The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) in the East of England says fly-tipping remains a constant menace, with the latest figures released by Government today showing a large increase in the crime, without even including incidents on private land.
Statistics for the period of April 2020 – March 2021 for each local authority in England show there were more than 1.1-million incidents of fly-tipping on public land. A 16% increase on the previous year. In the East of England there were nearly 80,000 reported incidents and in the East Midlands the figure is 90,000.
The latest figures include the time period for the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The statistics are however only half the story as they do not include fly-tipping on private land, so thousands of incidents, which blight rural communities, are not included.
The CLA represents farmers, landowners and rural businesses across England and Wales with the CLA East office covering Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Suffolk.
CLA East Regional Director Cath Crowther said:
“Fly-tipping remains a constant menace and a crime that continues to take place with worrying regularity.
“The statistics released today don’t include figures for incidents of fly-tipping on private land which the landowner, who is a victim of crime, has to clear at personal cost or risk prosecution themselves.
“Clearing waste on private land comes at significant personal cost to a landowner and can average around a thousand pounds per incident. Many areas are targeted on a regular basis so this cost soon adds up to a significant amount.
“There simply won’t be a reduction in this crime until those caught are given much tougher punishments. In many cases this is serious organised crime, and should be treated as such.”
One CLA member, who farms in the East of England, says he regularly finds rubbish dumped on his land.
“We get a fly-tipping incident most weeks,” he says. “It ranges from small amounts of rubbish and garden waste, to larger tips around once a month.
“The time spent clearing up the waste is as painful as the physical cost. Sometimes it is truly disgusting and can include things like soiled nappies and waste food. On one occasion we even found a puppy dumped in a box.
“It’s costing us several thousand pounds a year to clear and we often have to replace padlocks and chains and repair gates and fencing as people try to access our fields. We also suffer damage to our crops.”