Eleven residents have been prosecuted and fined more than £1,300 each for fly-tipping offences following two covert operations run by Merton Council.
The action at fly-tipping hot-spots was carried out as part of the council’s “We Are Watching You” campaign, aimed at cracking down on anyone who dumps rubbish in the borough. The Council is warning it is now using hidden cameras, tip-offs and undertaking investigations to trace the owners of fly-tipped items. This work is being carried out as part of the council’s battle to rid neighbourhoods from the blight of fly-tipping.
In addition to being fined the residents, observed by Merton’s enforcement team dumping their furniture and general domestic waste, have also netted a criminal record.
As part of the operations the team also seized three vehicles suspected of being linked with fly-tipping offences, of which two have been destroyed. One van was seized outside the registered driver’s home after he failed to respond to officers investigating fly-tipping activities.
Since last April a total of 33 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been also issued to people responsible for smaller fly tip offences. These notices, which have led to £400 on-the-spot fines, were issued for incidents such as dumping a bag of rubbish by a public litter bin.
Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Cleanliness Councillor Mike Brunt said: “Fly-tipping is a major blight on neighbourhoods and it is a serious criminal offence whether it involves tonnes of builder’s waste, mattresses or bags of domestic garbage.
“Every year, the council spends £5m cleaning up after the selfish minority who dump their rubbish or throw away their litter irresponsibly. This is tax-payers money that we want to spend on enhancing vital services for all our residents.
“This is why our message is clear: if you fly-tip in Merton expect to be investigated and face prosecution because “We Are Watching You”. Fly-tipping can lead to hefty fines, a criminal record and in serious cases a prison sentence.
“This action is being carried out as part of our pledge to use the full weight of our enforcement powers to protect the safety and quality of life of our residents.”
If you suspect someone is involved in fly-tipping or any other environmental crimes report it by visiting: https://www.merton.gov.uk/rubbish-and-recycling/litter-fly-tipping-and-street-cleaning
Merton residents can dispose of bulky household items for free by taking them to the borough’s Recycling Centre, 63-69 Amenity Way, Garth Road in Morden. Residents can also book collections of bulky waste, which in line with the majority other London boroughs, is chargeable.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Merton Council’s ‘We Are Watching You’ campaign is being run as part of the council’s pledge to use the full weight of its enforcement powers to protect residents from the criminals and rogue traders who threaten their safety. Key areas of action include crime and anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and food safety.