CCTV pictures of flytippers could be made public by Thurrock Council

Flytippers and people involved in other ‘environmental crimes’ or anti-social behaviour could soon find pictures of themselves published in local media under a new policy being considered by Thurrock Council.

The new public identification policy is due to be discussed by members of the council on Thursday and it could see the council releasing high-definition CCTV images to bring more publicity to crimes committed within the borough.

Currently the council’s CCTV network is used primarily to assist police investigations but the council hopes that releasing the images to local media will serve as a warning to offenders and encourage people to report crimes.

A council report outlining how the policy could be implemented, notes that “the publicity of cases or images related to environmental crime and anti-social behaviour offer a valuable approach in preventing, detecting crime and protecting the public from harm”.

It adds: “Members of the public can identify the suspect anonymously either by phone or e-mail via a specified telephone number or e-mail address which would be given out when the images are published or via the council’s website.

“Information received would be passed onto the relevant council’s enforcement teams to follow up. Any suspects identified in the process of released CCTV images will be interviewed.”

The release of each image will be considered on a case-by-case basis but can only be of people considered to be over the age of 18 and where there is enough evidence to prosecute or issue a civil penalty notice against the offender.

Other councils to have already implemented a similar policy include Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest.

Thurrock council claims that these authorities have “found it improves how they work with other departments, investigating and tackling crime in an efficient and effective manner”.

Before the policy can be implemented it will first be discussed by the council’s Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee where members will scrutinise whether it should move forward.

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter