• Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Crackdown on Environmental crime continues

203An ongoing campaign to stamp out flytipping in County Durham saw more than 500 incidents investigated, latest figures show.

Durham County Council launched Operation Stop It in November 2014 – its largest ever crackdown on waste crime in partnership with police, the Environment Agency and Crimestoppers.

As part of the campaign 517 flytipping incidents were reported and probed throughout August – evidence was found in 11 and 16 are still ongoing investigations.

The council also progressed three prosecutions through the magistrates’ courts for offences around illegally dumping rubbish.

Other attempts to tackle the issue have included setting up CCTV cameras at known flytipping hotspots throughout the county, writing to businesses about disposing of waste legally and contacting residents about correct rubbish disposal.

Thirteen waste carriers were also stopped and checked to make sure they had the correct documents for the waste they were carrying.

Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager, Durham County Council, said: “Operation Stop It is proving a major success in the crackdown on waste crime as incidents have dropped by more than 30 per cent since its launch and dozens of people have been prosecuted through the courts.

“We will not tolerate flytipping and waste crime and would appeal to the public to continue reporting any incidents they see to us.”

Meanwhile, wardens from the council’s neighbourhood protection teams issued 83 fixed penalty notices in August for offences such as littering, dog fouling, failing to clear untidy gardens or yards and to waste carriers who did not have the correct licence.

The teams work alongside police and other agencies tackling issues that affect people’s quality of life like stray dogs or anti-social behaviour.

Wardens now have extra powers to issue Section 79 notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which help tackle problems which affect people’s health or cause a nuisance, such as food waste and accumulation of dog fouling in yards.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “It is pleasing to see that the problems which affect so many people every day are being tackled successfully in this way.

“It’s also important to stress that not only do we carry out regular enforcement for the benefit of our communities but we also hold education programmes to address these issues in order to try and prevent them happening in the first place.”

To find a Household Waste Recycling Centre visit www.durham.gov.uk/HWRC or arrange a bulky waste collection by calling 03000 261 000.

Businesses can find a licensed waste carrier at www.gov.uk/find-registered-waste-carrier or arrange a trade waste collection at www.durham.gov.uk/commercialwaste or call 03000 262 660.

Environmental crimes can be reported at www.durham.gov.uk or by calling 03000 261 000 and unlicensed waste carriers and waste crime can be reported at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.

By admin