Mystery men dump waste but resident pays the penalty

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A resident has been fined after “men in a van” illegally dumped waste near the site of the Great Train Robbery.

Rukhsana Iftikhar, 43, pleaded guilty at Wycombe Magistrates Court on October 12 to the offence of failing in her duty of care as a householder regarding waste which was found dumped illegally.

The court heard that on February 12 investigators from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire examined dumped waste which they found at the roadside between Ledburn and Mentmore, near the turning for the bridge imfamous for the Great Train Robbery of 1963.

The waste was photographed and examined for evidence of origin. Details found within the dumped waste led the investigators to speak to Mrs Iftikhar.

When interviewed, Mrs Iftikhar denied dumping the waste herself. She said that she and her husband had employed “men with a van” who they paid to remove household waste from their home in of Hampden Road, Aylesbury. She said they paid cash and nothing had been done to identify the men or their vehicle, or to check that they were authorised to remove the waste.

The magistrates fined Mrs Iftikhar £125, and ordered clean-up and prosecution costs to be paid in the sum of £500. A victim surcharge of £20 was also levied – making a total to pay of £645.

Cllr Mike Smith, chairman of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, said: “We try to view householders positively when we find their waste fly-tipped, but we do have to insist that they check a waste carrier’s identity and confirm that they are authorised to remove waste.

“To protect yourself, make a note of their vehicle registration, and don’t pay by cash – if the carrier knows they can be traced, they’re much less likely to fly-tip.

“Providing the authorities with a registration number could mean that, if it does come to court, you’ll be a witness rather than the defendant.”

The case was prosecuted by Buckinghamshire County Council working on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire.

The Waste Partnership launched the ‘Illegal Dumping Costs’ campaign in November 2003 to combat illegal dumping and waste management offences in Buckinghamshire.

Since that date the Partnership has secured 553 convictions against individuals and companies for illegal dumping and related offences.

On average since April 2010, there has been at least one conviction per week for illegal dumping offences in Buckinghamshire.

This has resulted in a halving of reported incidents and a significant saving to the Buckinghamshire tax payer over the period, principally through reducing removal and disposal costs.

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