Number of flytipping offences in East Ayrshire between 2010 and 2018

The request was partially successful.

Jonathan Rainey

Dear East Ayrshire Council,

I write this letter under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the following information on flytipping:

1. How many flytipping incidents in the county that your authority controls were reported to East Ayrshire Council, Police Scotland (including then Strathclyde Police) and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency between 2010 and 2018?
2. How many flytipping cases were dropped between 2010 and 2018 because the evidence was found to be tampered with? Also, how many were dropped due to fears of reprisals from the reported offender(s)? How many were also dropped due to lack of evidence?
3. Can the citizens of the East Ayrshire area set up their own covert surveillance cameras to capture flytippers in the act themselves? If so, apart from Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (especially regarding section 2 on privacy being exempt in the interest of preventing crime and disorder) what exact laws need to be taken into consideration which includes regards to the Information Commissioner’s Office? If high-quality footage of an offence was successfully captured, can the footage be used in court?
4. What is the Litter Control Strategy that East Ayrshire Council has to abide by when investigating flytipping cases along with dog fouling and littering cases?

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Rainey

Freedom Of Information, East Ayrshire Council

Thank you for contacting East Ayrshire Council.  This is an automated
response to advise you that your email has been received and is now being
dealt with.

 

If you are making a Freedom of Information request, you will receive a
response within 20 working days.

 

If your enquiry concerns any other matter, your email will be passed to
the relevant section for appropriate action to be taken.

Regards,

FOI Team.

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Dawson, Anne-Marie, East Ayrshire Council

1 Attachment

CLASSIFICATION: PUBLIC

Dear Sir

As you have asked for information from a Scottish Local Authority, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) applies. In addition, as you have requested environmental information, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRS) also apply. The Scottish Information Commissioner has provided some guidance on how public authorities should deal with requests where both FOISA and EIRS apply, to avoid having to provide two responses to the one request. In line with this guidance I am declining to consider this request under FOISA as the exemption in FOISA Section 39(2) - environmental information applies, and I intend to respond in line with EIRS.

1. How many fly-tipping incidents in the county that your authority controls were reported to East Ayrshire Council, Police Scotland (including then Strathclyde Police) and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency between 2010 and 2018?

Records held within Environmental Health begin from April 2012 to present and show 1156 incidents We do not hold records for Police Scotland. We do not hold records for Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

2. How many fly-tipping cases were dropped between 2010 and 2018 because the evidence was found to be tampered with? Also, how many were dropped due to fears of reprisals from the reported offender(s)? How many were also dropped due to lack of evidence?

None in each case

3. Can the citizens of the East Ayrshire area set up their own covert surveillance cameras to capture fly tippers in the act themselves? If so, apart from Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (especially regarding section 2 on privacy being exempt in the interest of preventing crime and disorder) what exact laws need to be taken into consideration which includes regards to the Information Commissioner’s Office? If high-quality footage of an offence was successfully captured, can the footage be used in court?

I would suggest that there are a number of agencies that you may wish to contact regarding the legal position of citizens setting up their own covert surveillance including a Solicitor for the legal position and data protection advice, Citizens Advice, Police Scotland and the Information Commissioner's office.

4. What is the Litter Control Strategy that East Ayrshire Council has to abide by when investigating fly tipping cases along with dog fouling and littering cases?

I would direct you to the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2018. This is the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (COPLAR) which provides guidance on fulfilling the duties under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 89.

I trust this information is of assistance to you and I attach a leaflet that sets out your rights with regards to making a request for information.

With regards

Michael Keane
Head of Service
Planning & Economic Development
East Ayrshire Council, The Johnnie Walker Bond, 15 Strand Street, Kilmarnock, KA1 1HU
Tel: 01563 57 6782
Email: [email address]

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Jonathan Rainey

Dear East Ayrshire Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of East Ayrshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Number of flytipping offences in East Ayrshire between 2010 and 2018'.

