Consultation for proposed surveillance cameras at recycling sites
Earlier this year, the council were successful in a bid submitted to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to fund investment in initiatives to tackle fly-tipping in the borough. We were awarded £48,800 to implement our proposed project which was to install surveillance cameras at the six locations in the borough where a variety of recycling bins are provided for public use.
Over the last two years in particular, there has been a significant problem with how these recycling sites were being used. Large amounts of non-recyclables items were regularly being illegally dumped at these locations.
Twenty other recycling locations around the borough were closed due to the nature of the problems with fly-tipping. However, while six are retained, the problem of fly-tipping at these locations persists. The deployment of cameras at these locations is intended to deter the misuse of these sites. In the event persons ignore the warnings and advice at these locations, the cameras will provide an evidential tool to allow positive action to be taken against perpetrators. In the last year, a number of prosecution actions have been taken against persons who have fly-tipped at locations where there are recycling facilities, including at the locations listed below.
The six locations where recycling bins remain and cameras would be put up are as follows:
- Brighton Hill Centre recycling area
- Castons Car Park recycling bins (next to Premier Inn)
- The Fieldgate Centre recycling bins
- Overton Hill Car Park recycling bins
- Popley Fields Community Centre recycling bins
- Winklebury Centre recycling bins
Cameras would not be capturing footage continuously and would be activated by motion in the defined area of interest. An alert of a ‘fly-tipping incident’ would be sent to officers after software has analysed images to identify an incident of fly-tipping. As such, footage need not be constantly monitored in real time. The cameras will not be networked to other CCTV cameras in operation around the borough.
The purpose of the cameras will be for the prevention and detection of crime. A full Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is being carried out. This is in accordance with Principle 2 of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, which states that the use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy. This consultation informs part of that impact assessment.
The proposed system will be designed and directed to mitigate and avoid the capture of any non-target activity. Part of the DPIA assessment and deployment process would include a review of what can be seen by the camera system, and testing any mitigation measures that may be appropriate. The proposed locations of cameras are such that they are in public places. Some third parties already operate CCTV cameras in these area (although not covering the recycling areas). In such public places it is anticipated that the public’s general expectations of privacy would not be high.
We would like to reassure you that while the purpose of the cameras are to deter, or capture evidence of crime, that protection of any potential encroachment on privacy is, and will continue to be taken in to account. The system will be compliant with the Data Protection Act, Human Rights Act and the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.
The consultation was open from Thursday 7 July and closed on Sunday 7 August, we are now reviewing all comments received.