Vehicle Owner Fined in Flytipping Offence
A South Tyneside resident has been ordered to pay more than £1200 after his vehicle was used to fly tip waste in the Borough.
Robin David Smith, aged 62, of Ernest Street, Boldon Colliery, was prosecuted as the owner of the vehicle that was used to illegally abandon waste in a lane behind Frederick Street, Laygate, in May last year.
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard that the distinctive van had been caught on CCTV being used to carry, and fly-tip, the waste. The vehicle had also been linked to a series of other flytipping incidents which had occurred across the Borough.
Investigating officers from South Tyneside Council's Environmental Enforcement Team traced the vehicle to registered keeper Robin David Smith, who was warned that the vehicle would be seized if incidents continued. The van was subsequently seized in June last year.
The court heard that during an interview under caution, Smith admitted he was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence in May, but said he was not the individual responsible for flytipping the waste and had no knowledge of it happening.
Smith was prosecuted under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, as being responsible for the vehicle involved in the flytipping offence.
Smith pleaded guilty in court. He was fined £600 and ordered to pay an additional £600 in costs as well as a £65 victim surcharge.
The Council applied for an order that the seized vehicle be forfeit, which the court granted. The vehicle will now be destroyed.
A Council spokesperson said: "Flytipping blights our communities, not to mention the detrimental impact it has on the environment and the risk it poses to the public and wildlife. It is also one of the key issues on which our residents quite rightly want to see action taken.
"We do all we can to identify those responsible for flytipping in our Borough and will use all the legal powers available to us to help tackle it. This includes pursuing the keepers of vehicles that are found to have been used in environmental crimes.
"We hope that the seizure of the vehicle, and subsequent prosecution, will act as a stark warning to any drivers tempting to illegally deposit waste. They not only risk a criminal conviction; they could lose their vehicle too.
"We hope that the seizure of the vehicle, and subsequent prosecution, will act as a stark warning to any drivers tempted to illegally dispose of waste. They not only risk a criminal conviction; they could lose their vehicle too.
"The Council spends more than £2m a year keeping the Borough clean and tidy with the illegal disposal of waste placing an additional burden on taxpayers."
To report fly-tipping, contact the Council's Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000. All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence. Alternatively Report It online via the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit
For further information about the safe and responsible disposal of waste, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling