Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether there has been any increase in fly-tipping in the last five years; and what consideration they have given to legislative and regulatory reforms to support local authorities and the police in the prevention of such a crime.
Defra publishes annual fly-tipping statistics for England, which show that incidents of fly-tipping have gradually increased over the last five years, albeit with a decrease reported between 2016/17 and 2017/18. Defra most recently published the annual fly-tipping statistics on 7 November 2019. The 2018/19 figures reported an increase of 8% from those reported in 2017/18. However, this most recent increase in recorded incidents does not necessarily mean the number of fly-tipping incidents has increased. Local authorities have reported that as they make it easier for citizens to report fly-tipping, for example through mobile apps, they see an increase in the number of incidents recorded.
In recent years we have bolstered local authorities’ powers to tackle fly-tipping, including introducing new fixed penalty notices, and we continue to work with partners to tackle this unacceptable criminal activity. Defra is preparing a number of legislative reforms to tackle waste crime, including fly-tipping.
We are taking forward the commitment in the Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) to develop proposals for the reform of the waste carrier, broker, and dealer regime. We are working with industry and the regulator and we intend to consult later this year. At the same time, we intend to consult on the introduction of mandatory electronic waste tracking. This will, amongst other things, reduce the ability of waste criminals to hide evidence of the systematic mishandling of waste material dropping out of the system and so make it easier to protect against fly-tipping. The reform aims to deter illegitimate operators from entering the sector. This will help to ensure that waste is dealt with appropriately and to reduce the incidence of waste crime and fly-tipping.
The newly introduced Environment Bill amends section 108 of the Environment Act 1995. This will make it easier for an officer to search premises that they have the power to enter, to seize and remove documentary or other evidence, to require electronic information to be produced in a form that enables it to be removed or produced as documentary evidence, and to operate equipment found on the premises to produce information from it. The new power does not require a warrant if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that first obtaining a warrant would allow for evidence to be concealed, altered or destroyed. Further to this, Schedule 11 of the Environment Bill removes the seven-day notice period required before powers of entry can be used to access residential premises. The current seven-day notice requirement enables, for example, rogue waste carriers who operate from their home address rather than a business address, to destroy evidence. These new powers will work to ensure waste criminals, such as illegitimate waste operators reliant on fly-tipping for income, are held accountable for their actions.
As well as forthcoming legislative reforms and recent fixed penalty notice powers, we recently published publicity materials to help householders better understand their responsibilities under the waste duty of care. The materials have been provided to the Local Government Association to circulate to local authorities, and published on the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group’s website. Householders have a legal ‘duty of care’ to ensure they only give their waste to a licensed carrier and that it is not taken by an illegal waste carrier who is likely to fly-tip it, but about two-thirds of fly-tipped waste is household waste.
A conviction in a Crown Court for fly-tipping can lead to an unlimited fine or up to five years in prison. Defra has worked with the Sentencing Council to amend sentencing guidance for these offences, but will continue this work to help to secure tougher penalties in line with the Government’s manifesto commitment.
Defra is also developing a fly-tipping toolkit following a commitment in the RWS. The toolkit will be a web-based tool to help local authorities and others work in partnership to tackle fly-tipping. It will cover, for example, the use of new technology to report fly-tipping, the presentation of cases to court, the sharing of intelligence within and between partnerships and promoting the duty of care to individuals and businesses.
1. Fly-tipping: New financial penalties in government fight against waste crime
07/01/2019 - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- View source
Fly-tipping: New financial penalties in government fight against waste crime - GOV.UK
16/04/2018 - Parliamentary Research
Found: PACK Number CDP 2018/0087, 5 April 2018 Fly-tipping By Louise Smith Nikki Sutherland This pack
3. Fly-tipping - the illegal dumping of waste
19/06/2019 - Parliamentary Research
Found: 2019 Fly-tipping - the illegal dumping of waste By Louise Smith Inside: 1. The problem of fly-tipping
4. Letter from Lord Gardiner regarding issues raised in the committee stage (day two): Forestry Commission land, countryside education, Fire Severity Index and fires, littering and fly-tipping, and national soil survey
12/08/2020 - Bill Documents
Found: investment, expansion in recent years has been slower and funded
commitment not to allow
5. Plymouth trio banned from waste trade for fly-tipping around Cornwall
27/04/2018 - Environment Agency
- View source
Found: Plymouth trio banned from waste trade for fly-tipping around Cornwall - GOV.UK
1. Fly-tipping: Penalties
01/10/2020 - Commons Chamber
1: Minister for coming to the House to respond.Fly-tipping is an issue that blights too many of our communities - Speech Link
17/04/2018 - Westminster Hall
1: House has considered the matter of reducing fly-tipping.It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship - Speech Link
3. Oral Answers to Questions
17/01/2019 - Commons Chamber
1: Affairs was allocated an additional £310 million to support its work on EU exit preparations in this financial - Speech Link
2: in keeping with his usual courtesy, informed me last night of his intended absence. I shall greatly miss - Speech Link
3: working constructively—[Interruption.] The House made its views clear on the Government’s proposed deal - Speech Link
4. Oral Answers to Questions
10/02/2020 - Commons Chamber
1: and this Government take the welfare of vulnerable children extremely seriously. We support the principle - Speech Link
2: changes to domestic legislation? The changes could be made tomorrow and provide certainty for the many hundreds - Speech Link
3: correspondence with the European Commission at the end of last year, and that is the route we will be pursuing - Speech Link
5. Fly-tipping in Rural Areas
21/11/2017 - Commons Chamber
1: countryside where there is the blight of tipping.What is fly-tipping? It is the illegal disposal of household - Speech Link
2: other Members. The cost falls not only on local authorities but often on landowners and farmers. Does - Speech Link
3: Friend is absolutely right. Central Government and local authorities are effectively contributing to the - Speech Link