Locals can now report ‘dirty campers’ in Scotland to the police using a geolocation app

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Locals can now report ‘dirty campers’ wrecking Scottish beauty spots to the police using a geolocation app that gives every 10ft square on Earth a unique three-word name

  • Polluted campers are reported directly to the police in Scotland by a new app
  • The initiative was launched by the Perth and Kinross Council in the run-up to the summer influx
  • Many tourists are expected to go camping when Covid’s restrictions quickly disappear
  • App locates offenders using three words to pinpoint their exact location

Sloppy campers who leave waste at Scottish campsites and scenic spots are now at risk of reporting directly to the police via a smartphone app.

People can now report the unruly campers leaving litter and abandoned campgrounds at the touch of a button by sending a unique three-word referral to tell agents exactly where to find the culprits.

The initiative has been launched by a municipality in Scotland in anticipation of an expected increase in the number of campers when lockdown restrictions decrease.

Beauty spots will be inundated with vacationers who are unable to travel abroad due to ongoing Covid restrictions.

People can now report unruly and dirty campers at the touch of a button by sending a unique three-word referral to tell agents exactly where the culprits are

People can now report unruly and dirty campers at the touch of a button by sending a unique three-word referral to tell agents exactly where the culprits are

An abandoned campsite near Loch Venachar

An abandoned campsite near Loch Venachar

Last July, more than 20 people were charged with irresponsible camping and environmental damage after trees were burned and trash left in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park

Last July, more than 20 people were charged with irresponsible camping and environmental damage after trees were burned and trash left in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park

In July last year, more than 20 people were charged with irresponsible camping and environmental damage after trees were burned and trash left in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park (pictured above)

Launched by Perth and Kinross Council, the app uses three words to pinpoint the location of offenders to within 10 square feet of where they left trash or behave badly.

The app divides the planet into 57 trillion 3×3 meter squares, each of which is given a unique combination of three English words.

This allows for accurate location mapping as it indicates exactly where the user is, eliminating the need to explain a location in relation to landmarks.

This information generated by the what3words location app is then passed directly to Police Scotland.

The app was launched by the Perth and Kinross Council in anticipation of an expected increase in the number of visitors to Scotland's national parks when Covid's restrictions are reduced.  Pictured: Last year fire damage to a tree on an abandoned campsite in a Scottish national park

The app was launched by the Perth and Kinross Council in anticipation of an expected increase in the number of visitors to Scotland's national parks when Covid's restrictions are reduced.  Pictured: Last year fire damage to a tree on an abandoned campsite in a Scottish national park

The app was launched by the Perth and Kinross Council in anticipation of an expected increase in the number of visitors to Scotland’s national parks when Covid’s restrictions are reduced. Pictured: Last year fire damage to a tree on an abandoned campsite in a Scottish national park

Visitors to Scotland are urged to be 'respectful, friendly, courteous' and 'leave no trace'.  Pictured: Images of the Balmoral estate show damage caused by visitors in 2020

Visitors to Scotland are urged to be 'respectful, friendly, courteous' and 'leave no trace'.  Pictured: Images of the Balmoral estate show damage caused by visitors in 2020

Visitors to Scotland are urged to be ‘respectful, friendly, courteous’ and ‘leave no trace’. Pictured: Images of the Balmoral estate show damage caused by visitors in 2020

Better than GPS? The unique technology that identifies every 10 square foot piece of land on the planet using a combination of three words

Anywhere in the world can be identified using three common English words

Anywhere in the world can be identified using three common English words

Anywhere in the world can be identified using three common English words

Launched by Chris Sheldrick and Jack Waley-Cohen, what3words, is used to map parts of the world that are not covered by precise street addresses.

What3words divides the entire Earth into a grid of 3-by-3-meter squares, with each box given a code created by an algorithm consisting of three common English words.

For example, Nelson’s Column is in a square marked ‘this.fantastic.notes’, while Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh is tagged ‘maybe.sling.worth’ and the Statue of Liberty at ‘then.drill.moth’.

Available as an app and website, the site uses shorter and more common words for built-up areas and more obscure references to remote locations such as Siberia and the middle of the ocean.

In addition to English, what3words has mapped the world in eight other languages, including Russian, Turkish and Swedish.

The company’s founders claim that their system is more accurate than zip codes or street addresses, and is especially useful in rural areas and countries without a systematic network of street names and numbers.

In addition, it can be used in areas such as college campuses, festivals and ski resorts where only one formal address covers a widespread area.

It has also repeatedly made headlines by helping rescuers lead stranded or injured walkers and those who run into trouble in remote locations.

Perthshire North candidate John Swinney said, “Dirty camping is a completely unacceptable scourge for our rural communities.”

Although the measures taken will not completely solve the problem, I am confident that they will have a positive impact.

Highland Perthshire has been particularly hard hit by dirty camping, with residents calling for respectful behavior.

In August last year, locals wrote a 1,600-word letter addressed to anyone planning to camp, demanding they not cut down trees for firewood, defecate in fields, speed or enter gardens.

The letter read, ‘Be respectful. Be nice. Be polite. Do not leave a trace of your visit. And please use common sense when starting a campfire. ‘

The Perth and Kinross Council announced the plan pending the relaxation of lockdown restrictions when visitors to Scottish beauty spots are expected to rise.

Last summer, when Covid restrictions were relaxed between the first and second national lockdowns, some of Scotland’s most famous beauty spots were plagued by dirty campers.

Discarded tents, piles of trash and other litter, and even human excrement were left on the shores of lakes and beaches.

In July last year, more than 20 people were charged with irresponsible camping and environmental damage after trees were burned and trash left in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

It sparked pressure on Holyrood to impose controversial non-camping areas.

A petition was launched causing protesters to fear that the hard-won rights to wild camping would be dismantled again.

Now municipalities are looking at alternative methods to keep dirty campers from leaving their mess, such as the what3words police reporting app.

Interim Community Greenspace Manager at Perth and Kinross Council Andy Clegg said: ‘The municipality is looking forward to welcoming responsible visitors to Perth and Kinross as lockdown restrictions become easier, and we are working with our partners in a number of areas to address the reduce impact. by the minority who may be acting irresponsibly.

Perth and Kinross Council is leading a multi-agency visitor management working group including Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Forestry and Land Scotland and others to manage the 2021 season.

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