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Essex crime: Builders rubble, car parts and furniture dumped in Epping Forest as fly-tipping crises worsens over lockdown

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Fly-tipping in Epping Forest has skyrocketed since the beginning of lockdown, forcing authorities to hand out nearly £10,000 worth of fines recently.

It’s part of a worrying increase in fly-tips, which has led to an organised crack down on the activity.

The City of London Corporation (CLC) – who oversee the expansive forest which covers swathes of land across west Essex and east London – have said that since lockdown began, reports of fly-tipping in the forest have increased by 50 per cent.

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These fly-tips include black sacks full of rubbish, builders rubble, furniture, car parts, waste from illegal cannabis cultivation, and other household items.

In 2019, only 414 fly-tips were cleared in Epping Forest, a number which rose to 466 in 2020.

So far in 2021, authorities have been required to clear 379 fly-tips.

If trends continue at this rate, 2021 will see 650 fly-tips in the forest – a massive increase.

The CLC put much of this increase down to individuals paying firms to fly-tip in the forest.

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Some of these individuals have been amongst those handed fines by the CLC recently over fly-tipping.

Recently, £9,085 worth of fines were handed to ten people convicted of fly tipping at Basildon, Chelmsford and Thames Magistrates courts.

Five warrants were also issued to people who failed to appear at court.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, Graeme Doshi-Smith, said: “Epping Forest is more important than ever before to local communities, and we will do everything in our power to protect it.

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“Fly tipping is a crime which damages the environment and wastes resources that could be better used to support the site.

“We continue to clamp down on and prosecute as many incidents as possible.

“Not everyone is aware of Section 34 but people really need to be careful when paying firms to cheaply dispose of their waste.

“It is their responsibility to ensure these are reputable companies as if not, they could end up with a knock on their door and be prosecuted for an illegal fly tip.”

A conviction for fly tipping can result in either a prison sentence, criminal record or fines.

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