Just one in 1,000 fly-tippers brought to justice as Manchester council forks out £1.5m clearing up mess

Just 0.1% of fly-tippers were brought to justice in Manchester over the last year – despite £1.5million being spent clearing up the mess.

This included seizing 573 vehicles dumped on Manchester’s streets.

Just 27 people were prosecuted and fined for dumping waste, despite a total of 21,449 incidents recorded in Manchester.

And Manchester City Council spent a total of £1,561,520 in clearing the rubbish – but only managed to recuperate £4,554 in fines. This is less than 0.2% of the total.

There were 2,487 actions taken by the council, however most of these didn’t result in prosecution. In 58 cases, a warning letter was sent and in 208 cases a statutory notice was sent.

Deputy leader at the Manchester City Council Bernard Priest admitted it is an important issue that is being looked at. 

He said: “Fly tipping is a crime that blights communities and dealing with this is one of our major priorities.

“We accept that the number of cases is high, but there has been a reduction over the past two years.

 “It is impossible to take these cases to court without necessary evidence, which is often very difficult to obtain.”

Manchester sits fifth highest in England for the amount of fly-tipping incidents and are the worst in the country outside London boroughs.

More than 19,000 incidents have been recorded every year for the past four, yet only a handful of people have been prosecuted.

 However, the council have conceded the difficulties they face in clamping down on the issue.

“Fly tipping has a criminal burden of proof,” said a council spokesman.

“In order to effect a prosecution, very strong evidence is required. Witnesses are required and the witnesses must be willing to give a statement informing the Council of who was responsible.

“Ideally there should also be evidence in the fly tipped waste itself to corroborate the statements.”

Figures for Manchester also show that general waste is the most common form of fly-tipping, with 12,505 of the incidents being dumped on highways.

The spokesman added: “In some cases, we can use evidence such as CCTV footage of the tipping taking place, which includes reg no of vehicles, or evidence of addresses in the flytipped waste, but as witness statements are often crucial to these cases, we would ask anyone who sees this activity taking place to contact us.”

Image courtesy of Alan Stanton, with thanks.

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