Dumped: Fly-tipping figures show scale of problem in Thetford

The waste that was dumped in a communal area in Thetford

The waste that was dumped in a communal area in Thetford - Credit: Archant

The scale of Thetford’s fly-tipping problem has been revealed after figures showed there have been 750 reports of waste being dumped in the town in the past five years.

And despite estates and residential areas being blighted by the problem, only one successful prosecution has been made by Breckland Council for a flytipping offence in the town.

Beds, mattresses, fridge freezers, car tyres, sofas and bags of waste are among the items dumped by tippers, according to figures from the council.

Across the whole of Breckland, the council has received 2,691 reports of flytipping since April 2010. Five successful prosecutions have been made in that time, with the council recouping £10,176 in court income.

The figures, revealed by a Freedom of Information request by the Times, come hot on the heels of Breckland granting £20,000 in funding for a full-time flytipping officer for Thetford.

Thetford Community Association will employ the officer, who will act as a deterrent to tippers, as well as working to bring action against them.

The role is believed to be the first of its kind in Norfolk.

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Terry Jermy, a Labour Breckland Councillor for Thetford Saxon, said the figures showed the growth of flytipping incidents.

“As a councillor, flytipping just used to be another job which was reported by residents, but it’s now one of the main things I deal with,” he said.

Mr Jermy said a reduction in items which can be taken to the town’s recycling centre, run by Norfolk County Council, had led to an increase in the amount of tipping.

“There’s been a clamping down on what can and can’t be disposed of at the tip and people are unsure about what they can actually take there,” he said.

Mark Robinson, conservative councillor for Saxon, said funding for the flytipping officer was a positive move.

“It’s good to see the agencies working together and the community getting involved and that will help.

“But it’s down to the individuals who are doing this tipping to take responsibility for their actions,” he said.

Lynda Turner, Breckland’s deputy leader and executive member for community and environmental services, said: “Flytipping is a blight on communities and on our district, and Breckland is committed to taking action to address this issue,”

How serious an issue do you think flytipping is in Thetford? Do you think the new community officer will help? Let the Times know by emailing tbw.letters@archant.co.uk or by writing to Kings House, Thetford, IP24 2AP.