Stockton catches environmental crime on camera

Published:  14 March, 2019

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is using a new Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera system from Innovative Safety Systems (ISS) on its enforcement vehicles to capture ‘litter throwers’ and ‘fly-tippers’.

The council, which has a team of 24 enforcement officers, is committed to community safety and tackling environmental crime for residents and businesses within the borough.  It took the decision to take additional measures when recent changes to the law enabled them to hold the registered keeper to account.

Marc Stephenson, CFYA Operations Manager, Stockton Borough Council said: ‘Littering puts road workers lives at risk.  Previously we had to prove who had committed the crime, which was often dangerous for staff. Changes in legislation now mean that if the litter is thrown from a vehicle, we can trace the registration and send out a fixed penalty notice.

‘However, we still need a safe and fool-proof means of capturing and recording the car registration and, where possible, the actual crime being committed.’

The council approached the vehicle safety technology company, Innovative Safety Systems (ISS) for help.  ISS had already equipped the council’s waste and recycling fleet with reverse radar systems and installed its RXLite ‘live’ camera systems to 15 community transport vehicles.

Marc continued: ‘We asked ISS to create a solution to our address our specific needs. They involved everyone including our crews and teams on the ground, and in response developed a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera system.’

The system was trialled on one enforcement vehicle and the resulting footage was used successfully to support a number of prosecutions. Another three vehicles have since been equipped with the system and it is expected that the entire fleet of 10 vehicles will carry the PTZ camera by the end of the year.

Marc commented: ‘The cameras enable our operatives to do their job safely, and the software behind it means we can download and interrogate footage easily and securely.  The cameras also provide an additional mobile surveillance asset across the county. We can dial into the camera and view what is happening, at any location at any time, which is very useful for humanitarian purposes and the emergency services as well as for crime prevention.”

Stephen Perrin, Sales Manager, ISS said: ‘It’s been great working with Stockton on this project; they are a forward-thinking, dynamic authority and we are delighted with the results. Most of our product briefs come directly from our customers. They have a problem or issue and ask us to help them find a solution.’

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