded on camera have been progressed for prosecution and two more are under investigation. In the north, six incidents have been progressed for prosecution and five more are under investigation. And in the east, one incident is being investigated.

Neighbourhood wardens have also been given specialist training in investigating flytipping and are carrying out stop checks to ensure waste carriers are licensed and have the proper paperwork.

Of eight stopped in May, three did not have the right documents and were issued with notices requiring them to produce them. One threw the notice away – and was hit with an £80 fine for littering.

Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “The new cameras and specialist training for staff are yet more examples of our commitment to deterring the minority who dump waste illegally and spoil our environment.

“Since the launch of Operation Stop It in November last year we have already reported a decrease in flytipping incidents but we will keep working hard to stop these crimes in our county.”

For more information on the council’s household waste recycling centres, call 03000-261-000 or visit durham.gov.uk/hwrc. To report flytipping, also call 03000-261-000.