Round-the-clock surveillance at Herts County Council’s network of recycling centres
Round-the-clock surveillance is being installed at Herts County Council’s network of recycling centres in a bid to combat theft and vandalism.
In less than two years, 38 break-ins have been recorded at the authority’s tips - with criminals targeting metals, batteries, electrical items and even stealing a skip.
From December, CCTV at the sites, which include Bishop's Stortford’s household recycling centre at Woodside, will be connected to a central 24-hour control room.
Any trespassers on the sites will be warned using a tannoy – and, if necessary, the police will be called.
The increased measures were highlighted at a meeting of the council’s environment panel on Tuesday (November 14).
Recycling centre service team leader Andrew McGinn told councillors: “In December this year security at all sites will be significantly improved – addressing the issue of intruders stealing valuable recyclables and assets and causing damage to property.
“Existing CCTV systems at all sites will be connected to a contracted monitoring company, who will immediately respond to the presence of unauthorised persons on site while the site is closed.
“They will do this by issuing a verbal warning through a tannoy system and ultimately calling the police to attend.”
Following the meeting, a spokesperson for the county council said that the 24-hour surveillance was one of several measures being introduced at the centres.
“Since the start of 2022, Hertfordshire recycling centres have suffered 38 separate break-ins,” said the spokesperson.
“Typically, the thieves target metals, batteries and electrical items, with some organised criminals even stealing the skips used to store waste.
“These thefts have a material cost to the council in terms of lost revenue, as well as thousands of pounds to replace stolen or broken items.
“A number of initiatives are being introduced to tackle the problems being experienced including the use of Smart Water tagging, installation of container trackers and the introduction of a CCTV monitoring service.”