Official statistics show high chance of flytippers being caught and punished in Wandsworth

Published: Thursday, June 3, 2021

Official Government figures show that flytippers who dump their waste in Wandsworth are more likely to be caught and punished than in many other London boroughs.

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Data published by Defra shows that Wandsworth issued 955 fines (FPNs) for flytipping offences last year.

Over the same period the borough suffered 4,745 flytips meaning culprits face just under a one in five chance of being caught and fined. The data also shows that Wandsworth has the second lowest number of recorded flytips in inner London.

Wandsworth’s detection rate also compares favourably with many other London boroughs.

Over the same period Hammersmith & Fulham had 13,332 flytips but issued only 304 fixed penalty notices. Kensington & Chelsea suffered 6,490 flytips but issued only 94 FPNs. Lambeth had 6,638 flytips but issued only 591 fines.

Other boroughs with lower detection rates include Croydon with 25,532 flytips but only 664 FPNs, Hounslow with 22,480 flytips and 224 fines, Brent with 34,197 flytips and 106 FPNs and Southwark with 17,782 flytips and 318 FPNs.

London’s worst affected borough for flytips was Camden with 34,465. It issued 5,491 fixed penalty notices.

Across London’s 32 boroughs just over 360,000 flytips were recorded with a total of 46,830 FPNs issued. This means that Wandsworth suffered only 1.3 per cent of the capital’s flytips but issued more than two per cent of the total number of on-the-spot fines.

Environment spokesman Cllr Steffi Suters said: “People who dump rubbish on the streets of Wandsworth should understand that we are not a soft touch and we will make concerted efforts to detect and penalise those who commit this environmental crime.

“We have a dedicated team of investigators committed to catching those who pollute and damage our streets.

“We know that some local neighbourhoods are more badly affected than others and residents in these areas can rest assured we are putting in extra resources to tackle this problem.”

The council has introduced a number of initiatives to tackle professional flytippers and others who either through neglect or carelessness allow streets to be littered.

These measures include strict rules for shops and businesses about how and when they are allowed to place their refuse on the pavement while it awaits collection, which has helped tackle one of the biggest flytips causes at source.

The council has also stepped up its inspection efforts to make sure that businesses fulfil their legal obligation to have proper arrangements in place for the collection and disposal of their waste. Those that don’t face an instant fine - and this has led to a big reduction in flytips.

The council has also stepped up enforcement action to deter people from leaving binbags on street corners, while also working hard to alert residents to the perils of employing the unlicensed operators who drive around looking for waste to collect - and having pocketed the cash to dispose of it properly – just dump it nearby.

The council also offers a cheap and competitive rate to remove large unwanted items like old mattresses and furniture., which has also played a role in reducing the number of these items that are dumped on the streets.

Cllr Sutters added: “Because it is important to clean up flytips swiftly before they get any bigger we have are urging residents to report them to us so we can nip any problems in the bud.

“And if anyone has information about people or businesses dumping waste on our streets then please notify us immediately so we can take the appropriate action.”

For details of how to book a bulky waste collection and information on refuse and recycling collections please visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/waste. Flytips can also be reported over the phone by calling (020) 8871 8558.

You can get take part as an individual or as part of a group, which could include schools.

Advice and guidance can be found on the Great British Spring Clean website.

You can also find out more about why litter-picking matters and how you can make a difference here.