England's fly-tipping shame: Illegal dumpings tip over a million for first time but enforcement action drops

  • Video report by ITV News consumer editor Chris Choi

England's fly-tipping shame has hit record levels with more than a million illegal dumpings in the last year.

Household rubbish accounted for around two thirds of the 1,002,154 cases recorded by local councils in 2016/2017.

The clean-up operation cost £57.7 million, new figures show - while £16 million was spent on 474,000 enforcement actions.

The 7% increase in fly-tipping is the fourth annual rise in a row but the first time the cases have surpassed a million.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi noted the increase in reported incidents and costs had not led to more enforcement.

Items dumped ranged from fridges to construction rubble, tyres, asbestos and even animal carcasses.

ITV News investigated the worrying rise in a series of Grot Spot Britain reports during 2017.

Responding to the latest figures, the Environment Department (Defra) condemned the growing mess as an "unacceptable blight on our landscape".

A spokesperson said the government had "cracked down on offenders by strengthening sentencing guidelines" and given councils powers to hand out on-the-spot fines.

"We have made it easier for vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping to be stopped, searched and seized and will continue to work with local partners to stop this inexcusable crime," he added.