Successful Fixed Penalty Notice paid for fly tipping a freezer

Tamworth Borough Council have successfully issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) after a resident was reported fly tipping a fridge freezer on a grass verge in Amington. The offender was contacted and given time to remove it but failed to do so. As a result, a FPN of £400 was issued.

Fixed Penalties were brought in by the government to take cases out of the court system to lessen the impact on the court time.

When an offence is committed and there is enough evidence to prosecute the offender, a Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued, which doesn’t carry a criminal record providing it is paid within the specified timescale. However, if the offender fails to pay, or chooses not to pay, the council will pursue prosecution at court.  If found guilty of the offence, it is likely that the fine will be much higher than the initial FPN and the offender will then have a criminal record. 

On average, Tamworth Borough Council’s Street Scene team manually pick up around 40 tonnes of litter and fly tipping waste and sweep around 80 tonnes of litter and detritus from the streets every month.

It is a serious criminal offence to fly-tip. Anyone - including householders - can be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The maximum penalty is £50,000 fine and/or twelve months imprisonment. However, Crown Court prosecutions can lead to unlimited fines and/or imprisonment of up to five years. Dumped hazardous waste such as asbestos can lead to a prison sentence of up to five years, and fly-tipping from vehicles can see the owner prosecuted and their vehicle seized.

Residents who need to get rid of large items are being urged to take them to a household recycling centre or use the bulky waste collection service provided by Tamworth Borough Council. Full details can be found on the council website here: Bulky waste collections | Tamworth Borough Council.

Residents may not be aware that if they pass their waste on to someone who goes on to dump it unlawfully, then they run the risk of being prosecuted for duty of care offences themselves, or if they leave items out for scrap men go on to dump them unlawfully. The Right Place website gives more information about correctly disposing of waste.

If you see somebody you suspect of fly-tipping, please if possible, make a note of:

  • The day, date and time you saw the tipping.
  • How many people were involved, what they looked like and what they were doing
  • Any vehicles involved - if possible the make, colour and registration number
  • What was tipped: How much and what it looked like

The council will then inspect the dumped materials, arrange for removal, collect evidence and interview any suspects.

To report fly tipping using the online Report It form on the council website, or call: 01827 709709. You may be asked to make a written statement about what you saw.

The council responds to service reports and aims to remove fly tipped waste within five working days of receipt and has a 24-hour response time for high priority waste removal such as syringes, offensive graffiti, drug related litter and broken glass.

Councillor Martin Summers, Cabinet member for Voluntary Sector, Town Centre, Evening Economy & Community Safety, said: “Fly-tipping is not only an eyesore, but also a crime and can lead to a big fine or a prison sentence.

“Residents need to be aware that they run the risk of being prosecuted for fly-tipping, even if they leave items out for scrap collection, who then go on to dump them unlawfully. We would recommend that people to use the council’s bulky waste collection service to get rid of big unwanted household items.

“We also encourage everyone to think about the impact we are having on the environment and be inspired to grab a litter picker and a bag and give even more parks, residential areas and public spaces a good deep clean.” 

Notes:

Mechanically swept up waste is transferred to a reclamation site in Coleshill where oils and other recyclables are extracted. Of the handpicked waste, scrap metals, electrical items and hazardous waste are removed and the rest is sent to a ‘waste to energy’ processing plant where it is converted into electricity.

In Tamworth, the borough council’s Street Scene teams collect litter and waste seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year, including bank holidays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

They are regularly supported by community-spirited groups and individuals who already volunteer their time to help keep the town clean throughout the year – but there is always more work to do.

Any residents who would like to get involved in litter picking are welcome to join Tamworth Volunteer Litter Pickers Facebook group, or The Tamworth Resident's Cool Pickers, and become a part of a community of local residents picking litter.

Alternatively if you would like to be involved with local volunteer or conservation group litter picks, contact the Wild About Tamworth Project Officer: Mobile: 07970 067711 or email: tamworth@staffs-wildlife.org.uk