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Council trials external fly-tip inspectors

A south London local authority has hired an external team of contractors as additional fly-tip inspectors to strengthen its in-house team.

Wandsworth Borough Council employed three extra members of in-house staff in May, who gave out 378 on-the-spot-fines in their first eight weeks.

Now the council will conduct a pilot scheme using an additional team of inspectors to target those who drop litter or dump rubbish.

These personnel will wear uniforms and body cameras, and target litter hotspots across the borough seven days a week.

The council said they will start work early next year. They will not be required to hand out a preordained number of fines nor will they be operating under any kind of bonus system.

As well as employing more inspectors, the council is using portable CCTV cameras at various hotspots to gather evidence for prosecutions.

It is also targeting businesses not fulfilling their legal obligation to have a written contract with a licensed commercial waste removal company.

Both teams will continue to target these types of cases – plus those where residents have left their refuse sacks out on the public highway.

And they will also look to collar unlicensed waste removal operators who drive around the streets looking for large items of waste to collect and, having taken money to dispose of it properly, simply drive around the corner and dump it.

The council recently launched its ‘Wandsworth Report It’ for residents to report instances of fly-tipping on their smartphones while on the move.

Environment spokesman Jonathan Cook said: “We are working really hard to keep the borough’s streets as clean and tidy as possible.

“Most are in good condition. But there are pockets of our borough where fly-tipping is more commonplace and we will be focusing the efforts of the new inspectors in these areas.

“By stepping up our enforcement levels and imposing much stiffer penalties on those who drop litter or dump rubbish, we aim to send out a really strong message to all those who think they can get away with spoiling our local environment.

“We want to work with residents and businesses to keep our streets clean, and the extra resources we are putting into expanding our litter team will help us to achieve that goal.”

Since May, councils have been able to issue higher fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping of £400, up from £80 previously.

Wandsworth flytip poster

Wandsworth flytip poster

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