New hard-hitting strategy to tackle environmental vandalism in Fife

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FlytippingFife councillors reviewed and approved a new strategy to prevent environmental vandalism - problems that impact on our communities and environment - at the council's Environment & Protective Services Sub Committee on 10 February 2022.

The vision of the council's Environmental Vandalism Strategy 2022 - 2024 is to significantly reduce illegal activity detrimental to the environment in Fife. It is designed to drive a step-change in behaviours through a prevention-led approach with robust enforcement where offences are committed around illegal dumping, littering, dog fouling, graffiti/flyposting and abandoned vehicles. To ensure long-term improvement there will be a consistent proactive focus on prevention.

Central to the strategy is: the swift removal of its effects, wherever it may occur; the implementation of effective policing methods, which will meaningfully utilise the available technology and will penalise the vandals whenever they are identified; maximising the effectiveness of the Council’s staffing and vehicle resources; developing more informative data gathering and working with and informing the community of what it can do to assist the Council.

Environmental vandalism has serious negative local consequences on:

  • the environment and injury to pets and wildlife from discarded waste
  • the economy, tourism, and property prices
  • health and wellbeing
  • increased costs to councils, partners, and private landowners for clearing up incidents.

Environmental vandalism is a significant challenge for councils across Scotland and costs over £78M every year.

Cllr Ross Vettraino, Fife Council's Convener- Environment and Protective Services, said: “The council's new Environmental Vandalism Strategy will bring about long term improvements to Fife's communities. Over the next three years, the council aims to tackle environmental vandalism through both prevention and enforcement.  Robust enforcement will act as a deterrent - Fife Council is cracking down on environmental crimes and illegal activity will not be tolerated. At the same time, the council knows that the majority of local people take pride in their local area and will also focus is on helping people change their behaviour.

“An important element of this new approach is to ensure that every person in Fife, whether a resident, business, partner, or employee, takes responsibility for being part of the solution. Everyone needs to be empowered to report any environmental offending within their neighbourhoods to ensure issues are reported as quickly as possible. This way, intelligence can be gathered to support enforcement action and action taken.”

A multi-agency approach will be adopted to deliver the new strategy and the 6 key objectives identified:

  • Partnership working
  • Promoting awareness and positive behavioural change
  • Educating children and young people through schools
  • Operational, service re-design and coordination
  • Supporting community based Action through Volunteering
  • Enforcement action.

Central to this strategy will be the swift removal of impacts, effective policing methods that will use technology and penalise the vandals, developing data gathering and working with communities.

An Environmental Vandalism Charter will be developed to encourage everyone to find the best way of making Fife cleaner and more attractive to those who live, work or visit the area.