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Spotlight on the Street enforcement team

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As Bristol looks to smarten up its streets with the Mayor’s Cleaner Streets campaign, Spotlight have spent some time with the team responsible for getting tough on repeat offenders.  We spent the morning with Tom from the Street Enforcement team to find out what it’s like.

How do you tackle the problem of fly tipping in Bristol?

Fly tipping is no good for anyone, businesses and residents alike.  It is a crime just as littering is a crime.  If you are caught doing either you will be at risk of a fine.  

In Bristol, we use a combination of approaches to try and tackle fly tipping long term.
We work very closely with Bristol Waste, including their community engagement officers who try and educate local people about how they can help to keep their streets clean.

Our team also tries to get the message across through both engagement and enforcement. 

There are often circumstances which need to be considered before any action can be taken.

Having said this - Businesses, for example, should know that they need a waste contract in order to dispose of their waste legally.  If they don’t have a contract, we serve a notice asking them to ensure they have one, its important they take responsibility for their own waste. 

I’ve spent the last sixteen months visiting every business in my patch and we are slowly starting to see some changes.

Most of the businesses in the city are now getting the message that it is not acceptable to fly tip their waste or just dispose in residential bins at the cost of taxpayers.

Some local businesses are even working with us to try and curb this behaviour by other businesses and residents through supplying evidence.  Witness statements and CCTV evidence allows us to target those directly that are offending.

For anyone who hasn’t got the message yet we will use our full range of powers and those of our partners to make Bristol a cleaner city.  If you are caught fly tipping we will take action.

How can the people of Bristol help you to tackle the problem of waste in the city?

In order to tackle fly tipping in the city we need people to report incidents, we also want people that have witnessed an incident to come forward and provide any information that may allow us to take action. 

It is important to try and change the behaviour of those who offend to show that littering or fly tipping is as much a crime as any other. You can report fly tipping and littering on our website: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/flytipping.

Why do you do what you do?

I want people to be able to enjoy the area they live and work in. I try and do the best I can, I work hard and never lose sight of the fact that I work for the people of Bristol. The work we do makes a difference to the people of Bristol and that’s important to me.

I work in a great team and we can get some great results!  Often we’ll go to see a complainant who is emotional and clearly affected by whatever their issue is, whether someone is throwing waste over their fence or playing loud music.  To see the change if we are successful in our investigation is amazing and makes you realise what a difference you can make to someone’s life.

Businesses looking for more information on how to deal with their waste can head to our website: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/business-waste-recycling