A VAN believed to have been used for fly tipping has been seized in Darlington.

Civic enforcement officers for Darlington Borough Council seized the green Ford Transit tipper in William Street on Thursday.

It was seized under rules which allow officers to do so if they have a "reasonable belief" it was used in fly tipping – in this case in Haydock Drive.

A notification has been posted on the council’s website, allowing 15 days for a valid claim to be made for the vehicle to be returned. If the vehicle is not claimed it will be crushed.

Investigations are continuing in relation to the individuals responsible.

Anna Willey, civic enforcement manager, said: “We hope this sends a strong warning to all those involved in the illegal fly tipping of waste. We are watching and we will use every power available to us if you are caught, including prosecution and the seizure of vehicles.”

She added: “We would remind residents or businesses who use an independent waste carrier that they must always ask to see the operator’s waste carrier licence, as issued by the Environment Agency, and the relevant waste transfer notes.

"This is important because if residents make the mistake of employing an unscrupulous operator and their waste is dumped illegally - they too are committing an offence and could face a large fine.

“Householders should be particularly wary of businesses that only operate through social media and do not seem to have a landline phone number or business address.

"They should also be wary of anyone coming to their door offering to take away rubbish on the cheap.”

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