The 500th fly-tipping conviction has been secured by the Buckinghamshire Waste Partnership thanks to social media.
A 27 year old man of Specklands, Milton Keynes appeared at Wycombe Magistrates Court on Monday 5th October 2015 and pleaded guilty to two offences in relation to a failure in his duty of care regarding waste which was dumped illegally.
The court heard that on Tuesday 24th March 2015 a large amount of household waste was found dumped and strewn along Whaddon Road in Newton Longville and neighbouring roads.
The waste was photographed and examined by an investigator from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire. An observant member of the public who saw the dumped waste recognised it from a post she had seen recently on Facebook and informed the authorities.
When interviewed at a police station by Waste Partnership investigators, the 27 year old man denied dumping the waste himself saying he had paid a ‘man with a van’ to remove it. He had not checked the man’s credentials and could do nothing to help investigators trace him.
The Magistrates fined the man £200 each for two separate offences and ordered him to pay clean-up and prosecution costs of £765.70. A victim surcharge of £20 was also levied, making a total to pay of £1,185.70.
The 500th conviction marks 12 years of the ‘Illegal Dumping Costs’ campaign which was started in October 2003 when fly-tipping levels were increasing by 10% each year. Now Buckinghamshire is leading the way on enforcement nationally, convicting ten times more offenders than are being convicted on average across England.
Mike Smith, Chairman of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, said: ‘Fly-tipping is not only a criminal offence, it blights our beautiful county and causes pollution. It is also very costly to clear up, and it can potentially be a risk to people’s health. As a result of our enforcement campaign we are achieving on average more than one conviction every week and we estimate that the campaign has saved Buckinghamshire tax payers in the region of £3 million through reduction of clearance costs.’
Warren Whyte, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment, said: ‘We have a zero tolerance approach to people who dump rubbish illegally. Our message is clear – if you fly-tip in Buckinghamshire, not only are you very likely to be caught but you will have a criminal record as a result.’
To report fly-tipping details can be uploaded, including location and photos, online or on your mobile at www.buckscc.gov.uk/fly.