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Stronger action on fly tippers

Published Friday 4 September, 2020
Last updated on Tuesday 22 September, 2020

Thirteen Kent councils have teamed up with the Kent Resource Partnership (KRP) to write to the Magistrates Association to urge greater collaboration efforts to tackle fly tipping and waste crime across the county.

The letter sets out the impact fly tipping is having on the county, such as:

Extremely high costs to Kent taxpayers with councils carrying out fly tipping clearances and taking forward investigations;

How councils’ limited resources are being diverted from other valuable frontline services such as the homeless community;

The negative impact on the natural environment with many fly tips blighting countryside and local beauty spots; and

How fly tipping is predominately taken forward by organised crime groups who are likely to be using money from fly tipping activities to fund other criminal activities.

The letter welcomes the opportunity for the 13 Kent councils to work with the Magistrates Association by:

Arranging a virtual meeting between representations from the councils and the Magistrates Association over the summer;

Understanding how sentencing on fly tipping is determined in magistrates’ courts and understand if there are local differences councils ought to factor; and

Establishing the gap councils’ need to cover to achieve greater levels of punishment to those fly tipping offenders, particularly those who are part of organised crime groups.

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

“We are pleased to be involved with the other 12 Kent councils and the Kent Resource Partnership to crack down on waste crime.

“We’ve attended and cleared away almost 2,000 incidences of fly tipping already this year and are working hard to clean up the mess that is left behind for local people to deal with.

“Despite our efforts, there has been an increase in fly tipping this year and we urge the courts to deliver greater punishment for the criminals who repeatedly break the law in this way.

“Not only are they duping the people who think they are having their waste taken away by a reputable person or company, but they are ruining the local environment for everybody.”

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

“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.

“We will also come to your home and collect beds, mattresses, sofas, televisions and computer monitors, white goods, carpets and lawnmowers as part of our bulky item collection service which can be booked on our website.”

Councillor Nick Kenton, Chairman of the Kent Resource Partnership, said:

“Before engaging with the Magistrates Association, Kent councils took forward a mini-review to see what levels of punishment were being handed to fly tippers in Kent over the past year.

“The results showed there was a clear gap on what maximum levels of punishment could be given compared to the actual punishments.

“We truly believe to stop fly tipping; greater punishment needs to be placed on those who commit these crimes.

“We hope working together with the Magistrates Association will better equip us to prosecuting fly tippers and keep Kent clean.”

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