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We had a chuckle at home this week over the story of a woman who, angered by fly-tipping in her village, investigated the pile and discovered an unopened letter revealing the address from which the rubbish had come. Having contacted Stroud Council for permission, she loaded everything into her trailer and dumped it in the front garden of the property concerned. Justice done? I'm not so sure... In looking into the story, I learned that the householder said the rubbish must have belonged to the previous tenant as it certainly wasn't his, which means he may have well been left with an unpleasant clean-up job he didn't deserve to have. I'm now wondering whether he reported the woman who dumped it in his garden, for fly-tipping in turn, and if so, what happened next.
In another recent incident, Jakub Watemborski's empty parcel was found amongst fly-tipped rubbish by Enfield Council investigators, who slapped him with a £400 fine. The only problem was that the parcel, which bore his address, turned out to be all that remained of a pair of shoes he'd been sent for Christmas which hadn't, as far as he was aware, arrived at his Barnet home. As the parcel had been found near the delivery company's depot in an area he'd not visited, he assumed that either the driver had dumped it or the package had been stolen from the depot. Inspecting the incriminating evidence, he realised that the date on the parcel corresponded to a parcel the company had 'lost' after the delivery couldn't be carried out 'due to bad weather', on what had been a sunny afternoon. Enfield Council has since rescinded the fine.
I've always been of the opinion that if our councils made it easier for us to take unwanted items to the local civic amenity tip - and didn't charge us for the privilege, far fewer people would resort to fly-tipping. It's not quite as cut & dried as that though, is it? With more and more opportunist thieves reportedly stealing parcels from our doorsteps, so many other parcels being left at the wrong properties and others being stolen from the depots and vans themselves, how can councils be sure that 'evidence' found in fly-tipped piles actually points to the culprit, and hasn't been left there by someone breaking the law in a completely different way?
Apart from more CCTV surveillance, I don't really see how we can get around this one, do you?
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19th January 2023