Crushing blow for fly tippers as Barnsley Council increases enforcement action

A flytipper’s van suffers an increasing common fate in the jaws of a wrecking machine after being seized by enforcement officers cracking down on what has become a scourge of modern society.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 8:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 8:54 pm
Final journey: A fly tipper's van on its way to the crusher

Barnsley Council introduced new powers which allows them to crush offenders’ vehicles last summer and this is the latest to be crushed for recycling after being seized by enforcement officers.

The uncompromising approach is part of a two pronged attack on those who litter both urban streets and rural lanes with large quantities of domestic and industrial waste.

While the council is increasingly active at investigating offences and prosecuting offenders, officials are also encouraging the public to help by passing on information if they see fly-tippers at work, or have suspicions about those involved.

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That is believed to be the reason for a spike in reported fly-tipping incidents in the last two months, a turn around from a situation where incidents appeared to be gradually reducing.

In March, the council took 358 reports of fly-tipping across the borough, more than 11 for every day of the month and up by around ten per cent on ‘normal’ levels of tipping.

But it is expected that as officers get to grips with the main offenders – much of the problem is blamed on a relatively small number of tippers – numbers will once again start to go down.

The council has various sanctions available for those who are caught, with prosecution at court the most severe and those who end up before Magistrates can face harsh fines in addition to costs and other charges.

They may also see their vehicles crushed, though some can be returned to their owner if they make an application to get it back.

Council spokesman Mark Giles said: “We want members of the public to report what they see, we want people to support us in what we are doing.

“If they see someone dropping rubbish off, they should get a registration number because we will follow it up.”

The council also has other surveillance tactics which has allowed them to catch fly tippers in the act, without being aware they were under scrutiny, leading to some high profile prosecutions.

Offenders caught for low-level offences may get off more lightly – with a £400 fixed penalty ticket and allowing a rogue operator to take away waste which they then dump is no excuse.

In cases where fly-tipped rubbish can be traced back to an individual, they too will face a fixed penalty of £250.

The moves mean Barnsley Council now regards itself as the most active in South Yorkshire at pursuing the fly tippers who also land the authority with the costs of clearing up after them, in addition to disfiguring the environment.

A further restriction on fly tippers is new roadside checks which are now being carried out regularly by council officials and other agencies, including police and the Department of Works and Pensions.

It is known that those involved in one type of offending may be involved in other breaches of the law and all the bodies involved now share intelligence, helping them to build a picture of those involved, helping to bring successful prosecutions.