Large-scale fly-tipping on the rise in Barking and Dagenham according to new report

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 March 2020

An illegal fly-tip site. Picture: PA

An illegal fly-tip site. Picture: PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The number of large scale fly-tips in Barking and Dagenham has risen sixfold in less than a decade.

However, the overall number of fly-tipping incidents is down.

A report by BBC Local News Partnerships examines the findings of an investigation into the evolution of fly-tipping.

The key finding is that incidents of large-scale dumping of waste have more than doubled in England since 2012.

Large-scale fly-tipping is anything above the size of a lorry-load, which, according to the report, has increased nationally due to a "surge in criminal gangs offering illegal waste clearing services".

This problem is reflected in Barking and Dagenham; in 2011/2012 there were 164 large-scale incidents, by 2018/2019 this number had reached 1,123.

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The biggest singular jump was between 2017 and 2018. In 2017 there were only 19 such incidents - this jumped to 344 in 2018.

Though the report links the general increase to organised crime, Barking and Dagenham Council said such incidents do not take place on "council land" in the borough.

It explained that the council operates an "illegal encampment injunction" — a power (granted in 2017) that allows the council to issue unlawful encampments with notices to vacate — which the council says explains "why we do not have the problem that other boroughs have with organised and wholesale fly-tipping".

Despite an increase in large-scale incidents, the overall number is down in the borough — in 2011/2012 there were 3,665 incidents, and in 2018/2019 this figure stood at 2,901.

This is testament to the council being proactive in the fight against "grime crime", which it says costs £500,000 a year.

In 2017 the council introduced a "Wall of Shame", catching offenders by posting CCTV footage online. So far, 39 people have been identified and fined as a result of this scheme.

Other initiatives include a partnership with retailer AO which offers residents free collection of white goods, as well as "Grime and Punishment", an online series which shows how the council tackles the problem.

Though the findings show that these initiatives are not yet combatting the specific issue of large-scale fly-tipping, the 
council reaffirmed its determination to address fly-tipping "head on".

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