Flytipping and Rural Crime High on the Agenda at Aldenham Barn Meet
A number of landowners, farmers and rural business owners came to a Barn Meeting at Blackbirds Farm in Aldenham on Monday (October 10).

Chief Superintendent Owen Weatherill, Hertsmere Neighbourhood Inspector Terri Heredia, and Sergeant Jamie Barlett from the Rural Operational Support Team were joined by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, David Gibson.
The officers shared recent successes with the community, including the prosecution of 37 people for flytipping and associated offences and the seizure of four off-road vehicles, but also recognised that more still needs to be done to tackle rural crime issues. 
Gavin Burns, Principal Environmental Health Officer at Hertsmere Borough Council and Hertsmere Rural & Wildlife Crime Officer, PC Phil Tuck spoke about some of the equipment they are using to catch flytipping offenders. Mr Burns said:  “We use small wildlife cameras to take photographs and a lot of the recent apprehensions have come from plates being caught on these cameras. We also use the more traditional way of going through the rubbish and finding documents which we can use to trace back to where the waste has come from.”

The council has also recently launched its Could this be yours? campaign in a bid to tackle flytipping. It aims to raise awareness among householders and businesses of the need to use licensed waste carriers.
We have improved cross-border operations where we go out and look for people who are carrying scrap metal. We work with the Environment Agency, the UK Border Agency, Trading Standards and HR Revenue and Customs – everything you report to us is always used as intelligence.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner David Gibson said: “We are looking at how agencies are coming together to deal with flytipping. The Police and Crime Commissioner has set up a new fund this year, which will allow partners and agencies to deal with this and other rural problems.”
The issue of private landowners dealing with the costs associated with flytipping offences has been raised many times at these meetings and the Commissioner is looking at whether it is possible to use the Proceeds from Crime Act (2002) as a way to help landowners.  I promise you, we are listening and we will do our best to address your concerns.”
Hertsmere Neighbourhood Inspector Terri Heredia, spoke about the use of Rural Special Constables (volunteers with full police powers).  She also spoke about regular operations including Operation Carm that addresses off-road bikers who ride dangerously or illegally.  The officers have their own quad bike and were able to apprehend two teenage boys who were spoken to for riding on private land in Scratchwood, off Barnet lane in Borehamwood.  They will be receiving section 59 warnings.  If they are caught again, police have the power to seize their bikes. 
She also spoke about Operation Raj, a multi-agency operation to combat the illegal transfer of waste.  Officers regularly stop vehicles to check their licences and paperwork and find out what they are doing in the area.
She said: “There is now also the option of a community resolution for minor crimes, which can be resolved between you and the offending party to deal with that situation in a quicker way, without going through the courts.  I would encourage residents to sign up to Rural Watch (part of Neighbourhood Watch) via  - you will get an email or text  message to let you know if there is anything going on in your area that you need to be made aware of.”
Did you know? Fly-tippers can receive a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment in a Magistrate’s Court or an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment if convicted at crown court. 
Reminder to the Public: Homeowners can be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1991 if the waste that is collected from their home is disposed of illegally and a receipt is found in the rubbish tracing it back to their dwelling.

Picture: Left-to-Right 
Phil Tuck, Hertsmere Rural & Wildlife Crime Officer
Sgt Jamie Bartlett, Rural Operational Support Team Sergeant
Terri Heredia, Local safer Neighbourhood Inspector (Hertsmere)
David Gibson, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Herts
Owen Weatherhill,  Chief Superintendent for Local Police in Herts