More than 1,000 incidents of flytipping blighted the New Forest landscape in 2020/21, according to Defra data
THE New Forest was plagued by more than 1,000 flytipping incidents during 2020/21, with action taken against less than a quarter of them, according to government figures.
Government data compiled by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) showed a 16% national increase in flytipping on public land.
The total number logged in the Forest was 1,155, including 32 of white goods and nine involving hazardous building material asbestos.
Sizeable flytipping incidents reported in the A&T during the past year included two within a month at the Shepherds Gutter car park in Bramshaw.
But the total number of actions in response was just 305, according to the Defra figures. These involved 297 investigations, four fixed penalty notices (FPNs), three statutory notices and one warning letter.
However, New Forest District Council’s environmental enforcement officer, Roy Russell, suggested the statistics be treated with caution as they “do not accurately reflect the type or number of flytipping incidents” in the area.
He argued abandoned vehicles, missed bin collections and small amounts of litter accounted for many cases.
His enforcement team’s new initiatives to combat environmental crime included 221 duty-of-care visits to businesses in 10 weeks ensuring waste was correctly disposed ofe.
“Other initiatives include 15 FPNs for duty of care offences and six FPNs for flytipping, plus some live ongoing criminal investigations,” Mr Russell said.
“All flytipping damages the environment and is a hazard to animals and the public. We are investing in technology, including cameras, to try to detect more of these crimes which often take place in isolated areas.”
People are urged to report any incidents as NFDC works to crackdown on flytipping with Hampshire police and the Environment Agency. Vehicle stop-checks are set to continue in 2022.
BCP Council has vowed it is continuing to tackle flytippers despite the Defra statistics recording no action taken against a total of 2,791 offences in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area.
A council spokesperson told the A&T “various methods of logging and investigating flytipping offences” had been utilised for some time.
In August it launched a 12-month pilot scheme employing a private contractor to investigate all flytipping across the region.
“Employing the services of dedicated enforcement officers will ensure evidence is collected in a timely manner to meet the high thresholds of evidence necessary to prove an offence,” the spokesperson said.
“Since the commencement of this contract in August we have issued numerous fines for flytip-related offences as well as concluding a successful prosecution.”