Irresponsible landlords and tenants guilty of habitually making pig-sties of back lanes in Rosemount by illegally dumping rubbish on their neighbours’ doorsteps have been warned their anti-social behaviour will be filmed over the next six weeks.
A pilot CCTV surveillance scheme, which will be initially trialled in Rosemount, is about to go live following months of lobbying.
Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper confirmed signage, informing residents of the presence of cameras to catch those involved in the practice of illegal dumping and dog fouling, have been erected this week.
The council signs warn residents that dog fouling, littering and dumping are all strictly prohibited - as if any such reminders were needed - and that anyone caught on CCTV engaging in any of these anti-community activities will be prosecuted.
Colr. Cooper said he was delighted the scheme was finally up-and-running.
“The Rosemount area will become the first area of the city to have CCTV cameras. Signage will be installed over the next week in hotspots affected by dumping and dog fouling,” he said.
“I have been working with council for over a year to put in place a scheme where cameras would be installed in problem areas for dumping and dog fouling in the Rosemount area.
“The cameras will be mobile and can be moved between different hotspots meaning potential offenders will never be sure if they are being recorded whilst dumping or allowing their dogs to foul the area,” he added.
The implementation of the scheme, which will be piloted in the Rosemount area for an initial period of six weeks, will be watched with interest by residents of the Strand, Glen, Bishop Street, Fountain, Moor, Bogside, Greater Shantallow, Bond’s Street and Chapel Road/Fountain Hill areas, where the problem of illegal dumping in mews lanes has been a regular scourge in neighbourhoods.
Community groups, the council, and local political representatives, from across the city, have frequently been in receipt of requests for help cleaning up back lanes, the actual ownership of which is often obscure.
Colr. Cooper believes the new CCTV scheme - if successful - will help cut down on the need for clean-ups in the first place.
“I hope that the new scheme, taken in tandem with other initiatives I have previously arranged including mews lane clean ups will further reduce the issues of dumping and fouling in the Rosemount area,” he said.
“I hope in particular that irresponsible landlords and tenants who have in the past decided to leave the unwanted contents of their properties outside neighbouring homes will take heed of the new initiative to avoid the prosecutions that will follow if they continue to blight the area,” he added.
At a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community meeting in June councillors were advised that a full privacy impact assessment had been conducted ahead of the pilot’s roll-out.
“We have also been careful to ensure that the cameras are positioned in areas that do not intrude on the homes of private residents,” said Colr. Cooper.
Four mobile cameras will be used in Rosemount over the next six weeks.
According to the council they will be “positioned in suitable locations with appropriate signage which enables members of the public to see both the camera and read the signage advising them that council installed the cameras and of their purpose”.
The cameras’ location will be determined on the basis of observations and service requests received by officers.