Suffolk councils adopt different tactics in battle against rogue fly-tippers

Councils can now issue fixed penalty tickets to those responsible for fly-tipping. Picture: ARCHANT

Councils can now issue fixed penalty tickets to those responsible for fly-tipping. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

New rules allowing local councils to issue fixed penalty notices to fly-tippers have prompted some Suffolk authorities to open a new front in the battle against the problem.

But others have preferred to continue with more traditional tactics – and continue to pursue fly-tippers through the courts in the hope that public shame will help prevent others from dumping rubbish.

Details of the number of fixed penalty notices issued for fly-tipping by local councils were revealed in a Freedom of Information request sent to authorities across the country by the Press Association.

Across England local councils collected more than £750,000 from thousands of fly-tipping fines in the first year of a crackdown on illegal waste dumping, figures show.

Of 297 English councils who responded with figures, more than two fifths (43%) said they had not issued any fly-tipping notices between May 9, 2016 when the powers were first launched, and May 8 2017.

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Across England, the number of fly-tipping incidents have risen for three years in a row, government figures show, with councils reporting 936,090 cases in 2015/2016, up 4% on the previous year.

In Suffolk £3,300 was paid in fixed penalties – but two councils, Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal, were recorded as not having raised any from the new law.

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A spokesman for Ipswich Council said it was felt it was better to take offenders to court where the fine could be greater and the justice was public – it issued press releases “naming and shaming” those who were guilty of the offence.

He said: “It was felt that if we issued fixed penalty notices we could not issue as much information about the offender – and the publicity may be a greater deterrent than a fine.”

Suffolk Coastal is part of the East Suffolk partnership with Waveney and the two authorities share a joint enforcement team. A spokesman for the authority said its figures were included in the Waveney total of nine fixed penalty awards which brought in £750.

Forest Heath District Council was the Suffolk authority which raised most from fixed penalty notices – it issued eight notices for illegal fly-tipping in the first year they were brought in, bringing in a total of £960 in fines.

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