FLY-TIPPING has been described as a “disgusting scourge” by councillors as Wiltshire Council pledged to prosecute more people who dump waste in laybys across the county – after learning that from 2,822 council led investigations, only one person was prosecuted for getting rid of rubbish illegally last year.

Seven more prosecutions are set to be resolved this year, says the authority.

Covert cameras were used to collect evidence in one investigation and the use of hidden surveillance to catch culprits was commended by members of the Environment Select Committee.

Some say more needs to be done to tackle fly-tipping.

Since April 2018 2,822 fly-tipping incidents have been investigated by Wiltshire Council.

This lead to 37 fixed penalty notices being issued to people who dumped their rubbish and 149 warning letters sent to stop others from repeat offending.

Councillor Jacqui Lay said: “37 fixed penalty notices doesn’t sound an awful lot of people out of 2822. This is an issue that is obviously costing the council and the public a lot of money to investigate.”

Although the amount of fly-tipping reported has decreased by 10 per cent since 2017, Councillor Mike Hewitt said there was a perception that it is an increasing problem.

Cabinet member for waste, Councillor Bridget Wayman, said: “The people doing it are pretty savvy and quite careful not to leave evidence. The team will go out and investigate, we spend a lot of time attending these incidents. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the evidence to pursue the offenders.“Reports show it has reduced somewhat this current year. Hopefully incidents continue to go down. Where we can we will prosecute. It is disgusting, we all hate it. There are a few spoiling it for all others.”

Although Wiltshire Council can set up covert cameras to catch culprits, town and parish councils and private landowners are blocked from doing the same.

In the last year dash cam footage taken from a car that identified a flytipper was used to issue  a fixed penalty. Speaking at the Environment Select Committee meeting in County Hall, Trowbridge, this morning, Cllr Lay added: “You don’t need signs to have a dash cam and I think they can be extremely useful.”

Figures were released after an Environment Select Committee task group called for the number of fly-tipping prosecutions to be published.