As part of a proposed review of the Environmental Offences Definitive Guideline (2014), the national Fly Tipping Group (FTG), working in partnership with local authorities all over the country, including the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership and the Lincolnshire Environmental Crime Partnership, is calling for tougher action against fly-tippers.
They argue that current sentences handed down do not always match the severity of the offence committed or reflect the costs incurred by the public purse, and punishment for fly-tipping does not act as a suitable deterrent.
The FTG is now asking the Sentencing Council to consider changes that would mean:
· Court fines would exceed the cost of Fixed Penalty Notice fines and include costs incurred by the public purse and the police in bringing a fly-tipper to court
· Costs related to the clean-up of fly-tipping on private land and restoration of that land would be included in fines paid by those who are prosecuted
· When deciding the level of fine, fly-tipping would be looked at by the court as an offence first, and not at the person and their ability to pay first. The FTG suggests means testing should be used to ascertain what size of fine to give
· If a defendant cannot pay the fine in full, or in part, it is strongly recommended that community-based sentences are more widely used and available across all offence categories
· More use of suspended prison sentences which has been proven to be a strong deterrent to serial fly-tipping offenders in some parts of the country
· Anyone convicted of a second fly-tipping offence is given a custodial sentence rather than another suspended sentence
Chairman of the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership, Councillor Daniel McNally said: “During 2020/21 we were faced with exceptionally high levels of fly tipping. Without an effective deterrent, the number of fly tips will continue to go up, creating a massive burden on our resources and causing a blight on our countryside. We urge the Sentencing Council to respond to the areas we have highlighted for review.”
Chairman of the Lincolnshire Environmental Crime Partnership, Ayeisha Kirkham added: “Over the recent years, fly tipping has increased not only for Lincolnshire, but nationally. We, as a Partnership, are pleased to support this request for tougher sentencing guidelines in relation to fly-tipping offences. Fly tipping is a criminal offence and the penalty needs to reflect that, so tougher sentencing from the courts would be an additional tool to help reduce this problem.”