A 27 year old Salisbury man has been imprisoned for three months after being convicted of eight counts of fly-tipping at Salisbury Magistrates Court, following a successful investigation by Wiltshire Council.
On 7 February Jamie Alexander Kerley of Parsonage Green, Harnham, Salisbury, Wiltshire pleaded guilty to the eight charges of fly-tipping on Monday 16 January 2017. The charges were brought against Kerley under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 after an in depth investigation by Wiltshire Council.
These offences took place between 24 November 2015 and 02 February 2016 where Kerley illegally deposited waste at various locations in the Southern Wiltshire area. The case involved a protracted criminal investigation into a series of large scale household and commercial fly-tips. The waste was indiscriminately dumped in some of the county’s areas of outstanding natural beauty.
All eight locations were investigated for evidence and statements were taken from eleven witnesses, which eventually led to Kerley being identified as the offender responsible for the fly-tipping offences. Kerley used social media, and in particular Facebook, to advertise his companies GW Clearance and Jays Metal Collection. By advertising on social media the investigating officer was able to gather further evidence from these sites, linking Kerley to the offences.
One of the fly-tipping locations, Barford Lane (Barford Loop), Downton was one of the largest illegal deposits of waste that the investigating officer had seen in the six years that he has been investigating fly-tipping offences. The waste had been strewn over a very large area and tipped down the side of a ravine at this location. The fly-tipping at the ravine made it very difficult for the land owner to clear the waste. The land owner had to use the services of volunteers to help clear the waste from this location and it took the volunteers two days to clear all of the waste.
Patrick Morse, Investigating Enforcement Officer, said, “This has been one of the most protracted and involved cases I have investigated in the six years that I have been an enforcement officer with Wiltshire Council. It was pleasing to see that Mr Kerley pleaded guilty to the eight charges of fly-tipping at Salisbury Magistrates Court. The work continues to catch anyone involved in these criminal acts which will ensure that law abiding citizens can live in a clean and pleasant environment. We are increasing our use of hidden surveillance cameras at sites where waste has been illegally tipped.”
Philip Whitehead Cabinet Member for Highways said, “This is an excellent result for council enforcement officers and reflects the hard work that had been conducted to bring this person to justice. It sends a very strong message to would be fly-tippers that we will investigate thoroughly and prosecute, punishing those who think it is acceptable to fly-tip waste in Wiltshire. This is a clear warning – fly tip and you can go to prison.”
Wiltshire Council have seen an increase in individuals and businesses advertising a ‘man and a van’ or ‘tip runs’ on social media. Such people advertise and take waste for a fee stating they will take it to the tip or household recycling centres. If a fee is paid for such waste removal it becomes commercial waste and is not accepted at household recycling centres. Disposing of commercial waste at household recycling centres is illegal and people who dispose of such waste at these sites can be prosecuted as they are for use by householders only and not businesses.
Residents too could fall foul of the law and be prosecuted by breaching their own duty of care by allowing their waste to become fly-tipped. The council advises residents to make sure they conduct checks on such individuals or businesses who collect their waste. Such checks should include: recording a waste carrier’s licence number and asking where the waste is being disposed of, as well as recording the dates you used them, their name, telephone number and vehicle registration number so that if they do fly tip your waste you will be able to pass their details to the council. Residents should ask any waste removal company they use to provide them with a waste transfer note which states the required details for lawful disposal.
People who want to report fly-tipping can do so via the MyWiltshire App which can be downloaded or use the MyWiltshire App online.