Havering Council tackles organised fly-tippers in Upminster in early morning raid
PUBLISHED: 16:05 27 December 2017
Havering Council seized vehicles which were running on red diesel and "stolen" waste containers in a joint operation against organised fly-tippers in Upminster.
Based on intelligence gathered about the perpetrators, the multi-agency operation involved officers from Newham Council, the Environment Agency, police and HMRC officers.
Following the tip-off, a site on Aveley Road was raided shortly after 9am on December 20, and officials found several vehicles and equipment, including stolen waste containers, with a value of around £10,000.
The vehicles, including a skip lorry, an articulated lorry tractor unit, a vehicle removal lorry and two cars, were checked by HRMC and found to be using red diesel, which is illegal to use in these types of vehicle.
The larger vehicles also had no number plates and were in varying states of roadworthiness.
All of the vehicles were seized pending further enquiries into criminal activity and road traffic offences.
The recovered waste containers were returned to their grateful owners, who have had 22 other containers stolen this year.
Every time a container is stolen the owner has to pick up the disposal costs, totalling tens of thousands of pounds for clearing the dumped rubbish.
Nobody was on site during the raid, but investigations, based on evidence recovered by officers, are ongoing.
Councillor Osman Dervish, cabinet member for environment, said: “Fly-tipping is a serious crime which has a detrimental effect on residents, businesses and the local environment.
“This week alone the council has had to clear up 20 tonnes of fly-tipped rubbish and each year this amounts to an unnecessary bill in the region of one million pounds.
“This is money which could be better spent on critical frontline services and improving the lives of our most vulnerable residents.
“This joint operation was a great success and saw key partners come together to tackle a common threat.
“We are now calling on any residents and businesses with information to come forward to help us catch the people responsible and bring them to justice.”
Figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show the council spent £224,423 on clearance costs at 4,061 separate fly-tipping incidents between April 2016 and 2017.