Published: Tuesday, 25th August 2020
Yesterday (24 August) saw the 13 Kent councils via the Kent Resource Partnership (KRP) write to the Magistrates Association urging greater efforts to work together to tackle waste crime.
The letter sets out the impact fly tipping is having on the county, such as:
- Extremely high costs to Kent taxpayers with councils carrying out fly tipping clearances and taking forward investigations;
- How councils’ limited resources are being diverted from other valuable frontline services
- The negative impact on the natural environment with many fly tips blighting countryside and local beauty spots; and
- How fly tipping is predominately taken forward by organised crime groups who are likely to be using money from fly tipping activities to fund other criminal activities.
With this in mind, the letter welcomes the opportunity for the 13 Kent councils to work with the Magistrates Association by:
- Arranging a virtual meeting between representations from the councils and the Magistrates’ Association over the summer;
- Understanding how sentencing on fly tipping is determined in magistrates’ courts and understand if there are local differences councils ought to factor; and
- Establishing the gap that councils need to cover to achieve greater levels of punishment to those fly tipping offenders, particularly those who are part of organised crime groups.
Sevenoaks District Council cabinet member for Cleaner and Greener, Cllr Margot McArthur says: “We are very proud to have an in house fly-tipping investigation team who work incredibly hard to bring people who dump waste to justice. Fly-tipping is not tolerated in our District and we would welcome greater punishments as a further deterrent to fly-tippers.”
Councillor Nick Kenton, Chairman of the Kent Resource Partnership adds: “Before engaging with the Magistrates Association, Kent councils took forward a mini-review to see what levels of punishment were being handed to fly tippers in Kent over the past year. The results showed there was a clear gap on what maximum levels of punishment could be given compared to the actual punishments. We truly believe to stop fly tipping, greater punishment needs to be placed on those who commit these crimes. We hope working together with the Magistrates Association will better equip us to prosecuting fly tippers and keep Kent clean.”
The 13 Kent councils are working in partnership to Keep Kent Clean. To keep updated with the councils’ efforts to tackle fly tipping and littering, follow #KeepKentClean.