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Fly-tipping incidents up 8 per cent but experts warn ‘true picture’ still ignored

Farm unions said the figures act as a barometer and show that after a static year in 2018, ‘the crime has returned to a long-term upward trend’.

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Fly-tipping incidents up 8 per cent but experts warn ‘true picture’ still ignored

Latest statistics on fly-tipping which showed the crime is now affecting two thirds of farmers ‘do not fully reflect the reality of the situation’, experts have said.

 

The comments echoed a similar warning by industry bods earlier this year as the figures fail to take into account reports of fly-tipping on privately owned land.

 

In 2018-19 the number of incidents increased to almost 1.1 million, up eight per cent on 2017-18.

 

Farm unions said the figures act as a barometer and show that after a static year in 2018, ‘the crime has returned to a long-term upward trend’.

 

Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner said he believed the rise was ‘predictable and directly linked to policy decisions made in local government’.


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He said: “For many years we have been telling anyone willing to listen that the single biggest factor in tackling fly-tipping is making the legal disposal of waste easier.”

 

Suggestions included improving access to Civic Amenity Sites, extending their opening hours, creating more locations where waste can be disposed and simplifying admission policies and prices.

 

Deterrents

“By encouraging and facilitating the lawful disposal of waste, it is obvious that you remove some of the drivers that lead people to dispose of it unlawfully,” Mr Bonner added.

 

About one third of all fly-tipping incidents in 2018-19 were equivalent to the size of a small vanload, with ‘tipper lorry load’ sized incidents the most costly to clean up at £12.9 million.

 

The number of fixed penalty notices went up 11 per cent to 76,000 in 2018-19 and authorities handed out 2,052 fines, totalling just over £1m.

 

NFU vice president Stuart Roberts said although many ‘do all they can’ to prevent fly-tippers, such as installing gates, barriers, warning signs, security cameras and lighting, in many cases ‘deterrents do not work’.

“We need tougher penalties for those who carry out this crime,” he said.

 

“It is not widely known that 95 per cent of fines for fly-tipping are lower than the cost of hiring a skip.”

 

He added the Environment Agency, police and HMRC must work with farmers and landowners in the setting up of the Joint Unit on Waste Crime, due to be launched next month.

 

CLA director general Sarah Hendry feared the figures did not show ‘the huge emotional and financial cost’ of the crime.

 

She said: “Our members are all too tired of not only cleaning up other people’s rubbish, but paying for the privilege of doing so.

 

“It costs on average £1,000 to clean up each incident. With many rural businesses suffering multiple incidents, it can quickly affect the bottom line dramatically.”

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