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Illegal waste carriers targeted by Swale Council and Police Task Force

Published Thursday 15 October, 2020
Last updated on Thursday 15 October, 2020

Waste carriers were targeted this week as part of a day of action to crackdown on fly tipping. Swale Borough Council teamed up with Kent Police’s Rural Task Force to carry out enquiries, arrest people suspected of fly tipping, seize vehicles and collate evidence with a view to prosecuting offenders for waste related crimes.

Outcomes of the day are:

  • 6 vehicles stopped and searched
  • 1 fixed penalty notice issued.

Cllr Tim Valentine, cabinet member for environment at the council, said:

“Every few months we team up with Kent Police’s Rural Task Force to crackdown on fly tipping and prosecute offenders for waste related crimes.

“We’ve carried out five action days in the past year and stopped and searched 23 vehicles, issued 10 fixed penalty notices and one producer, and seized seven vehicles suspected of being used for waste crimes.

“During our previous day of action in June, we crushed a van seized from a repeat offender who was suspected of duping residents.

“Once a vehicle is seized, the owner has 15 days to claim the vehicle with the relevant paperwork, and if not claimed, the vehicle will be repurposed or crushed.

“In this instance, the vehicle was crushed, and the suspected offender lost his vehicle.”

Cllr Eddie Thomas, deputy cabinet member for environment at the council, said:

“We’ve seen an increase in fly tipping this year since lockdown began in March, but household waste and recycling centres are now open, so there is no excuse for people to dispose of their waste illegally.

“Appointments can be pre-booked on KCC’s website to help keep people safe, maintain social distancing and reduce queues.

“You can also arrange a collection of up to four bulky items for £25 by calling our customer services team on 01795 417 850.”

More and more of these action days are taking place across the county. A tremendous amount of preparation takes place ahead of these days, including the gathering of vital intelligence to support the council’s enforcement team with their duties.

What can you do to dispose of your waste responsibly?

Fly tippers often target households via social media or local advertising, luring customers in with cheap rates to dispose of unwanted furniture, building rubble or garden waste. However, these unlicensed waste carriers often simply dump the waste where ever they can get away with it, including in Kent’s country lanes. Householders or small businesses found to be using criminals to dispose of their waste can, and are, being prosecuted by local authorities in Kent with fixed penalty notices of up to £400 per offence.  Failure to pay such an FPN may result in court action where fines can be significantly larger.

If using a commercial service, householders should check whether someone is licenced to carry waste by visiting the Environment Agency website below, or alternatively call 03708 506506. It also helps if householders receive a written receipt or transfer note, including contact details, description of waste removed and details of where the waste is being taken to.

The 13 Kent councils, along with Kent Police, are working in partnership to Keep Kent Clean. To keep updated with the councils’ efforts to tackle fly tipping and littering, follow #KeepKentClean.