Dartford Council called on to use CCTV in fight against flytippers
PUBLISHED: 12:35 01 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:41 03 August 2016
Councillor calls for ‘zero-tolerance approach’ as Stone sees rise in illegal dumping
Dartford Council has been called upon to use CCTV and on-the-spot fines to combat the growing problem of flytipping in Stone Village.
Labour Borough Councillor Jonathon Hawkes, together with Stone Parish Councillors Claire Pearce and Mandy Garford, were prompted to make the call following a rise in dumping at flytipping hotspot Cotton Lane.
Cllr Garford, who recently organised a community litter pick around Stone Crossing station, said: “Fly tipping has always been a problem in Stone Village but it’s getting worse. There have been four large illegal dumps of rubbish in Cotton Lane during the last 2 weeks alone.
“We report it when we see it and the rubbish is removed, but it’s not long before new loads appear. Dartford Council should now be thinking about we prevent this happening in future.
“Residents shouldn’t have to put up with it. Using CCTV to catch offenders could be one way of tackling the problem. I’d also support more signs warning people that dumping rubbish is illegal and they could be fined.”
Facing bills of £50 million a year to deal with flytipping, councils were recently given the power to issue on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £400 to deal with the problem.
Cllr Hawkes called for a zero-tolerance approach to fly-tipping, claiming not enough offenders are being prosecuted.
“Placing CCTV in known hot spots can help increase the number of convictions,” he said. “I want to send a clear message that fly tipping will not be tolerated in our community.”
The leader of Dartford council, Jeremy Kite claimed prosecution levels in Dartford were higher than other local councils.
The Conservative councillor said: “It would be great if members of the Labour group would spend some time with the Council’s Enforcement Team so they can understand what is already being done.
“Flytipping is notoriously difficult to eradicate because we have so many country lanes and much of the criminal activity is random in terms of time and location. The key is to make criminals aware that Dartford ALWAYS prosecutes when there is sufficient evidence to do so and that is exactly what we do.
“If our team don’t prosecute it is because there is not enough evidence to secure a conviction and nothing can change that. The team uses CCTV very effectively but the notion that they can cover every potential flytipping spot is simply impractical and I think most people understand that.
“We prosecute a significant number of flytippers and more than I suspect many councils do.
“Our officers do a huge amount of forensic work to identify those responsible and drag them to court at every opportunity. I’m afraid that some people don’t grasp that on-the-spot fines would require the offence to take place in the presence of an enforcement officer and most fly-tipping simply doesn’t happen like that. If apprehended, a flytipper would be prosecuted.”