Only four fly tippers prosecuted in Preston in two years despite more than 5,000 reports
Only four people have been prosecuted for fly tipping in Preston in the past two years, despite more than 5,000 reports from residents about waste being dumped illegally in the city.
Despite investigating and removing thousands of fly tipped items from the streets and public open spaces, the Council has only succeeded in prosecuting four offenders since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic two years ago.
However, in addition to the four prosecutions, Preston City Council has issued a number of fines to those who were caught fly tipping and littering.
In 2020, 17 people were handed a fixed penalty notice for fly tipping. So far this year, a total of 10 tickets have been handed out.
For littering offences, the Council issued 22 fines in 2020. Another 23 people have been hit with fines this year.
In 2020, the Council received 3,257 reports of waste dumped illegally in the city, with another 2,901 reports made in 2019.
Figures for this year are only available for January to March, but they show a total of 789 incidents reported and cleaned up in the first three months of the year.
But Preston City Council say the majority of reports are in fact excess waste issues and not “fly tipping” and are cleaned up without further investigation or allocation to its Enforcement teams.
The coronavirus lockdowns led to an increase in fly tipping when Lancashire's 16 waste and recycling centres, including Preston, were forced to close for an extended period.
The tips have been back open for months but the scale of Preston's fly tipping problem continues to impact communities.
Notable 'grot spots' have been reported to the Council, including alleys and ginnels in Plungington, New Hall Lane, Ribbleton, Frenchwood and Fishwick.
Plungington resident Paul Stansfield said rubbish piled up in an alley between Brook Street and Norris Street (pictured) has attracted rats to the area.
He said: "I've informed the Council several times and nothing gets done.
"We shouldn't have to live next door to this! Rats and maggots are everywhere, it's disgusting.
"Also, the builders who were working next door but one just left their rubbish from around 6 months ago and it's still there. We've had enough now."
One of Paul's neighbours added: "I have reported the same rubbish 20 times, it’s absolutely disgusting."
Preston City Council have been approached for comment.
What will happen if someone is caught fly tipping?
If someone is caught fly tipping, or if waste from their premises is found fly tipped, they can be fined up to £50,000 or face possible imprisonment.
How to report fly tipping?
To report a fly tipping, you can complete a form online here.
Try to make a note of the following:
- location (please be as accurate as possible)
- items being dumped
- vehicle type and registration number (if person seen fly tipping)
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