No prosecutions or fines issued despite 38% rise in fly tipping across Harrogate

Fly tipping in Harrogate
Fly tipping in Harrogate

No prosecutions or fines were issued for fly tipping across the Harrogate district this year despite there being 425 recorded instances.

At a Full Council meeting on Wednesday, December 7, Harrogate Borough Council revealed that the amount of fly tipping issues reported to them had risen by 38 per cent.

Despite the “massive increase” in incidents, Coun Michael Harrison, cabinet member for Environment, Waste Reduction and Recycling admitted that no prosecutions or fines had been issued.

Coun Harrison explained that the majority of incidents reported were so minor that they were not worth the council’s time or money to investigate fully.

However, when the council could make a “reasonable judgement” about who was responsible, Coun Harrison stressed that the council will investigate further to identify the individual.

He said: “Some of these incidents could include a bag of garden waste and there is no way of identifying where it came from.

“Occasionally we will get an incident where we can make a reasonable judgement to identify the individual and we will look into those in more detail.

"Last year we decided that just under 30 of these incidents were worth investigating but there comes a point where it is not worthwhile trying to seek a prosecution.”

Coun Harrison revealed that the council had investigated a fly tipping incident in Leathley where waste the “size of a lorry” was dumped.

The council investigated the incident and found a number of identifying items but, after contacting waste removal companies, were unable to find a consistent link.

Although no convictions or fines have been issued, the cost of fly tipping to the council was just £28k and Coun Harrison said this must be considered when deciding whether to investigate.

He said: “If you compare the cost to employing staff to work on enforcement cases you will far exceed this £28k and you will still have to deal with the fly tipping.

“Where we think it’s gone too far we will look into it but we are not going to waste tax payers’ money on something futile. However, a lack of prosecution does not mean we don’t take it seriously and we won’t seek those that commit this crime in the future.”