A NEW specialist team to clamp down on the crime of fly-tipping has been created to support those who love our borough – and get tough on those who don’t.

The Action Team has been established thanks to a collaboration between the council and housing association Coast & Country and is made up of both trained enforcement officers and specialist street cleaners so that this crime can be investigated at the same time as rubbish is taken off the streets.

Earlier this year the council set up three new Action Teams to operate across the borough. The teams have also supported the authority’s  successful  ‘Love it’ campaign which backs residents who work to improve and maintain their local environment as well as clamping down on the fly-tippers.

Now the council and Coast & Country Housing have agreed to jointly launch a new, fourth fly-tipping Action Team after deciding to join forces in order to more effectively deal with fly-tipping.

“This is a really good example of how innovative thinking can help us make best use of resources and we are delighted to be working with our close partners at Coast & Country,” said Councillor Alec Brown, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods. “It also fits in with our highly successful ‘Love it’ project which taps into the great pride our residents have in our borough and has led to the community being involved in litter picks and many more environmental improvements.”

The new trial arrangements will enable more efficient use of resources to deal with fly-tipping. Previously the council Streetscene workers and Coast & County operatives would collect rubbish on different streets but in the same area. Now the entire area will be dealt with by just one team under the direction of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.

The trial collaboration started on Saturday 1 July but will continue until March 31, 2018. A decision will then be taken on whether to continue with the arrangement.

The new, fourth Action Team operatives will continue to be employed by the housing authority but will wear council uniform and use council-branded equipment. The three existing fly-tipping Action Teams operate in specific areas: Greater Eston, Coastal (including Redcar) and East Cleveland. The new team will operate across the entire borough.

One member of each Action Team has the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices and investigate the crime which costs the borough’s tax-payers about £100,000 a year just in clearance costs. Now a member of the Coast & Country Action Team will also receive training under Police and Criminal Evidence Action legislation.

New powers now in force enable authorities to take action against people who do not dispose of their household waste properly. Two fly-tippers in the borough have already received £400 fixed penalty notices.

Cllr Brown said: “Fly-tipping is a crime that can blight our neighbourhoods and we will not tolerate it. Offenders who do not pay their fixed penalty notice or are uncooperative when approached by an enforcement officer can be taken to court where magistrates can impose an unlimited fine and imprisonment of up to five years as well as award costs to the council.”

Iain Sim, chief executive of Coast & Country, said: “So many people work hard to keep their local neighbourhoods clean, tidy and pleasant places to live and we are pleased to be supporting Redcar & Cleveland Council in this important initiative. Fly-tipping is an unpleasant form of anti-social behaviour and it is important that as much as possible is done to clamp down on it and keep our communities nice places to live.”

Fly-tipping can quickly and easily be reported online at: www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk. Alternatively call 01642 774774.

The public is advised not to approach anyone they witness fly-tipping, but if possible to record any details such as car licence plates to aid with the issuing of a penalty notice. The new fly-tipping fixed penalty notice is issued for £400 but if paid within 10 working days it will be reduced to £300.