Courts set to impose bigger fines for fly-tipping

Tyres in a field in Rainham, Essex The new guidelines will encourage magistrates to make the most of the highest levels of fines, the sentencing council said.

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People caught fly-tipping in England and Wales are to face the prospect of heavier fines, under new court sentencing guidelines.

As well as fly-tipping, nuisance offenders whose crimes involve noise, smoke or carry a health risk will also be hit by the harsher fines.

The new guidelines have been set out by the Sentencing Council.

It said it wanted magistrates to make more use of the "highest levels of fines".

Sentencing Council member and magistrate Katharine Rainsford said: "Illegal disposal of hazardous waste not only causes damage to the environment but puts people's health at risk as well.

"This guidance for courts will help ensure consistent and appropriate sentences for offenders.

"These crimes are normally about making or saving money at the expense of the taxpayer."

The heavier fines may be handed out for all types of fly-tipping "whether this is a company tipping a lorry-load of used tyres in a field or a householder dumping an old mattress in an alleyway" the council said.

The new guidelines will be used in courts from 1 July.

The 15-member Sentencing Council is a body created by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, and sets guidelines for magistrates aimed at promoting greater consistency in sentencing. Its members include judges, other lawyers, magistrates, police and probation officers.

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