Desperate councils make plea as fly-tipping rises by 40% | UK News
Fly-tipping has risen by nearly 40% in the past five years, and local authorities are calling for tougher punishments for those caught dumping rubbish illegally.
It comes as new analysis shows that not one person convicted of fly-tipping has been given the maximum £50,000 fine or 12-month prison sentence since the government brought in new rules in 2014.
According to the Local Government Association (LGA) analysis, fly-tipping incidents have increased by 39.6% from 714,637 incidents in 2012-13 to 997,553 in 2017-18.
The body said funding pressures on local councils mean enforcement teams have been unable to keep up with the amount of cases of illegal waste disposal.
Local authorities took action on 494,034 incidents in 2017-18 – an increase of just under 70,000 cases in five years.
Due to pressures on council budgets, the majority of local authorities charge a fee for bulky and garden waste collections, which could be driving some people to illegally dump their rubbish.
The LGA has called for a spending review to ensure councils have the money needed to investigate and prosecute fly-tippers, given councils in England are facing an £8bn funding gap by 2025.
It has also called on ministers to review guidance given to courts to ensure the worst offenders are given harsher sentences.
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.”
DEFRA says fighting fly-tipping “remains a priority”.
“We have strengthened local authorities’ enforcement powers and made it easier for vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping to be stopped, searched and seized,” a spokesman said.
“Our actions are delivering results, with no increase in the number of incidents over 2017-18 for the first time in five years.
“The maximum penalty on indictment for fly-tipping is imprisonment of up to five years or a potentially unlimited fine.”