Tories allowing fly-tippers to escape justice, says Labour

Labour has accused the Government of turning a blind eye to the problem of fly-tipping, claiming that only 8% of reported incidents lead to any form of punishment.

In the fiscal year 2021/22, 1,091,019 cases of fly-tipping were reported in England, yet only 91,013 fixed penalty notices were issued, as per the Labour analysis based on data from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

This means 92% of those responsible for illegal waste dumping have avoided punishment.

Fly-tipping is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and can result in a warning, formal caution or prosecution.

In response to this trend, Labour has pledged to establish specialised “clean-up squads” in England and Wales for fly-tippers, rubbish dumpers and vandals, ensuring that “those who make the mess clean up the mess”.

Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed
Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed (Aaron Chown/PA)

They will be given fixed penalty cleaning notices that will be managed by local authorities.

Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed said: “The Conservatives have allowed fly-tipping to go unpunished – leaving communities feeling broken and powerless as they head down a spiral of social and economic decline.

“A Labour government will clean up Britain. We will introduce clean-up squads to ensure those who make the mess, clean up the mess.”

A Conservative source said: “We’re taking no lectures from Labour when it comes to tackling fly-tipping. The latest statistics show that two of the best performing councils in the country were Conservative.

“The two worst in the country were Liverpool and Gateshead, issuing just two fixed penalty notices despite over 24,000 incidents of fly-tipping…under Labour.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “The fact is fly-tipping incidents are down 4%, fixed penalty notices are up 58% over the past year and half a million enforcement actions have been taken – but we are determined to do more to tackle this pernicious activity.

“That is why we have raised the available penalties, increased scrutiny on the use of enforcement powers and awarded councils grants to tackle fly-tipping.”