After seeing a continued rise in anti-social behaviour, littering and dog fouling, North Tyneside Council decided to invest in a mobile CCTV van, which along with extra wardens has been used to tackle environmental offences in public places as well as in communities and schools.
The service was launched last winter by Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE, and a new team was introduced to work throughout the day, including weekends, to help catch offenders in the act. Staff are able to enforce anti-social behaviour legislation, which includes issuing those who break the law with community protection notices, issue fixed penalty notices, eviction orders, and injunctions to those who are going against what the community is trying to achieve.
The travelling CCTV cameras, as supplied by vehicle safety specialists Sentinel Systems, have led to a number of successes including identifying a suspected repeat fly-tipper and uncovering 14 areas being regularly used to fly-tip.
By installing a PTZ camera (pan–tilt–zoom camera), the team has been able to use the remote directional and zoom control to stop and advise 120 people about keeping their dogs on leads in designated areas and issued several fixed penalty notices to people littering or not picking up after their dogs. Six businesses have also been challenged about the way they dispose of their waste, with two of them being subsequently fined £400 each.
Richie Mitchell, Community and Public Spaces Protection Manager at North Tyneside Council, commented, “North Tyneside is a great place to live and we have seen noticeable results since introducing the CCTV van and environmental team to the borough. The council takes issues in the community extremely seriously and is always looking to do more to tackle any crime hotspots.”
He continued, “Residents had lots of concerns around littering and dog fouling, so the new service providing on-the-spot fines and CCTV footage that can be used to help with prosecutions has really made a difference. Installing the cameras has benefited the community in many ways and we are very pleased with what we have achieved for our residents so far.”
Sentinel’s 360-degree camera system offers drivers an enhanced view around the outside of a vehicle and can be combined with Sentinel’s four or eight-channel DVRs, allowing for up to 30 days of footage to be recorded. Inside the vehicle, a seven inch in-cab monitor is installed with high image clarity so that anything around the vehicle is always visible to the drivers.
Sentinel Systems’ safety camera package can be customised to meet the individual requirements of each fleet, depending on the size and operations of each vehicle. The camera system can be created using any number of Sentinel’s systems, including forward, rear and side facing cameras for a 360° view of the vehicle’s surroundings.