Multi-agency ‘Op Clean Sweep’ tackles fly-tipping on roads around Boston

A new multi-agency operation to tackle fly-tipping and other illegal waste on our roads has begun in Boston.

Multi-agency partners gather in Boston at the start of the first Operation Clean Sweep. EMN-210922-111122001

Called ‘Operation Clean Sweep’ - the intelligence-lead initiative aims to maximise prevention and disruption of illegal waste activity across the borough.

The new operation began with a series of road-side checks over two days to stop vehicles that could potentially be carrying waste.

Lincolnshire Police joined with Boston Borough Council’s Environmental Crime Enforcement Team, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) for the operation.

Staff from the Environment Agency (EA) discuss the process of this seized vehicle discovered which had ‘no MOT or tax and was not road worthy’.

They went through a series of checks on the vehicles and the drivers, checking everything from road-worthiness, to diesel tank dipping and waste carrier’s licences.

Checks were carried out in various locations in the town.

The following outcomes were made over the course of the two-day operation:

• 59 vehicles were stopped

Operation Clean Sweep saw three vehicles seized.

• 51 interviews under caution were made

• Three vehicles were seized from drivers

• 14 DVSA prohibition notices were issued

• Eight Fixed Penalty Notices (£300 each) were issued by Boston Borough Council for waste crime

The DVLA carrying out checks.

• One on-the-spot fine of £550 was issued for the use of red diesel.

An illegal waste site was visited to ensure it had complied with Environment Agency instructions to stop all illegal waste activity and burning.

The instructions had been complied with, and the EA reported the area is now clear of illegal waste.

Several other business sites were also visited with partners. Advice and guidance was given by the Environment Agency to several carriers with follow-up enquiries being made to ensure this is complied with.

HMRC diesel dipping. Red diesel was found and a fine was issued.

As the Standard reported at the start of September, Boston Borough Council has been dealing with a huge surge in fly-tipping incidents across the area - with Boston witnessing a 143 per cent increase during the pandemic.

In a bid to tackle the issue, the authority has been investigating cases of fly-tipping in the town and issuing fines of between £200 and £800 to those responsible.

It had also offered a free bulky items collection service, which ran for one month. Coun Paul Skinner, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: “The aim of Operation Clean Sweep was to disrupt fly-tipping and waste crime generally and as you can see from the figures this was a huge success.

“I would like to thank all the partners involved as being able to work together was not only beneficial for the operation but forged relationships that will be advantageous for Boston Borough Council in the future.”

Stuart Hoyle, waste crime engagement specialist for the Environment Agency in Lincolnshire, said: “Waste crime undermines legitimate business, can cause harm to the environment and misery for local people.

“We are continuing to work with our enforcement partners in pursuing those committing illegal waste activities across Lincolnshire. We remain committed to the closure of illegal waste sites.

One of the vans carrying waste which was checked.

“We urge anyone with information about waste crime to contact our hotline 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

The council is now planning to host an open evening in the town to discuss all waste and fly-tipping issues.

This is set to take place at The White Hart Hotel, in High Street,next Wednesday, October 6, from 6.30-8pm.

A council spokesman said: “Fed up, want your say, feel you’re not being listened to? Come along to our open coffee evening where everyone is welcome to exchange views, ask questions, expect answers, and offer ideas and suggestions.”