Only 5 per cent of court-imposed fines for fly-tipping offences in England in the past six years were above £1,000, and only a sixth of them above £500, LGA analysis shows.
This is despite fly-tipping incidents soaring by 50 per cent over the same period, up from 714,637 in 2012/13 to 1,072,431 in 2018/19.
The LGA says tougher sentences are needed to deter fly-tipping, which is costing councils £58 million a year to clear up. Only two people have been given the maximum £50,000 fine by the courts since the Government introduced new guidelines in 2014.
Councils took action on nearly half a million incidents in 2018/19 – up by nearly 75,000 in six years. Successful prosecutions are at their highest level since 2011/12, while fixed penalty notices – issued for smaller cases – and seizure of vehicles are also at record highs.
The LGA wants to work with government on reviewing sentencing guidelines, and ensuring councils have the funding needed to investigate incidents.
Meanwhile, the District Councils’ Network (DCN) has warned of a ‘fly-tipping farm-aggedon’, with the number of incidents on agricultural spots increasing by two-thirds in the past seven years – from 888 in 2012/13 to 1,473 in 2018/19.
While the majority of fly-tips seen by district councils are on public highways, council land, footpaths and alleyways, the DCN says that farm land is a growing target. It, too, is calling for the courts to issue bigger fines for more serious offences.