Defra recently released its annual fly-tipping figures, showing there were more than one million incidents on public land in 2022/23.
Country Land and Business Association President Victoria Vyvyan said: “These fly-tipping figures barely scratch the surface of a crime that’s blighting rural communities, with incidents on private land going unrecorded on a mass scale.
“Farmers and landowners bear the cost of removing rubbish and they pay on average £1,000 to remove waste. This is not a victimless crime – in some cases they have paid up to £100,000 to clear up other people’s mess or risk facing prosecution themselves.
“It’s not just litter blotting the landscape, but tonnes of household and commercial waste which can often be hazardous – even including asbestos and chemicals – endangering farmers, wildlife, livestock, crops and the environment.
“While courts can sentence offenders to prison or unlimited fines, prosecutions are rare and criminals clearly do not fear the system. We are calling for local authorities to help clear fly-tipping incidents on private as well as public land, while the various enforcement agencies must be properly trained and resourced.
“Without more progress farmers, not the criminals, will continue to pay the price.”
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