Litter bugs and flytippers hit with £7,000 fines after crackdown in South Tyneside
Litter bugs in South Tyneside have had to stump up more than £7,000 as part of a council crackdown on environmental crime.
The offences which have seen offenders hit with fines include breaches of environmental laws, from failure to remove rubbish to serious fly-tipping incidents.
From October 31 last year to the end of March, South Tyneside Council carried out 11 prosecutions.
In the latest wave of action by the council’s ‘Development Services’ team, all defendants were found guilty.
Although prosecutions were down on previous months – 21 in total from April to September – the council still clawed back thousands of pounds.
According to the latest figures, offenders coughed up £3,438 in fines, £2,700 in court costs, £450 in compensation and £438 in victim surcharges.
Offences included failing to comply with council notices around discarded items and waste, or the “accumulation of waste and debris.”
One fine related to a takeaway delivery business failing to comply with planning conditions.
Half of the prosecutions over the period were also related to fly-tipping under the Environment Act (1995) – with one offender fined £660 for failing to attend an interview.
According to South Tyneside Council’s website, fly-tipping costs local authorities £44million every year to clean up.
The types of land most commonly affected include land near public waste tips, roadsides, private land on the outskirts of urban areas, back alleys and derelict sites.
Councillors will discuss the enforcement figures for offences across the borough at a meeting next week.
Council bosses aim to advise residents about the correct methods for waste disposal before taking any formal action.
Under current policies, its powers to prosecute are used as a last resort for people who consistently refuse to engage or those ignoring warnings.
The council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee will discuss the figures on Friday, June 7 at South Shields Town Hall.
The meeting starts at 10am.
Fly-tipping can also be reported to the council 0191 427 7000 or online at: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit
For more information on waste disposal, visit: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service