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Court fines for fly-tipping up a third in 2019/20: Defra

The number of court fines issued for fly-tipping in England increased 30% in 2019/20 from 2,056 to 2,671, the Government’s annual statistics have revealed.

The value of total fines also increased 7% to £1.17m.

The data showed:

  • A 2% rise in fly-tipping incidents local authorities dealt with (976,000).
  • A 7% rise in fly-tips involving household waste.
  • A 5% fall in the number of enforcement actions carried out by local authorities (474,000).
  • A 2% decrease in the number of fixed penalty notices issued (75,400).

Only the last week of the 2019/20 reporting period (23–31 March 2020) coincided with the national lockdown commencing on 23 March 2020. Defra said it did not therefore expect to see a noticeable impact of Covid-19 in the 2019/20 fly-tipping statistics.

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The data excludes the majority of private-land incidents and large scale incidents dealt with by the Environment Agency.

Responding to the annual fly-tipping statistics for England for 2019/20, Cllr David Renard, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said: “Fly-tipping is inexcusable. It is not only an eyesore for residents, but a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin. It also costs local taxpayers almost £50m a year to clear up.

“It is good to see a rise in the number of fines issued to the worst offenders in 2019/20. We continue to urge the Government to review sentencing guidelines for fly-tipping, so that offenders are given bigger fines for more serious offences to act as a deterrent.

“Manufacturers should also contribute to the costs to councils of clear up, by providing more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones.”

Earlier this month a prosecution led by Birmingham City Council saw a fly-tipper jailed for 13 months.

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