'Smart cameras' introduced as part of a crackdown on fly-tippers in Buckinghamshire

  • Watch the full report by ITV Meridian's Mel Bloor

Buckinghamshire Council has unleashed its latest weapon in the fight against fly-tipping.

It's installed new 'smart cameras' in fly-tipping hotspots which can identify when a person or vehicle is leaving rubbish behind.

In real time, they can provide a video report of the incident to enforcement officers, including the registration of the vehicle, making it easier to identify and prosecute fly-tippers.

It means CCTV operatives will no longer have to trawl through hours of footage to try and identify the offender.

  • The cameras begin recording when their artificial intelligence detects what its thinks is illegal dumping (Credit: Videosoft)

The cameras have been funded by the Department for Environment, Farming & Rural Affairs.

As part of the crackdown, unofficial lay-by areas are being blocked and turned into grassy banks in another tactic to deter the criminals.

It costs Buckinghamshire Council more than £600k each year to clear up rubbish dumped on public land which it says could be spent on other services for residents.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:

"We won't tolerate fly-tipping in Bucks and we will continue to use all available means to make sure anyone who does carry out this atrocious crime will be caught and prosecuted.

"These new intelligent cameras will make it much easier to prosecute fly-tippers and allow for quicker clean-up.

"My message to residents is; if you're having rubbish removed, please don't pay cash.

"Use a company that has a Waste Carrier Licence, and ask for a record of who you've paid. By having an electronic method of payment, you can help us track down and prosecute the fly-tipper."

When enforcement teams investigate a fly-tipping incident and find evidence that leads to a householder, they will visit them and ask for evidence that they've taken reasonable steps to identify the person they hired to remove their rubbish and to ensure that it would be disposed of properly.

If the householder can provide evidence of the identity of the person who took their rubbish away such as details of a bank card payment, the investigation can move to focus on the fly-tipper.

However, if the householder has paid an unidentified individual cash in hand to remove rubbish, they may be issued with a £400 fixed penalty notice for failing in their 'duty of care'.

If the incident is serious, this might be escalated to a court summons that could result in a criminal conviction and a hefty fine.