COUNTY NEWS: Call for '˜zero tolerance' policy to tackle flytipping

A trade union has called for councils to take action against flytipping after nearly 80,000 incidents in the South East last year.

GMB Southern is asking authorities to have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against the anti-social behaviour, saying there was huge variation in how actively councils tried to investigate and deal with flytippers.

The union said Brighton and Hove council reported no actions taken against 2,520 incidents from March 2016 to March 2017.

By comparison, Lewes had the lowest amount of flytipping incidents in the South East at just 147 and was one of the most active in dealing with incidents with an average 1.39 actions per incident, beaten only by South Oxfordshire and Canterbury.

In England there were 1,002,154 incidents of flytipping with 474,460 actions taken by local authorities. In the South East, there were a total of 79,911 reported incidents with 32,429 separate actions.

Councils now have extensive powers to take action against flytipping. There can be more than one action per incident and an action can be one or more of the following: Investigation, warning letter, statutory notice, fixed penalty notice, duty of care inspection, stop and search, vehicle seized, formal caution, prosecution or an injunction.

Source: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Waste and Recycling statistics. Flytipping incidents and actions taken reported by local authorities in England, 2017.