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Body cams to help tackle fly-tipping

Neighbourhood Wardens in Mansfield have started using body worn video cameras to help tackle the rising problem of fly-tipping across the district.

As part of Mansfield District Council's wider strategy to make the district a clean, safe and greener place to live in work and visit, Mansfield District Council is hoping that the Body Worn Video (BWV) will be useful in a variety of situations that wardens have to deal with, including, for instance, anti-social behaviour.

In the way the wardens tackle fly-tipping, it is expected that the cameras will help to obtain and secure evidence at fly-tipping incidents, which could aid future prosecutions.

Cllr Bill Drewett, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, said: "Ultimately it is hoped body cams will help to improve the service by making it more effective and efficient.

"Fly-tipping is a really costly issue for the council and it is a problem that is getting worse so we have to find more innovative ways to deal with it. 

"Disposing of waste in this way is basically anti-social behaviour which the council will simply not tolerate. There is just no excuse for it when there are a variety of free or low-cost ways to dispose of rubbish responsibly. 

"We will prosecute or issue Fixed Penalty Notices where necessary or possible. Body cams may help to capture evidence needed to secure a conviction."

The cost of dealing with fly-tipping in 2017/18 in the Mansfield district was £68,948 for 1,612 fly-tipping reports to the council. Of those reports, 70 per cent of the waste fly-tipped was general household waste, including waste that could have been recycled. The number of the reports in the past year is up from 1,516 reports in 2016/17.

In its use of BWV the council will follow a strict code of conduct for recordings which will be kept for no longer than 30 days for non-evidential reasons.  For the purpose of official evidence for prosecution, recordings will be kept for 365 days or until needed for a court case.

Wardens will have a duty to make it clear when they are filming and take precise details of the time, date, location and who is present. The cameras will only be used for specific incidents and will not run continuously and should be used proportionately and only in legitimate or necessary circumstances.

It is hoped that when people who wardens engage with realise they are being filmed it will help to reduce conflict and resolve any issues more swiftly as well as reducing complaints.

 

Published on 8 May 2018
 

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