Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has called on all parties to work together to address the legal issues surrounding the use of CCTV by local authorities to detect illegal dumpers. McGuinness raised the issue at the February meeting of Waterford City and County Council, where he asked that the Council write to each political party in the Dáil on the matter.
“I have long advocated the use of CCTV, and in particular mobile CCTV, to tackle illegal dumping. This criminal behaviour costs the taxpayer millions of euro every year, it harms our environment, and its a slap in the face to all of us.
“I questioned why CCTV was no longer being deployed to detect illegal dumpers at last months Council meeting, and in response it came to light that Waterford Council had been instructed to cease using CCTV by the Data Protection Commissioner.
“It appears that there are significant grey areas that need to be addressed in primary legislation before local authorities can confidently use CCTV to police illegal dumping, littering, dog fouling, and a host of other anti-social or criminal behaviour. I have already raised this with the Sinn Féin team in the Dáil and Seanad with a view to getting urgent legislation passed, however its clear that a cross-party approach may result in a quicker turnaround.
“This is something that needs to happen soon, and I have asked that the Council to write to the party whips in the Dáil, asking them to work together to bring back urgent legislation to address this grey area and to close the loophole that prevents local authorities from deploying CCTV.”