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Release: Minister responds to PCCs calls for tough sanctions on Fly-tipping

MP Rebecca Pow, Minister for Environmental Quality and Resilience, has responded to calls for tough sanctions against those who fly-tip. 

At the start of February, Dorset PCC David Sidwick, along with his counterparts for Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire, penned a letter to Therese Coffey, the then Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs calling for tougher sanctions to tackle the 'growing menace' of fly-tipping.

The group said that 'greater coordination' and 'tougher penalties' are needed in order to meet the Government target of eradicating waste crime by 2043 - stating that it's time 'criminals pay for fly-tipping, not taxpayers'.

The commissioners identified five proposals that they believe would reduce fly-tipping including increasing 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 welcome measures such as digital waste tracking, fixed penalty notices and the increasing use of CCTV in fly-tipping hot spots, more needs to be done to deter fly-tipping which has become the anti-social behaviour of the countryside.

With the cost-of-living crisis impacting on the lives of millions of people, urgent action is required to tackle this problem. The cost of fly-tipping on private land is estimated to be up to £150 million a year, and the cost of clearance of fly-tipping to local authorities in England (is) nearly £50 million. It is time to make criminals pay for fly-tipping, not taxpayers.

Last week the group received a response from MP Rebecca Pow, the Minister responsible for this policy area, stating that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) would be considering the suggestions. The response also stated that the government would be exploring the effectiveness of the different enforcement options available to local authorities, including fixed penalties, and the barriers they face in using them.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick said “This is a step in the right direction, and I am pleased that DEFRA will be taking into consideration our suggestions. Fly tipping is a blight that causes a nuisance to residents, makes areas appear run down and creates potential health hazards and I committed to working with partner agencies to find new ways to tackle this problem.”

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