A VILLAGE is facing a wave of fly-tipping and are starting to take measures into their own hands to clean up.

The residents in the village of Hunwick have noticed an increase in flytipping during the lockdown.

Recently, a TV, a vacuum cleaner and numerous bags full of rubbish were dumped on a back lane, frequented by walkers.

Resident of the village Dennis Ebdon said: “We need to tackle the cause not the symptom, no one seems to have been taken to task about it.

"Why not position camera in areas with high frequency fly tipping.

"I don’t think the £60 fine is a good enough deterrent because sometimes it costs more to get rid of it legally than the fine itself.

“I think our MP, Richard Holden, should say what he going to do about it then do what he says, we need to see some action. We need to be proactive not reactive."

This has lead to many in the village banding together to do litter picks, with the next one being Sunday December 13, at 10am.

The figures for prosecutions of fly-tipping between 2018-2019 were revealed in a Freedom of Information request to Durham Constabulary.

In 2018 only one ticket was issued for the offence of depositing and leaving litter, which was £60 and the location was on the A688 in Bishop Auckland.

There were no tickets issued in 2019.

Richard Holden MP for North West Durham said: “I’m sick to the back teeth of fly-tipping in my constituency damaging the environment and making people’s lives a misery.

"I’m constantly in touch with Durham County Council about this issue but it’s clear that much more needs to be done in terms of both enforcement and making proper disposal easier across North West Durham.

"I’ve written to the Council urging them to look at re-open the tip Stony Heap, am happy to meet them to discuss a way forward at their convenience for the benefit of local people.”

Durham County Councillor for Hunwick Fraser Tinsley said: “Enviro-crime like fly tipping is a scourge on our communities.

"It’s why the Council are investing £500,000 in new 11 new Neighbourhood Wardens to help stop it." We can’t have a warden or camera on every corner.

“We need everybody to help make this socially unacceptable like drink driving.

“We also need the courts to issue meaningful fines so when the council prosecute offenders, the fines are meaningful and at least more than the fly-tippers avoid committing the crime and more than it cost the council to prosecute them.

"The cost to us Council Tax payers of cleaning this up is huge.

"Fines for the criminals need to be higher."

Fellow County Councillor Olwyn Gunn said: "If some people think flytipping is okay I urge them to think again. It’s a serious crime.

"It makes our community ugly and dangerous when resident volunteers spend time making it beautiful and safe."

"Durham County Council has taken successful prosecutions to Court so don’t do it and if you see it report it."