The National Rural Crime Network has asked Ministers to urgently think about the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic is having on rural communities.
Rural Police Fear Increase in Waste Crime
The group, representing 30 Police and Crime Commissioners and organisations focussing on rural Britain – the NFU, the Countryside Alliance and Neighbourhood Watch – has written to George Eustice MP, who is the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
They are asking the Environment Secretary to consider some issues which they believe have not been addressed by the government: the closure of waste and recycling centres, which the group says will drive fly-tipping, is the biggest issue.
Julia Mulligan, the Chair of the National Rural Crime Network and also North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “We have seen that rurality is not considered in policy development. In these times, we accept that there is a range of issues to deal with, but we do not believe there has been sufficient focus on the people who live and work in rural locations.”
The Countryside Alliance says there has been a 300% rise in fly-tipping in some areas following the closure of recycling centres by local council authorities during the COVID-19 crisis. It says people are using the lockdown to as an opportunity to clear-out homes and gardens and then dumping the waste illegally. West Oxfordshire Council says it has seen an upsurge in fly-tipping following the closure of its waste and recycling centres. Winchester Council also reported an increase since the lockdown. Enfield Council says households are producing 15% more waste than normal.
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