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  1. Hundreds fined a total of £134,000 for fly-tipping

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Hundreds of people have been fined for dumping waste illegally in Hillingdon amounting to £134,000.

    Hillingdon Council caught 336 offenders from August to October this year during three weeks of action, with rubbish found in bin bags, cardboard boxes and much more abandoned across 100 streets in the borough.

    The top hotspots discovered were mainly in Hayes, in Coldharbour Lane, Station Road, East Avenue, Blyth Road, and Uxbridge Road – with incidents in Hayes and Hillingdon.

    Each fly-tipper was fined £400.

    The council also reported a 20 per cent decrease in fly-tipping cases between April and September 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

    But the targeted campaign by council officers signals a crackdown against fly-tippers compared to previous figures.

    According to a Freedom of Information request, the number of fly-tipping cases in Hillingdon amounted to 6,300 cases from August 1 2019 to July 31, 2020.

    But the data also revealed that the council’s anti-social behaviour team issued just 94 fines during that same period. This means a little as 1.5 per cent of offenders faced action over the crime.

    The hiked campaign over the last three months comes as part of the council’s bid to tackle the issue, and the authority has been targeting streets across the borough to raise awareness of “good waste management” by residents and businesses.

    Hillingdon’s environment boss cllr Philip Corthorne, said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on our neighbourhoods, created by a small minority, who think this behaviour is acceptable. However, thanks to the majority of our residents, who are disposing of waste properly and also our dedicated teams who are enforcing the law, I am pleased that we have seen a reduction in incidents.

    "Fly-tipping isn’t just criminal – it is also harmful to the environment and costs the council to clear it up, which is completely unacceptable. We will continue to issue fines to those who continue to flout the rules. There is no excuse for this behaviour, as we provide various services for people to dispose of their waste legally.”

  2. Met launches autumn anti-social behaviour campaign

    The Metropolitan Police have begun their annual autumn campaign to crack down on violence and anti-social behaviour, with a range of operational activity planned for London over the next three weeks.

    The Autumn Nights campaign will target violence in particular, with officers active across the capital at a time of year when crime rates typically increase.

    Met Commander Jane Connors said the period around Halloween and Bonfire Night, when increased numbers of people took to the streets after dark, was a time in which many people felt vulnerable.

    "We know that traditionally at this time of year we see an increase in anti-social behaviour and we start to see a small rise in the levels of violence," Ms Connors said.

    "So what we're here to do is make sure that we reassure the communities that we're here to keep them safe, give them crime prevention advice, and make sure we stay on top of any anti-social behaviour and any violence, which is our number one priority.

    "What that includes is local safe neighbourhood officers, who will be going around to make sure they give crime-prevention advice, speaking to people who may be vulnerable or scared, particularly at Halloween and Bonfire Night.

    "That's the time of year we get anti-social behaviour, and people do get worried."

    Officers would also increase their presence through targeted patrols in areas expected to be particularly affected by violence and anti-social behaviour, Ms Connors said.

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  5. Leeds housing association boss joins Grenfell panel

    PA Media

    The boss of a housing association in West Yorkshire which supports black, Asian and minority ethnic communities has been appointed as the third member of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry panel.

    Grenfell Tower

    Ali Akbor, chief executive of Leeds-based Unity Homes and Enterprise, will sit at hearings from 2 November, the Cabinet Office has confirmed.

    On its website, Unity is described as a "modern, successful and visionary organisation that understands and represents the needs of all tenants of all ethnic backgrounds".

    Last year, Mr Akbor was made an OBE for services to the community in Leeds.

    The hearings into the Grenfell tragedy, which killed 72 people in June 2017, have been without a third expert since January, when an engineer resigned over links to the firm which manufactured the block's flammable cladding.

    Confirming Mr Akbor's appointment, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "He will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the role, as well as a crucial understanding of the issues at the heart of Phase 2 and an unwavering commitment to improving people's lives."

    Mr Akbor will sit on the inquiry panel alongside chairman, Sir Martin Moore Bick, and architect Thouria Istephan.

  6. Covid tier system: What is the tier lockdown system in England?

    BBC News Health

    Video content

    Video caption: Covid tier lockdown: What is the tier lockdown system in England?

    A new three-tier system is being introduced in England to help control the spread of coronavirus and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

    Regions will now be classified as either 'medium', 'high' or 'very high' and each tier has different lockdown rules.

    London is currently classed as Tier One - medium.

    This system does not apply in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. But what rules happen at what tier?

    BBC Health Correspondent Laura Foster has a summary of the key points.

    Video by Laura Foster, Terry Saunders and Mattea Bubalo