July 24 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, June 7, 2014
MP Steve Barclay has called for Fenland Council to get tough on fly tippers after he discovered not a single person has been prosecuted in seven years.
And that, he says, is despite fly tipping costing council tax payers £75,000 a year and 657 incidents reported in just one year.
“No-one has been found guilty even though we have fly tipping incidents averaging around two a day,” said Mr Barclay.
“No-one has even been prosecuted to try and take them through the courts. I think that sends out the wrong message.”
But the council hit back saying they “take the issue of fly tipping very seriously and are proactive in tackling it. We respond quickly to any public reports of materials tipped.”
Their spokesman added: “Where we recover any evidence, this is investigated. Last year we investigated 212 cases and issued warnings to 28 individuals.”
But the MP said that as well as the financial cost it also meant the council spending considerable time on tackling incidents as well as “the distress and money for the landowners and residents affected”.
He said: “Whilst the council deserve credit for the good job it is doing in removing the mess once it is caused, we need to see a major change in approach to start prosecuting those guilty of this crime if we are to deter it, rather than simply mop up afterwards.
“The council has invested in mobile CCTV cameras which could be used at known hotspots but it is unclear why this is not being done.”
The council spokesman said: “We are re-examining the possible use of covert CCTV cameras in specific locations to see if that is viable and what it would cost.
“Bringing successful prosecutions is very hard because the nature of fly tipping means it is inherently difficult to get evidence that is robust enough to secure a conviction.
“We focus our efforts on keeping Fenland as clean as possible, recovering any dumped rubbish quickly. Removing it fast prevents matters from escalating. Our Rapid Response team continues to provide a very efficient and effective service, as the figures show – almost all of the 657 cases reported to us last year were cleared on the same or next day.”