CCTV is to play a growing role in the clampdown on Rochdale’s fly-tipping problem.

The council is looking to ramp up the use of CCTV.

The borough recorded more fly-tipping incidents than anywhere in the region, except Manchester, between April 2019 and September last year.

Figures presented to a council scrutiny committee also revealed that the number of recorded fly-tips more than doubled to 11,346 between 2017 and 2020.

As part of its efforts to stamp out the problem the council has now acquired its first environmental enforcement camera.

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Currently operating in Sussex Street, Deeplish, it provides ‘overt surveillance’, meaning the camera is visible and signs tell residents it is in use.

Anthony Johns - who manages the council’s environmental action unit - told councillors it had already recorded a number of incidents.

Addressing the scrutiny meeting, he said: “In the time it’s been up it’s captured a few events. It’s captured a very young child running and slinging a bin bag and it’s captured someone at the other end of the age spectrum fly-tipping.”

And he is already eyeing a bigger role for CCTV as communities look for innovative ways to tackle the issue.

He said: “CCTV is great, we want to use it more and we want to use it to the best of our ability.

“It’s no panacea, but alongside everything else we’ve got we’re keen to implement it into our toolkit of how we deal with fly-tipping.”

The camera will be moved around the borough’s four townships - which also include Middleton, Heywood and the Pennines (Littleborough, Milnrow and Newhey).

Mr Johns added CCTV would be playing a growing role in the borough, as councillors had already shown an interest in having a dedicated camera in their areas.

“A number of councillors have said they would be really interested to know what more can be done with CCTV and how it could perhaps work in some of their problem areas,” he said.

The current enforcement camera is said to be ‘highly functional’ with a range of more than 100 metres.

While not as portable as some that are available, it is thought to be less at risk of vandalism and theft.

The use of CCTV - and possibility of extending it across the borough - was largely welcomed by councillors.

Other measures include being more ‘rigid’ about which alleyways - where most fly-tipping occurs - the council is responsible for and always serving notices on private owners.

However some members raised concerns people may be struggling with the amount of household waste due to spending more time at home during lockdown.

There were also calls for the authority to be ‘more flexible’ when it came to waste collection.

Mr Johns said he appreciated it was a complex issue.

He said: “In many cases the reason something is fly-tipped is because of a lack of capacity or a lack of understanding around using bins properly - and also around people who are struggling.

“By no means is all fly-tipping malicious, it’s due to lots of circumstances and I think it’s really important and the team recognises that it would be remiss to go down the route of this strategy without taking that into account.”

A full strategy for tackling fly-tipping in Rochdale will go to cabinet for approval later this year.