CCTV under consideration in bid to tackle illegal flytipping on Cockfield Fell
CCTV cameras could be installed on a historic industrial heritage site in a bid to deter flytippers from illegally dumping rubbish.
Household trash, old furniture and discarded white goods have turned the scar of Haggerleases Quarry, on Cockfield Fell, into an unofficial tip. The problem was highlighted by parish councillors last month who were concerned at the level of flytipping in and around the village since the closure of the Cragwood Household Recycling Centre in 2013.
The village allotments were also identified as another flytipping hotspot.
At the time, Durham County Council pledged to offer support and advice and look for evidence to trace the offenders. At the June Cockfield Parish Council meeting, clerk Phil Howard told members the county authority had been in touch.
“A warden from the council came to look at the situation on the allotments and the fell,” said Mr Howard. “We talked about the possibility of putting a camera on both sites. It is not viable at the allotments, but he thought they could put one on the fell.”
Under normal circumstances, the county council would not be responsible for dealing with flytipping on private land, such as Cockfield Fell. However, Mr Howard explained that as there is a public right of way on the fell – England’s largest scheduled ancient monument and one of the most important early industrial landscapes in the country – it may be possible to install a CCTV camera to monitor the quarry.
Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “The decision to deploy CCTV cameras is based on a number of factors. We are reviewing the fell to see if it would be appropriate to deploy cameras.”
The move comes as the county council claims a major success in its ongoing campaign to reduce the level of flytipping across Durham.
The authority says that the launch of Operation Stop It, which is being run in conjunction with the police and Environment Agency, has resulted in a 29 per cent reduction of incidents of illegal dumping since November.
Between November 2014 and April 2015 there were 3,470 incidents recorded, compared to the same period in 2013-14 when there 4,862.
In April, 497 flytipping incidents were reported. Thirteen investigations are continuing and a further eight cases will be heard before the courts.
Some 26 mobile CCTV cameras have been set up at hotspots across the county and seven stop and check operations were carried out to ensure waste carriers were licensed – six complied with the regulations and one was fined for not having the correct paperwork.