A new initiative named Operation Eyeball has been formed to tackle fly tipping in rural parts of North Yorkshire and the City of York.
Bringing together North Yorkshire Police with landowners and district and unitary councils will allow the sharing of intelligence and information to tackle the crime. A key element will be planned and targeted enforcement action days.
North Yorkshire County Council, Network Rail, the NFU and the Environment Agency, as landowners, are also involved. Along with City of York Council, all seven North Yorkshire local authorities who have enforcement powers for this crime are also involved in the operation: Selby District Council, Ryedale District Council, Hambleton District Council, Harrogate District Council, Craven District Council, Scarborough Borough Council and Richmondshire District Council.
North Yorkshire Police will be gathering and sharing intelligence around fly tipping hot spots, suspect vehicles and waste carriers.
Supt Paula Booth, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Fly-tipping is a selfish crime that blights local environments and spoils people’s enjoyment of our towns and countryside. It is a source of pollution, a potential danger to public health and a hazard to wildlife. It also undermines legitimate waste businesses who operate within the law.
“By working together, we can tackle this issue. We also need help from the public – if you find or witness fly-tipping, wherever it is, record as many details about the incident and the waste as you can, and report it to your local authority or via the gov.uk website. This will help the authorities take action against those responsible and stop them fly-tipping in the future.”
Cllr Helen Douglas, executive member for housing at City of York Council, said: “We know that reporting fly-tipping helps prevent it. Here in York we investigate all reports and prosecute perpetrators . Working with colleagues across our boundaries through Operation Eyeball we share evidence which has a greater impact on preventing fly tipping. Working more closely with landowners also allows us to target known hot-spots so we can advise on improved land security and carry out regular patrols to support them against this crime.”
Harry Briggs, Scarborough Borough Council Environmental Enforcement and Contracts Manager said: “We have worked hard over recent years to develop close working relationships with neighbouring authorities; unfortunately environmental offences do not stop at our boundary. We’ve also regularly sought and received support from North Yorkshire Police when tackling offenders, sharing intelligence and ultimately bringing offenders before court. Closer joint initiatives should deter small and large scale environmental crime for the benefit of all in our borough.”
Councillor Carl Lis, Craven District Council’s lead member for Greener Craven, said: “Here in Craven we have been making concerted efforts in recent years to crack down on fly-tipping in our beautiful district. We have had a number of successful prosecutions where the perpetrators have been fined significant amounts and we hope this acts as a strong deterrent to others. We have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to fly-tipping in Craven and we’re pleased to be working with other authorities to tackle this issue, and reduce fly-tipping in our district and across North Yorkshire.”
Cllr Chris Pearson, Selby District Council Executive member and lead councillor with responsibility for housing, health and culture, said, “We know in the Selby district we tend to have particular problems on the fringes of our district – in isolated rural locations such as Kirk Smeaton that are often targeted by criminals travelling from outside our district to dump this waste. Working on Operation Eyeball with these partners will help us deal with this issue.”
Ryedale District Council’s Chair of Policy and Resources Committee, Cllr Luke Ives, said, “This proactive approach crosses the borders between the different authorities involved in clearing fly tipping – much like the criminals who carry out this crime. Working together like this means we have a joined up approach to responding to this problem.”
Hambleton District Councillor Stephen Watson, portfolio holder for waste services said: “Fly tipping is becoming an increasing problem in Hambleton – with cross border dumping a big issue. We hope this new joint operation will help tackle this issue and give offenders a warning that it will not be tolerated – we have the eyes of the county on them.”
Cllr Tony Duff, spokesperson for Richmondshire District Council, added: “Much of the flytipping we have in Richmondshire goes unreported as landowners deal with it themselves, especially in the rural areas. We hope this campaign will change that so we can identify the scale of the problem we have. The public are our eyes and ears and the more they can report issues to us the more we can do to tackle it. “
Harrogate District Council’s Councillor Andy Paraskos, cabinet member with responsibility for the environment, said: “Fly-tipping is a real problem in the Harrogate district with the annual £40,000 clear-up costs being unfairly paid for by council tax payers. On the back of our own ‘Crime not to Care campaign’, I am delighted that this new task force has been created to tackle a significant blight on our countryside.”
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, commented: “Operation Eyeball is a wide ranging operation with a clear aim – to reduce fly tipping in North Yorkshire through an innovative approach. By bringing together organisations who are on the front line of the problem and have to deal with its consequences, we are taking an important first step to tackle it. I welcome the approach being taken by councils and would encourage anyone having to deal with fly tipping to get in touch with them.”Posted on in News stories