Published Tuesday, 7th December 2021
Fly-tippers in Sutton beware!
A team of dedicated environmental Enforcement Officers started patrolling the borough’s streets on 1 December with the aim of identifying, investigating and taking enforcement action against anyone who illegally dumps their waste on the borough’s public footpaths or highways.
Large items like fridges, freezers, furniture and mattresses dumped on the street; household rubbish left next to litter bins; items left next to recycling banks; donations left outside a closed charity shop; trade waste that has been dumped. They are all types of fly-tipping that the enforcement officers have been told to look out for.
The officers will patrol and enforce proportionately and will be on hand to give information on fly-tipping to members of the public – the focus for the first few weeks will be on education and engagement. But they are also designed to be a visible deterrent to offenders.
The team of uniformed officers are being provided thanks to a new contract between Sutton Council and Kingdom Services Group. They will work alongside the Council’s existing enforcement team bringing additional resources into the area to help tackle a problem we know is important to local people – in a recent survey of over 1,000 residents, more than three-quarters supported a zero tolerance approach to fly tipping enforcement.
The uniformed Enforcement Officers, who are all equipped with body-worn cameras, will patrol the entire borough but will initially focus their attention on known fly-tipping hotspots. In addition to walking the streets, they will also review footage from a network of 12 new ‘smart cameras’ located in areas where we know fly-tipping is an issue. The officers have the power to issue £400 on-the-spot penalty fines.
Whilst the majority of offences will be dealt with via a fixed penalty notice, larger fly tips or repeat offenders may be prosecuted. The Courts view fly-tipping as a serious criminal offence and judges have various powers available to them to tackle fly-tipping, including imprisonment, unlimited fines and an order to deprive the perpetrator rights to a vehicle used to commit the offence.
The enforcement officers’ focus will be on fly-tipping, but they will also enforce against other environmental crimes including littering (£150 on the spot fine), and dog fouling (£50 on the spot fine).
Councillor Manuel Abellan, Chair of the Environment & Sustainable Transport Committee at Sutton Council, said:
“We know that tackling fly-tipping is a top priority for residents, so I’m pleased that this new team of enforcement officers are joining us. Part of their role is to encourage the right behaviours so fly-tipping rates reduce across the borough. We want to stop those who are still fly-tipping, and by working together to tackle the problem, the money spent clearing fly-tips can be spent on better things like caring for our most vulnerable residents.”
John Roberts, Solutions Director, Kingdom Services Group, said:
“We are delighted to be providing environmental enforcement services to Sutton Council. Kingdom’s priority will be tackling the issue of fly tipping.
“We have been delivering environmental enforcement since 2009 and currently have 42 local authority contracts across the country, 10 of which are London boroughs. So we are well placed to work in partnership with the Council and local residents to tackle the problem of fly-tipping and we can’t wait to get started.”
More details on fly-tipping, including how to report a fly tip and your duty of care to ensure your waste isn’t fly tipped, can be found on the Council website: sutton.gov.uk/flytipping
*Featured image – Councillor Manuel Abellan (centre), Chair of the Sutton Council Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee, with Enforcement Officers Razvan Rusneac and Ashiqur Rahman in Market Service Road, Rosehill – one of the target areas for fly-tipping enforcement.