CRIME scene tape and solar powered cameras are helping wardens catch flytippers across Keighley.
The Bradford Council team is using new technology and old-school investigation techniques to tackle the growing problem of rubbish being dumped.
The environmental wardens regularly use mobile CCTV cameras to capture evidence of fly-tipping at locations like lay-bys, housing estates and rural areas.
They recently teamed up with Vodafone to test a solar-powered camera that automatically begins recording when it sees fly-tipping activity and stores images in the ‘cloud’.
The camera sends text alerts to wardens, who can view the images on their phones in real time.
In other cases wardens have placed crime scene tape around piles of waste, along with signs warning that a crime has been committed and evidence discovered. The waste is then left for several days.
In some areas the knock-on effects have included reduced fly-tipping, tipoffs from the public about possible offenders, and residents volunteering to help with litter-picking and tidying up.
The measure was adopted after research by Keep Britain Tidy suggested that removing fly-tipped waste immediately encouraged further fly-tipping because the public did not notice there was a problem.
The anti-fly-tipping measures were recently revealed to Bradford Council’s Keighley Area Committee in a report about the activities of the recently-merged Neighbourhood Wardens and Environmental Enforcement Team.
The merger has enabled officers to work more closely together, allowing enforcement officers to prioritise more complex cases and prepare prosecutions, while delegating simpler matters to the wardens.
Wardens focus on problems in the local environment, such as flytipping, rubbish in gardens, commercial waste, litter and dog fouling, and raising awareness amongst the public.
The report stated there had been a year-on-year increase in flytipping across the district, with 15,021 incidents of fly-tipping waste recorded in 2017/18, growing to 16,847 incidents in 2018/19.
The amount of fly-tipped waste and litter grew from 3,747 tonnes to 4,007 tonnes.
The report added: “A mix of education, awareness and enforcement undertaken in areas where fly-tipping is recurring issue, involving community members, businesses, faith groups and other partners.”