HC Deb 13 June 2002 vol 386 cc1366-7W
Mr. Love

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many successful prosecutions there were in(a) England and Wales, (b) Greater London and (c) Enfield for fly-tipping in each of the last five years; what steps she is taking to strengthen protection against this activity; and if she will make a statement. [57853]

Mr. Meacher

Local authorities and the Environment Agency may prosecute for fly-tipping offences. Between 1996 and 2001, the Agency recorded prosecutions for general waste offences on a financial year basis. The data do not distinguish fly-tipping offences from other waste offences. From 1 April 1999, the Agency recorded, on a regional basis, whether an incident involves the unlawful deposit of waste, and whether prosecutions led to convictions or acquittals. This information is given below, but is not broken down within a region. No central register is kept of local authorities' prosecutions.

Prosecutions (England & Wales)
General waste offences Unlawful deposit of waste
1996–1997 241
1997–1998 345
1998–1999 367
1999–2000 342 219
2000–2001 439 225
2001–2002 264

Convictions (England & Wales)
Unlawful deposit of waste1
1999–2000 211
2000–2001 210
2001–2002 253

Convictions (Thames Region)
Unlawful deposit of waste1
1999–2000 25
2000–2001 30
2001–2002 43
1 Prosecutions under section 33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

There are stringent controls in place to deal with fly tipping, which is a criminal offence. In the event of a conviction, severe penalties are available to the courts, including an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment of up to 5 years. The Environment Agency or the local authority have powers to remove fly-tipped waste and to recover their costs from those responsible.

The Agency is currently working to establish a central unit to co-ordinate its approach to environmental crime. This unit will work with other key enforcement bodies, such as local authorities, the Police and HM Customs and Excise, and will target particular environmental and economic threats such as fly tipping.