Litter bugs and dumpers hit with £13,000 in fines as council chiefs crack down on environmental crime in South Tyneside
Councillors will next week discuss new enforcement figures for environmental offences across the borough.
Incidents include breaches of environmental laws from failure to remove rubbish to more serious fly-tipping incidents.
Since April last year, South Tyneside Council’s ‘development services’ team has carried out 20 prosecutions.
In the latest wave of action, all defendants were found guilty and paid out a combined total of £13,095
This includes £9,775 in fines, £2,000 in court costs, £387 in compensation and £933 in victim surcharges.
A report, prepared for councillors, provides detail on the offences, including people failing to respond to council notices around “accumulation of waste” at properties.
Half of the prosecutions were also linked to fly-tipping under the Environment Act (1995) with one offender fined £1,000 for failing to attend an interview.
‘We will always pursue offenders’
Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety on the council, Coun Joan Atkinson, has welcomed the figures.
“These statistics reflect how hard we work to bring to justice anyone who spoils our environment, be it by fly-tipping or failing to clear up mess in their own back yards,” she said.
“It is simply not acceptable that a minority of people blight our communities in this way, and in some cases create a risk to public health.
“We will always pursue these offenders, and as well as taking people to court, we issue on-the-spot fines.
“These prosecutions would not have been possible without the help of the public and we urge them to continue to help us identify anyone responsible and provide evidence of these kind of crimes.”
According to South Tyneside Council’s website, fly-tipping costs local authorities £44million each year to clean up.
The types of land most commonly affected include sites near public waste tips, the roadside, derelict land and back alleys.
In South Tyneside, the council aims to advise residents about the correct methods for waste disposal before taking formal action.
Coun Atkinson added: “If residents have any excess household waste to dispose of, we encourage them to check that their tradespeople have a valid waste carriers’ licence before employing them.
“If they don’t and their waste is found fly-tipped they could be prosecuted and fined.
“We would also like to remind people that we have recycling and disposal skips at the Recycling Village, Middlefields Industrial Estate, South Shields, where a variety of rubbish can be taken and disposed of legally, safely and responsibly.
“There is no excuse for people not to dispose of their rubbish properly.”
The council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee will discuss the new enforcement figures at its meeting at South Shields town hall on Friday, February 14.
The meeting starts at 10am and is open to the public.
To report fly-tipping, call the council on (0191) 427 7000, email [email protected] or visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit
For more information, visit: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling.