COVERT cameras have been installed to catch fly-tipping criminals in the act.
The new hidden cameras, which can be viewed and controlled remotely, will make it easier for Solihull Council to gather evidence to prosecute those who illegally dump waste.
Since April 2015 the Council has been exercising new powers in its pursuit of fly-tippers – including powers to seize vehicles that they suspect are involved.
In November a Meriden man was charged with committing two offences under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act and was ordered to pay a total of £2383, including a £530 fine and court costs.
Fly tipping is a criminal offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and is punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court; or an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court.
Councillor Karen Grinsell, cabinet member for stronger communities and partnerships, said the Council was committed to reducing the impact of fly-tipping both in terms of cost and damage to the environment.
She added: “I welcome the new cameras, as they will grant more flexibility and increase our ability to catch people both dumping and transporting waste illegally.”
In the last three years the council has spent over £332,000 clearing up fly-tipping across the borough.
Councillor Tony Diccico, cabinet member for environment, housing and regeneration, added: “Not only is it blight on our borough, but fly-tipping costs the UK tax payer millions of pounds each year.
“This is money which could be better spent on other important services; so I fully support any action which helps to stamp it out.”
If residents witness someone fly-tipping, they should make a note of the date and time they saw it and should try to get a description of any vehicles involved, including registration numbers.
Residents can help the council clampdown on fly-tipping by reporting it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 0121 704 8001, or by visiting the Council’s website.