By Local Democracy Reporter
THURROCK has the second highest rate of fly-tipping in all south Essex yet the number of fines being handed out have halved.
Statistics from the department of environment, food and rural affairs show there was 2,174 reported incidents during 2018/19 down from the 3,140 reported the previous year.
Despite the decline, the numbers show that Thurrock has the second highest number of reports, beaten only by Basildon where there were 3,665.
Meanwhile, Southend had just 898 recorded incidents, Castle Point had 958 and Rochford reported 518.
The data also shows that efforts to tackle the problem are falling with Thurrock Council issuing just 335 fines in 2018/19, almost half the 622 that were issued the previous year.
Following the seizure of a vehicle suspected of being involved in fly-tipping last week, the council said it was a warning to fly-tippers that “the net is closing”.
Council leader Councillor Rob Gledhill said: “I still hear residents saying we are not taking action on fly-tipping, this is now the fourth vehicle we have seized linked to fly-tipping since April, couple this with the 204 £400 fines we have issued in the same time period and it demonstrates that we are taking action.
“When anyone thinks they’re saving a few pounds by using an unauthorised waste carrier from social media or word of mouth it can end up costing them a huge amount more in fines and the risk of a potential criminal record.”
In September, Thurrock Council agreed to begin looking at introducing a new public identification policy that could see high-definition CCTV images of fly-tipping offenders being released to local media.
Other councils to have implemented similar policies include Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest. Thurrock Council claims these authorities have “found it improves how they work with other departments, investigating and tackling crime in an efficient and effective manner”.