North Hertfordshire records 34 per cent spike in fly-tipping offences
- Credit: Archant
Major fly-tipping offences in North Hertfordshire shot up by 34 per cent last year, latest figures have revealed.
In total, 1,240 fly-tip incidents were recorded by the district council in 2018/19 - up from 924 the previous year.
The increase comes amid a nationwide spike in fly-tipping which has seen offences across the country rise by a staggering 117 per cent since 2012 - with councils spending more than £59m on their removal in that time.
Cllr Judi Billing, NHDC's executive member for community engagement, reaffirmed the district council's "zero tolerance" approach to those who commit the crime, and said fly-tipping has become "a blight on our landscape".
Cllr Billing said: "We are working hard to educate residents about the need to check the credentials of anyone they use to dispose of waste on their behalf, and ensure they hold a Waste Carrier's Licence.
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"We have also introduced new powers enabling us to fine householders who have neglected to dispose of their waste through a licensed waste carrier.
"Additionally we are working as part of the Hertfordshire Fly-Tipping Group - a multi-agency taskforce that works together to combat fly-tipping in the county."
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The FTG has been praised for the rollout of new technology which assists in identifying and prosecuting fly tippers, and for their award-winning #SCRAPflytipping campaign - used across Hertfordshire to help educate residents and promote a consistent message.
Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000, or 12 months' imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates' court - though the harshest sentences are rarely dealt out.
Cllr David Renard, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, says that prosecuting fly-tippers "often requires time-consuming and laborious investigations", with a "high threshold of proof".
"The new government needs to ensure councils have the funding needed to investigate incidents, and should review sentencing guidelines for fly-tipping," Cllr Renard said.
To report a fly-tipping offence in North Hertfordshire, call the district council on 01462 474000.
Domestic waste and recycling sites can be found at Blackhorse Road in Letchworth, and Beverley Close in Royston.