POLICE should search through fly-tipped rubbish for "clues" as to who is responsible, a councillor says.

As reported in yesterday's Daily Echo, roads policing officers will soon stop vans believed to be connected to rogue waste carrying operations.

The news was hailed by Christchurch councillor Margaret Phipps, who has long campaigned for more to be done about fly-tipping.

"As many agencies and organisations as possible should be involved with this," she said.

"Police should get involved with looking through fly-tipping to find out who is responsible. Officers should be searching for clues."

At a meeting in West Howe, Temporary Inspector Jon Wasey, who represented Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill, warned of "paying somebody £30 to take property away."

He told residents: "It's your responsibility if [property] is dumped and it's traced back to you."

Fly-tipping is currently dealt with by local authorities, rather than the police.

However, Mr Underhill said he recognises that the issue "affects the lives of many Dorset residents" and has implications for community safety.

Cllr Phipps said: "We need to stop it altogether.

"There are no recriminations for fly-tipping at all.

"I understand that someone could easily turn around and say, 'Well, I don't know how that got there', and that it's a challenging issue to deal with, but if perpetrators knew it was being properly investigated and followed up, maybe it would happen less.

"Police should be involved in that."

Fly-tipping cost Dorset councils more than £230,000 to clear up in 2016/17. The data covers incidents on council land alone.

In Bournemouth, there were 1,556 incidents, which cost £47,553 to clear. Borough of Poole was hit with a £31,014 bill to clear up 714 separate occasions of illegal dumping.

Fly-tippers can be sentenced to 12 months in prison or fined £50,000.

Farmers and rural landowners are held responsible for clearing rubbish from their own land. They are also liable if dumped rubbish damages the countryside.

The average cost of such incidents is £1,000.

Flytipping in Dorset 2018

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