Fly-tipping cases in Wakefield increased during lockdown
Fly-tipping across Wakefield increased significantly during lockdown, new figures have shown.
There were 1,284 incidents reported across the district between April 1 and July 31 this year, compared to 959 over the same time period in 2019.
Local waste tips closed after lockdown restrictions were imposed in late March, while people spending more time in the countryside has also been cited as a possible factor behind the rise.
More incidents happened in the Wakefield Rural council ward, which covers places including Crigglestone, Netherton and Hall Green, than any other area. There were 121 recorded fly-tips across the four months.
Castleford Central and Glasshoughton (92), South Elmsall and South Kirkby (89) and Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton (81), also saw high numbers of cases.
Wakefield Council says it spends around £400,000 a year clearing up fly-tipping and is in the process of prosecuting four individuals allegedly linked to dumps that have taken place this year.
In a report on the issue going before a meeting next week, the authority's Cabinet member for the environment, Maureen Cummings said: "Fly tipping and those who blight our countryside with discarded items deserve to be caught and prosecuted.
"During the pandemic lots more people have been out and about in our countryside and as a consequence we have seen more fly tipping incidents reported, some on more than one occasion and we encourage the public to continue to do so.
"The council’s rapid response teams are quick to act on reports and wherever possible where evidence has been found we proceed to prosecute.
"We have been successful in the past using covert CCTV in getting this vital evidence, but our resources are limited.
"I would urge members to encourage those who may report incidents of fly tipping to you that they try and get provide any evidence no matter how little, it may help."
The area with the fewest number of incidents between April and July was Pontefract South, which had 25. Ossett and the Airedale and Ferry Fryston ward had 27 cases apiece.
Local Democracy Reporting Service