Helen shares this latest news from the Country Land & Business Association. Ed
Seizing vehicles must become the default penalty for fly-tipping as part of tougher punishments for waste crime, according to the CLA.
The organisation which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses has launched a five-point action plan that it believes should be adopted to tackle the scourge of fly-tipping blighting the countryside.
As well as seizing vehicles to act as a deterrent, the CLA recommends enforcing fines for home and business owners whose waste is found in fly-tipped locations and appointing a ‘Fly-Tipping Tsar’ to co-ordinate with national agencies on the scale of this organised crime.
The CLA’s action plan also proposes developing new ways to clear up and support victims so that private landowners are not liable as well as educating the public on this anti-social behaviour and working in partnership to help reduce waste crime through best practice.
Farmers and landowners affected by fly-tipping
Results from a survey conducted by Farmers Weekly and CLA Insurance recently revealed that almost two thirds of farmers and landowners have been affected by fly-tipping and over half agree it is a significant issue in their area.
Some 85% have taken measures to protect their land such installing gates or barriers, padlocking entrances and using CCTV, but only 13% have insured their farm business against fly-tipping.
Targeted on multiple occasions
Most victims surveyed said they had been targeted on multiple occasions, around two to three times per month, and because private landowners are liable for the clean-up process they are spending on average £844 per incident.
Out of 936,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2015/2016 only 129 vehicles were seized, and out of 2,135 prosecutions only 77 fines of over £1,000 were imposed, according to figures published by Defra earlier this year.
Not a victimless crime
CLA South East Regional Director Robin Edwards said:
“Fly-tipping is not a victimless crime. Private landowners are fed up of clearing away other people’s rubbish and paying for the privilege. If they don’t act, they risk prosecution for illegal storage of waste which is simply not fair.
“It’s not just the odd bin bag that is being fly-tipped but tonnes of hazardous waste, mattresses being set alight in woodland and even a dead horse dumped on private land because the perpetrators know they can get away with it. Waste attracts more waste so once there is a fly-tipping hot spot, more usually follows.
“The CLA is calling on the Government to remove landowner liability to clear up waste on private land and for local councils to introduce a scheme which would allow any private landowner to dispose of fly-tipped rubbish at a waste disposal site free of charge.”
Robin Edwards added:
“We need to see tougher penalties which act as a true deterrent. Seizing vehicles involved in fly-tipping and imposing and enforcing penalties which better reflect the seriousness of the crime is vital.
“Only through co-ordinated and collective effort can we push back against this scourge that is damaging our countryside and rural economy.”