This is the moment villagers banded together and blocked two fly-tippers who were dumping rubbish.
Quick-thinking locals used their cars to barricade the vans as they unloaded waste on a country lane on the edge of Meriden in the West Midlands. Pictures showed officers from Warwickshire Police seizing a white van following the incident on Maxstoke Lane on the Packington Estate on Wednesday.
Police said it was "some of the worst fly-tipping we had seen in a long time." Two men were detained and ordered to reload their vehicles with rubbish, with the vans then being seized under the Environmental Act.
Warwickshire Police wrote on their Facebook page: “We attended the Packington Estate on Maxstone Lane near Meriden to a report of two vans fly-tipping. We attended in support of North Warwickshire Local Policing officers who had been called to the scene after local residents and workers on the estate had blocked the offenders in.
“On arrival, we found some of the worst fly-tipping we had seen in a long time. We detained two males who were instructed to reload the two vans with all the rubbish dumped.
“We supervised them cleaning up their mess and enjoyed a great cup of tea and slice of home made cake courtesy of the farmer’s wife. No cake and tea for these two offenders.”
A police spokesperson added: "Cleaning up the results of fly-tipping is the responsibility of the local council and members of the public who discover incidents of fly-tipping should report it to them directly.
"Officers from the Warwickshire Rural Crime Team also attended the scene and have now taken on the investigation and prosecution case."
Fly-tipping punishments in England
Local authorities in England dealt with 1.08 million fly-tipping incidents in 2022-23, a decrease of 1% from the 1.09 million reported in 2021-22. These incidents could have resulted in various actions from the council, including investigations, warning letters, fixed penalty notices and criminal prosecutions. However, an analysis by LoveJunk, a waste removal marketplace, revealed that only a tiny fraction of these incidents led to any punitive action.
Its report showed the police prosecuted 1,665 fly tipping incidents, an average prosecution rate of 0.2%% or 1 in 500. In total, 181 (59%) councils did not prosecute anyone for fly-tipping and of the prosecutions undertaken, only 1% of offenders received a custodial sentence, with 87% of fines never paid.
The amount of the fine or the length of the prison sentence depends on how bad the fly-tipping is. People who dump small amounts of waste may be fined up to £1,000. But those who dump a lot of waste could be taken to court and fined up to £50,000 or even sent to prison.
To stop fly-tipping, the government has taken steps such as increasing enforcement and using cameras to monitor places where people often dump waste. Last year, on-the-spot fines for litter, graffiti and fly-tipping were raised as part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.