Rural community meets in Redbourn to tackle fly-tipping

Left to right, Sgt Jamie Bartlett from the rural operational support team, chief constable Charlie H

Left to right, Sgt Jamie Bartlett from the rural operational support team, chief constable Charlie Hall, police and crime commissioner David Lloyd and St Albans Community Safety Partnership Chief Inspector Shane O'Neill. Picture: HERTFORDSHIRE POLICE - Credit: Archant

Members of the rural community met with the police and crime commissioner in Redbourn to address concerns about fly-tipping.

Around 60 people, including local landowners, members of the county council, police, Herts Fire and Rescue and waste management company Veolia, came together to discuss rural crime with commissioner David Lloyd and Chief Constable Charlie Hall.

The main concerns for the farming community were fly-tipping, anti-social use of vehicles and damage to crops.

Commissioner Lloyd said: “We know fly-tipping is a significant issue and we understand the impact, cost and frustration that it has had on this community. We are working with the Constabulary and local authorities to try and find a solution to this problem.

“I have provided a grant of more than £80,000 to help local authorities tackle fly-tipping across the country. This grant will be used to cover a wide range of initiatives including launching a public relations campaign to remind residents to check the official credentials of companies disposing of their waste.”

Farmer Bill Barr, who has hosted the annual barn meet for the past five years, and other local farmers explained their frustration with fly-tipping incidents in the area, which can happen up to twice a week.

Chief Inspector Shane O’Neill, who is responsible for the St Albans area, said: “In the St Albans district there have been nine police prosecutions in the last six months.

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“Four arrests for fly-tipping offences were made last week and fines of £500 to £3,500 have been handed to those who have been prosecuted. In addition to this, there are four cases waiting to go to court.”

Chief constable Charlie Hall urged community representatives to let the police know of any criminal incidents when they happen.

He said: “Rural crime is high on the agenda and criminals need to be aware that if they get caught they will be prosecuted.

“We have made some arrests and there have been successes through the courts. To continue this success going forward, we need to work closer together and across communities.”