Fly-tipping teams on patrol in Redbridge

Fly-tipping teams in Redbridge have revealed how they target hotpots on a daily basis to keep the borough’s streets safe and clean.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and anyone caught doing it faces a £400 fine, or paying even more if the case goes to court.

Working with the street cleansing team, Redbridge’s patrolling enforcement officers regularly check items that have been fly-tipped for clues that could link them to offenders.

In a ‘grime crime’ offensive last year, officers hit 34 people were stung with fines totalling £13,600 between them

Sarah Kaye, south area manager: “It’s from a range of people, residents in the borough or business waste, it comes from everywhere. A lot of the time it’s stuff from people that have moved out.

“If we have evidence, we knock on the door and give people a caution. We can issue a fine worth £400 or they might be called in for an interview later.

“If they choose not to pay, as is their right, they can go to the magistrates’ court – in court you’d get an even bigger fine.”

During a joint operation last month, enforcement officers found an expired passport in a dumped suitcase, which they said they would check against council records to see if the person is a borough resident.

If there is enough evidence,the team always reviews whether the legal action is proportionate before deciding to prosecute.

She said that enforcement teams don’t just fine people. Door-to-door engagement on Sunnyside Road, Ilford, saw fly tipping incidents drop from seven to one within a week.

She added: “The team does a lot of education and it does have a lot of impact.”

Coming across a duvet and clothes, the team were careful to point out that they will inform the homelessness team before throwing away items that might belong to someone who is sleeping rough.

Residents are asked to report fly-tipping on Redbridge’s website at: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/report-it/

To find out more about waste collection, including free bulky waste collections, residents can visit: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/bins-waste-and-recycling/

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter