Environmental Crime Enforcement – Nathan Thompson, Environmental Crime Enforcement Manager, Environmental Crime Enforcement Team, Lewisham Council
Nathan Thompson gave an in-depth presentation about how Lewisham Council are tackling fly-tipping, litter and other environmental crimes.
Information on this subject given to residents at the meeting included:
· Who the Hybrid Environmental Crime Enforcement Team are and their overall aims
· The scope of the Environmental Enforcement Team
· Ways the team are tackling Fly Tipping & Litter, waste on private land, and abandoned Vehicles/ Roadside Repairs from garages.
Mr Thompson also provided attendees with a number of Catford South specific statistics and highlighted that Catford South is in the middle bracket for recorded fixed penalty notices across the borough.
Since April 2022, 45 fixed penalty notices have been issued to residents and businesses situated in the Catford South Ward.
Environmental issues recorded by the team in Catford South are mostly with household waste being left on residential streets. Evidence is mostly found from flats above shops and some local businesses, over production of household waste from HMO’s and Roadside vehicles repairs from mechanics.
Mr Thomson also highlighted the use of CCTV camera enforcement and how the team were engaging with the local community to rise awareness of their enforcement remit through engaging, educating, and encouragement before leading to enforcement. The team also attend local litter picks, have regular patrols at hotspot areas, working with the local police and safer neighbourhood teams and leaflet drops in hot spot areas.
Mr Thompson took questions from the floor.
Questions and comments included:
Clarification over enforcement on roadside repairs, Mr Thomas made it clear that this enforcement would in no way would penalise someone who had legitimately broken down and were awaiting assistance, but was focused on businesses using public highways for business repairs.
Mattress collection, Mr Thomas referred people to Lewisham Councils mattress collection service, but did state that this was a very popular and busy service. https://lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/wasterecycle/dispose-of/book-a-free-mattress-collection
There was clarification that enforcement was not around the condition of private front gardens with regard gardens being overgrown or generally messy. Only if refuse sacks were left in gardens.
Several statements were made by attendees that Lewisham’s Tip was not easily accessible and that there were lots of items that the tip would not take, many felt this encouraged fly-tipping. A suggestion was made to change the website to reflect that after 10am you don’t need to book an appointment at the tip.
Other comments were around the blue clothing boxes being red rags for fly tippers, and the time it takes for things to be cleared once reports have been made, a suggestion was made that there are status updates on issues to prevent multiple reports on the same issue. Mr Thompson stated that CCTV camaras are now at the most fly tipped clothing box areas and advocated using the Love Clean Streets app, but also highlighted the contact information for the team and encouraged people to continue to report issues and get updates:
Tel: 020 8314 2170