COMMUNITY safety chiefs have stressed they are doing ‘a lot of proactive work’ to tackle fly-tipping in Hartlepool after figures showed incidents are on the rise.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s contact centre has received 1,790 fly-tipping reports from April to September this year, rising from 1,079 during the same period last year, an increase of around 65 per cent.

Council chiefs noted the reports of fly-tipping also relate to side waste, such as additional black bags not placed in wheelie bins, left in back alleys.

This is as well as the more “traditional” reports of larger household items, such as mattresses and furniture, being dumped in more rural parts of the town.

Rachel Parker, Community Safety Team leader, speaking at the latest Safer Hartlepool Partnership meeting, said a lot of work is being put in to try and tackle the issue in the borough.

She said: “The Hartlepool Community Safety Team is doing a lot of proactive work around identifying perpetrators and patrolling areas and encouraging the public to let us know through the council’s contact centre when they are identifying sites where rubbish has been fly-tipped.

“We’ve recently had a successful conviction at court where a hefty fine was issued in relation to an individual from Hartlepool.”

Earlier this month a Hartlepool resident was landed with a court bill of almost £2,500 after being convicted of dumping a pile of rubbish in a back alley in the Dyke House area.

Council chiefs welcomed the court’s action and said they hope it will act as a deterrent to others.

A report to the Safer Hartlepool Partnership showed from April to June this year there were 798 reports of fly-tipping to the council, a rise of 281 incidents, and 54% compared to the same period last year.

From July to September there were a further 992 reports of fly-tipping, a rise of 430 compared to the 562 recorded in the same period last year.

This also represented a 24% increase compared to the first quarter of the financial year.

It comes after councillors raised concerns over fly-tipping in the town at September’s Full Council meeting, which saw reports of dozens of tyres being dumped.

Councillors also raised concerns over potential rat problems due to ‘at least 80 black bags’ being left in a backyard in the town.

Council chiefs said a lot is being done to tackle the issue, including the formation of a working group, targeting hot spots, and a campaign is planned to help address the issue.