Peers debated fly-tipping in rural areas earlier this week (24th June). Lord Trefgarne asked the Government what it would do to reduce the amount of illegal fly-tipping, particularly in rural areas - reported to have increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic - up 76 per cent.
The Alliance briefed peers in advance. We highlighted the significant cost to the landowner, around £800 per incident, and yearly cost to be upwards of £47 million.
Without a question it is a blight to the countryside and needs to be treated as a serious crime. It is also one of the few crimes in which the victim pays. The victim must pay to remove the waste, or risk being fined for storing the illegally dumped waste on their land. The Earl of Shrewsbury made a robust call to the Government to remove this 'double jeopardy'. The Alliance will continue to lobby the Government to do the same, as the reasons for why the victim pays do not fly!
The Government should consider introducing tougher penalties on perpetrators, such as imposing an enforcing penalties which better reflect the seriousness of the crime. At no point should the landowner have to pay for another's crime, especially when they are the victim. Indeed, the cost to remove the waste for the victim is often more than the fine for the perpetrator. It is welcome news that recycling centres are starting to reopen, but more needs to be done to tackle fly-tipping in the first instance, up 8 per cent before the pandemic, at over 1 million incidences recorded last year. Serious action is needed to rid us of this serious crime.
You can find the debate here and our Countryside Alliance Briefing Note here.