The Government is currently trialling a new Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan across 10 policing areas in the United Kingdom which will expand to the whole of the country in 2024. The plan sees an increase in the maximum value of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) that can be issued to those breaking the law by fly-tipping or littering. Under the new law, those caught littering can be fined up to £500 and fly tipping up to £1,000. However, if prosecuted, there is an unlimited fine and the risk of a prison sentence.
MBC will be following the new ASB plan and is continuing with its zero-tolerance approach to waste crime. The Council’s team will be seeking to seize and destroy vehicles used for fly-tipping and a decision about the increasing the value of FPNs will be taken by the Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Cllr Patrik Garten, in September who said:
Fly-tipping and littering are extremely anti-social, are a blight on our beautiful borough and have an environmental and economic impact on the community of Maidstone.
We want to stamp out this behaviour and our Waste Crime Team is doing all it can to reduce the impact this has on the people of Maidstone. They will do this by way of enforcement action and issue fixed penalty notices when needed.
In certain circumstances if they know that they are repeat offenders or when they’ve profited from collecting waste and illegally deposing of it they will use all their powers and look to prosecute through the courts.
The Government ASB Action Plan states: Local authorities will play an important role in tackling anti-social behaviour through prevention and enforcement using the range of powers and tools available to them.
We have helped local authorities combat fly-tipping by introducing fixed penalty notices and strengthening their powers to stop, search and seize the vehicles of suspected fly-tippers. We have also consulted on preventing householders from being charged to get rid of DIY waste to help ensure people dispose of their waste in a responsible way, encourage recycling and reduce the risk of fly-tipping.
Litter, graffiti and fly-tipping make our neighbourhoods look and feel ugly and neglected. Dumping unwanted furniture and dirty mattresses in alleyways, chucking food wrappers and cigarette packets in the street, and spraying shopfronts or statues with graffiti are acts of vandalism or neglect borne of disrespect for others and our environment. Perpetrators should face consequences.
If anyone sees an offence being committed they are asked to report it on the Maidstone Borough Council website: www.maidstone.gov.uk