‘Embarrass’ fly-tippers into changing their ways, says councillor

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Fly-tippers, dog foulers and litter louts in South Tyneside should be embarrassed into changing their ways, a councillor has said.

South Tyneside Council’s Place Select Committee heard today that complaints about littering and dog fouling have decreased by more than a third.

But Coun Jeff Milburn, the council’s only opposition member, told the panel he thinks more should be done to tackle the problem.

“We should crack down,” he said.

“We’ve got the cameras and when we catch these people we should really embarrass them.

“It will show to the public we mean business.”

In 2015 the council appealed for help to slash a £2m annual bill for cleanign up litter, graffiti and abandoned waste.

Gary Kirsop, director of operations for South Tyneside Homes, told the meeting about a range of measures brought in to combat waste offences in the borough.

As well as initiatives such as the National Spring Clean and Clean for the Queen, an extra 45 council and housing association officers have been given powers to slap offenders with penalty notices.

South Tyneside Homes has also bought six moveable CCTV units to try and catch culprits in the worst area.

However, Mr Kirsop was keen to emphasise the use of cameras wasn’t as easy a solution as some thought.

He told the panel: “We don’t need to go to a magistrate [for permission to place the cameras], but we’ve got to have the statistical evidence.

“That’s why we’ve got to spend time getting that.

“It might be for anti-social behaviour or littering, but we’ve got to have the evidence for why you’ve put it in that area.”

The committee’s chairwoman, Coun Audrey McMillan, called the condition of some areas a ‘sad state of affairs’ and ‘disgraceful’.

She said: “People put out a full house-worth of stuff and expect others to pick it up.

“It’s great people are coming on board but it shouldn’t, in an ideal world, have to be the case.

“If you know who is doing it, tell us and help us make it a better place.”

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service