Northumberland County Council has become one of the first councils in the country to use new legislation to tackle fly-tippers on the spot.
Councils can now issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for fly-tipping to help tackle the problem more effectively. Previously, offenders could only be prosecuted through the courts, which can be costly, time-consuming and often involve lengthy investigations.
The new powers were introduced nationwide this week under The Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016 and the county council’s environmental enforcement team made quick use of the new powers by issuing a £200 FPN to a Lynemouth man for tipping four bags of garden waste onto a grass verge just 25 yards from his house.
Deputy business chairman, Coun Liz Simpson, said: "Fly-tipping is an eyesore and a serious public health risk for our residents. It is not a harmless crime - it costs the taxpayer money to deal with, inconveniences the public and is a blight on our beautiful countryside.
"It is unfortunate that a small minority of individuals can act irresponsibly and antisocially, but this new legislation means we can take effective action quickly. We are committed to protecting and improving our local environment and continue to have a zero-tolerance policy towards such behaviour."
Along with enforcement, the council continues to take a more proactive approach in raising awareness of litter issues through educational initiatives such as the Love Northumberland Hate Litter campaign, which targets litter hot-spots throughout the county and challenges the behaviour of people who litter.