DORSET police officers will join the battle against fly-tippers by stopping vans believed to be connected to rogue waste carriers.

Residents who voiced their concerns about the scale of fly-tipping in West Howe during a public meeting held last week were told traffic officers will launch an initiative to tackle the issue.

Temporary Inspector Jon Wasey, who represented Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill at the meeting, said residents need to keep passing on information about fly-tipping to police.

"It all comes back to community intelligence," he said.

“We’re looking at traffic officers doing an operation around waste carrier licences with partners.

"Police can stop the vans [involved].”

He warned homeowners to be wary of "paying somebody £30 to take property away".

"Be careful, be cautious," he said.

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

Residents who attended the meeting blamed a rise in prices at household recycling centres for an increase in fly-tipping.

Seamus Doran, tenancy services manager at Bournemouth Borough Council, said the problem is a "big issue" for local authorities. Members of the public and builders disposing of rubble should use facilities like Millhams, he said, but acknowledged: "The reason they don't do it is because it's expensive."

A woman who attended the meeting, but didn't want to be named by the Daily Echo, said: "If it wasn't expensive to dump stuff, people would take it to the tip."

Mr Doran said communities need to "work together" to try and solve the problem.

Speaking after the meeting, T/Insp Wasey said: “Fly-tipping is a local authority led issue and any reports or information should be submitted to the appropriate council departments.

“However, Mr Underhill recognises that it has implications for community safety, affecting the lives of many Dorset residents, and as such is working to bring together partner agencies to discuss possible action.

“This includes exploring a number of initiatives, based on research and national best practice, again led by local authorities. Some early discussions have recognised the need to utilise the full range of powers held by all local services.

"For example, local authorities are able to impose fixed penalty notices for up to £400, but they do not have the power to stop vehicles suspected of being involved in suspicious or criminal behaviour that is linked to illegal waste disposal. This is one area where police may be able to offer support.

“Partners will continue to work on establishing effective solutions, but ultimately any success will rely on the intelligence received from members of the public."