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Defra to get more powers to punish fly-tippers

Next year the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will be introducing new measures to impound vehicles that their owners use for fly-tipping. In an extension to the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, Defra will extend powers to local authority waste officers to stop vehicles that are suspected of fly-tipping and seize the vehicle for further inspection. A Defra spokeswoman said: At the moment local authorities are given the power to seize goods from vehicles for evidence of fly-tipping, if the owner of that vehicle is clearly involved in fly-tipping. What this will do is extend the power further, so we can actually take the vehicle away. The waste officers will not just stop any moving vehicle and swoop on anybody with a bin liner in their car. They will follow evidence from CCTV and any other evidence that suggests the vehicle has been used for fly-tipping. But we will have the ability to impound a car that is involved in fly-tipping. Defra will consult on the regulations early next year. Flycapture database figures have recently been released by Defra and according to figures calculated by the Taxpayers Alliance pressure group; areas with alternate weekly collections (AWCs) had more fly-tipping cases than areas with just weekly collections. Its figures showed that, in areas with AWCs, the increase was 11.89% compared to areas with weekly collections, where the rise was 4.24%. Taxpayers Alliance spokesman Corin Taylor said: Wefound that councils that introduced AWCs suffered from a higher increase in fly-tipping than councils that kept to weekly collections. Local authorities were warned that this could happen, and given that council tax has almost doubled in the past decade they had no excuse for cutting services in this way. Fly-tipping is a terrible blight on the local environment and the best way to reduce it is for town halls to make regular rubbish collections rather than take on yet more new powers.

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