§ Mr. Love
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many successful prosecutions there were in(a) England and Wales, (b) Greater London and (c) Enfield for fly-tipping in each of the last five years; what steps she is taking to strengthen protection against this activity; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
Local authorities and the Environment Agency may prosecute for fly-tipping offences. Between 1996 and 2001, the Agency recorded prosecutions for general waste offences on a financial year basis. The data do not distinguish fly-tipping offences from other waste offences. From 1 April 1999, the Agency recorded, on a regional basis, whether an incident involves the unlawful deposit of waste, and whether prosecutions led to convictions or acquittals. This information is given below, but is not broken down within a region. No central register is kept of local authorities' prosecutions.
Prosecutions (England & Wales) General waste offences Unlawful deposit of waste 1996–1997 241 1997–1998 345 1998–1999 367 1999–2000 342 219 2000–2001 439 225 2001–2002 264
Convictions (England & Wales) Unlawful deposit of waste1 1999–2000 211 2000–2001 210 2001–2002 253
Convictions (Thames Region) Unlawful deposit of waste1 1999–2000 25 2000–2001 30 2001–2002 43 1 Prosecutions under section 33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990
There are stringent controls in place to deal with fly tipping, which is a criminal offence. In the event of a conviction, severe penalties are available to the courts, including an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment of up to 5 years. The Environment Agency or the local authority have powers to remove fly-tipped waste and to recover their costs from those responsible.
The Agency is currently working to establish a central unit to co-ordinate its approach to environmental crime. This unit will work with other key enforcement bodies, such as local authorities, the Police and HM Customs and Excise, and will target particular environmental and economic threats such as fly tipping.