Great Yarmouth Borough Council reminds people to stay within the law this festive season
Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Environmental Rangers are reminding people to continue to stay within the law over the Christmas period.
With the shortest day of the year approaching, there is normally a national increase in dog-fouling as negligent dog owners use the darkness to avoid clearing up after their pets.
Anyone caught failing to clear up after their canine friend risks a fine of up to £1,000 in the courts. The Environmental Rangers request that residents report any incidents of dog-fouling they witness so they can investigate.
In addition, there is a higher risk of unwary householders being targeted by unlicensed doorstep waste collectors over the festive fortnight, as people are at home more and have additional waste to dispose of.
These illegal waste collectors typically offer very affordable fees, but rather than pay to dispose of it legally, they fly-tip the waste. It is the legal duty of the householder to check that anyone they pass waste to has a waste carrier licence from the Environment Agency, as any dumped waste that can be traced back to the householder can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.
The council's Environmental Rangers have one of Norfolk's best records for enforcement, bringing 34 successful prosecutions for dog-fouling in the last five years and 34 successful prosecutions for waste-related offences in the last two years.
Cllr Penny Carpenter, chairman of the environment committee, said: "While the festive period is a time of goodwill for most, some unfortunately see it as an opportunity to break the law to the detriment of the environment and their communities.
"The council's Environmental Rangers work proactively to tackle illegal waste collectors and those who allow their dogs to foul, investigating and prosecuting where there is enough evidence. But it is important that everyone is aware and plays their part and is aware of their legal responsibilities.
"Crucially, if someone knocks at your door offering to remove waste and the price seems too good to be true, ask to see their licence. If they can't show it, report them to the authorities immediately."
Waste and Cleansing Manager, Paul Shucksmith, said: "The Environmental Rangers will still be working over the festive fortnight. However, they cannot be everywhere at once. That is why we enlist the help of the public and their tip-offs, which are often key in helping to target the offending individuals, whether that be dog-foulers or illegal waste collectors."
Anyone who witnesses an environmental crime in the borough or has information that may help to identify an offender should contact the Environmental Rangers on 01493 846478. What they need is strong evidence - not necessarily photographs. For example, for dog-fouling a description of the dog and person walking it, the location, date and time of the activity. For illegal waste collectors, it would be helpful to have the make and model of the vehicle, the registration number plate as well as the location, date and time of the incident.