Fly tipper’s car crushed for illegally dumping waste in Northumberland
18 Feb 2020
A vehicle that was used for fly tipping in Northumberland has been seized and crushed by the county council as it continues its zero tolerance approach to this environmental crime.
The Suzuki Grand Vitara was seized by the council’s public protection service after it was used to dump loose waste onto farmland near Ashington last summer. The vehicle was old and not road safe.
On the 4th November 2019, George Robert Smith from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea pleaded guilty to one offence of fly-tipping at Mid & South East Northumberland Magistrates Court.
He was fined £480 and ordered to pay £270 compensation to a local farmer for clear up costs and crop damage. The magistrates also made an order for the seizure and crushing of the vehicle used by Smith so it can’t be re-used for this crime.
A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said:
“ We hope this sends a very strong warning to all those involved in illegal acts of fly tipping. We have a zero tolerance approach and will use every power available to us including prosecution and the seizure of vehicles, to ensure offenders are held responsible and pay for their crimes.
“ This is just the second time we have used our powers to crush a vehicle used for fly tipping but if these environmental crimes continue - it won't be the last.”
Smith was caught last summer dumping waste including a table, wooden panelling, bed ends, blankets, buckets and cement, as well as a quantity of loose sand and gravel.
When confronted by the farmer who spotted Smith in the act, Smith jumped down from the trailer and threatened him with a spade before getting into the vehicle and driving off at speed back through the crops to make good his escape.
Unfortunately there appears to be a rise in illegal waste carriers, often advertising through social media. If residents or businesses are
to use an independent waste carrier they must always ask to see the operator’s waste carrier licence which is issued by the Environment Agency, and the relevant waste transfer notes. This is really important because if residents make the mistake of employing an unscrupulous operator and their waste is dumped illegally - they too are committing an offence and could face a large fine.
Householders should be particularly wary of businesses that only operate through social media and do not seem to have a landline phone number or business address. They should also be wary of anyone coming to their door offering to take away rubbish on the cheap.
Northumberland residents are being asked to report fly tipping and help to clamp down on a problem.
Witnesses can make a report anonymously by visiting https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/flytipping
or by ringing the Environment Agency on 03708 506506