Body cameras trialled in a bid to keep borough clean

Councillor Paul Walmsley (left) and Neighbourhood Officer Alan Priestley wearing one of the body cameras.
Councillor Paul Walmsley (left) and Neighbourhood Officer Alan Priestley wearing one of the body cameras.

Body cameras are being trialled in a bid to help tackle the problem of dog fouling, flytipping and litter throughout Chorley.

Chorley Council’s neighbourhood officers have started to wear the small cameras attached to their uniform to capture evidence at the scene and support prosecutions.

The authority is acting after continual complaints by residents and it is part of its £45,000 investment to keep areas clean and tidy.

Coun Paul Walmsley, who oversees enforcement at Chorley Council, said: “Generally, Chorley is a clean and tidy place but the minority of irresponsible dog owners and residents are spoiling it for everyone else and trialling the body cameras is one option we are looking at to catch the culprits.

“It might seem a bit extreme but we are prepared to do whatever it takes to reduce the amount of dog fouling and mess and the warning to irresponsible pet owners is that we will catch you and take action, which could lead to a hefty fine and criminal record.”

The council will be trialling the cameras for the rest of March and could be rolled out more widely if successful.

It sees is as another deterrent in its ‘Don’t Mess With Chorley’ campaign.

Coun Walmsley added: “We’d be interested to know what people think of this idea - we’re not using it as a ‘big brother’ approach - it’s simply to help us reduce the amount of mess on our streets.”

The council and police issued 22 fixed penalty notices regarding dog fouling in 2014 and had two prosecutions in court. Since January it has had 183 reports of dog fouling and there have been eight fixed penalty notices issued.