STRIKING data has revealed no prosecutions have taken place for fly-tipping offences in Darlington for two years, despite a year-on-year increase in reports.

Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal 3,267 reports of fly-tipping were reported to Darlington Borough Council between July 1 2020 and June 30 2021. That is an increase of 123 on the previous year and 384 for the same period in 2018-2019.

Data also reveals 20 people were prosecuted for fly-tipping in Darlington between July 1 2018 and June 30 2019, but nobody has been prosecuted in the town since.

The increase in sly-tipping comes at a six-figure cost for the council, as more than £690,000 was spent removing fly-tipped waste in the past three years.

The council spent £253,034 on removing waste in the past year, compared to £243,615 the previous year and £199,953 two years ago.

READ MORE: Revealed: Top 10 Darlington fly-tipping hotspots 

Greenbank Road, near Darlington Memorial Hospital, has been identified as the place where the most fly-tipping has been reported in the past three years.

Hundens Lane and George Street, near Darlington railway station, were also identified as key areas for fly-tipped wasted in the town.

Councillor Sajna Ali’s Northgate ward covers Greenbank Road, and she said she regularly receives calls from residents to report fly-tipping.

She said: “We get a lot of reports but they are deal with promptly.

“Just the other day I got a call from a resident saying ‘we can see someone right this minute dumping a load of stuff’.”

The Northern Echo:

Councillor Ali said she continues to work with the council’s Street Scene team to improve the image of the area.

“We’re going to put skips in certain areas in Northgate to provide residents with somewhere to dispose of long-standing waste,” she said.

“A dedicated officer has been appointed to specifically deal with fly-tipping. There will be patrols from enforcement officers. It’s important to say that when someone books a business to take away their rubbish that they make sure it is licensed and registered.”

Also included in the list of shame are Snipe Lane, West Auckland Road, Neasham Road, Pensbury Street, Eldon Street, Westmoreland Street, and Whitby Way.

The council can issue fixed penalty notices of up to £400 to anyone caught.

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, deputy leader of Darlington Borough Council said the authority is “working hard to tackle this issue”.

He said: “We work closely with the police and our Civic Enforcement Officers to regularly investigate incidents to track down those responsible. We currently have six cases waiting to go through the courts, which have been delayed due to a backlog caused by the pandemic.

“In recent months we have also seized and crushed a vehicle that was used for fly-tipping and have issued five fixed penalty notice fines, of £400 each, for fly-tipping.

“We have also recently employed a member of staff to focus on improving the hot spots for fly-tipping and back lanes. This is a key area of focus for the council and comes at a time when household waste has also increased by around 18 per cent during the pandemic.

“We would urge residents and businesses to play their part and let us know.”

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