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02/08/2021

CCTV must be a tool in combating illegal dumping says Donegal Labour representative

“Illegal dumping is a scourge throughout the country that is causing untold damage to our environment."

CCTV must be a tool in combating illegal dumping says Donegal Labour representative

Call for a change to the law to fight illegal dumping

Local Labour Party representative Seamus Rodgers has backed the campaign by Senator Mark Wall to change the law so CCTV can be used by local authorities to tackle illegal dumping.

The practice of illegal dumping continues to damage natural environments throughout the country and councils must be empowered to address this harmful behaviour.

“Illegal dumping is a scourge throughout the country that is causing untold damage to our environment. There are many community groups who continue to volunteer to protect their local area by cleaning up illegally dumped waste.

"Illegal dumping can potentially cause severe problems for those in rural areas, including preventing flood waters from draining effectively, and local authorities must be empowered to address this.

“One tool long used by local authorities as an effective deterrent is CCTV. Despite this, it would seem that question marks are being raised around the use of CCTV by our local authorities due to data protection concerns," said Mr Rodgers.

He added the Labour Party has asked the minister to investigate this, and its senator, Mark Wall, has also prepared a new draft law that would address these concerns around data protection and GPDR.

"Councils have to be authorised by law to allow the processing of personal data such as the gathering and using of images of identifiable individuals by CCTV to use as evidence in the prosecution of dumping cases

“The reality is, being able to identify the culprits through the use of CCTV is a deterrent to this behaviour. Some local authorities are now reporting 40 to 50 incidents of illegal dumping each week, many of these are at locations which have just recently been cleaned at a cost to us all.

“Cleaning up illegal dumping is costings councils millions that could instead be invested in public services and amenities like our parks.

“The minister needs to take a common sense approach to this problem, and a balance between privacy and the common good must be struck. Illegal dumping is a serious issue and a blight on our countryside,” he added.

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