New regulations brought in to help combat fly-tipping have snared 26 offenders in the year since their introduction.
At this point last year, Environmental Health officers from Hertsmere Borough Council had fined six people for illegally dumping small waste, but the figure has since increased fourfold. The £300 fines, discounted to £200 if paid within 10 days, have been issued by officers for smaller scale fly-tipping in spots around the borough.
Among the items found were wooden tables, a mattress and grey bin bags in Borehamwood; a mattress, children’s toy bike and furniture in Radlett, a mattress and children’s bike in Borehamwood; a mattress, cardboard boxes and white wooden chest of drawers in Bushey; a metal frame and children’s bike in Radlett and cardboard boxes, including for a drinks machine in Radlett.
The fines came into force at the start of last year after the council’s Executive approved the new penalty notices. The fines were introduced in order to help combat smaller scale fly-tipping, such as a few bags of waste or items of furniture. Previously, officers could only threaten perpetrators with court prosecution.
If the fines go unpaid, this could result in prosecution in a Magistrates or Crown Court where the penalty is an unlimited fine and up to 12 months imprisonment. At Crown Court, the penalty could be an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment.
Councillor Seamus Quilty, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, said: “These fines have proved particularly effective since they were introduced at the start of last year and have enabled us to act quickly against fly-tippers who have not been disposing of their waste in the proper way.
“The increasing number of people being fined should act as a powerful deterrent to those considering dumping their rubbish around the borough.
“In the past, the only way to deal with these offences was by going through the courts. We will continue pursuing larger scale incidents of fly-tipping through the courts and these powers enable us to tackle all fly-tipping quickly and efficiently.”
Money from the fixed penalty notices is retained by the council and is used to cover the rising costs of removing and investigating fly-tipping in the borough.
Latest figures show that the number of fly-tipping incidents in Hertsmere have risen for the fifth year running.
Officers dealt with 869 incidents of fly-tipping in the borough in 2017/18 from April until the end of January and £47,202 was spent removing the illegal waste. This compares to 800 for the whole of the previous year, 2016/17, which cost £35,955 to remove.
It brings the total number of incidents dealt with by the local authority since 2010 to more than 4,000 and the total spent during that period on removing the waste to more than £200,000.
A campaign by the Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group launched earlier this month calls on residents and businesses to ‘S.C.R.A.P fly-tipping’ by following an easy-to-remember, five-step checklist when arranging one-off waste collections.
For more information about the S.C.R.A.P campaign, visit www.hertsmere.gov.uk/SCRAP