Northampton has fourth-highest rate of fly-tipping in England, official figures reveal
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The borough recorded 92 incidents of rubbish being dumped per 1,000 people in the year up to March 2020 - the fourth-highest in the country.
In total, 20,648 fly-tips were reported to Northampton Borough Council, mostly on council land, footpaths and bridleways.
"Our contractors and neighbourhood wardens work very hard to tackle fly-tipping reports across the town and we are grateful to residents who report these incidents to us via our app, on our website or by email and phone, so we can target our resources.
“We take all reports very seriously, every fly-tip is searched before clearing and where evidence allows, a fixed penalty notice of £400 issued.
"In some cases, offenders will be prosecuted and this can result in an unlimited fine or up to six months imprisonment.
“We urge anyone who cares about the state of our town to keep an eye open for this kind of activity and provide us with evidence or witness statements which are often the only proof we have.”
The most common amounts of litter in each fly-tip varied from 'a small van load' and a 'car boot or less' as well as six 'significant/multi loads', costing £22,000 to clear up.
The City of London, Camden and Brent were the only areas with higher fly-tipping rates than Northampton in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures released yesterday (Tuesday, February 24).
The statistics, which only cover a few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic with the first lockdown starting on March 23, show a two per cent rise in incidents nationally from the previous 12 months.
The District Councils’ Network, which represents lower-tier councils, said is it feared the pandemic and lockdowns have driven an even sharper increase in fly-tipping.
Dan Humphreys, the DCN’s Lead Member for Enhancing Quality of Life said: “There is no excuse for dumping rubbish.
"Fly-tipping is the scourge of communities, an eyesore which damages the environment and ruins local areas. Residents should not have to put up with it.
“District councils have been doing what they can during the pandemic to clear up fly-tipping and keep our communities clean, but this action has been limited somewhat as a result of efforts to tackle coronavirus.
“We are seeing this becoming more and more of an issue in the countryside, with rural communities experiencing what is tantamount to a fly-tipping farm-aggedon.
“As we come out of the pandemic, government needs to make sure districts have the funding certainty to be able to wage war on fly-tippers on a scale which will ensure communities have a safe and clean environment they are proud to call home.
"At the same time we would like to see sentencing guidelines reviewed so courts get tougher on fly-tippers for the more serious offences.”
Environment minister Rebecca Pow said the government was committed to tackling 'unacceptable' waste crime and enforcement is rising.
Anyone in Northampton can report fly-tripping incidents at northampton.gov.uk/doitonline, via email [email protected] or by calling 0300 330 7000.