|Fly-tipped junk - an increasingly common sight in the countryside|
|I'm sure that the white flower in the top right corner - Woodruff (an ancient woodland plant indicator) would be somewhat lost on the people who dumped this engine and dishwasher|
Of the 852,000 recorded instances of fly-tipping in England in 2013-14, just 2,000 resulted in conviction.
In April 2014 I blogged about this problem and quoted that 711,000 instances were recorded in 2012-13, so we can clearly see the upward direction in which this anti-social behaviour is heading. Remember too, that this is just the RECORDED instances, which tend to be the big van loads of rubbish dumped, but certainly not the crisp packets, glass & plastic bottles and tin cans hurled into the hedgerow without a thought.
It is also important to remember that it not just the big scale fly-tipping that causes problems, but also the careless discarding of something as small as a glass wine bottle. Mike Barker, a farmer in Kent, lost a £16,000 oat contract when fragments of glass were found in the grain he was selling. He said “we are constantly picking up stuff from the edge of fields that has been chucked from passing cars”.
Councils now spend 1 billion a year on clearing up rubbish. In these days of austerity, do we really not have better things to spend our taxes on? Surely, now is the time to really address this disgustingly anti-social habit, by hitting back hard on those who commit this crime. We should follow their lead and dump heavy fines on them.
So, step up Liz Truss, the Government’s Environment secretary. She said “On the spot fines are set to double to £150”. Oh, that should clear up the matter once and for all then Liz! Keep Britain tidy is calling for fines of £1000, which is a little nearer the mark I would have thought.
If my maths is correct, taking the latest figures, you currently have a 1 in 426 chance of getting caught if you fly-tip. A fine of 150 smackers at those odds – “Oh well, I had better take it all to an official dump and pay for it to be dealt with in a correct manner then”!!
Come on Government, you really need to stop shilly-shallying around and get real, otherwise I will just routinely blog about another substantial increase in a year’s time!