Environmental Crime

 

Littering, Fly Tipping, Dog Fouling, Graffiti, Urinating in the streets, Fly Posting and Abandoning a Vehicle are illegal, they have a negative impact on the environment and they are extremely anti social.

We are determined to highlight the issues that are important to our residents and take appropriate action against anyone caught carrying out these crimes. Boston Borough Council recognises the importance of raising awareness; giving advice encouraging positive behaviour and educating people on different aspects of the law.

It is fundamental in undertaking any enforcement programme. We are committed to working with our partners and the community to improve the quality and attractiveness of the local environment and ensure that Boston is a clean, green and safe place to live and work.

Fly Tipping 

Fly Tipping performance 

During December 2021 the Enforcement Teams have issued a total of 126 Fixed Penalty Notices for :-

Litter

Fly Tipping

Spitting

Since September 2019 the Enforcement Teams have issued a total of 2,462 Fixed Penalty Notices.

Abandoning a vehicle- (Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978 Section 2(1A) 2(A1)

We have a statutory duty to remove and dispose of motor vehicles which are abandoned without lawful authority

on any land in the open air or on any other land forming part of a highway (Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978)

This duty does apply to private open land, however, there is no authority to remove a vehicle from private land if the owner of the land objects.  Please note if you are reporting a vehicle that is on private land we will need written permission from the land owner before taking any action.

Abandoned vehicles are not:-

  • Badly parked vehicles or vehicles that are causing an obstruction
  • Broken down vehicles

How can you tell if a vehicle is abandoned?

The following points may indicate that a vehicle has been abandoned:

  • Is the vehicle taxed? (This should not be the sole consideration)
  • Are the tyres flat?
  • Is there any litter, weeds under the vehicle indicating that it has not been moved for some time?
  • Are the brake discs rusty?
  • Is the window screen or any of the windows broken?
  • Is mould present on either the inside or the outside of the vehicle?
  • Does the vehicle contain items of waste, for example tyres?
  • Does the vehicle have a number plate?

How do we deal with abandoned vehicles?

Following receipt of notification of an abandoned vehicle, council officers will inspect the vehicle to determine whether or not it is abandoned. Boston Borough Council will make all reasonable efforts to establish contact with the owner and give a period of 7 day’s notice to remove. If no keeper details are found a seven day notice will be affixed to the vehicle or a one day notice, if the vehicle is still in situ after the 7 day notice period of if the vehicle is regarded to be a danger to the public.

After the expiry of the notice issued on the vehicle, we will uplift the vehicle to temporary storage at the contractor’s yard.  If the owner of the vehicle has not been traced within the time scale of the vehicle being in storage, the vehicle will then be destroyed.

How do I report an abandoned vehicle?

If you suspect that a vehicle has been abandoned, please fill in Abandoned vehicles report form and submit this form. The following details should be reported:

  • Registration number
  • Make and model (for example, Ford Fiesta)
  • Colour
  • Exact location
  • Indication of how long it has been there.

Reporting an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA

Untaxed vehicles (that are not abandoned) can be reported to the DVLA anonymously at

It is an offence to use or keep on the public road a motor vehicle (registered in the UK) without a valid current vehicle licence (road tax).

When contacting the DVLA to report an untaxed vehicle, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The vehicle registration number
  • The colour, make and model (e.g. red Ford Focus)
  • The exact location of the vehicle

If possible, please also provide the following:

  • The time it can be seen on a public road
  • The name and address of the owner

The information provided will be used for further investigations by the DVLA.

If your vehicle is under a SORN declaration (statutory of the road notice) you must arrange to have it stored off the public highway with the landowner’s permission.

Burnt-out vehicles:

Burnt-out vehicles should be reported as a matter of urgency and removed as a matter of urgency owing to the dangerous chemical reaction they give off when burnt out and therefore hazardous if touched.

Is abandoning a vehicle an offence?

Yes.  It is a criminal offence to abandon a motor vehicle or anything that has formed part of a motor vehicle on any land in the open air or on any other land forming part of the highway.

How much is the fine?

You may be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 as an alternative to prosecution.

Abandoning a vehicle carries a maximum fine of £2500 or 3 months imprisonment or both.

Community Protection Notices – (Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policy Act 2014)

What is a Community Protection Notice (CPN)?

Community Protection Notices were introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014 to deal with businesses, organisations or individuals over the age of 16 committing anti-social behaviour which spoils the communities’ quality of life. It can be used to deal with most problems or nuisances negatively impacting on or affect the community, by targeting those responsible.

