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FPN increase to tackle fly-tipping

Published Wednesday 13 March, 2024
Last updated on Monday 18 March, 2024

Fly-tippers in Swale could be fined £1,000 after Swale Borough Council agreed to increase the penalty to the maximum possible.

Councillors agreed the changes to waste-related fixed penalty notices (FPNs) as part of the budget setting last month, and these will come into effect from April.

The changes, made possible due to new legislation from the Government, include increasing the maximum fine for fly-tipping to £1,000 from £400 and littering from £150 to £500, for the most serious offences.

Lesser littering offences, such as single or smaller items, have been set to £200 which can be reduced to £150 if paid in full within 14 days.

In 2023 the council issued almost 1,100 FPNs for waste-related offences, with the proceeds used to support environment-related functions, with a focus on tackling fly-tipping and littering.

This included funding Op Assist, a joint operation between Kent Police’s rural task force and Swale Borough Council, that aims to crack down on suspected fly-tipping, collect evidence, and take enforcement action for waste related crimes.

It has also funded CCTV cameras in fly-tipping hotspots, additional litter bins, cleanup efforts and funds the litter enforcement officers who actively combat littering.

Cllr Rich Lehmann, chair of the environment and climate change committee, said:

“We will continue to take a tough stance against waste related offences like fly-tipping as it takes considerable resources and officer time to clean up the mess left behind by a tiny minority.

"The council's income from Fixed Penalty Notices can only be used for environment-related schemes, and we choose to use much of it to help fund initiatives which focus on tackling fly-tipping and littering, such as Op Assist.

“Many people I heard from about fly-tipping felt that the previous fines were too low, so I'm glad we've been able to increase them to a level which better reflects the damage this crime does to our environment.

“Increasing the fines will hopefully act as a greater deterrent, but those that continue to fly-tip and are caught will now be paying more towards supporting further prevention and detection work.

“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to issue a single FPN, as everyone would dispose of their waste responsibly.

“Until then, we will continue to work on preventing waste crimes, and catching those responsible so we can make Swale a cleaner and healthier place.”

The new levels for FPN charges are on page 142 of this document.

  • fly-tipping level 1 - single item or black bag: £600 (was £400) - is reduced to 300 if paid in full within 10 days or reduced to 450 if paid in full within 14 days
  • fly-tipping level 2 - multiple items or locations, hazardous waste, blocking access, or specialist equipment is required to clear any item: £1,000 (was £400)
  • littering level 1 - single item of litter: £200 (was £150) - is reduced to £150 if paid in full within 14 days.
  • littering level 2 – repeated offences, multiple items, littering from vehicles, hazardous waste or littering into the watercourse: £500 (was £150)
  • householders or commercial duty of care - the lack of care in the disposal of waste: £600 (was £400)

Other FPN charges remain unchanged at the levels set within the legislation:

  • refuse left out inappropriately £80
  • graffiti: £150
  • fly posting: £150
  • waste carrier offences: £300
  • failure to comply with a community protection notice: £100
  • breach of any public protection order (PSPOs): £100

You can report waste related offences on the council's website.

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