Man prosecuted for failing to give information about Easington fly-tip

A blue van observed at a fly-tip in Easington.
A blue van observed at a fly-tip in Easington.
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A North East man has been ordered to pay more than £800 after cardboard was dumped in a County Durham village.

Ian Maitland, was prosecuted after failing to provide information to Durham County Council investigators, who were looking into a fly-tip that

happened on September 12, last year.

At Peterlee Magistrates’ Court the 38-year-old, who did not attend, was found guilty of an offence under the Environment Act 1995 and fined £440, with £329.83 costs and a £44

victim surcharge.

Neighbourhood protection manager Ian Hoult said: “We are committed to reducing the amount of fly-tipping across County Durham and we will use any means available to us to

get the right information so that we can prosecute those responsible.

“As well as fly-tippers themselves we will target those who fail to provide the information we ask for as our Operation Stop It continues to crackdown on the environmental crimes

that blight our communities.

“We would remind everyone of their responsibilities when it comes to disposing of waste properly.”

The Petwell Lane area of Easington is an area of county council owned land and due to its isolated location it is regularly targeted by fly tippers, according to the local authority.

On Saturday, September 12, 2015, a Blue Transit van was seen on CCTV footage. It stopped and a significant fly-tip, comprising of cardboard boxes and other

waste, was dumped on the land.

Information was requested from the registered keeper of the vehicle, who responded to say that he had not driven the van for six months, but he believed the vehicle was now

driven by Maitland.

Council officers visited Maitland’s home in Barnard Avenue in Ludworth,on two occasions in October and a calling card was left requesting he contact the council.

A letter was then sent requesting he come in for an interview, but he did not attend.

As a result, in December, the council sent a notice to Maitland, requesting information under Section 108 of the Environment Act 1995 and he was given seven days to respond.

This required him to confirm whether he was the owner of the vehicle in question, whether he was in the Petwell Lane area of Easington on September, 12, 2015 and whether anyone

else was in the vehicle with him.

He did not respond and has had no contact with the council since then, effectively resulting in the fly-tip investigation grinding to a halt.

Fly tipping remains a costly and time consuming issue for Durham County Council, authority bosses say.

In the financial year 2014/15 the council spent £432,562 investigating 6,824 reports of fly-tipping - a significant amount at a time when the authority must find millions of pounds

more in savings.

However, its biggest ever crackdown on the illegal dumping of waste, Operation Stop It, we have seen a huge decrease in fly-tipping incidents.

Household waste can be taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), or to arrange a bulky waste collection call 03000 261 000.

Environmental crimes, including fly-tipping, dog fouling and litter, can be reported online or by calling 03000 261 000.

Unlicensed waste carriers can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.