EHPs have taken on a gang responsible for “industrial levels” of fly-tipping in a police-style operation culminating in prosecution for 26 offences and a prison sentence.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council built a case spanning money laundering and waste fraud, as well as fly-tipping, working with police and neighbouring authorities Sheffield City Council, Bolsover District Council and North East Derbyshire District Council.
Some of the work involved using covert cameras to build a case against the prolific fly-tipping operation sprawling across a large geographical area that was so bad that on occasion it blocked roads.
But on 2 December Horace Piggott, also known as Caesar Piggott, was handed down a two-year jail sentence by Sheffield Crown Court for fly-tipping and connected fraud offences. He was also given a 10-year banning order preventing him from running or advertising a waste collection service.
His son, Deano Piggott, was given a 12-month community order with up to 15 days rehabilitation activity and 120 hours unpaid work, also for fly-tipping.
Joanna Galvin, who worked with the two men, was given an eight-month suspended sentence, with up to 15 days rehabilitation activity and 80 hours unpaid work for money laundering linked to the waste offences.
The judge in the case, Judge Thomas QC, said Horace Piggott had shown a persistent disregard for the regulatory regime by continuing to fly-tip, despite the council seizing 15 of his vehicles and informing him that he was the subject of investigation. He added that the offending was deliberate with significant monetary loss to the councils involved.
Rotherham Council’s assistant director of community safety and street scene, Tom Smith, said: “This is a great result for all the staff that have been working hard on this case. The joint operation is one of the largest of its kind. Legitimate waste removal companies will have waste carriers licences and a real business address.
“They will always offer receipts for the waste and be able to explain where it will be disposed. Where residents go for the cheap unofficial option to dispose of waste; they could also be committing an offence and can be prosecuted.”
Two out of the 26 cases were from North East Derbyshire District Council but were prosecuted by Rotherham. Councillor and leader of the council Martin Thacker said: “Fly-tipping is an offence which affects areas all over the country. We will not tolerate such acts. The council is delighted by the outcome of this case.”