Countryside campaigners support proposals to seize fly-tippers’ vehicles.

Fly-tippers should have their vehicles confiscated, say campaigners.

Fly-tippers should have their vehicles confiscated, say campaigners. - Credit: Archant

Countryside campaigners are backing tougher penalties for fly-tippers.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which sits on the Suffolk Fly-Tipping Action Group, says it wants to see stronger action, including seizing fly-tippers’ vehicles, as the Government carries out a consultation on the crime.

Statistics suggest that there is a fly-tipping incident every 30 seconds in England – equating to 107,000 a month.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “Fly-tipping is a serious issue for landowners in Suffolk and across the whole of the eastern region. It blights the countryside and we have called for culprits to be dealt with more robustly for years.

“Fly-tipping is often conducted by organised criminal gangs and we see the power to remove vehicles as a positive step forward in reducing incidences of fly-tipping.

“Landowners remain liable for any waste that is fly-tipped on their land and can be prosecuted if they do not clear it away.

“It costs rural businesses up to £150million in clean-up costs every year. If new powers can reduce it by as little as 2%, we are optimistic this could lead to at least £15million of savings every five years for private landowners.

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“These measures should come into force as soon as possible and must be backed up by the police and councils treating the catching of offenders as a local priority.”

The Suffolk Waste Partnership said: “The partnership would welcome any additional powers that help local authorities to make it more difficult for persistent environmental offenders to continue damaging our environment.

“In order to help us catch offenders in the first place, so that we can use the powers available to deal with them, we would urge any person who has any information that would help us to tackle an offender to contact their Local Authority’s waste enforcement team immediately.”

CLA East is currently seeking evidence of fly-tipping that has taken place in Suffolk. Photographs of the result, with details of date, location and any further information can be emailed to east@cla.org.uk. Landowners should report instances to their local authority first, but if they see a crime in progress they should call police immediately.