Tag Archives: vandalism

Fly Tipping: What You Should Know About This Environmental Offence

At first glance, fly tipping may not seem as problematic as getting harassed by your landlord or living with incredibly noisy neighbours. But, if you look closer, you’ll see that it’s actually a serious environmental crime that can lead to several consequences. For one thing, it can pollute the air, land, and water (particularly if hazardous waste is dumped), exposing you and your family to various illnesses. If left unattended, it can even promote the growth of crime and lead to the degradation of your neighbourhood!

What is fly tipping?

Fly tipping refers to the act of illegally dumping of waste on any land as well as to the act of dumping waste material on land that’s not allowed to accept it. Dumping waste in lay-bys, verges, back alleyways, public highways, and farmland counts as fly tipping, along with placing items by litter bins or recycling bins. Fly tipping is usually committed by homeowners who wish to avoid the hassle of properly disposing of bulky rubbish as well as those who simply don’t know that fly tipping is illegal. It’s also committed by rogue traders who collect waste for cash from homeowners and shop owners then illegally dispose of them. Fly tipping has become a huge problem in the UK. You’ll see or hear about fly tipping cases in many parts of the country almost every day. Some local authorities don’t seem to care too much about this problem, responding to only a few reports and generally allowing illegally dumped rubbish to languish for days or weeks. Others, meanwhile, have a stricter approach and make it a priority to catch and persecute fly tippers ASAP.

What can you do about fly tipping?

First of all, don’t be a fly tipper! Just because some people do it doesn’t mean you should. Remember: if you get caught fly tipping, you’ll have to pay hundreds or thousands of pounds in fines, court costs, and victim surcharges, and you may even end up in prison. If you want to dispose of large or bulky items, contact your local authorities and ask if they have a bulky waste collection service. If they don’t, you can use a reputable private contractor to dispose of your waste. Of course, be vigilant about fly tipping in your community.

If you notice someone illegally dumping waste, you’ll need to report them to your local council. Make sure to take note of the date, time, and location of the incident, the type of waste that was dumped, the name of the perpetrator (if you know them), and the registration number of the vehicle used by the perpetrator. Your local authorities should act right away but, if they don’t, make sure to follow up your request ASAP. Don’t wait too long, particularly during summer since the heat will make biodegradable waste go bad quickly and release an offensive smell.

Also, leaving illegally dumped waste unattended for long can contribute to the broken-window effect, which means your neighbourhood gets less desirable over time and becomes a breeding ground for more serious crimes. If your local council ignores your request, you and your neighbours can start a petition. Doing this can be helpful since it shows the authorities that many people have noticed the problem and are looking for a solution. You can go to www.asbhelp.co.uk/petition to find tips on making a petition.

Our Hands are Tied

The residents have been told that because the group are all about 10 years old their hands are tied.

A large group of around ten children ageing from 8-12 have been climbing into people’s gardens, removing children’s toys/bikes and dumping them on the road and the cricket pitch in a Devonshire town. They climb over cars, hitting fences, bins and public seats with metal poles, all accompanied by swearing and shouting.

“I have gone from enjoying my new home over the past 5 months to the stage where I’m now embarrassed to have people visit. My friends will now often walk as they don’t want to risk damage to their cars. I find myself constantly having to get children out of my garden and now cannot upgrade my garden as planned for fear it will attract them more when I’m away with work. I cannot relax when I get home because of the noise of swearing and I’m constantly fearful of damage to my car/property.” ‘Katya’ explains. “I first tried reasoning with two children that climbed into my garden and explained how they could damage stuff and that they would understand when they were older.

By the morning I noticed they had kicked a hole in my fence and dumped a bin of rubbish all over the road. I and several other residents have on different occasions called 101 and have been told they would send a police car around to talk to us and move the children away. This has not happened!”

