CHESHIRE East cleared 4,428 fly-tips across the borough in 12 months but didn’t prosecute a single person.

A freedom of information request has revealed fines totalling £3,400 were handed to fly-tippers in the 12 month period leading up to March 2022.

Cheshire East Council told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that securing prosecutions for fly-tipping isn’t easy.

Cllr Mick Warren (Ind), chair of the environment and communities committee, said: “Securing prosecutions for fly-tipping is an extremely difficult task, as the burden of proof has to be of a criminal standard.

“Fly tipping constitutes a number of different areas, many of which might include single items such as toys, bed-frames, settees, rubble, and other items that cannot be searched or sifted through for evidence.

Winsford Guardian:

Cllr Mick Warren

“The only cases our enforcement team can deal with are those where the initial report details a witness, a member of public that might have evidence that would lead to an offender or, where there is a chance of finding information within the fly-tipped waste which would contain further lines of enquiry.”

He said the community enforcement team is a small team which deals with investigations of fly-tipping where there are lines of enquiry.

Their other duties involve:

  • investigation and enforcement of abandoned vehicles;
  • investigation and enforcement of witnessed breach of dog fouling and dog control          Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs);
  • business and household waste duty of care;
  • working on a vehicle on the highway; and
  • vehicles for sale on the highway

“They are unable to attend each report of fly-tipping or littering,” Cllr Warren said.

He added: “The payment rate on the fixed penalty notices issued in the period 1 April 2021 to 22 March 2022 was very high, and as a result, there wasn’t a need to pursue further with a prosecution.

“Whenever evidence is found or a witness comes forward with information, we will always endeavour to make further enquiries.”

A massive 3,491 of the fly-tipping incidents were in Crewe and £3,000 worth of the fines related to fly-tipping in that town.

Cllr Warren said: “We are also – thanks to funding received by Crewe Town Council – trialling the use of cameras in hotspots as a deterrent to fly-tippers and this is due to be implemented in the coming months.

“We are looking at increased partnership working that would enhance the team with additional resource to allow for increased preventative foot patrols, which due to current demand, the team are unable to undertake.”

He said the Cleaner Crewe project – which tackles streets and alleyways in Crewe blighted by poor waste management – has seen a significant drop in the number of fly-tipping cases being reported ‘and our 4 E’s approach to enforcement: to engage, educate, encourage, and enforce only when there is a failure to cooperate or where there are persistent breaches, is having a very positive effect’.

“If enforcement action is required, the council acts according to the powers available to it as set out in its community enforcement policy,” he said.

“The council within its corporate plan is committed to providing welcoming, safe and clean neighbourhoods and a key objective under this priority is to reduce littering and fly-tipping.”