Bayside Council to use off-duty police to nab litterbugs on Botany Bay beaches

Line in the sand: Bayside Council rangers will get body cams and extra backup from off-duty police officers to stop littering on Botany Bay beaches this summer.
Line in the sand: Bayside Council rangers will get body cams and extra backup from off-duty police officers to stop littering on Botany Bay beaches this summer.

Bayside Council is calling in the law to keep Botany Bay beaches clean this summer.

Off-duty police officers and rangers with body cams will be used by Bayside Council to stop the littering beaches.

Police will be hired for a one month period at a cost of $25,000 to assist the council with an initial anti-smoking, anti-littering blitz.

Police will be in uniform and will issue fines for littering.

"We are really drawing a line in the sand," Bayside Council general manager Meredith Wallace said.

"They will be identified as police officers to focus on that fact that this is a change. This is something different. The police have a much more visible presence. The police have more wide ranging powers than we do.

"If we are going to invest in a much more serious campaign of Butts off the Beach and Don't Litter, then we have to start with a show of strength.

"We really need to show that this is serious and there is a change of approach from the council.

"The powers the police have are far greater than our rangers. If someone is littering rangers can't ask for their identification. Only police have those powers."

Ms Wallace said the body cams will be introduced as a safety issue to protect council rangers.

"Once people see they are on camera it does change their behaviour," she said.

The use of off-duty police and body cams for rangers are just two of a number of measures endorsed by Bayside Council for its Foreshore Enhancement Program for 2019-2020.

Other actions will include smoke free zones on beaches, additional ranger patrols, waste education programs and smart sensors for rubbish bins.

Thirty options were considered by the council to enhance its Foreshore Enhancement Program to run from November 1 to April 1 and 17 actions are recommended which will be adopted in three stages.

Hiring off-duty police officers similar to a scheme used in Kings Cross was suggested by Cr Ed McDougall last February.

Phase one of the Foreshore Enhancement Program will start November 1 and will include a smoke free trial zone from the start of the boardwalk at Little Grand Parade up to the Kiosk at Brighton Beach.

This will be supported by a smoking waste education campaign to target cigarette butt litter for all areas along the foreshore outside of the smoke free zone.

Phase one will also include the use of -off-duty police and the use of body cameras for council rangers to cost $32,500.

Four additional rangers will patrol on weekends from 11am to 6pm during the summer at a cost of $95,000.

Signs along the beach will be upgraded, extra red bins installed and the 'Don't be a Tosser' bags handed out by rangers.

Phase two of the program will start February 1, 2020 with the council buying four mobile skips with lockable lids to secure waste out of sight until it is collected.

Smart sensors will be used to alert the council to when bins are full, to be funded by an EPA grant.

The council will also investigate paid parking systems and technology to increase turnover of parking spaces and the introduction of a resident parking scheme.

Phase three, will review the Beach Litter Campaign and bin capacity

There will be 143 new waste bins with 2760L bin capacity and an upgrade of metal bins.

Additional non-permanent bins will be placed around hot spots including Pine Park giving an increase of 30,000L bin capacity.