Ayrshire Partnership Against Rural Crime - Working together to combat fly tipping

Over the COVID lockdown period, fly tipping has remained a major cause of concern and anger to the rural communities of Ayrshire. 

The Ayrshire Partnership Against Rural Crime (APARC) has brought together several key stakeholders - Police Scotland Ayrshire Division, East Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Council - to build solutions to tackle this major problem.

The local authorities and Police Scotland have a coordinated effort to ensure that there is a prompt response, developing an intelligence picture with respect to the perpetrators of fly tipping and, where appropriate, joint investigation and enforcement of fly tipping incidents.

The new approach has already seen several offenders traced and issued with Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) in the communities of Hurlford, Newmilns and Galston.  Further areas where fly tipping and anti-social behaviour has been prevalent include the Galloway Forest Park around Loch Doon, Whitelee Wind Farm and locations around New Cumnock.  

The deployment of Police Scotland quad bikes in these areas has made a positive contribution to the ongoing challenge of fly tipping in the area. Complaints of fly tipping have reduced because of the Police Scotland presence, and the partnership patrols have been rolled out across the region in areas such as Loch Doon and rural back road networks where rural criminal activity is known to take place.

On one day alone, a joint quad bike patrol visited two locations, recovered evidence, and made enquiries, which resulted in two detections. Police and Council staff were present during enquiries and conditional offers of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) were issued. Whilst both £200 FPNs were paid, the Council or the Police can still report the matter to the Procurator Fiscal, where the maximum fine can be £40,000 and may also result in vehicle seizure and even a custodial sentence.  

The local authority completed the clear up of the sites.

More police officers and local authority enforcement officers are being trained to increase the reach of this important initiative to tackle fly tipping.  That is happening alongside landowners and partner agencies identifying problem areas. 

Information continues to be essential in this ongoing challenge of fly tipping.  As we move into Christmas and the New Year, it is expected fly tipping will continue to be a problem.  Those affected by fly tipping are urged to contact their local authority Waste Management department or Police Scotland to highlight vehicles, perpetrators, and problem areas, then together they can work to prosecute or fine those individuals involved.

Christine Cuthbertson, NFUS Ayrshire Regional Manager said: “Fly tipping is a terrible blight on our beautiful Ayrshire countryside and potentially harmful to livestock, wildlife and humans. One of the asks in the NFUS fly tipping strategy is for a commitment to preventing fly-tipping through innovative ways and addressing fly-tipping at the root of the problem.  That includes promotion of good practice between local authorities, and APARC is very encouraged to see this happening now in Ayrshire,

“There is still a long way to go on this dirty problem, but by continuing to lobby and taking a practical and positive approach, I am sure we can drive this scourge into the history books.”

Brian Murphy, Corporate Enforcement Unit, East Ayrshire Council added: “Having the ability to be routinely seen in rural settings alongside the Police, where environmental crimes such as fly tipping occur, is invaluable and already we are seeing a decrease in some incidents and an increase in successful detections.” 

Police Scotland’s Hilary Sloan, Superintendent of Operations, Ayrshire Division said: “Police Scotland are committed to working in partnership with local councils and APARC to tackle the ongoing issue of fly tipping, which blights our landscape and has a significant impact on our local communities.  This success of this joint working is clear and will continue.  I would encourage those effected to contact the local council or Police Scotland, to ensure that appropriate action can be taken.”

Notes to Editors
• Members of Ayrshire Partnership Against Rural Crime (APARC) are: NFU Scotland, Ayrshire Local Authorities, Police Scotland, British Horse Society, Forestry and Land Scotland, ATV Services, Scottish Land and Estates, Ayrshire Agricultural Society, Scottish Government Agriculture and Rural Economy, and Ayrshire Association of Young Farmers Clubs.

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 167/20

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About The Author

Bob Carruth

A dairy farmer’s son, I joined NFU Scotland in 1999 after 13 years as an agricultural journalist. Following spells as a regional manager and policy lead on milk, livestock and animal health and welfare, I became Communications Director in 2008.

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