Just five per cent of Fife fly tippers have been prosecuted in the past three years, shock new figures have revealed.
Fife Council statistics, obtained by The Courier, show that 9,500 incidents of illegally dumped rubbish were received by the local authority between January 2014 and November 2016.
However, figures for the same period of time have revealed that just 491 fixed penalty notices were issued for such offences — a one in 20 success rate.
While angered at the poor prosecution rate, councillor John Wincott, Fife Council’s executive spokesperson for the environment and transport, said that the very nature of fly tipping meant that it was often hard to gather evidence with which to capture those responsible.
“Fly tipping is something that I just can’t understand,” he said.
“Often material that I see fly tipped could have easily been taken to a recycling centre, but for some reason a few people would rather just dump it at the side of the road.
“It can be very difficult after the event to identify the culprits, hence the relatively low detection rate, and so I would ask anyone who sees someone fly tipping to take a note of the details, and if possible the vehicle registration number, and report it to the council.
“Fly tipping is a blight on the lives of residents affected by it, and catching the people responsible will help to reinforce the message that this behaviour will not be tolerated.”
More than 3,000 incidents of fly tipping on Fife Council land have been reported in each of the last three years.
Though there has been a continual drop, albeit slight, last year saw just 115 penalty notices handed out to offenders, down from 204 in 2015.
Figures for the cost of clearing up the 9,500 incidents were not available.
Dawn Jamieson, safer communities team manager at Fife Council, said that every possible step is taken to try and trace offenders.
“We try to clear up any fly tipping on council land as soon as we are made aware of it,” she said.
“We will always try our best to find those who are responsible for this kind of illegal dumping and we are grateful for any help from the public.
“If we can ascertain who is responsible then they will be issued with a fixed penalty of £200 and will also be recharged for clean-up costs.”