Government needs to bring in harsher penalties to tackle fly-tippers, says Doncaster mayor

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has urged the Government to get tougher on fly-tippers by bringing in harsher penalties for offenders.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 12:04 pm

The mayor, in a letter to environment minister George Eustice, called for sufficient resources for councils to follow through on fly-tipping offenders which is described as ‘labour intensive’ and requires a ‘high threshold of proof’.

Over the last two years, Doncaster Council issued 6,000 on the spot fines for people who dropped litter with a further 40 prosecutions for fly-tipping in the magistrates’ court.

But ‘austerity and the demand on councils’ legal duties’ such as caring for elderly and disabled people, protecting children and providing homelessness support, has meant there is ‘less money available’ for discretionary powers like issuing penalty notices for fly-tipping and prosecuting fly-tipping offenders.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rubbish piles up just off Flowitt Street, Hexthorpe. Picture: NDFP Rubbish MC 4

Mayor Jones is calling on Government to ‘work with councils’ to review guidance to the courts to ensure tougher penalties are applied to act as a proper deterrent.

She’s also said that local authorities need support to ‘educate and empower’ by communicating across Government the impact that fly-tipping and litter has and ‘encouraging better behaviours’.

Central government is also being asked to provide a 'clear timescale' for the roll out of the new Environment Bill which could include harsher measures and more local powers to tackle the issue.

Mayor Jones said: “Doncaster Council takes fly-tipping extremely seriously and we are taking increasing enforcement action against those responsible.

“However, austerity and the demand on councils’ legal duties, such as caring for elderly and disabled people, protecting children and providing homelessness support, has meant there is less money available for discretionary powers like issuing penalty notices for fly-tipping and prosecuting fly-tipping offenders.

“Prosecuting fly-tippers often requires time-consuming and laborious investigations, with a high threshold of proof.

“Tougher sentences are needed to act as a stronger deterrent to criminals dumping waste and we support the request for Government to work with councils on reviewing guidance to the courts to ensure the worst offenders face tougher sentences, and that councils have the funding needed to investigate and prosecute fly-tippers."