Builder prosecuted following fly-tip investigation

Published Monday, 18 March 2019

A builder has been prosecuted for a fly-tipping related offence in Star Lane, St Mary Cray.

The prosecution, part of the council’s successful ‘We’re watching you’ anti fly-tip initiative followed CCTV footage showing the offence.  Harry Cannaford of Appleton Drive, Dartford, who allowed his colleague to dump waste from a property they had been working on, pleaded guilty to the charge under section 33 (5) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He was ordered to pay fines and costs of £982.

“We are tackling fly-tipping and investigations and prosecutions are very much part this work.  Fly-tipping and dumped rubbish of any kind is totally unacceptable - it’s no excuse to dump it where there had previously been fly-tipping, assuming somehow this is acceptable. Fly-tipping is especially dangerous for drivers in country lanes, as it can block the whole road, apart from being costly for council tax payers who ultimately, end up paying the removal bill” said Councillor Kate Lymer, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement.

In November 2018, fly-tipped waste was discovered by a council enforcement officer after reviewing CCTV footage of Star Lane. Star Lane has been previously targeted by fly-tippers and is currently closed to deter this anti-social behaviour, with illegal waste carriers ‘profiting’ by fly-tipping waste and avoid paying disposal costs. 

Investigations revealed the owner of the vehicle involved in the fly-tipping incident to be builder Harry Cannaford, who had been working on a property that day. When he passed Star Lane on the way home, Cannaford encouraged his passenger colleague to dump the rubbish from his vehicle, claiming incorrectly that there had been some waste there already. Although the incident was captured on camera, he was invited to explain his actions but failed to attend interview twice before being taken to court.

The case follows the recent prosecution also relating to Star Lane, where an Orpington resident paid an unknown individual to remove waste from his property. A large amount of rubbish was subsequently found strewn along Star Lane, with certain items traced back to the resident. The resident had failed in his duty of care to dispose of his waste responsibly, even though it was passed onto somebody else. He failed to check if he was handing his rubbish to a licensed waste carrier or obtain a note detailing the type of waste and what will happen it.

Residents and businesses are reminded that they must dispose of their waste responsibly without being hazardous to health or harming the environment. By law, waste carriers must pay to dispose waste at a waste transfer station but unauthorised waste carriers may evade these costs by dumping it. 

To ensure you’re using a legitimate waste carrier, ask to see their waste carriers’ licence or check online at before handing over any waste. Anyone choosing to use an unauthorised waste carrier risks a substantial fine or prosecution under the Environment Protection Act 1990 if the waste is dumped and traced back to the them.

Anyone seeing an enviro-crime like fly-tipping taking place, is advised to report it to the police straightaway and report the details to the council at – preferably, including useful information such as a description of the offender, a vehicle registration or photo. As a ‘thank you’, up to £500 from the Envirocrime Reward Scheme could be given to anyone whose evidence is used to successfully prosecute offenders.

The council uses a range of methods to find and deter fly-tippers including prosection, Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs), CCTV surveillance, vehicle ‘stop and search’ operations and seizing vehicles from those known to be involved in fly-tipping and from those unable to prove they are legitimate waste carriers. The council’s campaign, ‘Fly-tippers - we’re watching you’ aims to tackle all forms of fly-tipping – from a small bag of rubbish left on the street to a lorry load of construction waste dumped in a green space.

To find out more about waste disposal options, visit or call 0300 303 8658.


Notes to editors:
  • The case was heard at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on 13 March 2019. Harry Cannaford pleaded guilty to a fly-tipping related offence under Section 33 (5) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which states where controlled waste is carried in and deposited from a motor vehicle, the person who controls or is in a position to control the use of the vehicle shall be treated as knowingly causing the waste to be deposited whether or not he gave any instructions for this to be done.  Under S.33(5) the owner or controller of a vehicle used to fly tip is guilty of the offence whether or not they allowed the vehicle to be used for that purpose, even if they are not present and take no part in the actions.  He was ordered to pay fines of £666, costs of £250 plus £66 surcharge.
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