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MORE than £1,500 in on-the-spot fines have been given out for fly-tipping in the Portsmouth area in the space of a year.

Councils have revealed how many fixed penalty notices they have given after new powers to hand out the fines were introduced last year.

Fly-tipping at Monks Walk in Gosport

Fly-tipping at Monks Walk in Gosport

Freedom of Information (FOI) figures, obtained by the Press Association, show Portsmouth City Council gave out five fines totalling £800 between May 2016 and May 2017.

Gosport Borough Council gave out seven fines totalling £720, and Fareham Borough Council handed out two fines totalling £160.

In an effort to cut down on fly-tipping, last year the government gave councils the power to issue penalties of between £150 and £400 to those caught in the act of fly-tipping, instead of having to take them to court.

More than £750,000 has been raised nationwide in the first year of the new powers, but some authorities have not made use of the fines.

The FOI data shows Havant Borough Council, East Hampshire District Council and Winchester City Council did not give out any on-the-spot fines in the first year of the powers.

More than 4,600 fixed penalty notices were issued across the UK in the same period.

Councillor Trevor Cartwright, lead member for health and public protection at Fareham Borough Council, said the authority had a ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to fly-tipping, but that clear evidence was needed for an on-the-spot fine or prosecution.

He said: ‘Last year we prosecuted a persistent offender, who admitted 14 fly-tipping offences and was given a prison sentence of 12 months.

‘We urge the public to report any cases of fly-tipping so that we can continue to keep Fareham an attractive place to live.’

Across England the number of fly-tipping incidents have risen for the third year in a row, according to government figures.

Councils reported 936,000 cases in 2015/16, up four per cent from the previous year.