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Prosecution for fly-tipping is "on a case-by-case basis"

Council asked what it is doing to pursue offenders through the courts

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

Contact:

01635 886632

Is fly-tipping in West Berkshire on the increase?

WEST Berkshire Council has been asked what it is doing to actively prosecute fly-tippers.

At a meeting last week, local resident Susan Millington put the question to the council’s executive member for waste, Dominic Boeck.

Figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request show the council spent almost £30,000 on cleaning up illegally-dumped waste between July and December 2016.

The council cleared a total of 543 fly-tipping sites over the last six months of the year, costing an estimated £29,125.

The number of reported incidents rose by almost 10 per cent compared to the first six months of 2016, with 493 instances of fly-tipping reported in the first half of the year.

As well as the overall number of fly-tipping incidents rising during the six months that followed, the number of car boot-loads and small van-loads that were illegally dumped in West Berkshire significantly increased from 316 (January to June 2016) to 393 (July to December 2016) – a 20 per cent rise.

The cost of disposing of these smaller loads alone rose from £6,121 to £9,530.

In July, a permit scheme was introduced to stop West Berkshire residents using Smallmead Recycling Centre – located just a short drive across the district boundary in Reading.

The move was in response to West Berkshire Council’s decision to withdraw a £460,000 annual payment to Re3, which runs the facility.

Mr Boeck said: “In order to ensure that we carry out our duties in a fair, equitable and consistent manner the council has an enforcement policy.

“Each fly-tipping case is considered on its own facts.

“For a decision whether or not a fly-tipper should be prosecuted, a number of tests have to be met in line with the code from crown prosecution.

“These tests are evidential tests and public interest tests.

“So, it really depends, to a large extent, how strong our evidence is, if fly-tipping has been instigated by a particular individual or organisation.

“Then how severe it is and what the likelihood of a successful prosecution would be.

“If the case doesn’t meet those evidence tests and public interests tests, then those cases may not go to court.

“We are very keen that cases do go to court and I am happy to say we do pursue the investigation of fly-tippers and subsequent enforcement very actively.”

Ms Millington said: “Fly-tipping is increasing. Is the council going to put any further resources into spotting fly-tippers in action in order to gain that evidence?”

To which Mr Boeck replied: “The latest figures from quarter three don’t show any significant increase in fly-tipping. We have not seen the increase in fly-tipping you refer to.”

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Article comments

  • A4 watcher

    16/03/2017 - 14:02

    Well, all these new rules and regulations on who can tip and who can't - ie: vans etc - and not being allowed into certain public refuse tips is certainly not working! Go back to basics, do not charge and let us make our own decisions of which public refuse tip we would like to use. Lets vans use the tips too. I used to que up for ages to use the Newbury tip at the weekend's - now it is empty and staff with hanging around with not alot to do. Lets admit, Epic Failure...return to basics and do not scheme or plan anymore time and cost wasted ideas!

    Reply

    • TractorMan

      16/03/2017 - 20:08

      Couldn't agree more, make it free and easy to use the tip legally for all and very expensive if you are caught fly tipping! You would think the policy makers could work this out for themselves!!

      Reply

  • Netnos

    15/03/2017 - 10:10

    Surely if the council were to stop charging for items to be collected then fly tipping wouldn't be as big an issue as it has become! Some people can not afford to pay for collection of items, some people have no way of transporting items to the tip. Weekly rubbish collections should never of stopped nor should collection of unwanted large items.

    Reply

    • Bombey

      15/03/2017 - 13:01

      if people have no way of transporting items to the tip, how are they transporting them out into the country to a secluded spot to fly tip?

      Reply

      • Smiley face

        16/03/2017 - 12:12

        Read it properly..... some people, not everybody!!

        Reply

  • Louise

    Louise

    15/03/2017 - 10:10

    At end of our garden is a path across fields, and one Xmas found a lot of black bags dumped at entrance; there were numerous Xmas card envelopes showing an address in Bardown, Chieveley. Reported to WBC, and despite incriminating evidence, they wouldn't take any action as they said no one had witnessed actual dumping.

    Reply

  • NWN_reader

    15/03/2017 - 09:09

    I like Ms Millington's question. If it is costing the council £30,000 every 6 months to clear up the fly-tipping then it would soon pay for itself to set up a covert camera operation in fly-tipping hotspots to catch the perpetrators, take them to court and heavily fine them. I suggest you pursue this Dominic Boeck.

    Reply

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