In response to a rise in the level of fly tipping offences, and that refuse then subsequently being set alight in the Dyfed-Powys area, a multi-agency operation was undertaken on Thursday August 12, to tackle illegal waste carriers.
The partnership response was carried out on Scoveston Road, the Broadmoor to Sageston road and the Cresselly to Carew road, Pembrokeshire.
Waste crime is on the rise across the UK and is estimated to cost the UK economy £600 million a year. Illegal waste crime can take many forms but most often within our communities we recognise it in the form of fly tipping and increasingly by way of illegal waste sites being set up by unscrupulous landowners where waste is illegally deposited without any form of regulation often resulting in significant environmental pollution and damage. As they are unregulated, there are no controls in place as to the type and volume of waste being dumped. Inevitably, this illegal waste is subsequently burnt to reduce its volume and get rid of it, and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are regularly called out to deal with these fires.
Noxious smoke from these fires can affect residents living in and around these areas, and impact upon their quality of life and health. These illegal waste sites and resultant burning also have an adverse impact on the local environment in these communities.
This operation therefore aimed to target, stop and take enforcement action against illegal waste carriers operating in the area. Members of Pembrokeshire Roads Policing Unit, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Rural Crime Team, Pembrokeshire County Council Waste Enforcement and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) set up road check sites, where they stopped and checked any vehicle suspected to be carrying waste. This was in order to disrupt and deter illegal waste carriers heading to any sites. The local authority waste enforcement teams provided drivers with advice around waste carrier licences.
As a result of this roadside operation, over 60 vehicles were stopped, checked, and examined and eight sites visited. Police issued one prohibition notice for the condition of a vehicle, two traffic offence reports for no insurance and a number of intelligence submissions were made. The DVSA issued one fixed penalty notice, three immediate suspensions and two delayed suspensions for the condition of vehicles.
Sergeant Terri Harrison, seconded to Arson Reduction Team Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Waste crime damages our environment, community and economy. It is a real challenge for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and partner agencies. Every year there are reports of hundreds of refuse fires and we are seeing a very clear and obvious link between deliberate refuse fires, fly tipping and the operation of illegal waste sites. Waste crime has a real adverse impact upon the quality of life for those affected by these illegal activities. This operation also coincided with Crimestoppers national month-long rural crime campaign, that focussed on waste crime specifically last week.
“We all have a duty to dispose of our waste safely, legally and responsibly – and it’s important to ensure that any individual or business disposing of your waste does so too.”
Pembrokeshire County Council has reiterated its commitment to prosecute unlicensed waste operators and fly-tippers. Cllr Cris Tomos says: “The focus of this joint operation was ensuring commercial waste collectors and operators had the appropriate licences and permits in place to ensure these operators complied with legislation and duty of care, to make sure waste is being disposed of appropriately to tackle Envirocrime and Flytipping.
“Operation Tornado sends out a strong message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated and those who carry out this scourge on society will be prosecuted. We need the public’s help on this to be our eyes and ears. Please continue to report incidents of fly-tipping but also pass on any details you can about the perpetrators.”
Pembrokeshire County Council results included:
One warning issued for non-compliance with waste carriers licence;
Valuable information gathering on waste collection operators and compliance;
A number of vehicles were advised of their requirements regarding the transportation and disposal of waste.
Pembrokeshire County Council has set up a special team to deal with fly-tipping and will always seek to prosecute where possible. You can provide information, in confidence, by emailing [email protected] or by phoning the dedicated fly tipping phone line:01437 775253. Anyone who provides information on fly-tipping that leads to successful enforcement action is eligible for a £100 reward.
Businesses and householders are reminded to be aware that they have a duty of care for their waste and that simply handing it onto another person to dispose of does not absolve them of their responsibility. Cllr Cris Tomos said: “The public need to use registered waste carriers and be satisfied that they are disposing of waste legitimately. Failure to do so, may in certain cases lead to their actions being investigated, fines or prosecution.’