face higher fines from July 1st in the Burnham-On-Sea area
Fly-tippers in the Burnham-On-Sea area face higher fines from
the start of July, it has emerged this week.
New guidelines for fly-tipping will come into force in all Somerset
courts from 1st July which could mean far higher penalties for
the worst offenders.
National guidelines for fly-tipping and other environmental crimes
have been drawn up by the Sentencing Council after a review concluded
that fines were too low in some cases and did not reflect the
gravity of the offences committed.
The new guidelines could lead to jail terms and penalties of
up to £3million for the most serious cases, with lower level
criminals facing fines or community sentences.
Amid concerted action by to tackle fly-tipping, Somerset's magistrates
have consulted about the new guidelines in recent cases before
imposing fines, surcharges and costs.
Council member and magistrate Katharine Rainsford said the guidelines
"ensure that sentences hit offenders in their pocket"
as "these crimes are normally about making or saving money
at the expense of the taxpayer."
She added: "They also undermine law-abiding businesses in
the waste management industry who are contributing to economic
growth. Illegal disposal of hazardous waste not only causes damage
to the environment but puts peoples health at risk as well."
Assisted by the new sentencing guidelines, the latest efforts
by Sedgemoor District Council in the Burnham area to clamp down
on fly-tippers include extra equipment, additional warning signs,
close police liaison, and further training for enforcement officers.
Further Somerset prosecutions for fly-tipping and duty-of-care
failures when refuse taken by others is dumped because
householders or businesses did not check they were licensed to
carry waste are expected in the coming weeks and months.
The new guidelines apply to individuals aged 18 and older and
organisations sentenced on or after 1 July 2014, regardless of
the date of the offence. They cover a range of waste disposal
offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental
Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Details of all recycling sites, their opening hours and the materials
they take can be found on Burnham-On-Sea.com or by calling Somerset
Direct on 0845 3459188.