Sunday 21 July 2024
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Nottingham

Police operation targets vehicle safety and fly-tipping in Nottinghamshire

Police and partner agencies took to the roads as part of an operation to clamp down on illegal waste carriers and fly-tippers.

The operation saw officers from the Newark and Sherwood neighbourhood policing team, Newark and Sherwood District Council, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the Environment Agency team up in a bid to clamp down on those breaking the law.

Using both marked and unmarked cars, officers took to the roads around Newark stopping those carrying waste including tree cuttings and scrap metal.

Officers from the DVSA were also on hand to weigh vehicles for going over the prohibited weight carrying limit.

In total the successful operation, held on Monday (22 May), saw 12 vehicles being stopped ranging from transit vans, skip lorries, trailers and flatbed trucks.

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Five drivers were issued with fixed penalty notices and one vehicle was seized due to having no MOT.

One driver even admitted to carrying waste for 25 years without the correct licence.

Officers also pulled over one van after spotting a young child travelling without a seatbelt on and gave advice to other drivers about the importance of making sure documents, insurance and licences are up to date to be able to travel with waste in their possession.

Any business that transports any kind of waste, whether that’s simply to carry it from one place to another, or whether it’s to buy, sell or dispose of waste (or arrange for someone else to do it), needs a waste carriers’ licence.

Some common waste items include gardening cuttings, animal or agricultural waste, leftovers from hospitality cooking, the contents of residential or commercial skips and, of course, even cars heading to the scrap yard.

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste and this often involves dumping large items rather than disposing of them legally at a household waste and recycling centre of commercial site.

All incidents of fly-tipping in a public place should be reported to your local borough or district council or to the Environment Agency for more large-scale fly-tipping including lorries dumping large amounts of waste.

Chief Inspector Heather Maelor, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This partnership operation forms one of many that we are carrying out as part of our efforts to crack down on rural crime and tackle issues that the people of our rural communities feel really strongly about.

“Operations like this mean we are showing our presence on the roads but also reassuring communities that we are aware of problems and are doing everything in our power to clamp down on those who believe they can break the law.

“With the help of our partners from the council, DVSA and the Environment Agency we were able to spend the morning really cracking down on those fly-tipping and people without the correct waste carrying licences – issues that we know are so important to the farming communities.

“Joint operations like this are so important because not only are we building relationships with our partners but also showing the public and those breaking the law or believing they can get away with causing havoc for our rural areas that it’s not just the police taking a strong stance on this, it’s a wider matter that’s being targeted by other organisations.

“We know that rural crime has no borders whether it’s fuel theft, issues with quad and off-road bikes, plant theft, hare coursing or fly-tipping. These issues aren’t going unnoticed, we are listening, we are acting and operations like this will only continue.

“You may not always see a marked police car but we are watching and will be there to catch anyone found to be causing issues for the rural communities of Nottinghamshire.”

The operation is just one of many taking place across the rural communities as the force renews its commitment to policing rural and wildlife matters.

Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry has made funding available to bolster policing resources as part of her bid to get tough on criminals blighting rural communities.

Commissioner Henry said: “It is clear from listening to the concerns residents in rural communities have raised with me that fly tipping has blighted our rural areas for too long. That is why we are working with our partners to respond to these concerns and there is a crackdown on fly tipping by taking to the road to monitor vehicles.”

Councillor Roger Jackson, portfolio holder for Cleaner, Safer, Greener, said: “Working together with our partners on operations such as this is a great way to make the most of the resources we all offer.

“Fly-tipping blights our community and cracking down on those who don’t have the correct waste licences is extremely important in the fight to reduce cases of waste being illegally dumped.

“Operations such as this are not only done to benefit the environment and local community, they are also important for residents who do abide by the law by attaining the correct waste licences, and who may be unfairly undercut by those who do not.”

As part of the plan to tackle rural crime, this money will also be used to invest in new state-of-the-art equipment to ensure officers have the tools they need. This will include new drones, off-road motorbikes, fixed and mobile automatic number plate recognition cameras in rural locations, thermal imaging goggles and 4×4 vehicles.

Alex Sutton, enforcement officer for the Environment Agency, said: “We had a successful day working with Nottinghamshire Police, the DVSA and Newark and Sherwood District Council, carrying out waste carrier licence checks from a number of locations in Newark.

“As a result, five fixed-penalty notices have been issued for drivers who failed to have a waste carrier licence or a scrap metal dealer licence. We also helped to carry out a clean-up operation after a vehicle carrying damaged food frying equipment leaked oil onto the road.

“Anyone who is carrying waste needs to have a licence to do so. We also ask members of the public to ensure they only use registered waste carriers to take their waste away.”

DVSA’s Director of Enforcement, Marian Kitson, said: “DVSA’s priority is protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

“We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with other agencies to achieve a better road safety outcome, and thank Nottinghamshire Police, Environment Agency and Newark and Sherwood District Council for their collaboration during this operation.

“We want to remind local vehicle operators of their duty to ensure their vehicles are well maintained and safely loaded to keep local Newark and Sherwood road users safe”.

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