Security Cameras

Security Cameras Installed by Iconic Kyoto River to Deter Massive Littering

Two security cameras have been set up in this city’s Nakagyo Ward close to the western end of the Sanjo Ohashi Bridge to deter people from throwing trash on the Kamo River’s bank.

Since the spring of 2021, when restaurants were asked to close because of the coronavirus pandemic, littering has reportedly become a common occurrence in the neighborhood. The cameras were put in with the hope that they would serve as a deterrent by a citizens’ group working to improve the appearance of the Kamo River.

The area around the slope from the road down to the river is being monitored by two security cameras that were mounted on a pole by the side of the road by the Kyoto Municipal Government.

The neighborhood is close to downtown, and every morning the local citizens’ group gathers about two 45-liter bags of empty cans and plastic bags that they assume were left by people who ate or drank on the streets during the night.

In collaboration with the municipal and prefectural governments of Kyoto, the association has been working to clean up the riverbanks, but it has also continued to pursue those who are illegally dumping trash.

Three banks of lights were installed in March to illuminate the slope in hopes that “people will feel more hesitant to litter in a brightly lit space,” but they had no effect. Six flower planters were positioned at the bottom of the slope in June to promote aesthetics among the general public, but they were dumped into the river two months later.

Using the municipal government’s loan program, the citizens’ group made the decision to install security cameras. Approximately 500,000 yen ($3,700) will be the initial cost that the city will bear. End of November marked the start of the cameras’ six-month scheduled operation, and group members will contact the police regarding any criminal activity they witness on camera. To prevent people from moving the planters, they were also fixed to the stone steps and reinstalled.

The group’s secretary-general Sadaaki Sugie explained, “We really don’t want to put up surveillance, but we have to stop the littering. Seeing the Kamo River strewn with trash in front of tourists and other people is embarrassing.”

At an unveiling event held at the site at the end of November, Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa stated, “In the long run, we would like to try and do without security cameras.” The head of Kyoto Prefecture’s public works office said, “The prefectural government’s cleanup of the Kamo River yields tons of garbage. To continue helping the environment, we would like to enlist the assistance of the people.”

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Source: The Mainichi

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