Fly-tipping a real concern in Harrow

Although the fly-tipping in Harrow is not as high as in some other London boroughs, like Newham, it is a matter of real concern and more so in the parts of the borough which have short-term private rented accommodation or unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
“It’s a shame to see fly-tipping happening more than ever in Harrow – as well as making the place look terrible, it encourages rats and crime” says the opposition leader councillor Paul Osborn.
IMAG0280DA council manager pointed out  that they don’t get the “big fly tips as used to occur, but much more ad hoc bags, including  side waste as bins are full (for example for bins around flats or because HMOs have more people than they should and not have enough bins in place).”
Much recently increased random fly-tipping includes furniture, electrical goods and even children toys left on the pavement outside the house, perhaps because of the lack of understanding that this constitutes fly tipping, an anti-social behaviour and criminal offence – good case for effectively educating the potential offenders.
Harrow council street teams and intelligence based actions swiftly clear up fly tips but residents are rightly concerned about fly-tipping and they want more done to combat the problem.
The Council need to listen to residents and respond quickly. We need Harrow to be a clean place that is safe for everyone to live and work in” says Cllr Paul Osborn.
Councils have been given new powers to fine people up to £400 for ‘smaller’ offences but need evidence (such as CCTV recording) that the person actually ‘dumped’ the item in the location.
Harrow council investigates fly tips amongst other aspects of anti-social behaviour, using  range of powers including cautions, prosecutions and fixed penalty notices but they seem to rely more on trying to catch offenders in the act.
There are more effective means to detect fly-tipping and enforce against it.  For example, in South Derbyshire surveillance works appear to have been an effective deterrent. They adopted the use of inconspicuous, highly mobile surveillance cameras to help with fly-tipping enforcement work – as a result they have recently caught a number of waste offenders.
“Enforcing against fly-tipping should pay for itself when managed properly” said Cllr Paul Osborn.
Another way to discourage the fly tips is the well publicised use of the DNA found on litter to create a photo-fit picture of the alleged culprits which may not identify specific individuals but narrow down the search and will be enough to make people think twice about littering.
Whether it is cutting-edge DNA profiling or covert surveillance, online naming and shaming or conscience-pricking children’s artwork, residents look at the council to find more and effective ways to stop dumping and littering.