A Lancaster man is counting the cost of fly-tipping and a number of related offences.
Steven Robinson, of Norfolk Street in Lancaster, was ordered to pay a total of £4,945 in fines and costs by magistrates recently after being taken to court by Lancaster City Council as part of its Operation Peregrine initiative.
The court heard that in September 2017 an incident of fly-tipping was investigated by the council on Milnthorpe Road, Holme, near Carnforth, and evidence was found linking the fly-tipping to Robinson.
He provided the council’s enforcement team with a witness statement stating he was working on a property in Southport and paid a person to take his waste away. The council was subsequently unable to contact the person and an invite for interview was sent to Robinson to discuss the case, but he failed to cooperate.
This was followed up by the serving of a notice under Section 108 of the Environment Act 1995, which required him to provide information to help identify the fly-tippers. Again, Robinson failed to cooperate.
At an initial hearing in September 2018, Robinson pleaded guilty to failing to corporate under Section 110 of the Environment Act 1995, and not guilty to carrying out the fly-tipping and to the breach of his duty of care. A trial date was set for the following November, which Robinson failed to attend and he was found guilty in his absence. A warrant for his arrest was issued but he failed to surrender.
Robinson was eventually brought to court by Lancaster City Council on June 27 when magistrates sentenced him for three offences, stating that they regarded the act of fly-tipping under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as the most serious, describing it as a reckless act.
The magistrates ordered a fine of £692, victim surcharge of £69 and contribution of £4,000 to the costs and £184 for failing to attend trial.
Coun Dave Brookes, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “Fly-tipping is unacceptable and shows complete disregard for others and the environment.
“This case shows that regardless of how small the offence might be, the council will remain steadfast in its aim to identify and prosecute individuals who dispose of their waste irresponsibly and fail to cooperate with investigations.”
Operation Peregrine is the name of the city council’s campaign that aims to crack down on fly-tipping and make those responsible for the crime pay for their actions.
If you want to join in the battle against fly-tipping and can offer any information which might lead to an offender being identified and caught, please call Lancaster City Council Customer Services on 01524 582491, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online reporting form at www.lancaster.gov.uk/fly-tipping