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Fly-tipping in Maidstone borough rockets by 31% - Government figures

Wednesday 24th February 2021

THE scourge of fly-tipping has worsened considerably in the borough, according to Government figures.

Defra has revealed that in Maidstone the rise is more than 31% in a single year to 2019/2020, from 1,634 incidents to 2,402.

Now a respected landowners' lobbying body has called on local authorities, such as Maidstone Borough Council which enforces legal action against offenders, to step up action.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) says the Defra figures only reflect crimes on public land but do not include those on private property.

CLA president Mark Bridgeman said: “While these figures are alarming, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Cases of fly-tipping on privately owned land are significantly more than on public land so these government figures do not reflect the true scale of this type of organised crime, which blights our rural communities."

Despite options of fines of up to £50,000 or a year in jail, few local authorities ever enforce them fully, said Mr Bridgeman.

Anti-flytipping campaigner Simon Webb, of Hunton, said: "Round my way in the rural areas of Coxheath, Hunton, Linton and the Farleighs, we need to have a much bigger team deterring and enforcing this scourge.

"This has to be seen to be followed through courts with the heaviest fines imposed as possible, with the borough council supported by police and PCSOs in deeds and not just words."

Borough councillor and flytipping target Eddie Powell said: "The council must be cleverer in how it usess CCTV which would in the end pay for itself. The deterrent factor is key."

Maidstone Borough Council was approached for a comment.