Council to tackle fly-tipping through innovative technology

27 October 2021

Sutton Council has partnered with the technology communications company, Vodafone, to install cameras in order to catch and prevent people from fly-tipping.

Fly-tipping is a problem that is on the rise, attracting rats and mice, as well as encouraging further fly-tipping and other anti-social behaviour. 

Following a recent consultation on street cleansing, more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents stated that they wanted the Council to take a tougher stance against those who are fly-tipping. 

The cameras will be trialled in different locations across the borough for 12 months and are connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) project. The new technology installed will alert the Council when fly-tipping is happening and even help identify the culprits.

Last year there was a monthly average of 319 fly-tips in Sutton reported to the Council. 

As part of the South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe Project, the new sensors will be installed in locations across Sutton, including Sutton Housing Partnership-managed areas.

The cameras will inform the Council’s enforcement team, who will review any highlighted images and determine if action needs to be taken. 

Any enforcement decisions will be made by the team themselves as the cameras do not automatically issue fines or penalties. 

Councillor Manuel Abellan, Chair of the Environment & Sustainable Transport Committee at Sutton Council, said: 

“The Council’s SCRAP IT campaign last year showed residents that we are committed to tackling the problem of fly-tipping around Sutton.


“It is important that we continue the hard work to make Sutton cleaner and safer. As part of the Council’s ambitious plans to support the borough’s recovery after Covid, this exciting and innovative technology will be another way of making sure residents can enjoy working, living and spending time in the borough.”

Nick Gliddon, Business Director at Vodafone, said:

“Councils need low cost, easy to deploy solutions like this if they’re going to crack problems like fly tipping. We are delighted to support Sutton council with our smart cameras and IoT network.”

The smart cameras, provided by Vodafone, use wireless connectivity to transmit footage to a cloud-based platform.

All footage is transmitted to the secure cloud portal immediately, where it can be viewed by an enforcement officer, from their smartphone, tablet or PC. The solution benefits from artificial intelligence (AI) which allows the system to have visually mapped the areas covered and if additional material / waste is deposited registers this and takes before / during and after footage. The system is not recording the areas continuously but instead activating and recording only when suspected instances are occuring. If fly-tipping is seen to have occurred, the relevant team will be notified.

No personal data will be stored or used unless necessary for enforcement purposes. Data collected from the sensors is in compliance with all GDPR policies and the project team’s Transparency Principles.

About the InnOvaTe Project:

South London Partnership is working with London Councils to deliver an exciting and innovative “Internet of Things” (IoT) project across the five south London Councils of Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton.

This initiative is funded by the Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) as part of the London Councils Business Rates Retention scheme which is administered by the City of London Corporation, and hopes to improve people’s lives through the delivery of a multi-purpose Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which will connect various sensors across borough boundaries.

The project is led by Sutton Council, which was selected to oversee the project on behalf of the other boroughs.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

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