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The Guardian: Fly Tipping Wars Raging Across Britain (featuring Barston Village)

The Gaurdian recently published an online article describing how local communities are effectively at war with fly tippers. It features Caroline Hadley and the Parish Council's efforts to protect our local lanes with the ANPR system.

From the article:

"Barston, near Solihull in the West Midlands, may just be the worst village in the UK in which to fly-tip – or have an affair, for that matter. “There’s no way my husband could cheat on me!” laughs Caroline Hadley, a 52-year-old homemaker from Barston. “I’d know straight away.” Hadley is the village’s unofficial CCTV operator: there are eight high-definition cameras positioned around the village to deter fly-tippers, all monitored by Hadley. Barston has long been a mecca for fly-tippers. “We’ve had asbestos dumped, empty pots from cannabis farms, builder’s rubbish and children’s toys,” says Hadley. “It’s because we have lots of exit roads leading to different areas. It’s so wrong. There’s a tip just down the road. Why can’t people take their rubbish there?”

In 2018, Barston’s parish council decided: enough. They clubbed together to buy the cameras and set up a WhatsApp group. Hadley volunteered herself as chief CCTV operator – she monitors the cameras at her makeshift control suite (her kitchen table). Now, when a Barston villager sees something dodgy, like a tipper-truck reversing slowly down a dead-end road, or they find rubbish dumped in a field, they message the group and Hadley checks the CCTV. “It sounds like we’re stalking people,” she groans. “We really aren’t. Please don’t make me out to be a stalker.

Hadley has tracked down multiple fly-tippers through her amateur sleuthing, including one local authority employee who was dumping rubbish illegally. But sometimes the Barston villagers can be too wary. “There was a vehicle going really slowly recently and lots of people went out on to the road to confront the driver,” says Hadley. “It turned out to be a bloke dropping off a takeaway.”

Since Barston’s success, four parish councils have asked how to do something similar. "

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