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Van owner fails to escape responsibility for fly-tipping in Beaconsfield

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On Friday 21st October 2016, at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court, a 29 year old man of Rowley Close, Wembley pleaded guilty to an offence of depositing, or knowingly causing the illegal deposit of waste.

The court heard that on Wednesday 6th April 2016 the 29 year old’s van was caught on a surveillance camera dumping kitchen re-fit waste in woodland at Andrew Hill Lane, Hedgerley, Beaconsfield (near Junction 2 of the M40).

The images showed two men depositing waste from the van at around 11.30pm at night. Although examination of the waste failed to find any traceable evidence, the van was traced with assistance from Thames Valley Police using the number plate captured on camera.

The camera forms part of a surveillance programme of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire’s ‘Illegal Dumping Costs‘ campaign.

When interviewed at a police station, the man admitted the deposit had been made from his van but denied depositing the waste himself. He said he had lent the van to a casual acquaintance but was unable to give traceable details for the man.

In these circumstances the Environmental Protection Act says that the owner of the van (who was in a position to control its use) is guilty of knowingly causing the deposit – whether or not it was him who deposited the waste, and whether or not he gave instructions for it to be done.external-bcc-pr8139-2016-10-26-2

The Magistrates fined the man £200 and ordered clean-up and prosecution costs to be paid in the sum of £1,116.30. A victim surcharge of £30 was also levied making a total to pay of £1,346.30.

Cllr Mike Smith, Chairman of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, said: ‘This case demonstrates how seriously we take the offence of fly-tipping and the lengths our officers will go to secure a prosecution.

In this instance, despite waste being dumped in the middle of the night, the culprits were filmed taking steps to ensure that they were not being observed by passers-by. They left no traceable evidence within the dumping, but were still successfully prosecuted.

This again underlines the message that if you dump waste illegally in Buckinghamshire you are likely to be caught – and to face prosecution.

The case was prosecuted by Buckinghamshire County Council working on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire. The ‘Illegal Dumping Costs‘ campaign was launched by the Waste Partnership in November 2003 to combat illegal dumping and waste management offences in Buckinghamshire. Since that date the Partnership has secured 555 convictions against individuals and companies for illegal dumping and related offences. In total offenders have now been ordered to pay over £700,000 in fines and clean-up costs.

On average since April 2010 there has been at least one conviction per week for illegal dumping offences in Buckinghamshire. This has resulted in a halving of reported incidents and a significant saving to the Buckinghamshire tax payer over the period, principally through reducing removal and disposal costs.

Fly-tipping can be reported by upload details, including location and photos, either online or on your mobile at www.buckscc.gov.uk/fly.

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