A Crewe man who complained to the council that rubbish had been dumped in an alleyway has been successfully prosecuted for fly-tipping, after an investigation found the waste belonged to him.
Oliver Bailey, 18, of Ruskin Road, appeared at South Cheshire Magistrates Court, in Crewe, on Tuesday May 9, and pleaded guilty to an offence of fly-tipping, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He was ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £544.
It is the first prosecution since changes made within Cheshire East Council’s community enforcement team introduced minimum investigative standards for fly-tipping offences.
The case was sent to court following a complaint made to Cheshire East Council on November 1 last year by a resident of West Street, Crewe, who said boxes and furniture had been fly-tipped in the alleyway. They also said the rubbish contained a letter with an address written on it.
At 10.45am that same day, a community enforcement officer from Cheshire East Council visited the site and took several photographs of the waste and searched for evidence.
As he was doing that, a man approached him and said that he was the one who had made the complaint and gave his name as Oliver Bailey.
The officer then explained that the pile of rubbish contained a number of cardboard boxes addressed to a Mr Oliver Bailey of Armistead Way, Cranage, and that inside one of the boxes was a letter also addressed to Oliver Bailey, this time with an address on it of West Street, Crewe.
Bailey denied putting the rubbish out and said he didn’t know how it had got there. He then went back inside the property where he had appeared from.
Subsequent checks on the council’s complaints database determined that Bailey had reported the incident as fly-tipping, but not until 11.01am on November 1 – a significant time after the enforcement officer had arrived at the alleyway.
He was requested to attend an interview with the enforcement officer on two occasions but did not attend either. A file for prosecution was therefore submitted.
Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for communities and health, said: “This resident had attempted to cover his tracks by reporting the incident to the council after our enforcement officer had spoken to him.
“However, the evidence in this case was strong and credible and checks linked the offender to the addresses which were clearly marked on the waste.”
Last month the council launched its ‘No Rubbish Excuses’ campaign as part of the authority’s efforts to tackle fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling and encourage more residents to take pride in their towns and villages.
Cllr Bates added: “Fly-tipping is disgusting and I hope this prosecution reinforces our message that we will take the appropriate action against those who blight the lives of other residents by dumping waste.
“I also encourage residents to continue reporting incidents directly to us so that we can investigate.”
To report a fly-tipping complaint, visit cheshireeast.gov.uk/norubbishexcuses or call 0300 123 5011.