99 per cent of fly-tippers escape punishment in Sandwell

Only one person has been prosecuted and 162 fines issued despite more than 31,000 fly-tipping incidents being recorded in Sandwell in the last three years.

Fly-tipping in Wigmore Lane, West Bromwich. Photo: David Fisher
Fly-tipping in Wigmore Lane, West Bromwich. Photo: David Fisher

A total of 31,761 fly-tipping incidents were reported in the borough between 2018 and September 2021 according to data released under a Freedom of Information request to Sandwell Council.

But only one fine was issued for every 200 incidents and 25 of these fines remain outstanding.

Councillor David Fisher, leader of the Conservative opposition, said residents are “sick and tired” of the number of fly-tipping incidents seen in the area.

He said: “Over the past few years, in particular along Wigmore Lane, I seem to be reporting fly-tipping on a weekly basis.

“I care deeply about my community in Charlemont with Grove Vale and hate seeing our neighbourhoods blighted by inconsiderate folk who dump their waste anywhere they like.

“It’s a disgrace that only one prosecution has been made in the last three years when you consider how many instances have been reported to the council during this time.”

Anyone caught fly-tipping can be issued with fixed penalty notices of up to £400, with the fines introduced as an attempt to cut down on fly-tipping.

However bags of rubbish, mattresses, tyres and household items are regularly left in lanes and alleyways across the Black Country.

Fly-tipping in Wigmore Lane, West Bromwich. Photo: David Fisher

Councillor Ahmad Bostan, cabinet member for environment at Labour-led Sandwell Council, said: “Our officers regularly patrol Wigmore Lane as a fly-tipping hotspot and we will continue to monitor the area closely and take enforcement action wherever we can.

“Fly-tipping is a disgrace and we are appalled that people irresponsibly dump rubbish like this without any thought for the environment and the local community.

“We investigate all fly-tipping and take enforcement action where there is evidence.

“We also deploy mobile CCTV cameras to monitor fly-tipping ‘hot spots’ and they also act as a deterrent.

“I would appeal to everyone to be our ‘eyes and ears’ in the community as we really need evidence of who’s dumping rubbish at what time, what vehicles they are using and any other useful information.

“We are also now issuing £400 fines to householders who don’t use licensed waste carriers to take away waste. It is every householder’s responsibility to check they are using a licensed person or company to dispose of waste items. If a waste carrier you are using can’t provide documents to show that they are licensed, or if a fly-tipping incident is linked back to you, you face being fined.

“We have issued more than 30 £400 fines for fly-tipping and to people not using licensed waste carriers in recent months.

“Our tip on Shidas Lane, Oldbury, is open seven days a week for those who use our pre-booking system for appointments at the site. At the start of 2021 there were 390 slots available each day for those visiting in cars; now there are 900. And every day throughout this period there has been spare capacity for visits at the site. We also allow people visiting in cars to now make unlimited bookings. Visitors should remember to book their appointments in advance, even for weekend slots.

“We also offer a bulky waste collection service – so really there’s no excuse for fly-tipping.”

Councillor Fisher has called on Sandwell Council to cancel the online booking system, first introduced in June last year, required to use the refuse centre and cut the “red tape” for trade workers who want to access the facility.

He also wants CCTV cameras installed to catch fly-tippers who dump their rubbish in Wigmore Lane.

He added: “I find it absolutely ridiculous. This is while the council tax payer continues to pay for cleaning up the mess. Money which could be better spent on other things in our community.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News