LONG-AWAITED cameras which are set to be used to catch and fine fly-tippers in Wrexham have finally arrived.
Wrexham Council first raised the idea of using technology as a deterrent to stop people dumping rubbish down country lanes and other hotspots in January.
The move was approved by senior politicians the following month in response to a sharp spike in fly-tipping in the county borough during the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of the local authority’s ruling executive board said it would result in anyone found responsible for abandoning rubbish being hit with a fine of up to £400.
However, questions were raised by backbench councillors after the cameras failed to materialise in the following months.
The council has now confirmed it has taken receipt of the devices after blaming supply issues for the delay, although it admitted it could be weeks before they are put into action.
A spokesman for the authority said: “Prior to deployment we needed to make sure that we had the correct legal protocols and IT in place.
“It’s vital that when we deploy the cameras we are able to take the appropriate action and fine those responsible for fly tipping.
“A decision was made at executive board last year to introduce fixed penalty notices for fly tipping, this has allowed us to fine fly-tippers up to £400 under a fixed penalty notice.
“Our cameras will be a great deterrent against instances of fly tipping. The message is simple – If you fly tip, expect to get caught.”
An e-mail to councillors seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service states the cameras are likely to be rolled out “over the coming weeks”.
It comes as enforcement officers are currently being trained to use them.
Figures covering the period between April to September 2020 show there were 877 reports of fly-tipping in the area, compared to 491 over the same timeframe the previous year.
Officials said fly-tipping reports from members of the public would be used to identify hotspot areas.
Deputy council leader David A Bithell added the authority would be adopting a firm stance against offenders after it was previously criticised for failing to take action.
He said: “We’ve tried many campaigns and offered general advice to those who are continuing to fly tip but enough is enough now and we’re actively going after offenders.
“It’s not only some residents who are using their cars to illegally dump their rubbish but also the ‘man in a van’ type of offender who offers their services for skip runs, often on Facebook or similar sites, then promptly drives to a secluded area to just dump it.
“We cannot put up with it anymore and we will now be using resources not only to clear any fly tipping but also to fine those responsible.”
Anyone who comes across fly-tipping is asked to report it online at https://www.wrexham.gov.uk/service/contact/report-it or by calling the council directly.