Over 50% of fly-tips dealt with by local authorities are household refuse sacks or other household waste
Do you know the difference between littering and fly-tipping?
Environmental crime officers from the Environment Agency's 'Swat' team
recently held fly-tipping enforcement training for council officers across
the North East. The aim was to ensure that consistent and rigorous procedures
are being used across the whole region to catch and prosecute fly-tippers.
The Environment Agency's 'Swat' enforcement team of ex-police and military
staff carried out tailor-made training over four days. The environmental
crime officers shared best practice on a range of enforcement techniques
including surveillance, crime scene investigations, evidence gathering and
Kate Halka, the Environment Agency's project manager said: "Our ability to
detect environmental crime is improving all the time. In recent months we
have introduced forensic capabilities that will enable us to make a greater
number of prosecutions against fly-tippers.
"We already work closely with many of the councils across the North East to
share intelligence, work on undercover operations and manage clean-up projects
within communities. This regional training has really helped us to strengthen
our joint enforcement capabilities."
68 council enforcement officers from across the region took part in the
training. They included officers from Northumberland County Council, Durham
County Council, Stockton Borough Council, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead
City Council, Sunderland City Council, Middlesbrough Council, South Tyneside
Council, Sunderland, North Tyneside Council and Darlington Borough Council.
Andy Rutherford, head of neighbourhood services for Northumberland County
Council said: "It is important for local authorities and the Environment
Agency to work together to stamp out flytipping in our region. This training
enabled us to share expertise and knowledge, and further empower our officers
to carry out detailed investigations that will lead to more prosecutions."
Earlier this month, staff from the Environment Agency took part in an annual
training conference for magistrates in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The aim of the
presentation was to promote a better understanding of the impact of fly-tipping
as a criminal activity.
Kate Halka said: "Our enforcement and education activity in the region means
that more flytippers will be facing the courts. It is therefore important that
we continue working with the courts, the police and local authorities to make
sure that fly-tippers are brought to justice."