Fly-tipping Enforcement Policy

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7. Enforcement actions

There is a wide range of advice, guidance and enforcement actions available to the Council which range from those intended to inform and support those it regulates, to formal legal proceedings with the potential for a financial or custodial penalty. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

Advice and guidance

(a) Verbal and written advice

  • The Council will use advice on compliance, guidance and support where appropriate and will seek to do so in appropriate circumstances, at the Council’s discretion. The objective of this action is to assist individuals and businesses to comply without the need to resort to more formal action.

Formal enforcement actions

(a) Fixed penalty notices (FPNs)

Where the Council believes a business or an individual is in breach of certain legislation, it may issue a financial penalty requiring that business or individual to pay the Council within a specified period. There will normally be a period for an appeal should that business or individual disagree with the penalty. If the appeal is unsuccessful and the penalty is not paid, enforcement action in a criminal court or a civil debt recovery process will normally follow.

The Council may increase the penalty in default and may take action for the recovery of unpaid penalties.

A penalty notice will not normally be issued to a person under the age of 17 years.

(b) Simple cautions

A Simple Caution may be offered as an alternative to prosecution for some less serious offences, or for first time offences, to a business or individual where there is a realistic prospect of conviction, and where that business or individual has admitted the offence. Where a Simple Caution is declined, a prosecution will normally be instituted.

(c) Seizure

Relevant legislation allows the Council to seize vehicles, goods, equipment, documents or other articles required as evidence in potential court proceedings. Where goods are seized, we will give the person whom they are seized from a receipt.

(d) Notices under Section 108 Environment Act 1995

Notices under s.108 of the Environment Act 1995 can be used to gather information when an officer believes a member of the public holds and will help in the investigation of a potential criminal offence. It is a criminal offence not to respond to a request for information under this section. A Notice sent will ask specific questions and allow a period of time for the recipient to respond in writing to the request for information in the Notice e.g. the name of the driver of a vehicle on a specific occasion, the name of the person the waste was passed to. The Notice must specify that if the recipient does not respond within the time period allowed, they will be prosecuted.

When serving a Notice under these powers the officer executing the power will produce evidence of their authority to exercise the power at the time of service.

The Council may also uses powers under s.108 EA 1995 when inviting a member of the public to an interview under caution and may consider prosecution action against those who refuse to attend or ignore requests to attend.

(e) Prosecution

A prosecution will result in a criminal record, and may result in a fine or, in the case of more serious offences, a prison sentence, community service and/or some other penalty as the court may decide. Buckinghamshire Council will seek full cost recovery, including officer time, legal costs and any clearance costs incurred, and will always prosecute where appropriate and proportionate to do so.

(f) Restraint and confiscation proceedings

Where a business or an individual has enjoyed substantial financial gain as a result of criminal activity, the Council may seek to prevent the access to assets, such as bank accounts, property and investments and may seek confiscation of those assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.