Fly-tipping increase in St Albans prompts council crackdown

PUBLISHED: 13:01 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

FLY-TIPPERS are dumping more and more waste in the St Albans district, a new government report has revealed. The figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show nearly a 20 per cent increase in fly-tipping incident

FLY-TIPPERS are dumping more and more waste in the St Albans district, a new government report has revealed.

The figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show nearly a 20 per cent increase in fly-tipping incidents in the district over the past year, compared to a national average of a nine per cent decrease.

In addition the report, which presents data collected between March 2008 and March 2009, shows that the council failed to prosecute anyone for the crime during the period in question, despite sending out a total of 33 warning letters to possible offenders.

Cllr Roma Mills, leader of the Labour group on the district council, said that the results were very worrying: "Fly-tipping has been on the rise in the area for at least the last couple of years and it really is time for the council to get a grip of the problem. If fly-tippers see St Albans as somewhere they can get away with dumping waste, then it's very bad news for residents and the local environment."

But a spokesperson for the district council said that convictions have increased since March this year, highlighting the solitary case of Hemel Hempstead resident Dean Gale who was convicted of dumping waste in Redbourn last month.

She added: "The council is keen to prevent fly-tipping, but has to rely on incidents being reported and evidence that can be used in a court of law by members of the public."

But Cllr Mills said that that wasn't good enough: "To rely on local residents to catch fly-tippers is disappointing to say the least. It's not addressing the issue of the increase in flytipping and I'm concerned that if the council doesn't start to take a pro-active approach soon, the problem will only get worse."

The council has asked anyone who witnesses an act of fly-tipping to make a note of the number of people involved, a description of what they look like and the colour and registration number of any vehicle present. They should then contact the council on 0845 125 8000 or via email at clientservices@stalbans.gov.uk

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