Fly-tippers “putting lives at risk” by blocking road

Fly-tippers have been accused of putting lives at risk after a road had to be closed after being blocked by rubbish.

The criminals completely blocked Shavard’s Lane in Meonstoke on Monday with illegal waste, including wood with nails sticking out and what is believed to be asbestos.

The road was then closed by Winchester City Council ahead of the waste being cleaned up at a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of pounds.

One local resident said: “These criminals are despicable. If an ambulance or fire engine needed to get through they wouldn’t be able to and delays for emergency service vehicles can cost lives. Then there’s the inconvenience to local people and the cost to everyone to clear it up.”

Fly-tipping hit a record 1.1 million cases in 2020/21, but the number of prosecutions and court fines fell by half over the same period – with just two in every 1,000 offences resulting in punishment.

Locally, Winchester City Council had more than 2,000 cases of fly-tipping but issued just six fines, of which only two were paid, and it successfully prosecuted just two offenders.

Martin Montague, founder of the free fly-tipping reporting app said: “Britain is sinking under a sea of filth. We need higher fines, the vehicles of offenders crushed or confiscated and prison terms for persistent waste criminals.”

But data obtained by ClearWaste reveals that three in five local authorities failed to carry out a single prosecution last year for fly-tipping, while one in five issued no fixed penalty notices at all.

“The fact that so many local authorities issue no fines or and prosecute no waste criminals at all is appalling and sends out the message that fly-tippers can operate in those areas with impunity,” says Martin.