Huge fly-tipping crackdown in borough sees more fines handed out

The council is cracking down on fly-tipping
The council is cracking down on fly-tipping

A council crackdown on fly-tipping has seen more on-the-spot fines handed out in part of 2018 than the previous five years put together.

New figures reveal more than 200 fixed penalty notices were issued between April and the end of last year.

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This compares with 191 for the period between March 2013 and 2018, as officers are now using covert cameras and CCTV to watch over notorious hot-spots.

The town hall says the numbers reflect a hard-line stance with bosses having pledged to take “any steps necessary” to punish offenders.

Wigan’s move to a three-week bin collection rota in 2017 came with a fresh focus on tackling fly-tippers as it was costing the cash-strapped authority around £800,000 per year.

Enforcement officers now provide a 24/7 service to combat environmental crime.

More than £140,000 was spent last year to create barriers and fencing around well-known fly-tipping hotspots and for the use of covert camera equipment, contributing to a 30 per cent decrease in incidents.

Paul Barton, environment services director, told a town hall committee meeting: “We’ve done more prosecutions in the last six months than we have in the last five years. It’s probably one of the few services where staffing levels have increased.

“We’ve moved from a five-day service to a seven-day service because we found that the fly-tipping happened at the weekend. Wherever the area is, we can put cameras up there now.”

The council has also introduced on-the-spot fines for littering from vehicles with more than 60 issued since October.

Costs for FPNs in Wigan stand at £200 for fly-tipping, reduced to £120 if paid within 14 days.

Coun Carl Sweeney, cabinet member for environment, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for fly tipping, it is a nuisance to our communities and costs money to clear away. That is why we will take any steps necessary to find and prosecute offenders.”