Police have searched eighty vehicles in a crack-down on illegal disposal of commercial waste in Croydon.
As part of a borough wide initiative against environmental crime, the Metropolitan Police carried out multiple high visibility patrols which involve stopping and inspecting cars to assess the legality of their contents.
Eighty vehicle inspections on the Purley Way were carried out, with a designated area nearby for vehicle testing and searching. These inspections proved successful as they apprehended two cars, one of which attempted to escape while being impounded.
They have seized one car, served four with notices for immediate improvement whilst one abandoned vehicle has been removed. The joint operation with Croydon council is part of an operation called “Don’t Mess With Croydon” that aims to minimise the illegal disposal of commercial waste in the borough.
Vehicles have been pulled over and inspected for insurance, waste carrying permits and other documentation, to ensure that they operate legally. Councillor Stuart Collins, deputy leader of the council, said “We are working together [with the police] to catch criminals and prevent them from offending throughout the year”.
Collins added: “Working together [with police] during operations like this is an excellent way of combatting and deterring environmental crime”.
Croydon council were able to issue ten fixed penalty notices, enforce a fine for the breaching of a public space protection order and remove twenty-five sets of graffiti.
Fly tipping is a long-standing problem for London. In 2017 there were just under 25,000 instances in Croydon alone, making them the third worst borough for fly tipping in the City, according to figures reported by the Evening Standard.
Croydon Council are aiming to trace and prosecute registered owners of all vehicles involved in illegal disposal of waste. The police and the council’s environmental enforcement officers have the power to seize, impound and crush any vehicle used for fly tipping. Both the driver and the owner of the vehicle can be prosecuted for this offence.