No fly-tip prosecutions in last year

�No one was prosecuted for fly tipping in Brentwood despite 306 incidents reported last year.

The council said between April 2011 and March 2012 they formally cautioned one person in relation to a fly-tipping incident.

During the same period from 2010/11 299 incidents were reported to the council, and in 2009/10 632 cases were reported.

No prosecutions were made either year, but “informal action” was taken.

The figures show in the previous year 520 incidents were reported, and resulted in one prosecution with a �500 fine; while 758 incidents were reported between 2007 and 2008.

During that year there were three prosecutions with a �100 fine for each.

And, finally, in 2006/7 479 incidents were reported to the council, with no prosecutions, but informal action was taken.

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The figures come after the Recorder discovered council contractors cleared away fly-tipping rubbish, including evidence that could have been used to trace the culprits, in April.

The fly-tipping in Church Lane, Hutton Village, included court documents, letters and other information.

Cllr Tony Sleep, chairman of the environment panel for Brentwood Borough Council, said: “All reports of fly-tipping are investigated by Brentwood Borough Council’s street care team and cleared, after a site has been checked for evidence.

“Brentwood Borough Council will do everything it can to bring to account those responsible for fly-tipping, but unfortunately this can sometimes be difficult because of the lack of evidence present at a site where rubbish has been dumped.

“In many cases there is no evidence found which can be used and sometimes potential evidence found may only be circumstantial, which in a court of law is not enough to prove a person is responsible beyond reasonable doubt and therefore not sufficient to secure a prosecution.”

Opposition leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Cllr David Kendall, said: “With the closure of Ongar Recycling Tip a few months ago we think there is a serious possibility fly-tipping will get worse.

“We have asked for investment in CCTV cameras to help with anti-social behaviour, which could be used to monitor fly-tipping and to act as a deterrent.”

A Hall Green resident who discovered fly-tipping in Hutton in April said he took photos and sent them to the council and was later asked if he still had the evidence.

The council said at the time that the evidence was left after officers visited the site to inspect what was dumped.

The resident said: “Fly-tipping is such a problem in the area.

“The figures show that they are not taking it seriously and they don’t try to find out who is responsible even when we hand it to them on a plate.”