How Buckinghamshire is winning the war on flytippers
Fly-tipping is a nasty crime that's been on the increase across the whole of the UK - but here in Buckinghamshire, County Council officers have turned detective to win the war on the perpetrators.
Hidden cameras in the county's lane and lay-bys are snaring an increasing number of fly-tippers who litter fields, woods, roads and verges with disgusting piles of rubbish.
More than 11,000 fly-tipping cases – six a day on average - have blighted the local countryside in the
last five years alone, costing tax-payers £500,000 a year in clear-up costs.
But those who dunnit can’t expect to get away with it. The cameras are just one of the tools of the Buckinghamshire County Council detection team which boasts one of the highest prosecution rates in England for fly-tipping.
Waste Enforcement Officer David Rounding said: “We are becoming better and better at convicting people. If the evidence is there, we will get them to court.”
“Since 2010 we have been averaging more than one conviction a week and they each pay around £1,500 in fines and costs.”
Last year alone, the team of five achieved 72 convictions and court-awarded costs recouped more than £75,000 towards the councils’ clean-up and legal costs.
CCTV accounts for 40 per cent of the team’s convictions and eye-witness accounts from members of the public bring about another 20 per cent of convictions.
David and his team also spend long hours sifting through rubbish for clues. A third of the team’s convictions involve local Buckinghamshire householders fly-tipping a black bin bag or more of rubbish.
The bulk of fly-tipping is committed by crooked commercial operators but David says he can often tell who's responsible
“If I go to a pile of waste, judging by where it is and what it looks like, I can tell you who I suspect. More often than not I am right. They can serve up to five years in prison, and we have jailed a few.”