Although I thank you for answering nearly all of the 1st, all of the 2nd and all of the 4th questions in the previous FOI request, I am disappointed that your authority did not answer the 3rd question considering that many councils I have asked via whatdotheyknow.com have answered all the questions provided without making excuses and I would like to request that certain questions be answered as stated in the previous FOI request along with the following added questions below:

1. How many of the 1156 recorded flytipping incidents on Council land were reported per year between April 2012 and 2018?

2. In response to the 2nd question, it's interesting that your authority states 'none' to all three questions within the 2nd question and yet in nearby North Ayrshire Council, they admitted in a FOI Request that between 15-20 flytipping reports were dropped by complainants because of fear of reprisals from the offender(s) so who knows if this might possibly be happening within your precinct as well. I ask 1 extra question since your authority admitted that no flytipping charges were being no longer investigated further due to the 3 reasons provided:
How many flytipping cases reported to your authority between April 2012 and 2018 resulted in FPNs and/or criminal convictions?

3. In response to the 3rd question, no information, apart from being referred to other sources elsewhere, was provided considering that other councils that have been asked the same question on whatdotheyknow.com including West Dunbartonshire, Midlothian, Stirling and West Lothian and they have openly stated that members of the public are not permitted to use covert cameras because of many laws including RIPSA 2000, Data Protection Act 1998, Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 and regulations from the Information Commissioner's Office. West Lothian Council responded to the same answered questions:

"Covert cameras would not be allowed to be set up by individuals for us to
use the footage. As a Council, if we wanted to use covert cameras we have
to comply with Regulation to Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000
(RIPSA) legislation to be able to use them.

If overt camera footage is supplied by anyone, along with a statement from
them then we could consider its use as part of evidence for issuing a
Fixed Penalty Notice."

West Dunbartonshire Council responded:

"West Dunbartonshire Council residents, as with other members of the
general public, cannot set up covert CCTV cameras. In terms of
house/residence security any CCTV cameras would have to be clearly
marked with signage. Moreover the camera itself would also need to be
positioned in such a way that it was confined to entry security and
would not capture street images which might contain personal data of
members of the public going about their daily business.

The second part of your question 3 is based on covert cameras. Only
those bodies listed in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland)
Act are permitted to carry out covert surveillance. In this regard I would
refer you to the Office of Surveillance Commissioners.

I refer also to our response dated 27 September 2018 to your FOI
18/1951137 review request where we confirmed that West
Dunbartonshire Council does not use surveillance including covert
surveillance to pursue or identify flytipping offences."

I would like to rephrase the questions so they can be answered in this internal review request:
i) If the citizens of the East Ayrshire Council area give over their contact details to your authority when reporting flytippers, are their details involving their name(s) and address(es) mentioned to the offender(s)?
ii) Does your authority use covert and overt surveillance cameras to capture flytippers in the act?
iii) Would Article 8 (Section 2 for exemption to privacy) of the European Convention on Human Rights be applied as an excuse by your authority and the citizens of the East Ayrshire Council area to deploy covert and overt cameras to catch flytippers in the act? To explain the context of the 3rd question, this has been advised in a 2013 ICO document (see link here: https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/consult...).

An extra link to my article is provided: https://jrainey94.wixsite.com/younglitte...

Can your authority confirm if all the rules and regulations highlighted in this internal review request as well as the article above are abided by?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Rainey

Freedom Of Information, East Ayrshire Council

Thank you for contacting East Ayrshire Council.  This is an automated
response to advise you that your email has been received and is now being
dealt with.

 

If you are making a Freedom of Information request, you will receive a
response within 20 working days.

 

If your enquiry concerns any other matter, your email will be passed to
the relevant section for appropriate action to be taken.

Regards,

FOI Team.

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Phelps, Donna, East Ayrshire Council

2 Attachments

CLASSIFICATION: PUBLIC

Dear Mr Rainey,

I refer to your email below, requesting a review of the response you received to your Freedom of Information request of 7th May 2019. Please now find attached response.

I trust this is of assistance to you and I have further attached a leaflet to confirm your rights.

Kind regards

Donna Phelps
Solicitor
East Ayrshire Council
Council Headquarters
London Road
Kilmarnock
KA3 7BU

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