New drive to tackle Fly-Tipping in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire Constabulary, together with Hertfordshire County Council and the County’s ten District and Borough Councils have agreed to work together to combat the scourge of fly-tipping.
Work has been continuing as part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s vision outlined in his Police and Crime Plan, Everybody’s Business 2015-2020 to respond to concerns raised by the public to address fly-tipping across the county.
Key changes include a single definition of fly tipping, a standardised recording process, easier reporting, a single point of contact in each district, and additional funding to create a countywide approach that tackles the issue more efficiently.
One of the partner organisations is the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) in Hertfordshire. OPCC Head of Policy and Engagement, Dr Amie Birkhamshaw, said: “Fly-tipping is one of those issues raised most frequently to the Commissioner. It is something which blights many communities but which we can only tackle effectively when all the relevant agencies work together. I am pleased to see that we have a united front in Hertfordshire and that as a result we are now better able to deal with it.”
Work to date has seen statutory partner agencies from across all of Hertfordshire’s ten districts and boroughs and the County Council come to an agreement on a countywide definition for fly-tipping which is in line with the National Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) guidelines.
A single countywide definition will assist and support with future strategic planning, enabling a countywide view on evidencing, mapping and analysing the extent of the problem, and for stakeholders to allocate sufficient resources and tackle hot spot areas or persistent offenders.
Chief Inspector Steve O’Keeffe from Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary continues to work closely with our partners to tackle fly-tipping .The agreed definition further improves consistency across all agencies to better understand and respond to the problem.  Addressing  fly tipping remains a local priority in some areas of Hertfordshire and we are committed to helping all our partners to investigate and detect offences.
“Police will respond reports of fly tipping when the public witness someone in the act of dumping rubbish via 999 calls. If members of the public find fly-tipping they should report in to their local authority for investigation or alternatively via 101 and a referral will be made to the local authority.”
In response to Defra guidance, Local Authorities and the Environment Agency have a responsibility to collect and report data on fly-tipping.  The new national Defra Software Data Management system, WasteDataFlow (WDF) has been introduced and implemented in Hertfordshire since October 2015.
This database, formerly known as Fly Capture, creates one online reporting infrastructure which will aid recording and reporting of fly tipping. A single database will not only offer a more efficient capture of data quality but offer an overview of the issue across Hertfordshire at any one time.
Within the Police, the working group has achieved an agreement and will soon be introducing the revised Force Control Room (FCR) Process for reporting fly-tipping incidents, based on the good practice of success in Three Rivers District Council which sees referrals passed internally between agencies after a first point of contact from the public.
In addition to the refined Hertfordshire FCR triage process, it was agreed that a single point of contact (SPOC) would be identified from each of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs), which has proved to be effective with Local Authorities.
In order to continue the PCC’s commitment to tackling such incidents across Hertfordshire, a Partnership Fund or ‘Nuisance Fund’ has been set aside to deal with issues such as fly-tipping, fly-grazing and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), which will work on a matched funding basis, based on an amount of £100k each year for the next four years.