FLYTIPPERS in Somerset are more likely to get caught following a link-up between police and councils.

The new co-operation includes sharing of information about possible offenders, identifying potentially violent individuals and arresting suspects for interview about illegal rubbish dumping.

The ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MoU) between Avon and Somerset Police and Somerset’s district and county councils covers fly-tipping, illegal waste management and the duty of care everybody has for their waste even after it leaves their premises.

Under the agreement, local authority enforcement officers will be able to obtain details of vehicles from the Police National Computer and have possible offenders arrested for questioning.

It is part of a wide range of actions by councils to combat fly-tipping, including training, equipment, warning signs, leaflets and adverts.

Councils also aim to reduce the fly-tipping ‘supply’ by urging residents and businesses to ensure tradespeople and others removing rubbish have a waste carrier's licence.

Somerset's councils have launched a series of prosecutions against offenders, who have received fines and costs that total hundreds of pounds.

And new sentencing guidelines from this week could mean harsher penalties, including jail terms and £3million fines for the worst offenders.

The MoU was negotiated by West Somerset Council community safety officer Peter Hughes, who said: "The extra intelligence provided by the police and their support in arresting suspects are powerful tools to use in combating fly-tipping."

Insp Nic Crocker, the police's Somerset area operational lead for anti-social behaviour, said: “This memorandum demonstrates that the police will support local authorities in investigating breaches of environment protection legislation, providing resources and technical assistance. "Potential offenders should be on notice that their anti-social activity, focused on quick profit, will not be tolerated. The damage caused and the impact it has on communities affected is unacceptable."


Duty-of-care prosecutions: June - Leanne Beard, 24, of Pixton Way, Dulverton, fined £50 with £30 costs and £20 victim surcharge; May - Nicola Watson, 34, of Sunnymead, Bridgwater, fined £73 with £20 victim surcharge and £95 costs; February - Wayne Clapp, 33, of Catalan Way, North Petherton, fined £150 with £20 victim surcharge.

Fly-tipping prosecutions: April - van driver Florin Marcel Lacatusu, 33, of Rockwell Green, Wellington, fined £600 with £150 costs and £60 victim surcharge for dumping rubbish into a nature reserve; January - Leon Stevens, 38, of St John's Road, Frome, conditional discharge with £250 costs; November 2013, Yvonne Rutherford, Lisieux Way, Taunton, fine and costs totalled £397.

*Information supplied by Somerset Waste Partnership.