THE subject of fines for fly-tipping has been all over the media recently.

I have to deal with fly-tipping on a daily basis and have no sympathy at all for the perpetrators but, fines are next to futile in the fly-tipping war.

Redcar & Cleveland Council may have handed out 100 plus fines last year but, depending on which statistics you believe, the number of cases of illegal dumping surpassed that figure by 10, 20, or even 30-fold.

Loading article content

In these circumstances, miscreants know they are extremely unlikely to be caught.

Almost 200 years ago, Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the Metropolitan Police, realised that potential offenders are deterred, not by the severity of the punishment, but by the certainty of apprehension.

Applied to fly-tipping, this means that the new £400 fines are no deterrent because perpetrators are virtually sure to get away with the offence.

To clean up our area and reduce our borough’s £250,000 bill for the collection of fly-tipping, we need more recycling centres where all items are accepted free of charge.

In the present circumstances, fines are a rubbish policy that will never work.

Steve Kay, Redcar & Cleveland Councillor