Police stop more than 50 vehicles in ‘sting’ operation to catch fly-tippers in Headley and Bookham

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Police used under-cover methods to catch fly-tippers in the act

MORE than 50 vehicles were stopped and searched in a major “sting” operation to catch fly-tippers in the act.

Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) joined forces with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Tandridge District Council and Surrey Police for the co-ordinated operation on September 1.

Officers carried out the checks on vehicles at locations in Headley and Bookham. The scheme is part of an ongoing crackdown against fly-tipping which has become an increasing problem in the area.

MVDC’s executive member for environment Paul Newman said: “[The operation] involved the stopping and searching of more than 50 vehicles, sending out a clear message to would-be fly-tippers that it will not be tolerated in Mole Valley. I’d like to thank all the partners involved.

“We are proud of our beautiful environment here and, as our current ‘Clean Mole Valley’ campaign demonstrates, we are committed to tackling this particular type of antisocial environmental crime.”

The Department for Work and Pensions, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the Environment Agency, Trading Standards and the UK Visas and Immigrations service were also involved in the operation. Surrey Police have not revealed in-depth details of how the “sting” worked.

The week before, on August 24, a fly-tipping prosecution led by Elmbridge Borough Council resulted in a man being jailed.

Billy Eastwood, 26, of Woodstock Lane South, Claygate, had posed as a landscape contractor across a two-and-a-half year period. He pleaded guilty to eight counts of fly-tipping and was sentenced to 44 weeks in prison. One of the incidents occurred in Fetcham, and MVDC supplied evidence which helped secure the conviction.

Mr Newman added: “This is a great example of partnership working with neighbouring authorities to secure prosecutions.

“It is important to us that offenders are prosecuted and receive an appropriate sentence, demonstrating our message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated.”

Residents have a responsibility to dispose of waste legally and should check the credentials of anyone collecting their waste. Visit www.checkatrade.com for details of reputable companies.

If you see fly-tipping in progress call police on 101. To report a fly-tip visit www.molevalley.gov.uk or call 01306 885001.

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