When can a CPN be served?

A CPN can be served by the council where it can be demonstrated that the behaviour has:

  • A detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
  • Be of a persistent or continuing nature, and
  • Be unreasonable

What is the CPN and warning used for?

  • Warnings and CPN’s can be used for a variety of anti-social behaviours including, dog fouling, vehicle nuisance, littering, bin contamination etc.

How does it work?

Step 1

Where anti-social behaviour is identified a written warning (Community Protection Warning Notice) will be given to the alleged perpetrator giving details of the behaviour giving cause for concern, with instructions on how to rectify the problem and highlighting the consequences if the behaviour continues.

Step 2

If the behaviour continues despite warning, a Community Protection Notice can be served including a requirement to stop doing something, to start doing something, and/or to take reasonable steps to avoid further anti-social behaviour.

Step 3

Breaching a CPN is a criminal offence. The local authority may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice up to £100 or £20,000 for businesses or has the option to prosecute through the court. The court can fine up to £2,500 if convicted.

 

(Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990)

Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows the Council to issue a fixed penalty notice to those residents who repeatedly or seriously contaminate their recycling within a 6 month period.

Recycling bins containing contaminated items such as nappies, food waste, needles, dog poo, black bags, builders waste, tyres, carpet, cat litter, metal, rubble, sanitary products, electrical items, polystyrene, clothing, cigarette butts and wood will not be emptied.

  • On the first occasion of contamination, a hanger will be left on the bin explaining why the bin has not been emptied. The crew will log the address and incident type on it’s in cab system
  • On the second occasion of contamination a report is sent to our Enforcement Partners who will send an Enforcement Officer to visit the property to ascertain necessary details and then issue a Section 46 warning notice. They will also give information about what can be recycled and what is needed to do in order to get the contaminated bin emptied.
  • On a third contamination occasion, the resident will be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

What happens if I make an honest mistake by putting the wrong item in the blue bin?

Boston Borough Council will not penalize householders who make an honest mistake.  These powers are to penalise householders who don’t care and continue to deliberately contaminate blue recycling bins.

If someone else contaminates my bin will I get fined?

An officer will review and investigate each individual case in order to determine the appropriate outcome.

I have received a warning letter/fixed penalty notice regarding my blue bin being contaminated however I have recently moved into this property, am I still liable for the fine?

No, if you can prove that you have recently moved into the property and was not liable at the address when the warning/fixed penalty notice was issued, we will remove all current records from our enforcement system.

How much is the fine?

You will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for £75

Can I appeal the fixed penalty notice?

You have the right to appeal by making representation within 28 days beginning with the day on which the penalty notice is given.  If you wish to make representations relating to the offence you can do so by writing to the Enforcement Team at Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 8QR or by emailing env.enforcement@boston.gov.uk

Dog Fouling – Dog Control Orders: – Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)

Public Spaces Protection Order

The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides local authorities with powers to create a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) where they are satisfied that activities carried out in a public place:-

  • have had, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
  • is, or is likely to be, persistent or continuing in nature
  • is, or is likely to be unreasonable
  • justifies the restrictions imposed

Boston Borough Council implemented a PSPO from 1 February 2017. The full details are set out in the public notice below and in the Committee report at the bottom of this page.

In summary:

The PSPO introduced controls to deal effectively with:

  • Dog Fouling
  • The exclusion of dogs from fenced off children’s play areas
  • Comply with a direction to put nuisance or dangerous dogs on a lead
  • Provide evidence of the means of a suitable receptacle to pick up dog faeces

The PSPO covers any place to which the public or any section of the public has access on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission (s 74(1) of the Act). This means that the controls will apply to all land open to the air including agricultural land.

The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 and associated By-Laws cease to have effect.

The PSPO will expire after 3 years, at which point a full review of the controls in place will be carried out and if necessary amendments will be made or the order will be extended for a further 3 years.

The controls do not apply to assistance dogs used by the blind or by persons who lack the physical ability to comply with the requirements of the PSPO.

Public Notice.
The Public Spaces Protection Order – (Boston Borough Council).

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT on the first day of February 2017 Boston Borough Council (‘the Council’) in exercise of its powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime Policing Act 2014 proposes to make a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), this will replace the current Dogs Fouling of Land Legislation.

The PSPO will cover any place within the administrative area of the Borough of Boston to which the public or any section of the public has access on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission (s74(1) of the act).  This means that the controls will apply to all land open to the air including agricultural land. The PSPO shall have effect for a period of 3 years and shall remain in force until 31 January 2020 unless otherwise revoked or repealed.

