The UK, and Scotland, have a fly-tipping and litter problem and the Scottish Countryside Alliance has long campaigned on this blight, and its impact on the countryside, and wildlife. We saw only too well how during lockdown fly-tipping increased, and the current laws and legislation seem inadequate to tackle this problem nor act as a deterrent to these criminals.
Fly-tipping is not a victimless crime and figures on fly-tipping only tell part of the story as official figures on the number of incidents on private land and the associated clear up costs are patchy and incomplete.
MSP Murdo Fraser is taking action to stop this problem and consulting those who live in Scotland on a Private Members Bill he is proposing to tackle fly-tipping. The Bill aims to better the law in four main ways:
- Ensure better data collection and reporting mechanisms to give a clearer picture of the number of fly-tipping incidents
- Legal liability – to ensure the person on whose land or property waste has been dumped is not responsible in law for its removal
- Strict liability on the generator of the waste for clearing it up and paying any fines for its disposal, as is the case in England and Wales
- Increasing and standardising sanctions, including substantially lifting the current fixed-penalty notice threshold of £200
The SCA has long campaigned on the problem of fly-tipping in the countryside. Fly-tipping is not a victimless crime and figures on the level of fly-tipping only tell part of the story. It is having a significant impact on our rural areas and wildlife, with the RSPCA receiving 7,000 calls a year about litter-related incidents affecting wild animals.
Jake Swindells, Director, Scottish Countryside Alliance said: “This proposed legislation by Murdo Fraser is a welcome step in tackling this anti-social crime. We need to equip authorities with the tools to tackle fly-tipping, educate the public about their duty of care to the waste they generate and ensure that private landowners are treated fairly when they are the victim of crime.”
The Scottish Countryside Alliance has responded here and we encourage all our members and supporters to also do so here.