A major operation in the Cotswolds targeting fly-tippers and other offenders has been hailed a resounding success.
More than 80 vehicles were stopped and checked in today’s (Friday, 18th January 2008) multi-agency exercise at Seven Springs, which was organised by Cotswold District Council and involved Gloucestershire Police, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the Environment Agency and Gloucestershire County Council’s Trading Standards’ Road Traffic Enforcement and Rogue Trader teams.
“It went really well and showed that a joined-up approach can be much more effective than agencies working independently of each other,” said Cllr Mark Tufnell, Cotswold District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment. “As a Council we are very grateful to the other agencies for their support.
“Today’s operation will serve as a warning to those traders who charge people to take their waste away but then dump it illegally in the District. There is also a lot of ignorance about the legislation and several drivers were informed about their responsibilities with respect to the carrying of waste.”
Everyone has a duty of care to ensure their rubbish is disposed of properly. People who carry waste illegally face fines of up to £5,000 while fly-tipping carries a maximum fine of £50,000 and/or up to six months in prison.
During today’s operation, the Environment Agency served notices on six drivers to produce a Waste Carrier’s Licence within seven days and one case is being pursued against a driver who was suspected of having committed a waste carrying offence.
The police issued a fixed penalty notice to the driver of an overweight lorry who was then ordered to unload 100 bricks from the back of his vehicle before being allowed to drive on.
Several other drivers were interviewed by VOSA officials for working outside their allowed hours. One of them had been working for 12 days in a row and was subsequently ordered to park up for 45 hours.
Cllr Tufnell added: “This is the second time we have staged this sort of exercise and we will be looking to do more of them in the future as part of our efforts to crack down on environmental crime in the Cotswolds.”
Chief Inspector Bridget Woodhall, of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Cotswold and Stroud Division, said: “Multi-agency operations such as this one are extremely effective in tackling a wide range of issues for the benefit of local communities.
“We are always pleased to work with our partner agencies on listening to and responding to the concerns of local people, as this operation demonstrates.”
Anyone who is in doubt about the company taking away their waste should contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506506.
Source: Cotswold District Council