Prosecutions, covert and fly-tipping 'action squads' part of new Croydon Council crackdown
A bolstered arsenal featuring tougher fines, prosecutions, hidden cameras and a new fleet of rubbish removal trucks has been unveiled after the council launched a crackdown on fly-tipping and filth.
Greater emphasis on prosecution, a dedicated fly-tipping hotline and a landlord licensing scheme also form part on the new Labour administration's war on waste.
Labour made the issue a central focus in its election campaign, with councillors frequently highlighting piles of dumped rubbish in Croydon North and leader Councillor Tony Newman claiming there was "major concern across Croydon about the state of the streets".
The council plans to spent an initial £249,000 piloting the crackdown, which forms part of a campaign dubbed Don't Mess With Croydon.
It will look to implement tougher punishments for offenders, using covert CCTV to identify them, with an emphasis on seeking prosecution for repeat culprits.
Fixed penalty notices handed to fly-tippers will increase from £75 to £80, and those who pay early will no longer receive a discount.
The number of penalties issued rose from 22 in 2012/13 to 243 the following year.
But prosecutions remain rare, with none in 2012/13 and one last year - though more remain in progress.
There were 15,108 recorded fly-tipping incidents last year, up 26 per cent from 11,150 the previous year, in contrast to a fall nationally.
Coun Stuart Collins, cabinet member with the newly created portfolio of Clean Green Croydon, said: "The volume of calls shows interest in reporting fly-tipping has been sky-rocketing recently and we want to capitalise on this to keep the reports coming in. O
"Over just the last few weeks we've had approaching 1,500 reported incidents from across the borough. This is great, because the sooner we hear about a problem, the sooner we can investigate who might have been to blame, issue fines, and get it cleared up.
"These calls show how much pride people already have in Croydon – again, this is a brilliant starting point and we'll be doing everything possible to keep up the momentum.
He added: "Of course the flip side of this is the picture it paints of the scale of the problem. In the long term we have to stop people dumping rubbish in the first place.
"We'll be making it increasingly easy for people to get rid of their waste in the proper way - and for those who don't they can look forward to a significant cash fine or a court prosecution, and quite likely being publicly named and shamed."
The council also believes a new licensing system that will mean private landlords must pass health and safety tests before letting property will cut fly-tipping, citing Government data that shows 75 per cent of dumped waste is from households.
There are also plans for existing rubbish collection contractor Veolia to provide three fly-tip "reaction teams" to collect reported waste within 48 hours.
The proposals will be considered by the council's cabinet at a meeting on Monday.
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