ROUND-THE-CLOCK surveillance is being installed at the council’s network of recycling centres to combat theft and vandalism.

Thirty-eight break-ins have been recorded at Hertfordshire'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. 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 (November 14).

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.

“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 said that the 24-hour surveillance was one of  number of measures that were being introduced.

“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.”