Fly Tipping – What is Winchester City Council doing about it?
Table of Contents
What happens when I report a fly tip?
If a report comes in on line, both the Enforcement Officer and the Contracts Management Officer (CMO) will receive the majority of reports twice: a WCC Customer Services report/complaint via an on line report form or Winchester App triggers an email to a service in-box (even if the specialist officer isn’t on duty the team supervisor will be able to see it); that information is also backed up with automatic notification via the city council’s internal system (Lagan) which gives a unique reference number to the case.
If a report comes in via telephone, the information is added to the internal Lagan system via customer services which will also go directly to the enforcement officer and CMOs. The internal system is reviewed daily (Mon – Fri) and prioritised accordingly e.g. if there is a possibility of evidence at the site it will become a priority for investigation. Wherever possible the site will be visited within 24 hours so that evidence can be photographed in situ and then removed so that it can be used in any future prosecution. If there is no evidence e.g. white goods/builders rubble etc. a yellow W will be sprayed on the fly tip, which means it has been reported and is ready for clearance by our contractors.
What happens if I take away evidence for safe keeping?
Please do not remove any evidence from fly tip sites because unfortunately that devalues a possible case and it will not be used in the investigation process. As accredited officers we work with burden of proof which means we need to evidence that anything collected against an individual or company e.g. found on site, is as stated in the case file and recorded against set criteria such as the use of photographs and completion of pocket notebooks (recognised by the court, entries may need to be exhibited by authorised officers who are accredited by the chief constable).
Is the City Council winning the battle?
To date the City Council has been granted £26,606.84 in fines and costs against the perpetrators of fly tip. As a result of working collaboratively with other local authorities, one of the prosecutions resulted in an offender being given a 12 month custodial sentence.
To date applications to court show a 100% success rate in fly tip prosecutions and that is largely due to the collation of good evidence and the robust processes the Council has in place to demonstrate the transparent and balanced approach taken when tackling environmental crime.
The City Council Enforcement Officer is a member of the Hampshire County Council fly tipping partnership group whose aim it was to support the development of the Hampshire Fly-tipping Strategy. The key aims of this strategy are to:
- Stimulate and maintain a change in behaviour amongst residents, businesses and landowners in their Duty of Care that will help to reduce the amount of fly-tipping in Hampshire;
- Jointly agree the most efficient process for reporting, collection and disposal of illegally dumped waste;
- Work together to maximise investigation and enforcement resources to ensure we use these in the most efficient and cost effective way, to achieve improved outcomes.
- Establish a countywide fly tipping working group, who, in addition to supporting delivery of the above aims will also look to work with neighbouring authorities outside of Hampshire as well as Magistrates to encourage greater use of maximum penalties available.
For advice contact: Lesley Bridger or Davina Domone-Hollands via the City Council on 01962 840222 or to report a fly tip use the WCC online report forms.
So, to summarise, what should I do if I find a fly tip?
- Do not remove anything – all evidence is vital to identify perpetrators.
- To report an incident of fly-tipping please contact the Environment Team on 0300 300 0013 or report it here.
- If the fly-tipping is blocking the road please contact Hampshire County Council here
- Make a note of the logging number if you wish to check what progress is being made.
- Wait for the Council to remove the fly-tip materials – they need to be allowed at least 24 hours notice to visit with intention of waste removal within 48hrs (once a yellow W has been put on the waste and subject to case load)
- For fly-tipping on private land, we will offer a visit to the site and if evidence collected we will pursue for prosecution as appropriate, however site clearance costs will be the responsibility of the landowner.
- Neighbourhood Service Officers can also offer advice about remedial action in order to reduce the risks of fly tip.