The criminals who cost us thousands

A large amount of household items dumped in the side street off Oxford Street overnight. A local resident said he had called the Council  to report it after he nearly drove his car into the fly tipping. Picture by Andrew Higgins  114034a
A large amount of household items dumped in the side street off Oxford Street overnight. A local resident said he had called the Council to report it after he nearly drove his car into the fly tipping. Picture by Andrew Higgins 114034a

THIS is one of the latest incidents of fly-tipping in Scarborough – a problem which costs council tax payers tens of thousands of pounds each year.

The household furniture was dumped in a side street, off Oxford Street, included a bed and sofa as well as other smaller items.

A large amount of household items dumped in the side street off Oxford Street overnight. A local resident said he had called the Council  to report it after he nearly drove his car into the fly tipping. Picture by Andrew Higgins  114034c   05/10/11

A large amount of household items dumped in the side street off Oxford Street overnight. A local resident said he had called the Council to report it after he nearly drove his car into the fly tipping. Picture by Andrew Higgins 114034c 05/10/11

One resident, who did not give his name, reported the incident to Scarborough Council and said he narrowly avoided the mess when he turned his car into the side street off the main road.

According to Government figures it has cost more than £1 million to remove illegally dumped waste over a six year period in the Scarborough area.

And council officials have promised to prosecute offenders if enough can be recovered from the scene.

Andy Skelton, the council’s head of environmental services, said that fly tipping was a “great annoyance” to residents and ultimately it was council tax payers who ended up footing the bill to clean it up.

He said: “We are always pleased when fly-tipping is reported and we will clear it as soon as we are able.

“If, in the process of investigating the complaint or when we clear it, we find evidence that will enable us to trace the perpetrator we will prosecute – and have done so.”

The figures showed that £1.2 million of public money has had to spent removing illegally dumped waste.

The total had rocketed over a six-year period, since the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) started collecting data in 2004.

In the first year, from March 2004 to April 2005, Scarborough Council faced a bill of £266,797 tackling illegal waste disposal.

The most recent cost, from March 2009 to April 2010, has halved to £130,309, with the number of incidents dropping to 5,591.

While the number of fly-tipping incidents had decreased over the six years, from a high of 8,158 down to 5,478, the number of successful prosecutions had increased, peaking at 100 from March 2008 to April 2009, according to Defra figures.

Offenders caught fly-tipping face maximum penalties of a £50,000 fine or up to five years in prison.

Those who want to report fly-tipping in confidence, can call the Customer First team on (01723) 232323 or email fly-tipping@scarborough.gov.uk