High tech cameras to catch litterbug drivers in Brentwood for trial period

Motorists dropping litter in Brentwood could be soon be penalised due to high-tech digital surveillance technology being brought in to crackdown on the issue.

Innovative new camera technology that uses smart software to identify litterbugs in the act of throwing rubbish out of cars is set to be trialled in Brentwood.

It is envisaged that the trial will enable the Brentwood Borough Council to measure the effectiveness of the camera as a deterrent, and consider its value to reduce the cost of litter picking road ways and major trunk roads whilst also reducing the safety issues to our operatives around the litter picking service.

To agree to a trial of a ‘Littercam’ camera to be deployed for 14 days at a cost of £4,500 plus lamp column checks at £850, installation, decommission and cost to return the camera.

Costs to roll out the service permanently would include an annual charge of £20,000 for the software and initial layout for one camera and server at £7,000.

A relocation licence would cost £8,000 per annum allowing the camera to be redeployed 6 times within one year. The council would still be subject to installation, stress testing costs and the cost of the electricity.

LitterCam uses artificial intelligence to spot motorists discarding rubbish from their vehicles before alerting the local council and the DVLA to the offence, leading to a possible £150 fine.

It has already gone live in Kent, where Maidstone Borough Council became the first local authority to trial the scheme in an initial one-year pilot.

The borough council’s new patrol issued 75 fines in first week of appointing National Enforcement Solutions to boost the enforcement of litter and fly tipping around the borough. The new patrols started on Monday and have issued 75 fines in the first week beginning in February.

NES targets hot spot areas known for excessive littering and fouling as part of a year long trial.

The officers are paid an hourly rate and do not receive any bonuses or performance pay for the number of notices issued.

But the borough council continues to battle the issue of litter discarded on road verges which even more problematic around major trunk roads like the A12.

A statement from the authority, which will decide whether to proceed next week said “It is envisaged that this trial will enable the authority to measure the effectiveness of the camera as a deterrent and consider its value to reduce the cost of litter picking road ways and major trunk roads whilst also reducing the safety issues to our operatives around the litter picking service.

“Therefore the benefits of such a camera are far more reaching than just the measurable cost but should be considered in the context of safety and service mitigation.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter