Undercover fly-tipping enforcers could be deployed in Northampton by the summer
Covert private enforcers may be dispatched to tackle fly-tippers in Northampton after figures revealed the town is being hit with a six-figure bill to clear up afterÂ culprits every year.
On Friday, Government statistics revealed Northampton Borough Council has spent £570,015 clearing up after fly-tippers in the past four years - but not a single fine has been dished out during that time.
Cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Mike Hallam (Con, Parklands) has revealed the borough is now set to contract a private firm to catch fly-tippers in the act.
He said: "I look at that figure (of £570,000) and think it justifies our position, which is to go out to a third party company and look at how we can get better at catching these people."
He said the council has sent the contract out to tender and plans to have a company in place by the summer at the latest.
The authority recently carried out an eight-month trial with the firm 3GS - where two litter enforcers were tasked with handing out Fixed Penalty Notices to people littering in Northampton town centre.
The trial saw 1,500 small fines dished out - up from just 86 the year before.
The plan, Councillor Hallam says, is to roll out a similar operation across the whole borough with a wider remit that allows the "enforcers" to gather intelligence on larger fly-tipping cases.
"Littering and fly-tipping is not acceptable," he said.
"We want to send out the message hat this won't be tolerated.
Councillor Hallam said the enforcers will use a range of "covert" and methods to catch the litter louts.
"If you stick a camera up in a place, all you do is shift the problem of fly-tipping elsewhere,” he said.
"But there are other means. Covert cameras, people working undercover, there are is a range of stuff out there that these guys can do."
The £570,000 cost to the council over the past four years included money spent in sending out vehicles to recover fly-tipped waste, funds spent on legal fees and the cost of disposing of the waste.
Councillor Hallam has disputed the Government figure suggesting the council had handed out no fly-tipping fines, as he can remember at least one occasion during his previous term as cabinet member for the environment in 2013, where a tipper was prosecuted.