Liverpool City Council has crushed a van seized which is suspected of being involved in flytipping.
The white Ford Luton style box vehicle was taken last month as part of a joint operation with Merseyside Police using relatively new legislation under the Environmental Protection Act which allows the local authority to destroy vehicles that are thought to have been used in waste crimes.
The seizure is the latest move in a concerted effort by the city council to tackle illegal dumping and find those responsible. It has seen a doubling of the number of staff with four new teams working every day to clear rubbish and find those responsible. Covert cameras are being installed at fly tipping hot spots which it’s expected will see more vehicles seized and cubed in coming months.
VIDEO: Watch the van being crushed by Liverpool City Council
Earlier this year, two serial fly-tippers who were caught dumping tonnes of illegal trade waste, including asbestos, yards from a children’s dance school were jailed and had their vehicle crushed following a surveillance operation by the council and Merseyside Police.
Cllr Steve Munby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Neighbourhoods said: “Flytipping is a serious crime which blights our city, so if we suspect you are involved in environmental crime, we will seize your vehicle and crush it.
“We investigate all information that we receive in relation to fly tipping and use covert cameras to gather evidence against perpetrators. Anyone who has details about fly tipping can contact our Street Scene team in confidence on 0151 233 3001, and you don’t have to give your name or contact details.
“Residents should also be aware that if you use a man and van to dispose of your waste, make sure it’s someone who is properly licensed by the Environment Agency otherwise you could be prosecuted as well. Ask for a receipt, make a note of the time, date and registration of their vehicle.
“We have excellent facilities for residents who want to dispose of most unwanted household items either via our Bulky Bob service or at one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.”
Sgt Phil Cowin from Merseyside Police said: “Merseyside Police will work with our partners to identify and take positive action against people involved in Environmental Crime.
“Fly tippers are often members and associates of larger organised criminal gangs, the money earned funds other criminal activity. Their mess creates an environment which encourages other forms of criminality and anti-social behaviour resulting in areas where people avoid.
“Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council work together to deliver an effective response to catch offenders and deter future activity.”
The council is to set up an environmental crime hotline for people to report issues and the possibility of a financial reward if their information leads to a prosecution, as well as action against late night takeaways that don’t clear litter from around their premises.
Street-cleaning currently costs Liverpool council tax payers £8.5 million per year and last year more than 6,500 tonnes of waste was collected from street cleansing rounds.