Sunderland flytippers warned: 'You will be still be prosecuted during coronavirus crisis'
Flytippers are warned they will still be prosecuted during the coronavirus pandemic after a van suspected of being used dumping waste in Sunderland has been seized.
Sunderland City Council has said that, despite being in a national emergency, it is committed to continuing to take action against anyone suspected of being involved in flytipping.
It comes as the council has seized a van in Houghton, on Tuesday, April 21, following suspicions of it being involved in flytipping in the city.
It follows five similar seizures by the council, the most recent just under two weeks ago, where vehicles believed to have been used in flytipping were removed from outside addresses after reportedly being used in similar offences.
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Subsequent investigations have resulted in one vehicle being crushed with another waiting to be destroyed.
Councils have powers to apply for forfeiture orders, which allows them to confiscate any vehicle they suspect has been involved in environmental crime or fly tipping.
If a decision is made not to return the vehicle this could result in the vehicle being crushed or sold.
Councillor Amy Wilson, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We know the blight that fly tipping can have on neighbourhoods across our city.
“That is why, despite being in a national emergency, we are committed to continuing to take action against anyone who we suspect is involved in flytipping.
"Where we have evidence to suggest that a vehicle has been involved in fly tipping, we have the powers to seize it and follow this up with legal action.
“If the owner doesn’t come forward within a certain period of time, this can result in us using our legal powers to either crush it or sell it.
"We would also remind residents that if they are employing anyone to remove waste, it’s their legal responsibility to make sure they hold a valid waste carrier licence – this can be checked on the Environment Agency’s website or by calling them on 08708 506 506."