Dog Fouling

  1. It will be an offence for any person in charge of a dog, which defecates on land specified within the Order, to fail to remove the faeces forthwith, unless he can show a reasonable excuse for failing to do so or the owner/occupier of the land has consented to his failing to do so.
  2. It will be an offence for any person in charge of a dog to fail to provide evidence of the means of a suitable receptacle to pick up dog faeces when requested to do so by an authorised officer

This control will apply to all land within the administrative area of the Borough of Boston to which the public have access.

The offence does not apply to a person who is registered as a blind person, or to a person who is deaf in respect of a dog trained by Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and upon which he relies for assistance, or to a person who has a disability which affects their mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination or ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects, in respect of a dog trained by a prescribed charity and upon which they rely for assistance.

Dog Exclusion

It will be an offence for any person in charge of a dog to take the dog onto or permit the dog to enter or remain on land within a dog exclusion zone unless he can show a reasonable excuse for doing so or the owner/occupier of the land has consented to his doing so.

This control will apply to enclosed children’s play areas within the administrative area of the Borough of Boston to which the public have access.

The offence does not apply to a person who is registered as a blind person, or to a person who is deaf in respect of a dog trained by Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and upon which he relies for assistance, or to a person who has a disability which affects their mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination or ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects, in respect of a dog trained by a prescribed charity and upon which they rely for assistance.

Dogs on lead by direction

It will be an offence for any person in charge of a dog to fail to put and keep the dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer unless he can show a reasonable excuse for failing to do so or the owner/occupier of the land has consented to his failing to do so.

This control will apply to all land within the administrative area of the Borough of Boston to which the public have access.

Fixed penalty notices

Boston Borough Council intends to issue fixed penalty notices to enforce the controls, the fine will be £100 and failure to pay may lead to summary conviction and a fine not exceeding level 3 on the Standard Scale.

For any queries please contact waste@boston.gov.uk 

 

Related documents

Duty Of Care/Unauthorised Waste Carrier – (Section 34 Environmental Protection Act 1990)

What is Duty of Care?

Anyone who produces, imports, keeps, stores, transports, treats or disposes of waste must take all reasonable measures available to them in the circumstances to ensure that waste is managed properly and transferred to an authorised person.

Occupiers of domestic properties

As a householder, you have a duty to take all reasonable measures available to you in circumstances to ensure that you only transfer household waste produced on your property to an authorised person.

If you are arranging to have your waste removed from your property or business, a legitimate waste carrier will always be able to demonstrate that they are an authorised person by providing proof of this.  You must always check the following:

  • Check that your contractor is registered with the Environment Agency
  • Ask for their waste carrier license which can be verified on the Environment Agency website – https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers
  • Always ask to see the original copy of their waste carrier’s license. By law, registered waste carriers are required to provide you with a waste transfer note; official paperwork that confirms receipt of your waste and where it is being taken to. (Do not use a contractor that won’t show you a waste carrier’s license or who won’t provide you with a waste transfer note.)
  • Record the vehicle registration numbers of any vehicle used by a private waste carrier to take your waste away. The waste carrier may be less likely to illegally dump your waste if he is aware that his vehicle registration and details has been recorded and that he can be traced. If waste is found dumped illegally and traced back to you, investigators will have more information with which to trace the culprits; the more information that can be provided, the greater the probability of us being able to tackle those responsible.
  • Ask for a proper invoice and receipt.

Are you the man in a van?

If you transport waste you must register your business through the Environment Agency….. link in order to be properly authorised and for your details to appear in the public register of waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

If you are carrying waste and are unable to produce your waste carrier’s license you will be fined £400.

How much is the fine?

A Fixed Penalty Notice of £400 can be given as an offer for an individual to discharge any liability to conviction for failing to meet their household waste duty of care.  This is instead of proceeding to prosecute by offering the opportunity to pay the FPN.  If prosecuted you could face a fine of up to £5000.

Littering – (Section 87/88 Environmental Protection Act 1990.)

What is a littering offence?

A person is guilty of an offence if he throws down, drops or otherwise deposits any litter to any place in the area of a principal litter authority which is open to the air.

Litter is classed as general litter, Cigarettes, Spitting, Chewing gum, urinating, defecating and a single bag of household waste

How much will you fine people for each offence?

You will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for £150

Is there an early payment discount?

No

How are FPN’s issued?

