RASCS News

Northumberland Cracks Down on Fly-Tipping with Increased Fines and Publicity Campaign

Northumberland councillors have pledged to crack down on fly-tipping in the county by introducing higher fines.

Penalties for fly-tipping will increase from £400 to the maximum statutory amount of £1,000. Northumberland County Council believes this will enhance the financial consequences and deter potential offenders.

The increased fines will be accompanied by a strong publicity campaign highlighting the personal risks to offenders, aiming to make fly-tipping even less acceptable and riskier. The council has set an ambitious goal to reduce fly-tipping incidents by 20 percent by March 2026.

Last year, there were 4,429 recorded instances of fly-tipping in the county. At a recent council cabinet meeting, leader Glen Sanderson identified Blyth and Ashington as particularly problematic areas. He stated, “A fly-tipper is a criminal. There are other terms we could use to describe people who blatantly create a mess and expect others to clean it up, but criminal will suffice for now.

“It is disheartening that despite the investment in Blyth and Ashington, some individuals still think it’s acceptable to dump a sofa or a fridge on a street at night. We’re going to get tougher.

“We’ll start engaging with communities on streets where fly-tipping is most common. We’re ensuring everyone understands it’s not acceptable and seeing if residents are willing to report offenders.”

Deputy leader Coun Richard Wearmouth emphasized the council’s firm stance against fly-tipping.

He stated, “Fly-tipping is completely unacceptable, and we need to change this behavior. This will alter behavior, I’m confident. We’re going to be tough on those responsible, even if it’s a small number of people.

“It’s just not acceptable, and if you do it, expect a substantial fine. We will catch you, and you will not evade us.

“We’re going to be tough on criminals in Northumberland no matter what.”

Recently, a Newcastle man was fined and ordered to pay cleanup costs after being found guilty of fly-tipping in Northumberland.

Ian Harold Wilkinson, 31, from Blakelaw, Newcastle, pleaded guilty at Newcastle Magistrates Court on June 28, 2024, to dumping waste on Felton Lane, Widdrington, in Northumberland. He was fined £300, reduced to £200 for an early guilty plea, and ordered to pay £1,034 in costs and a victim surcharge of £80, totaling £1,314.