Katya’s neighbour wrote to the Police Complaints Commission and within a week got a response. Two PCSO officers went to his house. They were shown video of the disruptive behaviour and they recognised many of the children from an estate about a mile away but unfortunately they are known to the police and due to their age they can’t really act. The residents have been told that because the group are all about 10 years old their hands are tied. Even if they continue to climb over cars into gardens if they don’t actually damage anything then it’s just trespass and noise. They have been rightly told that noise is dealt with by the council and not the police.

I and several other residents have on different occasions called 101 and have been told they would send a police car around to talk to us and move the children away. This has not happened!” Katya’s neighbour wrote to the Police Complaints Commission and within a week got a response. Two PCSO officers went to his house. They were shown video of the disruptive behaviour and they recognised many of the children from an estate about a mile away but unfortunately they are known to the police and due to their age they can’t really act. The residents have been told that because the group are all about 10 years old their hands are tied. Even if they continue to climb over cars into gardens if they don’t actually damage anything then it’s just trespass and noise. They have been rightly told that noise is dealt with by the council and not the police.

Our Comments

It is difficult to read Katya’s story and see this situation unresolved. She has done everything right – first of all attempting to speak to the children directly, then when the problems continued, reporting them. She mentions what the other residents have been told and it sounds like they have discussed the problem together.

The fact that they have been given explanations from the Police indicates that they have been listened to and been given reasons why nothing is being done. Yet can it be right that someone has gone from enjoying their new home to feeling embarrassed to have visitors, unable to relax for the noise and fear of damage to property and vehicles? It seems to us that there is a whole area where anti-social behaviour can be very difficult to address – where the perpetrators are themselves vulnerable. Young children, older people, those struggling with mental health problems, people where there is a concern by agencies of discrimination due to race, disability or sexuality.

Perhaps the missing link here is what other work is being done with the perpetrators. For this group of 10 year olds there is no mention of the parents. If they are known to the police, is work being done with these children to change their behaviour? Is there hope for Katya and her neighbours that the behaviour will stop? We sincerely hope so as such behaviour should not have to be tolerated.

She has done everything right – first of all attempting to speak to the children directly, then when the problems continued, reporting them. She mentions what the other residents have been told and it sounds like they have discussed the problem together. The fact that they have been given explanations from the Police indicates that they have been listened to and been given reasons why nothing is being done. Yet can it be right that someone has gone from enjoying their new home to feeling embarrassed to have visitors, unable to relax for the noise and fear of damage to property and vehicles?

It seems to us that there is a whole area where anti-social behaviour can be very difficult to address – where the perpetrators are themselves vulnerable. Young children, older people, those struggling with mental health problems, people where there is a concern by agencies of discrimination due to race, disability or sexuality. Perhaps the missing link here is what other work is being done with the perpetrators. For this group of 10 year olds there is no mention of the parents. If they are known to the police, is work being done with these children to change their behaviour? Is there hope for Katya and her neighbours that the behaviour will stop? We sincerely hope so as such behaviour should not have to be tolerated.

Parking Angst

Vandalism started a year ago after a parking dispute with neighbours who live across the road from me and have several vehicles of their own.” 52 year old woman, living alone.

A 52 year old woman living on her own has told her story of how a parking dispute has escalated out of hand. She has lived in her house for 20 years and over that time has had people parking on the grass verge outside her house. Her technique has been to talk to neighbours who do this or put polite notes under the windscreen asking them not to park on the grass. With this current family, they were parking 2 cars at a time on the grass making a real mess of the verge. When they didn’t respond to her request, she parked her own car in front of her house (rather than on the drive) to prevent them doing so.

Vandalism started a year ago after a parking dispute with neighbours who live across the road from me and have several vehicles of their own.”

Such vandalism has included nails in her tyres and windscreen wipers being pulled off. The worst effect for the victim is that she is now paranoid about what they will do and has had to spend good money further protecting herself – eg. a gate to stop anyone getting round the back as she is concerned for the welfare of her pets, and security lighting.

She is determined not to be bullied but without hard evidence there is little that can be done. This is a difficult situation and shows how a dispute can escalate and take over.