Undercover camera operation leads to conviction of an organised fly-tipping gang in Wiltshire

  • Watch Kerry Swain's report

A covert camera operation has led to the conviction of a group of fly-tippers in Wiltshire

The group of men were caught on camera leaving waste from their recent roofing jobs.

They dumped and burned household waste such as felt, tarpaulin and white goods and had their white van destroyed as part of the punishment.

The operation took three months and led to the conviction of a five-man gang in Downton.

One gang member wore a cone on his head to try and hide his face when he came to Winchester Crown Court while another wore several surgical masks with eye holes cut in them.

Two of the gang came to court with their faces hidden

The burning of a fridge released a cocktail of harmful fumes into the Wiltshire countryside.

The men were fined a total of £14,000 and today (Tue) their van was crushed as punishment for their actions.

Wiltshire Council has declared zero tolerance for fly-tipping.

Adrian Hampton, from Wiltshire Council, said: "It's surprising sometimes what evidence you can find every now and again you'll be able to find an invoice or a receipt that you can track back to the producer of the waste."

He added: "This type of fly-tipping in regards to the collection side of it would be more than £100,000 so we would spend that amount of money even before you look at the disposal.

"The disposal is considerably more, it also depends on the type of waste, some waste, such as asbestos requires special treatment and that will add to that cost. So it could be many hundreds of thousands of pounds the council spends every year."

The council receives 200 reports of flytipping a month which is not only costly but is also damaging to wildlife and the environment.