A Woodley man was caught red handed fly-tipping a bag of paint pots in a public car park when a witness took a photo of his registration number. 

The incident, which took place at Lytham Road car park on April 30, was reported to Wokingham Borough Council’s anti-social behaviour team (ASB) who obtained the photographic evidence. 

The ASB team worked with Thames Valley Police to trace the van’s vehicle registration to an address in Woodley, where the perpetrator was presented with the evidence and issued a £400 fixed penalty notice. 

The council’s executive member for environment, sport and leisure, Cllr Ian Shenton, thanked the “quick thinking” of the witness and emphasised the local authority’s “zero-tolerance” approach to fly-tipping. 

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Cllr Shenton assured residents that anyone caught illegally dumping waste will be “held accountable” and joked that this particular individual had “painted himself into a corner”. 

The witness, who was sitting in their vehicle at the car park, noticed the man “acting suspiciously” as he got out of his van. 

He looked around before going to the side of his van, opening the sliding door and removing a black bin bag. The man then dropped the bag on the ground behind his vehicle and drove off. 

The witness checked the black bin bag, discovered it contained fly-tipped tins and cans of paint and immediately contacted the council to provide them with the evidence.

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Of the 5,205 cases of fly-tipping in the borough over the last three years, just 45 fixed penalty notices have been issued and paid – a total of 0.9 per cent – an FOI obtained by The News revealed.   

The data shows that incidents have fallen from a record high of 2,324 in 2020 during the pandemic, however the number since April 2021 has increased by 22 per cent on 2019’s figures. 

Last year the council spent a total of £22,500 on removing discarded rubbish. 

Cllr Shenton is “urging” residents to check that any waste disposal or ‘man in van’ service holds a valid waste carrier’s license. This can be done by visiting the Environment Agency’s website and typing in the company name. 

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“Remember that you are also responsible for keeping our borough clean and green and if we find fly-tipped waste and trace it back to you, as a householder you can also be fined or face prosecution.  

“Don’t get caught out, check online or use our large, unwanted items service where we can collect up to five large items for £58.10,” he added. 

Residents who witness fly-tipping in the borough can report the information in confidence on the council’s website. If the information results in a successful prosecution, residents will receive a gift card of their choice to the value of £100.