Belfast Telegraph

600 fly-tippers indentified ...two prosecuted

By Linda Stewart

Environment Minister Edwin Poots has vowed to put pressure on his own council to take action against litter louts.

The minister was taking part in a clean-up at Poleglass as part of the Belfast Telegraph's Big Clean-Up campaign, organised in partnership with TIdy NI.

Staff from Conservation Volunteers revealed that in 15 years they have gathered addresses from more than 600 culprits found in abandoned bags of waste — yet they have only seen two successful prosecutions.

When the team find an address, they pass it on to Lisburn Borough Council and the Housing Executive if appropriate, yet they say it rarely leads to a prosecution.

“There’s one piece of land we work at — if you wanted to steal somebody’s identity that would be the place. We’ve found death certificates, mortgage statements, everything,” Martin Neeson of Conservation Volunteers explained. “We pass this information on all the time, but nobody does anything about it. The fly tipping is ridiculous.”

Mr Poots, who is bringing in new litter legislation, insisted this approach isn’t good enough and called on all councils to use the legislation they already have.

“Councils need to be proactive in prosecuting such individuals. If the message got through that people were being prosecuted for illegally dumping waste it would soon stop them,” he said.

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