158 UK councils demand fly-tippers are given a minimum fine of £400

Fly-tippers should get a MINIMUM fine of £400 to act as a suitable deterrent, councils demand

  • 158 local authorities pen note to Sentencing Council demanding changes to law 
  • Penalties for dumping rubbish must be ‘significantly higher’, argues the LGA 
  • An estimated 20,000 fly-tipping incidents occur each week in England 

Fly-tipping fines should be increased to at least £400 to act as a suitable deterrent, councils have demanded.

Penalties for dumping rubbish must be significantly higher to prevent people carrying out the illegal act, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Almost 20,000 fly-tipping incidents occur each week in England, costing councils millions of pounds a year to clear up. 

A total of 158 local authorities have signed a letter to the Sentencing Council – who make the rules on fines – urging them to make changes to the law.

Currently a deliberate fly-tipping offence which incurs ‘minor’ environmental harm should warrant a fine of 600 per cent of weekly earnings.

Based on UK average earnings this should amount to more than £3,000 – but from the 2,671 court fines issued from 2019 to last year, the average was £438 per fine.

Fly-tipping fines should be increased to at least £400 to act as a suitable deterrent, councils have demanded. [Stock pic] 

The LGA says the penalties fail to match the severity of the offence and do not act as a suitable deterrent.

The letter demands that court fines should always exceed £400 and include costs incurred by the public purse and the police in bringing the defendant to court.

It also calls for fly-tipping to be looked at as an offence first, rather than at the individual and their ability to pay, as well as more use of suspended sentences or custodial sentences for anyone convicted of a second fly-tipping offence.

The letter highlights that last year in Hertfordshire, the average fine for fly-tipping issued by the courts was just £297. 

Meanwhile, in Buckinghamshire the average fine imposed was £738, with the highest penalty reaching £3,500.

158 local authorities have signed a letter to the Sentencing Council – who make the rules on fines – urging them to make changes to the law. Pictured: Rubbish left on Marsden Moor 

Darren Rodwell, environment spokesman for the LGA, said: ‘Fly-tipping is inexcusable. Councils are working tirelessly to counter the thousands of incidents every year and are determined to crack down on the problem.

‘However, prosecution requires a high threshold of proof and even when found guilty, the current fines fail to act as a deterrent.

‘Fly-tipping currently costs local taxpayers almost £50million a year to clean up which could be better spent on other vital services in our communities, but until the fine matches the crime, the burden will continue to fall on residents.’

The Daily Mail has previously highlighted the issue of fly-tipping as part of the annual Great British Spring Clean campaign. 

Plastic waste has been found in thousands of seabird nests in Europe.

Across five countries, including 14 seabird species such as puffins, 12 per cent of habitats contained human rubbish, the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness said.

Source: Read Full Article