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Kenley residents stump up £1,000 to help snare fly-tippers

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The residents of Kenley are so sick of fly-tippers spoiling the countryside that they plan to put £1,000 towards cameras to catch the criminals.

At a Kenley and District Residents' Association (KENDRA) meeting on Tuesday evening, a motion was passed to take the matter into their own hands, as members felt the council and the police are not doing enough.

The move is partly inspired by the conviction of Ben O'Dame, who was caught on camera dumping piles of tyres along Old Lodge Lane in 2011. After constant complaints from residents council enforcement officers placed a spy camera up a tree where the tyres were often dumped.

The CCTV footage, as well as a photo resident Nick Denvil took on his phone of the number plate of a van, meant police had enough evidence to charge O'Dame.

Chris Stanley, KENDRA's chairman, told the meeting: "Fly-tipping is a constant problem in our area and, often, the only thing that leads to conviction is CCTV footage. However, many cameras belong to private individuals and there has been little financial input from the council to put its own up in hotspot areas.

"With cameras we have a way of tackling crime and we feel that if the technological equipment can be provided then it would be a good way of stopping fly-tipping."

The meeting was attended by more than 70 residents, who almost unanimously agreed.

The £1,000 will go towards the cameras as well as rewards for individuals who provide enough information to the police to lead to a conviction of a fly-tipper in court.

"There are hardly any prosecutions for fly-tipping but that is the courts and we can't do much about that," said Mr Stanley.

"What we can do is catch people who do this in the first place and hand over the details."

Mike Van Der Vord, KENDRA's environment member, said he would be responsible for operating the cameras.

"The cameras are minute and can even be hidden in coke cans," he said. "They won't be in one place all the time. If we hear about a spot where people are fly-tipping a lot, we will put one up a tree for a bit until someone is caught."

Residents at the meeting were critical of O'Dame's eventual sentence which amounted to a £500 fine and 180 hours' unpaid community work.

David Hooper, who lives in Old Lodge Lane, said: "He made far more money with that tyres racket than he was fined. Even when fly-tipping gets to court, the sentences are often not very severe."

Last year, land agent Nowsad Gani was convicted for fly-tipping when he failed to ensure the block of flats he managed in Old Lodge Lane had its rubbish cleared.

It was the first time Croydon Council had brought a case to the courts where an agent or manager was found culpable.

Kenley residents stump up £1,000 to help snare fly-tippers


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