That's according to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which reported that a total of 121,283 fly-tipping incidents were recorded across the South East in 2020/21, up from 90,507 during the previous 12 months.
Incidents on agricultural land increased, year-on-year, from 794 to 1,133.
In Arun, 1,569 fly-tipping incidents were reported in 2020/21, up from 1,455 in 2019/20.
In Adur, 895 incidents were reported last year, up from 407 in the previous 12 months.
In Worthing, 760 incidents were reported in 2020/21, up from 352.
A rural insurance expert has urged South East farmers and landowners to take extra steps to protect themselves against fly-tipping this winter, after the latest figures revealed a rise in cases.
“Fly-tipping is an unwelcome blight on our countryside and can represent far more than an inconvenience victims of the crime,” said Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn, of rural insurance broker
“Incidents not only pose significant environmental and human health risks, but also a legal and financial burden for farmers and landowners.
“Although local authorities will usually pay the clean-up costs of clearing waste from public land, the responsibility for removing waste from private land falls squarely at the feet of the
landowners. If they fail to do so, they can face prosecution.”
According to the National Rural Crime Network, clean-up bills per incident average around £1,000 but large-scale incidents can cost upwards of £10,000.
Wailes-Fairbairn, however, explained that farm businesses can insure the risk.
“In some cases, farmers can be repeatedly targeted and costs can quickly escalate,” he said. “Many combined farm policies, however, will cover the clean-up costs, typically capped
between £10,000 and £15,000 for the insurance period.”
Wailes-Fairbairn said environmental criminals can be more inclined to act under cover of darkness and that councils will often see a surge of incidents in January as people look to dispose of post festive waste, including Christmas trees.
He added: “For those at risk of being targeted during these dark winter evenings, extra vigilance and a review of security measures is prudent.
“Prevention is better than cure and steps should be taken to ensure access to land and fields is restricted, where possible, with physical barriers.
“Gates should be locked when not in use and although witnesses of fly-tipping incidents should not approach the perpetrators, by cutting back hedges and installing exterior lighting, visibility for the landowner can be notably improved.
"The installation of security cameras can also act as a deterrent and help in securing successful prosecutions.”