Ireland is Using Hidden Cams to Catch Litterbugs

Way to go, Ireland. Here’s a story from the Nenagh Guardian.

A member of North Tipperary Co Council has proposed using a hidden mobile CCTV camera unit to catch litterbugs and combat illegal dumping and other offences in the county.

Speaking at last month’s meeting of the Roscrea-Templemore Electoral Area Committee, Cllr John Hogan suggested that the local authority could buy a mobile CCTV camera unit and move it between concealed locations on a weekly basis.

Such a system would prove very effective in catching people in the act of littering and could also be used to detect other offences, he said. If trained on certain problem areas on a regular basis, the camera could play a key role in bringing prosecutions against litter offenders and would soon become a common deterrent against littering in North Tipperary.

Cllr Hogan said mobile CCTV cameras have been used with some success in other parts of the country. “No one knows they are there but everyone knows they are in the county,” he said, adding that the cameras are battery operated and can be programmed to switch themselves on only when someone passes.

Members welcomed Cllr Hogan’s proposal at last week’s meeting, where littering problems in the Roscrea area were discussed.

Cllr Pauline Coonan had complimented Cllr Denis Ryan and the local Tidy Towns committee for their work in the town but said they would need greater support in tackling litter and wondered if the town’s traffic warden could be empowered to combat litter louts. Cllr Coonan said it is a “disgrace” to see so many black plastic sacks and fast food rubbish routinely dumped in and around Roscrea.

She said the use of mobile CCTV cameras would be a “huge cost saving to this council”, pointing to the amount of money the local authority has to spend on cleaning up litter in its towns every year.

Cllr Ryan agreed that the proposal would constitute a cost effective deterrent to littering in North Tipperary and said the council should pursue it further. He also paid tribute to the council’s Environmental Awareness Officer Áine McCarthy and her department for their own efforts in tacking litter in the county.

Covert anti-dumping cameras are currently used by Dublin City Council, which has secured 12 prosecutions using CCTV footage so far this year. The council estimates that its four hidden mobile cameras are effective in capturing about 10 per cent of incidents of dumping at any one location, however senior management at the council has stressed that prosecutions were secured only because a car registration had been caught on camera and not the culprit illegally dumping rubbish.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    green blog said,

    Oh my gosh, I never realized they have to turn to this approach using cameras to catch litterbugs. What a better way to spend the taxpayers’ money. Whatever it is, I still believe it all still boils down to education from school and family.


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