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Grot Spot Britain: How accidental tip-off exposed shameless tippers

In Hertfordshire a local resident is taking fly-tipping personally.

Graham Bray told us he is outraged that people repeatedly dump in his local community.

He became an important part of our coverage of the fly-tipping epidemic through a lucky accident.

Driving near his home, he came across illegal dumpers tipping a lorry load in broad daylight.

He's given us the footage he got from his dashboard camera - and I hope it leads to the culprits being found.

Even when fly-tippers are caught, the prospects of a successful prosecution are not as good as they should be.

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association told ITV News that "some courts hand out tiny, tiny sentences".

A London business caught another instance of shameless tipping.

"Prosecuting fly-tippers often requires time-consuming and laborious investigations, with a high threshold of proof, at a time when councils face significant budget pressures," a spokesperson said.

"Taking fly-tippers to court is a lengthy and expensive process for councils."

We used Freedom of Information requests and 313 councils told us of their prosecutions for fly-tipping and other waste crimes between Nov 2015 and Dec 2016.

In total there were 2,226, but that's alongside well over 700,000 incident reports.

1%
The approximate number of fly-tipping cases that end up in court.

It indicates that as little as under 1% of cases could end up in court.

Local authorities which had the most prosecutions were all in the north of England; Pendle in Lancashire, Newcastle and Manchester.

Councils want reforms to make successful prosecutions more likely.

They want more of the responsibility taken by product producers.

This includes manufacturers providing more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones.

They also want "deterrent penalties" when illegal dumpers are taken to court.

Demands are growing for tougher penalties against those who make THEIR mess OUR problem.

In response to our Grot Spot Britain series, you sent in photos of fly-tipping in your area.