If you have been seen to commit an offence, an environmental enforcement officer will approach you and identify themselves. They will caution you and let you know that your conversation is being recorded. You will be asked for identification and the FPN will be printed and issued to you. The enforcement officer will explain the FPN, the Legislation being enforced, the offence committed and how you can pay the FPN.

How do we deal with juvenile offenders?

Offenders aged 18 and over will be dealt with by way of an FPN. Offenders aged 18 and under will be dealt with by way of warning or restorative justice

What action is taken if offenders don’t pay?

Offenders that do not pay within the 14 day period will be prosecuted for failing to discharge their responsibility by paying the FPN.  They will appear before magistrates and dealt with by the court process.

Can someone appeal against an FPN?

Some FPN’s can be appealed, if this is the case it will tell you on the FPN how and who to appeal to.

How do we spend the money received from FPN’s?

A contractor carries out enforcement action on our behalf, they do not charge for this service instead they retain any receipts.  Therefore the money is used for carrying out environmental crime enforcement.  Should the council issue any FPN’s this money is spent on education or enforcement around environmental crime.

Why should I pay, if there are no signs about littering in the area where I dropped it?

We are not required to place signs in every street, road, highway or open park/space to tell people not to litter. Litter legislation has been in force for many years and littering is a criminal offence. FPN’s are issued to enable people to discharge their responsibility rather than face prosecution.

Why should I pay a Fixed Penalty Notice when there were no litterbins nearby at the time?

It is not possible to place litter bins in every street, road and highway in the borough, every effort is made to place bins where they are most needed and where there are the most people, such as in town centres. It is also a littering offence to deposit litter down a drain in the road. Where bins are not available, it is up to everyone to act responsibly and make arrangements to either take their litter home or carry it until a litter bin is available.

Cigarette stubs aren’t really waste as they can’t be placed in litter bins because they will catch fire?

Smokers are responsible for ensuring that they completely extinguish their cigarettes before placing them in the bin, discarded cigarette waste is litter and you can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for not disposing of cigarette stubs properly. We also offer free portable ‘mini pouches’ for the disposal of cigarette butts or chewing gum.  These are available from the council offices in West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 8QR.

This is all a bit petty isn’t it, what’s the big deal about a bit of chewing gum and cigarette stubs anyway?

Littering is not only a serious blight on our environment but very costly to the tax payer to constantly clear up.

Littering from a vehicle – (The Littering From Vehicles Outside London
(Keepers: Civil Penalties) Regulations 2018)
Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

On 1st April 2018 the Government introduced the Littering from Vehicles outside London (Keepers: Civil Penalties) Regulations 2018. These regulations allow a civil penalty notice to be issued to the keeper of the vehicle from which litter is thrown. This removes the need to identify precisely who threw the litter before taking enforcement action.

Boston Borough Council may give a fixed penalty notice to a person who is the keeper of a vehicle if the authority has reason to believe that a littering offence has been committed by either the driver or the passengers in respect of the vehicle on the authority’s land.

How much is the fine?

You will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for £150.

Can I appeal the fixed penalty notice?

You have the right to appeal by making representation under regulation 14 of the Act to the Litter Authority if one or more of grounds A-L (see overleaf) apply within the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the penalty notice is given. If you wish to make representations relating to the offence you can do so by writing to the Enforcement Team at Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 8QR or by emailing env.enforcement@boston.gov.uk

Is that the littering offence in question did not occur

B  Is that the person was not the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the littering offence because the person became the keeper of the vehicle after the littering offence occurred.

C  Is that the person was not the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the littering offence because the person had disposed of the vehicle to another person before the littering offence occurred.

D  Is that the person was not the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the littering offence because the vehicle was a stolen vehicle when the littering offence occurred.

E  Is that the person – (a)was engaged in the hiring of vehicles in the course of a business at the time of the littering offence, and
(b)was not the keeper of the vehicle at that time by virtue of a vehicle hire agreement.

F  Is that the person was not the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the littering offence for a reason not mentioned in grounds B to E.

Is that the litter authority was not, by virtue of regulation 4(5), authorised to give the person a penalty notice.

H  Is that the person is not liable to pay the fixed penalty by virtue of regulation 12.

I  Is that liability to pay the fixed penalty has been discharged in the circumstances set out in regulation 13.

J  Is that the fixed penalty exceeds the amount payable under these Regulations.

K  Is that the litter authority has failed to observe any requirement imposed on it by these Regulations in relation to the imposition or recovery of the fixed penalty.

L  Is that there are compelling reasons why, in the particular circumstances of the case, the penalty notice should be cancelled (whether or not any of grounds A to K apply).