It seems there is little to deter repeat offenders from illegally dumping rubbish on public land. According to analysis of government data by LoveJunk, less than 1-in-500 fly tips results in a criminal prosecution. Only 8% of incidents received a fixed penalty notice and eight out of ten of these fines were never paid.
Local authorities must report to Defra how many fly tipping incidents they have suffered and what actions they have taken – including sending warning letters, issuing fixed penalty notices (a fine of up to £1000 issued by council), launching investigations and pursuing criminal prosecutions.
LoveJunk analysed this data to see exactly how many fly-tips resulted in a fixed penalty notice or a criminal prosecution – unfortunately it hasn’t been a case of good riddance to bad rubbish.
Over a million fly tips were registered in England last year, but only 1-in-500 of these led to a criminal prosecution. Of those prosecuted, 20 resulted in custodial sentences, 30 in community service, and 1,798 in a court fine – 94% of these fines were for £1000 or less.
Councils issued 91,103 fixed penalty notices that related to fly tipping, which equates to a hit rate of 8.4% of all recorded fly tips. However, 86% of these were never paid.
43 councils didn’t issue any FPNs at all and had 51,840 fly tipping incidents between them. Of the 266 councils that did issue FPNs, over half those fines remained unpaid. 63% of all councils had no criminal prosecutions of fly tippers at all. However, their fly-tipping incidents really mount up – these councils recorded 552,665 fly tipping incidents between them.
According to Jason Mohr, Founder of LoveJunk, “The current model of sporadic fines and occasional prosecutions just isn’t working. The vast majority of people want to do the right thing but don’t know how. The simple solution is for councils to direct residents to a marketplace of regulated waste providers so that they can make informed choices about how to dispose of their waste and avoid cowboy collectors who dispose of waste illegally.”