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Durham County Council

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Operation Stop It leads to 29 per cent drop in flytipping

Published June 01, 2015 12.15pm


A large-scale campaign to tackle waste crime in the county has seen a significant drop in flytipping.

A neighbourhood warden inspects a pile of rubbish which has been dumped in an alleyway.
Neighbourhood warden John Lamb inspects a flytip in the Spennymoor area.

Operation Stop It is our biggest-ever crackdown on flytipping in partnership with Durham Constabulary, Crimestoppers and the Environment Agency.

The aim is to educate households and businesses of their duty of care when it comes to throwing out their rubbish while taking action against those who flout the law.

Public support

Thanks to public support and an extensive education programme, new performance figures have revealed a 29 per cent decrease in flytipping incidents in the county since the operation began in November 2014.

Between November 2014 and April 2015 there were 3,470 incidents recorded, compared to the same period in 2013-14 when there 4,862.

It comes after we successfully prosecuted a number of flytipping offenders in recent weeks.

Positive impact

Cllr Brian Stephens, our Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: "It is really encouraging to see that the number of flytipping incidents across the county has decreased since we launched Operation Stop It.

"This shows that the various education and enforcement activities we have carried out in that time is having a really positive impact.

"Our efforts as part of the campaign combined with several recent successful prosecutions against flytipping offenders demonstrate our continued commitment to tackling this issue."

What else is happening?

Meanwhile, latest figures from our neighbourhood protection team show that 497 flytipping incidents were reported and investigated last month (April) as part of Operation Stop It. Thirteen are still ongoing investigations and eight cases have been progressed for prosecution.

Twenty-six mobile CCTV cameras were also set up at flytipping hotspots, four Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) interviews were carried out and three duty of care letters were sent warning people of their responsibility to dispose of waste legally.

Seven stop and check operations were also carried out to find out if waste carriers were licenced - six complied and one was given a fixed penalty notice for not having the correct paperwork.

Enviro-crimes

Our neighbourhood protection team meanwhile handed out 52 fixed penalty notices for littering, eight for dog fouling, 10 for untidy yards or gardens and failing to comply with litter clearing notices, and one to a waste carrier who was not carrying the correct paperwork.

In addition, 89 community protection warnings and 24 community protection notices were issued to properties with untidy gardens or yards.

Wardens also removed 104 stray dogs, highlighting the importance of getting dogs microchipped so they can be traced and returned to their owners if they get lost.

Fifty-seven reports of antisocial behaviour were investigated, the team attended 131 incidents passed from police airwaves and carried out 178 alcohol seizures from children. The antisocial behaviour team also investigated 277 cases.

Serious impact

Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager, said: "We are committed to tackling crimes which blight our environment, such as flytipping, dog fouling, littering and antisocial behaviour.

"Environmental crimes have a serious impact on our communities and where people live and we would remind everyone of their responsibilities when it comes to disposing of waste properly."

Household waste can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) and to arrange a bulky waste collection call 03000 261 000.

Environmental crimes, including flytipping, dog fouling and litter, can also be reported online or by calling 03000 261 000.

Unlicensed waste carriers can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers or by calling 0800 555 111.