A borough-wide crackdown on fly-tipping in Ealing has seen 4,000 fines sent out to offenders in six months, but some councillors argue the main culprits are being ignored due to CCTV failings.

Thousands of fixed penalty notices have been issued since August when a specialist enforcement team was introduced, which the council say has decreased fly-tipping by 46%.

But opposition councillors argued only the soft targets have been hit by fines rather than main offenders.

A council spokesman said: "The council has taken one of the most proactive stances on tackling fly-tipping in the country, which is on the increase nationally.

"Last June, Ealing was one of the first boroughs to adopt the higher rate fixed penalty notice of £400 as part of a London-wide crack down to keep the capital clean."

(Left) Rubbish left on a side street in Uxbridge Road and (right) a mattress dumped near Hanwell station

Four specialist enforcement teams currently operate in the borough.

They are responsible for discouraging, catching, and cleaning up after selfish individuals who flout the law by dumping waste.

Fly tipping has become a big issue in Ealing since the introduction of controversial new wheelie bins in June last year.

Despite the fly-tipping decrease of 46% since August, figures showed complaints of fly tipping increased by 216% between June and August last year, compared to the same months in 2015.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, the council’s cabinet member for environment, transport and leisure said: "There is never an excuse to fly-tip.

"Nationally there has been a significant increase in fly-tipping, but in Ealing, we've taken immediate and clear action that is achieving results.

"The message is hitting home to the irresponsible people who think it’s okay to leave their mess for others to deal with."

Alleged fly tipping in The Crescent, Southall

Fly-tippers risk receiving a notice through their letter box with a fine of £400 which if ignored could result in a prosecution, criminal record, being named and shamed and a fine running into thousands of pounds.

Broken CCTV means main prosecutors 'ignored by council'

Opposition councillors however, have disputed the success and said only "soft targets" have been hit by the fines.

Opposition Conservative Leader, Councillor Greg Stafford, said: "This tough stance on fly tipping that the Labour administration would like us to believe is happening is actually being issued to the soft targets, like the people who put out extra garbage over Christmas.

"The real fly-tippers, those who are dumping large household items are being ignored by the council because often times the CCTV evidence required for prosecution is not available or better yet, was not working."

CCTV cameras
CCTV cameras are not picking up offenders, according to Ealing Council Tory leader Greg Stafford

The Tory councillor added: "There is a reason why Ealing was recently named as the 15 worse borough in the country as a Grot Spot and it comes back to the efficiency of our waste and recycling and street cleaning services.

"Unfortunately, until Labour acknowledges that there are genuine problems in this service area, the soft targets will continue to be a risk for a trumped up fine."

In response, the Ealing council spokesman said: “The comments regarding CCTV are misleading and inaccurate.

"The council’s specialist enforcement teams use CCTV wherever it can provide evidence and help secure prosecutions against fly-tipping.

"However CCTV is not always the most effective way of catching fly-tipping and many hotspots are in residential areas where there are fewer cameras.

"Therefore the council uses several forms of enforcement, including four specialist teams deployed across the borough to clear the streets and catch perpetrators.

"There are no reports of faults with the council’s CCTV technology inhibiting fly-tipping investigations."

The council’s free app, Ealing 24/7, also allows residents to report street and environmental issues using their smartphone.

Residents can also report cases of fly-tipping online, or by calling the council’s hotline on 020 8825 8825.

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