A COUNCIL is planning to catch residents who leave rubbish out on the wrong day – with cameras hidden in BAKED BEANS tins.
Sneaky Ealing Council in West London will also put the tiny CCTV bugs inside house bricks to film offenders.
Householders caught breaking strict new rubbish rules – dubbed “enviro-crimes” – will be fined up to £1,000.
The surveillance plans have outraged residents who say it is the latest example of Big Brother Britain. It follows a £2million scheme adopted by six councils to put the devices in wheelie bins.
A spokesman for Tory-controlled Ealing yesterday said the £200 movement-sensitive bugs – which may be placed on existing rubbish piles – would become a “vital tool” in catching wheelie bin mis-users and graffiti artists.
He said: “To catch vandals and enviro-criminals, cameras disguised as anything from tin cans to house bricks will instantly email images to the council’s CCTV control centre.”
He added that people who put their rubbish out at all times of the day and night will be targeted. The Ealing Tory councillor responsible for environment Will Brooks said anyone who broke the laws would be considered a fly-tipper.
But local resident Danny Christie, 64, branded the scheme as “utterly insane”.
He said: “I’ve lived here all my life and have never heard of anything so screwed-up. Since when did forgetting to put your rubbish out make you a criminal? James Bond is the sort of person to use spy cameras in bean tins – not the local council. Are we living in Soviet Russia or Korea these days?
“It’s nuts. Big Brother gone mad.”
And the plans were described as “bizarre” by Labour councillor Virendra Sharma. She said: “Educating people on rubbish collection times is a better long-term solution than spy cameras in baked bean tins.”
A spokeswoman for human rights group Liberty said: “Let’s give people more opportunities to be clean and green rather than making criminals out of people who put their bins out at the wrong time.”
In January last year British diplomats based in Moscow were accused of spying after hiding a data transmitter in a fake ROCK.