• Tougher penalties could be on the way to so-called fly-tippers who dump rubbish randomly on the side of roads and around the county
  • Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson is one of five PCCs calling on the Government to make criminals pay for the mess they make
  • It coincides with today’s announcement by the Prime Minister for a new crackdown on antisocial behaviour
  • Among the recommendations are £1,000 fines for ‘small scale’ offences with a minimum £50,000 sanction for repeat offenders
  • The estimated cost of fly-tipping on private land is around £150 million a year, and costs local authorities nearly £50 million to clear it up.

Tougher penalties could be on the way for so-called ‘fly tippers’ who randomly dump rubbish on roadsides and in the country.

It follows calls from local Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) for criminals, not taxpayers, to be made to pay to clean up the mess.

In February, Gloucestershire PCC Chris Nelson, along with the PCCs for Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall, wrote to then Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, Therese Coffey, calling for tougher sanctions to tackle the ‘growing menace’ of fly-tipping.

They identified five proposals they believe would reduce fly-tipping. These included increasing the maximum fixed penalty notices for small scale offences to £1,000 and imposing a minimum fine of £50,000 for repeat, large scale offenders.

The letter stated that whilst the group welcomed measures such as digital waste tracking, fixed penalty notices and the increased use of CCTV in fly-tipping hot spots, more needed to be done to deter fly-tipping which they described as ‘the anti-social behaviour of the countryside’.

In response, Environment Minster Rebecca Pow has promised the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will consider their concerns and ‘Explore the effectiveness of the different enforcement options available to local authorities, including fixed penalties, and the barriers they face in using them’.

It also coincides with today’s announcement by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of a new crackdown on antisocial behaviour (ASB) in which perpetrators will face swift and visible justice, increased fines, and enhanced drug testing.

Under the new Immediate Justice scheme, people found committing anti-social behaviour will be made to repair the damage they have inflicted on victims and communities, with an ambition for them to start work as soon as 48 hours after their offence so victims know antisocial behaviour is treated seriously and with urgency.

Under the zero-tolerance approach, Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” will also be banned to send a clear message to intimidating gangs, that hang around high streets and children’s parks and litter them with empty canisters.

Mr. Nelson said, “This is a step in the right direction, and I hope that DEFRA will look closely at our suggestions. In Gloucestershire, as in other parts of the region we represent, fly-tipping is getting worse in the county generally and, in particular, in The Cotswolds.

“We are doing all we can to support local authorities in dealing with the problem but there has to be greater co-ordination, perhaps including neighbourhood police on joint patrols with council staff, extra CCTV deployments and automatic number plate recognition for suspect vehicles

“Fly tipping is a blight that causes a nuisance to residents, makes areas appear run-down and creates potential health hazards, and I am committed to working with partner agencies to find new ways to tackle this problem.”

“Greater coordination’ and ‘tougher penalties’ are needed in order to meet the Government target of eradicating waste crime by 2043. It’s time to make criminals pay for fly-tipping, not taxpayers”.

The estimated cost of fly-tipping on private land is put at £150 million a year, and costs local authorities in England around £50 million to clear it up.