Fly-tip plague grows by 40% in five years — as offenders are let off fines and jail time

FLY-tipping is up 40 per cent in five years — and councils are calling for offenders to be hit harder.

Figures show nobody convicted of illegally dumping rubbish has got the maximum £50,000 fine or year in jail since ministers introduced new guidelines in 2014.

The fly-tip plague has grown by 40% in five years – as offenders are being let off fines and jail time
PA:Press Association

Meanwhile the number of incidents has been rising sharply — as councils say they are sometimes too skint to investigate.

Fly-tipping incidents in England rose 39.6 per cent from 714,637 in 2012-2013 to 997,553 in 2017-2108, according to stats from the Local Government Association.

Councils took action on 494,034 incidents in 2017-2018, up by around 70,000 in five years.

They have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for smaller instances of fly-tipping.

But the LGA is now calling on ministers to review guidance to the courts to ensure the worst offenders face tougher sentences.

It also says it has lost nearly 60 per cent of central government funding in ten years — and needs more to investigate and prosecute fly-tippers. Previous analysis has shown the majority of cash-strapped councils charge to pick up bulky items — which could encourage illegal dumping.

LGA environment board chairman Martin Tett said: “Fly-tipping is unsightly, unacceptable and inexcusable environmental vandalism.

“Councils are doing everything they can to try and deter fly-tippers.

“However, prosecuting them often requires time-consuming and laborious investigations, with a high threshold of proof, at a time when councils face significant budget pressures.” He added:

“Consistent and hard-hitting prosecutions are needed to deter rogue operators and fly-tippers.

“Councils also need adequate funding to ensure fly-tippers do not go unpunished.”

LGA environment board chairman Martin Tett called fly-tipping 'environmental vandalism'
LGA environment board chairman Martin Tett called fly-tipping ‘environmental vandalism’
Buckinghamshire County Council

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