CLA urges authorities to take fly-tipping seriously, as it’s revealed no maximum penalties have been issued

16 May 2019

The CLA is urging authorities to take fly-tipping seriously, as new figures revealed nobody has been handed the maximum penalties since they were introduced five years ago.

Fly-tipping incidents in England have risen by nearly 40% in that time, to almost one million in 2017/18.

Ministers introduced new sentencing guidelines in 2014, with a £50,000 fine or 12 months in prison the maximum punishment, if a case is dealt with at a magistrates' court.

CLA South East, which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses across the region, is now calling on councils and courts to take robust action to deter potential fly-tippers.

Regional Director Robin Edwards said: “There were nearly one million cases of fly-tipping recorded by local authorities in 2017/18, though the true figures are likely to be significantly higher as predominantly the statistics do not include incidents on private land, where the landowner has responsibility to oversee the clearance and cost for waste removal. The CLA estimates it costs a farmer or landowner an average of £844 to clear up each incident, while the environmental damage can be considerable.

“We appreciate that councils have budgetary pressures, but failing to tackle the menace of fly-tipping could ultimately make their financial situations worse if it means they end up facing increased clean-ups costs dealing with more dumped rubbish.

“The message needs to be sent loud and clear that dumping waste will not be tolerated, and those who do it will be prosecuted.

“Imposing and enforcing stiffer penalties which better reflect the seriousness of the crime is crucial, along with seizing the vehicles used to fly-tip.”

Analysis by the Local Government Association reveals that no-one convicted of fly-tipping since the Government introduced new guidelines in 2014 has been slapped with the maximum £50,000 fine or 12 months in prison by the courts.

This is despite fly-tipping incidents rocketing by 39.6 per cent since 2012, up from 714,637 to 997,553 in 2017/18.

For more information about the CLA and its work, visit and follow @CLASouthEast on Twitter.