ANYONE caught fly-tipping in Reading borough could face an instant £300 fine from this week.
Reading Borough Council is taking advantage of new legislation which allows officers to issue fixed penalty notices (FPN) for lower level, minor instances of fly-tipping.
The new powers will enable the council to crackdown on waste crime without having to resort to expensive legal action.
The council will still pursue perpetrators of larger scale fly-tipping through the courts, which can result in offenders facing up to six months in prison or fines of up to £20,000.
Neighbourhood Officers investigate all reports of fly-tipping in the borough and a vast majority are low level, involving five bags or rubbish or fewer, and are currently dealt with as a littering offence with a fixed penalty of £75.
A recent amendment to the Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016 allows local authorities to issue a fixed penalty notice of between £150 and £400.
Reading will issue a £300 fixed penalty fine for low level fly-tipping, reduced to £150 if paid within 10 days.
Councillor Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, said: “Fly-tipping can blight an area and these new powers give the council the ability to deal with offenders appropriately and swiftly.
“The £300 fixed penalty fine should send out a message that any level of fly-tipping is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“I would however point-out that the council will not shy away from taking legal action against those individuals or businesses who commit larger scale fly-tipping offences.”