Security to be increased at Herts recycling centres after dozens of break-ins

Security at all sites will be significantly improved, councillors say
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Round-the-clock surveillance is being installed at Hertfordshire County Council’s network of recycling centres to cut down on theft and vandalism.

Thirty-eight break-ins have been recorded at the county’s recycling centres in less than two years – with thieves targeting metals, batteries, electrical items and even stealing a skip.

But from December CCTV at the sites will be connected to a central 24-hour control room.

Hertfordshire County CouncilHertfordshire County Council
Hertfordshire County Council

Anyone caught on the sites will be warned using a tannoy – and, if necessary, the police will be called.

The increased measures were highlighted at a meeting of the council’s environment panel on Tuesday (14 November).

Recycling centre service team leader Andrew McGinn told councillors: “In December this year security at all sites will be significantly improved – addressing the issue of intruders stealing valuable recyclables and assets and causing damage to property.

“Existing CCTV systems at all sites will be connected to a contracted monitoring company, who will immediately respond to the presence of unauthorised persons on site whilst the site is closed.

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“They will do this by issuing a verbal warning through a tannoy system and ultimately calling the police to attend.”

Following the meeting a spokesperson for the county council told the Local Democracy Service (LDS) that the 24-hour surveillance was one of a number of measures that were being introduced at the centres.

“Since the start of 2022, Hertfordshire recycling centres have suffered 38 separate break-ins,” said the spokesperson.

“Typically, the thieves target metals, batteries and electrical items, with some organised criminals even stealing the skips used to store waste.

“These thefts have a material cost to the council in terms of lost revenue, as well as thousands of pounds to replace stolen or broken items.

“A number of initiatives are being introduced to tackle the problems being experienced including the use of Smart Water tagging, installation of container trackers and the introduction of a CCTV monitoring service.”