Cracking down on rubbish dumping crooks

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A special operation targeting unlicensed waste and scrap collectors saw 15 vehicles stopped in the Canterbury district.

The operation, which took place on Wednesday 12 June, resulted in one vehicle being seized as the driver was disqualified and held no insurance, tax or MOT. He had been collecting scrap metal, for which he was not licensed, and also had no licence to transport controlled waste.

Another individual was found to be collecting and transporting scrap metal without a licence and held no documentation to show how he planned to dispose of the waste. This person had previously been served a fixed penalty notice for similar offences, and investigations are continuing.

Two further people who were also stopped are being investigated for transporting controlled waste without a licence.

Chairman of Canterbury City Council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “The only places all this junk was heading for was the side of a picturesque country lane, a farmer’s field or a remote footpath.

“People involved in this kind of illegal activity couldn’t care less about the environment or spoiling our beautiful countryside. It’s all about making a quick few quid out of some unsuspecting customers.

“Enforcement initiatives like this aim to keep the unlicensed operators off our roads and demonstrate we won’t tolerate it. We’ll be back for another go at it again in the future, so it’s really not worth the risk, because the chances are, we’ll catch you.”

The operation was part of a day of action across east Kent carried out by the local councils, Kent Police, Kent Highways, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs. In total, 107 vehicles were stopped with a variety of fines issued and other investigations underway as a result.

Rural Crime Coordinator at Kent Police, Doug Robertson, said: “This was an excellent example of a multi-agency approach to tackle flytipping offences committed in Kent. The day of action was concentrated on east Kent, but similar activity will take place across the county.

“This initiative adopts a robust enforcement policy but also has the benefit of educating those that are dealt with. People that commit this type of offence need to know that Kent Police take seriously the offence of fly tipping, and other environmental offences, and will continue to work closely with environmental enforcement partners to prosecute those responsible.”

People who produce waste from a business, or collect or transport controlled waste, should hold a valid waste carrier’s licence. A separate licence is required for those who collect scrap metal. Transporting waste without a licence is a criminal offence.