WILTSHIRE Council is the most active local authority in the region when it comes to dealing with fly-tipping, a union has revealed.

There were more than 3,000 incidents of fly-tipping in Wiltshire’s local authority region in 2016 to 2017, figures from GMB Southern have shown.

But the union said there was “a huge variation” in the efforts made by councils to find the perpetrators and punish them.

Wiltshire was the most active local authority for taking action, with an average of 1.05 actions taken for every incident reported (3,167 actions for 3,019 reports).

The next most active local authority was Purbeck, with a ratio of 0.3. Swindon, Christchurch and North Dorset all reported no action taken against fly-tipping.

The figures show that in the year up to March 2017, 67 local authorities in Dorset and

Wiltshire cleared 10,306 incidents of fly-tipping, but during the same period only 3,858 actions were taken to investigate fly-tippers.

The union is calling for all councils to be more active to investigate and punish the anti-social behaviour of fly-tippers and said “nothing less than a policy of zero tolerance should be acceptable”.

Local authorities have extensive powers to take action against fly-tipping, including sending warning letters, fixed penalty notices, stop-and-searches, seizing vehicles, issuing a caution or even prosecution.

Paul Maloney, GMB Southern regional secretary, said: “Fly-tipping is deeply antisocial behaviour and can never be tolerated.

“Councils need to learn from each other and, as well as having investigation and enforcement teams, they need to mobilise the full-hearted support of the local community for the policy of zero tolerance.”

Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways said: “We take the enforcement of flytipping very seriously and when it is on council land we issue Fixed Penalty Notices (currently £400) for small scale tipping and prosecute offenders for larger offences.

“Recently, a fly-tipper in Wiltshire was jailed for carrying out this crime and we will continue to crack down on it where we can by investigating every report we get.”