CCTV cameras in Halstead and Braintree could be used to track down litterbugs.

Braintree Council wants to fine more offenders across the district in its bid to cut the annual £1million clean-up costs.

Staff monitoring CCTV cameras would help street wardens and council officers by pinpointing offenders. Fines of £75 for littering and £50 for dog fouling would be imposed.

It is thought Braintree Council would be the first authority in the country to use CCTV cameras for such minor offences.

The scheme could start by late summer.

Jackie Pell, Halstead crime prevention panel chairman, said: “Dropping litter is a crime and someone has to pay to have it cleared up.

“At the same time, we have to be mindful of people’s human rights. If they aren’t doing anything wrong, they have nothing to fear.”

Michael Portway, vice-chairman of Halstead Chamber of Trade, said: “I think it’s an excellent idea.

“I’m sure all the traders will be in favour of it.”

Lee Crabb, head of environment at Braintree Council, said the proposal would have to be approved by councillors.

It would also involve rewriting the litter enforcement policy and installing signs informing people they are entering a “zero tolerance to litter zone”.

Mr Crabb added: “What we are running up against here is, ‘Big Brother is watching you, wasting time using resources to catch people littering’. But what else can you do?

“Over 150 bags of refuse are cleared out from Braintree town centre every day.

“It’s amazing. Not only do you pay for the person to pick it up, you have got to pay for the transportation and then the disposal.

“That is where the £1million comes from.

“People are still just chucking litter and flytipping.”