Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fly-Tippers Get Away with Their Dirty Tricks; Incidents Rise in North East, but Fall in UK

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fly-Tippers Get Away with Their Dirty Tricks; Incidents Rise in North East, but Fall in UK

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Glover

FLY-TIPPING in the North East has increased by more than 20% - but only one in 500 incidents ends up in court, new figures show.

The number of reports to councils in the region rocketed over the last year while the number of successful prosecutions fell, according to data produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The rise in cases in the North East also comes at the same time as a 13.5% fall in fly-tipping nationally.

More than 52,000 incidents were dealt with by the North East's seven local authorities between April 2010 and May 2011.

But councils were able to bring only 92 successful prosecutions in that period compared with 147 in the previous year.

The Defra statistics revealed only North and South Tyneside councils saw a fall in the number of reports they received in 2010-11.

Green campaigners have expressed concern that the problem could get worse as some councils consider changes to waste collection arrangements. Gillian Gibson, Durham branch secretary for CPRE said more could be done to help councils clinch prosecutions as they sent a clear message to perpetrators.

She said: "It has been proved in a number of different ways that if people do feel they will be caught and prosecuted and found guilty it does act as a deterrent.

"If fly-tippers feel they can get away with it they will keep on doing it.

"We would certainly like to see many more prosecutions but we appreciate the efforts councils go to. It could be they need more power to their elbow."

Fiona Ashurst from Keep Britain Tidy said: "Enforcement sends out a message that the council takes the matter of fly-tipping seriously.

"However people need to take responsibility for their own waste and dispose of it properly. There is no excuse for fly-tipping .

There are recycling centres across the country and many councils offer a collection service for bulky items.

"We would hope that people take responsibility for their waste and dispose of it properly in order to ensure fly-tipping does not increase. …

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