Fly-tipping as bad as ever as Channel 4 highlights shocking impact

The NFU is calling on the next government to treat rural crime as a priority with a new member survey revealing fly-tipping is as bad as ever and impacting farmers’ ability to produce food and care for the great British countryside.

Results from the survey of 620 NFU members was highlighted during an edition of Channel 4 Dispatches: ‘Rubbish Tip Britain’ which aired last week.

More than half of respondents (54%) to the survey said they had experienced small-scale fly-tipping on farm while over a quarter (30%) said they’d been hit by large-scale fly-tipping. Nearly half of the members surveyed (48%) said the problem had got worse over the past five years.

The survey comes after more than 19,000 people signed the NFU’s letter to newly elected Police and Crime Commissioners last month urging them to make tackling rural crime a priority.

NFU Vice President Rachel Hallos said, “It comes as absolutely no surprise that the results of this latest NFU survey show that more and more of our farms and countryside spaces are being used as dumping grounds. Our members tell us they’ve experienced battered old kitchen appliances, sofas and mattresses abandoned on their land, as well as industrial-scale amounts of hazardous and toxic materials such as asbestos. One also had 10 fridge freezers left in a gateway. It’s shocking and no exaggeration to say that fly-tipping is a constant blot on the landscape.

“Over the past few months, we have been working closely with production company Quicksilver Media on a special programme for Channel 4 Dispatches to demonstrate how fly-tipping and waste crime has become more organised and sophisticated across the whole of the UK. It will show how farmers’ and their families are being left to clean up the mess at great cost – both emotionally and financially. When viewers tune in, they will see how soul-destroying it can be to have your home and workplace used as a dumping ground and the huge damage it causes.

“For some time now, we have been making the case to politicians that action is desperately needed. In the NFU’s election manifesto, aimed at all political parties, we highlight that rural crime, including fly-tipping, must be treated as a priority. We want to see a consistent and coordinated response across government, including fair funding for rural policing, a dedicated rural crime team in every police force in the country and the formation of a cross-departmental rural crime task force to address the failures in dealing with rural crime.”


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