Durham County Council has shown its determination to crack down on illegal fly-tipping by ensuring that one offender received a fine and criminal record.
Simon Littlefair, 33, of Crook, was captured on CCTV depositing waste from the back of a van at Peases West Athletics Track on 26th August 2016.
The local neighbourhood warden (neighbourhood wardens are officials who deal with issues such as fly-tipping, dog fouling and low-level anti-social behaviour) contacted the van’s owner, but found out that Mr Littlefair was not the owner and had borrowed it.
Mr Littlefair then contacted the neighbourhood warden and agreed to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) fine of £400.
FPNs should be paid within 14 days, but – as Littlefair failed to do this – he was taken to court.
Littlefair pleaded guilty to depositing controlled waste without an environmental permit, contrary to the Environment Protection Act 1990. He was ordered to pay the original £400 fine, in addition to £130 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.
Durham County Council has been making strenuous efforts to make the county a cleaner, greener place to live.
Alongside Durham Constabulary, the Environment Agency and Crime Stoppers, the council has been running its anti-fly-tipping campaign Operation Stop It.
The council has received two awards for its commitment to the local environment. The council also recently announced the dates for its Big Spring Clean, an annual campaign which involves volunteers removing litter and rubbish from their communities.
Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, Ian Holt, said, “Most people do the right thing and get rid of their waste legally.”
“However, a small number of people continue to fly-tip and although Littlefair may have admitted his guilt, that does not detract from the fact his actions were highly irresponsible.”
“The very fact we are taking people to court on a weekly basis shows people will not get away with fly-tipping.”
“We now also have powers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for fly-tipping, and since the new powers came in we’ve issued 12 and this is the first time someone has not paid.”
“If you are getting somebody to take away your waste, you need to ask where it is going, as it is your responsibility to ensure it is disposed of correctly.”
“There are lots of ways people can dispose of their waste, from kerbside collections and our bulky household collection service through to disposing at one of our free household waste recycling centres across the county.”
You can find out where these centres are at www.durham.gov.uk/hwrc.
You can report fly-tipping incidents at www.durham.gov.uk/flytipping.