What’s wrong with using CCTV to catch litterbugs?

The dumping of rubbish on the streets of Watford was front page news in the Watford Observer recently. It’s not surprising that people’s reactions have ranged from being vexed to being very angry indeed. It’s a crime that rarely gets punished and creates a nightmare for those who have to sort it out.

Vicarage ward councillor Mo Mills has brought this to the attention of the council and the paper many times. The number of incidents is on the rise but seemingly the perpetrators are not being prosecuted and it is becoming acceptable common practice in order to get rid of rubbish.

Also in West Watford, rats have been running around following rubbish piling up between residential areas and the business park and supermarket. Local residents are worried about their pets and children, who not unnaturally, expect to be able to play in their gardens without coming face to face with rattus norvegicus. The council has acted to exterminate the vermin and promised to clear the area.

Further, even more rubbish has been dumped in Watford recently. This time by some travellers, who took up residence on King George V playing fields. Following being served notice, the town watched them move to North Watford Playing Fields and then the ASDA supermarket. The mountains of rubble left behind are a health hazard and an eyesore.

Local residents are asking for CCTV to be deployed but the pleas are falling on deaf ears at the council. Why? When we are observed in so much of our daily lives, what’s wrong with installing CCTV – or a mobile CCTV unit – to help catch these pesky litterbugs?

* Matt Turmaine is Labour councillor for Holywell

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