Stark warning to fly-tippers in Portsmouth area as data shows 22 per cent rise in incidents
A STARK warning has been issued to fly-tippers as data revealed illegal waste dumping has risen by 22 per cent in seven years across The News’ area.
A top county councillor has said that an organised gang is behind some large-scale dumping.
According to the latest figures released by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) there were 4,457 incidents of fly-tipping in Portsmouth, Havant, Fareham, Gosport, Winchester and East Hampshire in 2019 - up from 3,452 in 2012.
And between 2012 and 2016 councils in these areas spent more than £1.2m cleaning up fly-tipping incidents.
Councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader and executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘Fly-tipping is clearly a lucrative source of income for organised criminal gangs, and we must be clear that this is what we’re talking about – criminal activity.
‘In fact, the rise in tonnages of fly-tipped waste we see in these recent figures can be directly linked to a single organised crime gang operating in the south east which dumped 30 tonnes of shredded waste at three sites in Hampshire. Without this, the amount of fly-tipping in Hampshire would have continued to decrease for the seventh consecutive year.’
Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Sean Woodward, said local authorities would come after those responsible with 'the full force of the law.'
'We have absolute zero tolerance in Fareham, we will go after people who do this,' he said.
'Mainly this is people who are paid to take household waste away, rather than households themselves. So I would warn people to check who they are paying.
'If their rates seem too cheap there's probably a reason for that. Check they have a waste transfer certificate, which means they will be properly disposing of waste.'
Between 2012 and 2019 there were 4,224 incidents of fly-tipping in Fareham.
The city of Portsmouth saw one of the largest increases in fly-tipping incidents in the south of Hampshire, with 646 incidents recorded in 2012 and 974 in 2019.
Councillor Dave Ashmore, the council's environment boss, said: 'There is absolutely no excuse for it.
'Tips are open and we have a bulky waste collections service. When I see old mattresses and sofas dumped in the street I often think this has taken someone more time than just a trip to the tip.
'And it can be a danger to people in the city. For example people with mobility or visual impairments could find their route along a pavement blocked by illegal waste.'
He added: 'Over recent years we have actually seen a reduction in the tonnage of fly-tipping but it seems that there is an increase in smaller incidents.'
As reported, this year Cowplain resident Max Robbins, of London Road, was prosecuted by East Hampshire District Council and fined £500 for his part in blocking a Catherington road with bulky waste.
SEE ALSO: Portsmouth flytipper jailed
And in 2019 Portsmouth resident Robert Hey, of Upper Arundel Street, was jailed for five counts of flytipping.
In Gosport there were 389 reports of fly-tipping in 2019, and between 2012 and 2016 the council spent £131,512 on clean-ups.
Nick Carter, the founder of litter-picking group the Gosport and Fareham Wombles, asked people to 'search their conscience' before fly-tipping.
He said: 'Overall there's a greater social awareness and the need to be more responsible with your day to day litter and we've seen this with more people choosing to use their own time to litter pick.
'However, the downside is for a number of reasons we're seeing a lot of bulky items dumped on the outskirts of the countryside. This is so disappointing to the people working to keep our towns and cities clean.'
Defra no longer produces data for fly-tipping costs borne by councils after 2017.
Flytipping incidents in your area
2012/13: 646 incidents, clearance cost £21,811
2013/14: 1,029, £45,728
2014/15: 923. £44,547
2015/16: 1,099, £48,993
2016/17: 1,048, £33,910
2017/18: 1,285, n/a
2018/19: 1,234, n/a
2019/20: 974, n/a
Total: 8,238 incidents, clearance cost £194,989
2012/13: 1,167 incidents, clearance cost £49,492
2013/14: 1,239, £46,280
2014/15: 1,503, £61,316
2015/16: 1,130, £43,687
2016/17: 945, £46,910
2017/18: 828, n/a
2018/19: 883, n/a
2019/20: 1,140, n/a
Total: 8,835 incidents, clearance cost £247,745
2012/13: 321 incidents, clearance cost £19,525
2013/14: 423, £29,068
2014/15: 511, £29,439
2015/16: 500, £24,995
2016/17: 554, £28,485
2017/18: 476, n/a
2018/19: 385, n/a
2019/20: 389, n/a
Total: 3,559 incidents, clearance cost £131,512
2012/13: 300 incidents, clearance cost £31,858
2013/14: 404, £28,309
2014/15: 338, £29132
2015/16: 325, £20,007
2016/17: 1,387, £66,002
2017/18: 982, n/a
2018/19: 181, n/a
2019/20: 307, n/a
Total: 4,224 incidents, clearance cost £175,308
2012/13: 404 incidents, clearance cost £30,024
2013/14: 442, £20,792
2014/15: 437, £27,217
2015/16: 509, £67,945
2016/17: 676, £52,610
2017/18: 525, n/a
2018/19: 426, n/a
2019/20: 558, n/a
Total: 3,977 incidents, clearance cost £198,588
2012/13: 614 incidents, clearance cost £44,527
2013/14: 628, £30,572
2014/15: 603, £34,087
2015/16: 746, £89,556
2016/17 808, £77,795
2017/18: 784, n/a
2018/19: 770, n/a
2019/20: 1,089, n/a
Total: 6,042 incidents, clearance cost £276,537