Investigators striving to catch perpetrators dumping rubbish across Calderdale

As the borough gets hit by more fly tipping incidents Calderdale Council has said it is striving to catch perpetrators.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:07 am

Community Safety Wardens having to be otherwise deployed to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety rules during the pandemic has seen a reduction in penalty notices issued for the offence in 2020 compared to 2019, but the council works to try and identify the culprits and welcomes the public’s help to do so, says a senior councillor.

Recently the council has brought into use extra camera equipment and if caught will take action against fly tippers.

Photographs posted on social media by the council’s Community Safety Wardens and sent to media by some residents show the problem continues to blight parts of Calderdale including some discovered last weekend.

Todmorden resident Howard Gesh took these pictures of fly tipping in Portsmouth, Cornholme,
Todmorden resident Howard Gesh took these pictures of fly tipping in Portsmouth, Cornholme,

Earlier this month, concerned Todmorden resident Howard Gesh reported to the council incidents of fly-tipping on the hills above Cornholme, taking photographs which show rubbish which has been illegally dumped.

Mr Gesh felt charging for some items to be disposed of puts people off taking some items to waste centres or using the bulky items service and was concerned about the time taken to clear it up.

Mortgage broker OnlineMortgageAdvisor has recently released penalty notice figures for 2019-20 in a survey comparing every local authority that year in terms of percentage of fixed penalty notices issued specifically for fly-tipping.

In that year in Calderdale this was one notice from 1,856 cases, or 0.05 per cent, claims the survey.

Todmorden resident Howard Gesh took these pictures of fly tipping in Portsmouth, Cornholme,

The council is by no means alone as many authorities have low percentages of fixed penalties – but some authorities are more aggressive in fines with Islington in London the highest figure by a distance, issuing fixed penalty notices for 1,268 of 1,764 incidents, 71.88 per cent.

Some incidents involve rubbish being dumped by unscrupulous unregistered contractors.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, Coun Jenny Lynn, said the council did what it could to trace and catch the perpetrators.

“The council’s Community Safety Wardens have attended a number of fly tipping incidents throughout Calderdale in recent weeks and months.

Todmorden resident Howard Gesh took these pictures of fly tipping in Portsmouth, Cornholme,

“This serious crime can have a real impact on local communities and we do what we can to tackle the issue,” she said.

Coun Lynn (Lab, Park) people needed to be careful if employing someone to dispose of waste for them and the authority looked for evidence in waste which could trace where it had come from.

“We know most people respect our beautiful landscape, but we urge all residents to ensure they dispose of their waste responsibly.

“This includes making sure that any professionals hired to remove waste are registered waste carriers.

“Ask to see their licence before agreeing to hand over waste.

“If you don’t and it ends up fly tipped, you could face a big fine.

“In all cases, we investigate incidents of fly tipping and look for evidence to identify the culprits.

“On the spot fines of £80 can be issued and not paying the fine could lead to prosecution through the courts and potentially a fine of up to £1,000,” she said.

Coun Lynn said although the number of fixed penalty notices issued in 2020 is slightly lower than in 2019, the council’s staff continue to work hard to keep Calderdale clean and tidy.

The decrease in the number of fines is primarily due to the authority’s Community Safety Wardens focusing on ensuring compliance with COVID-19 safety rules, which has included thousands of visits to premises across the borough when required, enforcement action including the closure of premises and the issuing of fixed penalty notices.

However, the council continues to take littering very seriously and it can be reported online at www.calderdale.gov.uk/doitonline, said Coun Lynn.

Coun Lynn said people could also help the council bring the perpetrators to book by reporting incidents.

“If people do witness fly tipping, in all cases, having as much information as possible helps to bring successful prosecutions,” she said.

The following details are most helpful and can be reported to the council, she said – the day, date, time and location of the fly tipping, a description of any people involved, what was fly tipped and how much, details of any vehicle involved, including registration number, colour, make and model, and any photo evidence.

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