Fly-tipping: MPs back our calls to tackle illegal dumping

First published: 26 May 2022

A picture of a male farmer crouched down by a large pile of rubbish in a field

NFU member Richard Simkin was a victim of fly-tipping on his farm.

Fly-tipping and illegal dumping were tabled at a Westminster Hall debate where MPs backed the NFU's calls for harsher punishments. 

Ahead of the debate, we briefed MPs on the devastating impact this crime has on farming and rural communities, and solutions needed to crack down on a problem that continues to blight the British countryside.

Escalating issue

Saqib Bhatti MP (Cons, Meriden) who tabled the debate, opened discussions by highlighting that there were more than 1 million fly-tipping incidents in England last year, a 16% increase on the year before. This not only damages the British countryside, but also fuels anti-social behaviour and organised crime, as well as causing serious harm to the environmental and public health.

Police support

In addition, he raised the issue of police support for rural areas, with assistance taking longer to arrive compared to urban areas. This means that farmers are often forced to confront criminals themselves to protect their businesses and community.

Deterrence

Cherilyn Mackrory MP (Cons, Truro and Falmouth) backed our calls for harsher punishments that will deter criminals from illegally dumping and the need for single reporting mechanism so that farmers and land managers only need to report a fly-tipping incident once.

Finding a solution

There were a number of issues raised by MPs on how best to tackle the problem including greater support for councils and police to deal with fly-tipping, increased Fixed Penalty Notices, more CCTV to catch criminals, and educational campaigns to ensure the public check if disposal services are licenced.

In response, Defra Minister Jo Churchill MP (Cons, Bury St Edmunds) outlined that her department continues to chair the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group working with local authorities, the police, the Environment Agency, and the NFU, to disseminate good education and learning.

We continue to raise the concerns of our members to Defra and educate the public on the impact fly-tipping has on British farmers.

 

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