'Seize and crush ‘em' says Tory Bedfordshire PCC candidate about fly-tipping vehicles
The Conservative candidate in the upcoming Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election has called for fly-tipping vehicles to be seized and crushed.
Festus Akinbusoye, the Conservative PCC candidate in the May 6 elections, has called for vehicles caught fly-tipping to be seized and crushed.
This would be in addition to the fines currently issued by local authorities and the courts.
Mr Akinbusoye's demand comes after government figures revealed there were 6,190 fly-tipping incidents recorded in Luton in 2019/20, along with 2,137 occurrences in Bedford and 786 in Central Bedfordshire.
Of the nearly one million cases nationally, there were 474,294 legal actions taken but only 41 resulted in a custodial sentence and just 471 vehicles were seized.
In Bedfordshire, only 3,200 cases resulted in action being taken, but no custodial sentences were issued and no vehicles seized. Fines were the most common outcome, with amounts ranging from £50 to £500.
“Fly-tipping is fast becoming a drive-away crime,” said Mr Akinbusoye. “The fact that a vehicle used for fly-tipping is allowed back on the road is plainly wrong. It is unacceptable for a car that is, in effect, a tool used for committing a crime, to be given back to the offender.
“I would like to see our enforcement agencies in Bedfordshire not only fine these criminals, but also to seize their vehicles and put them under the crusher.”
The figures from DEFRA also show that household waste accounts for nearly half of all fly-tipped items. This includes house or shed clearances, old furniture, carpets and even waste from small scale DIY works.
In 2016, local authorities were given the power to issue fixed penalty fines and in 2019, householders became liable for fines if they gave waste to an unlicensed carrier.
Despite these changes, reported cases of fly-tipping have increased while enforcement has fallen. According to a recent BBC investigation there is evidence, however, that some licensed waste carriers are also breaking the law by fly-tipping.
Mr Akinbusoye added: “Fly-tipping is not just an eyesore, it’s also a serious danger to our environment. The DEFRA figures don’t include fly-tipping that takes place on private land. This remains the responsibility of landowners to clear and the cost is considerable.
"Until we take drastic action such as crushing the vehicles involved, on top of fines, we will all keep paying this heavy price. We need to take action, now."