Flytipping fines in Northumberland increased to maximum level in bid to crackdown on offenders

Waste flytipped in Widdrington, Northumberland
-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)

Councillors in Northumberland have vowed to be tough on criminals who flytip in the county after introducing new, higher fines.

Fixed penalty notices for flytipping offences are set to increase from £400 to the statutory maximum of £1,000. Northumberland County Council say this will increase the financial risk and strengthen the deterrent to potential offenders.

The increased fines will be rolled out alongside a "hard hitting" publicity campaign focusing on the personal risks to offenders and to make it even less acceptable and riskier to fly-tip. The council has set itself a new and ambitious target to reduce fly-tipping incidents by 20 per cent by March 2026.

Last year 4,429 instances of fly-tipping were recorded in the county. Speaking at Tuesday's meeting of the council's cabinet, leader Glen Sanderson explained that Blyth and Ashington had been singled out as problem areas.

He said: "A flytipper is a criminal. There are other words we could use to describe people who blatantly go out to create a mess and expect others to tidy it up, but criminal will do for the moment.

"It is so sad that we have all of this money in Blyth and Ashington, but we still have people who think it is okay to dump a sofa or a fridge on a street in the middle of the night. We're going to get tougher.

"We're also going to begin the process of talking to communities on streets where this is most common. We're going to be making sure everyone understands it is not okay, and seeing if residents would like to share the names and addresses of culprits."

Deputy leader Coun Richard Wearmouth issued a stark warning to flytippers.

He added: "Flytipping is completely unacceptable and we have to find a way to change it.

"This will change behaviour, I'm sure of it. We're going to be tough on people who are doing this, it's probably a very small number of people.

"It's just not acceptable and you're in for a big fine if you do it. We will catch you and we will fine you, you will not escape us.

"We're going to be tough on criminals in Northumberland come what may."

Just last month, a Newcastle man was fined and ordered to pay clear-up costs after being found guilty of flytipping in Northumberland.

Ian Harold Wilkinson, 31, of, Blakelaw, Newcastle pleaded guilty at Newcastle Magistrates Court on Friday 28th June 2024 to dumping waste on Felton Lane, Widdrington, in Northumberland.

He was sentenced to a fine of £300 reduced to £200 for his early guilty plea, ordered to pay £1,034 in costs and a victim surcharge of £80, a total financial penalty of £1,314.