Warning to residents lending vehicles

Published Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Residents are warned to be wary about lending their vehicles to others following prosecution for a fly-tipping offence.

Garden waste, black bags and other household items were some of the items dumped in a private alleyway in Croydon Road, Elmers End. The fly-tipping offence was caught on CCTV with a vehicle normally used by Luke Niggemann of Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham. 

Following the hearing at Bromley Magistrates’ Court last week, Mr Niggeman pleaded guilty under the Environmental Protection Act section 33(5). The 1990 Act states that if the waste is deposited from a vehicle, the person who controls the use of the vehicle shall be treated as knowingly causing the waste to be dumped, whether or not he gave any instructions for this to be done. As he wasn’t directly involved in the fly-tipping, the Judge gave Mr Niggeman a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £458 in costs plus £20 surcharge. 

“Anyone lending their vehicle to friends, family or colleagues should be aware that when they hand over the keys, they are still responsible. If their vehicle is used to transport items or waste that is dumped, in the eyes of the law simply not knowing is not an excuse. It is a very similar principle that exists with the ‘duty of care’ responsibilities that residents are already aware of, that only registered waste carriers should be used to dispose of waste, otherwise residents could be prosecuted if their waste is then found fly-tipped” said a Bromley Council spokesperson. 

The court heard that the fly-tipping incident was reported to the council in May 2016 and that a nearby business had it recorded on CCTV. The footage showed a male dumping garden waste, black bags and household items in the alleyway from a silver Ford Transit van. 

Lengthy investigations ensued. It was eventually found that as Luke Niggemann was the person controlling usage of the vehicle at the time of the offence, he was responsible and prosecution followed. 

The council is working hard to stop those responsible for fly-tipping and damaging the neighbourhood in a number of ways including the use of intelligence information, CCTV surveillance, ‘We’re Watching You’ campaign and ‘stop and search’ operations. They can also issue FPNs, prosecute offenders and seize vehicles involved in fly-tipping and from those unable to prove they are legitimate waste carriers. The Enviro-crime reward scheme offers up to £500 for residents who’s information helps the Council prosecute offenders. 

Residents are reminded that garden waste can be disposed of as part of the council’s garden waste collection service for an annual subscription of £60. Garden waste and other bulky waste is accepted at the council’s reuse and recycling centres for no charge for residents and for traders (at a charge). 

For legal waste disposal options, businesses and residents are advised to search www.bromley.gov.uk/wastenews

ENDS

Notes to editors: 

  • The case was heard at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on 11 April 2018.
  • For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk