Number of flytipping offences in the Shetland Islands between 2010 and 2018

The request was partially successful.

Jonathan Rainey

Dear Shetland Islands 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 Shetland Islands 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 Shetland Islands 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 Shetland Islands Council has to abide by when investigating flytipping cases along with dog fouling and littering cases?

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Rainey

Jonathan Rainey

Dear Shetland Islands Council,

I issue a small correction in which I state that the information requested should include the then Northern Constabulary instead of Strathclyde Police.

Please accept my apologies.

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Rainey

Shetland Islands Council

Thank you for your recent enquiry, we acknowledge receipt of your request for information and your email with correction.

This is receiving our attention, and we will provide you with a response as soon as possible.

Regards, M Robertson

Marie Robertson

Committee Assistant
Shetland Islands Council
Governance & Law
Corporate Services Department
8 North Ness Business Park
Lerrwick | Shetland |01595 744553

Shetland Islands Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Rainey

Thanks you for your freedom of information enquiry,

1. How many flytipping incidents in the county that your authority controls were reported to Shetland Islands Council, Police Scotland (including then Strathclyde Police) and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency between 2010 and 2018? - Reported to Shetland Islands Council - 87, none reported to Police Scotland or SEPA. Shetland does not have a problem with fly tipping

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? ZERO

3. Can the citizens of the Shetland Islands 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? N/A

4. What is the Litter Control Strategy that Shetland Islands Council has to abide by when investigating flytipping cases along with dog fouling and littering cases? Existing Scottish Government legislation

I trust that this response meets your request. However, if you are dissatisfied with the way in which the Council has dealt with your request for information then you may ask the authority to review its actions and decisions in relation to your request, by submitting a formal appeal
Many thanks

Paula

Paula Nicolson
Clerical Officer
Infrastructure Services
Gremista
Lerwick
Tel: 744809

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Jonathan Rainey

Dear Shetland Islands Council,

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

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

I would like to re-ask and at times rephrase some of the questions asked in the previous FOI request:
1. You answered the first question that the Shetland Islands does not have a problem with flytipping yet you answered there were 87 reported offences.
i) How many of the reported offences reported resulted in a prosecution?
ii) How many of the offences were reported on land?
iii) How many of the offences were reported on the water (i.e. Beaches, Rivers, Seas, etc)?

2. Were there no flytipping cases dropped due to the evidence being tampered with?
ii) Were there no cases dropped due to fears of reprisals?
iii) Were there zero cases being dropped due to lack of evidence?

3. If the citizens of Shetland were to witness flytipping on land and illegal dumping at sea, can they be able to set up their own covert surveillance cameras to capture flytippers in the act and use cameras with long range zoom-ins to capture illegal dumpers both on land and at sea themselves?
Regarding the laws on tackling illegal dumping at sea, there are already existing laws including international laws as well as the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 in the United States of America as well as the Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35/EC in the European Union and the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 in the UK to deal with these issues along with other legislation including the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
i) If the citizens of Shetland are allowed to use cameras both covert and overt to capture flytippers and illegal dumpers in the act, then 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 on covert and overt surveillance need to be taken into consideration which includes regards to advice from the Information Commissioner’s Office?
ii) If high-quality footage of an offence is successfully captured, can the footage be used in court against the offender?

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

Shetland Islands Council

I acknowledge receipt of your request for a review of the Council's response to your recent request for information.
You will receive a response from the Council as quickly as possible, but within 20 working days.
If you do not receive a response by 11 July 2019, please contact me.

Regards

Anne Cogle
Team Leader - Administration
Tel: Extn 4554 or 01595 744554
email: [email address]

Please don't print unless absolutely necessary.

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Jonathan Rainey

Dear Shetland Islands Council,

I forgot to ask this question as part of the internal review request: Does your authority abide by the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2018 (COPLAR)?

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Rainey

Shetland Islands Council

Dear Mr Rainey,

 

I am writing in response to your request dated 14 May 2019 for a review of
the Council’s response to your Freedom of Information request dated 9 May
2019.

 

On reviewing your request I concluded that the information which you
sought is exempt under Section 39(2) (a) of the Freedom Of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002.  This section  provides that:

 

39 Health, safety and the environment

(1) ………………………………………….

(2) Information is exempt information if a Scottish public authority—

(a) is obliged by regulations under [1]section 62 to make it available to
the public in accordance with the regulations; or

(b) would be so obliged but for any exemption contained in the
regulations.

 

S.62 gives the Scottish Government the power to make regulations in
relation to environmental information.   You have a right to access the
information you are seeking about fly tipping  under the Environmental
Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.   The information which the
Council is obliged to provide you with under these Regulations  is not
substantially different from the information previously  provided. 
However, I would like to expand upon the information previously provided
and would refer you   to the sections below marked “ The Council’s Review
Response”  for additional information in regard to each specific area of
your request. 

 

Your original request together with the Council’s response

1.       How many flytipping incidents in the county that your authority
controls were reported to Shetland Islands Council, Police Scotland
(including then Strathclyde Police) and the Scottish Environmental
Protection Agency between 2010 and 2018? - Reported to Shetland Islands
Council - 87, none reported to Police Scotland or SEPA. Shetland does not
have a problem with fly tipping

 

 

Your further query

1. You answered the first question that the Shetland Islands does not have
a problem with fly- tipping yet you answered there were 87 reported
offences.

i) How many of the reported offences reported resulted in a prosecution?

ii) How many of the offences were reported on land?

      iii) How many of the offences were reported on the water (i.e.
Beaches, Rivers, Seas, etc)?

 

 

The Council’s review response

The Council’s initial response was accurate according to our records.  The
number of incidents reported to the Council  over the eight year period of
2010 to 2018 was 87.  This is an average of 11 per year and less than one
per month.

 

The Government  Guidance requires the local authority to consider, amongst
other things, the location of the waste;  amount and type of the waste and
its potential effects on public health and safety  in deciding whether to
carry out enforcement action.  The vast majority of the incidents recorded
by this Council  (65 out of 87) relate to items left in the areas where
there are bins which will be emptied by the Council during routine
collection runs. These items are mainly old furniture and other domestic
waste. These incidents are not assessed as causing any serious health and
safety risk to the public and therefore led the officer responding to you
to say that Shetland does not have a problem with fly-tipping. 

 

I will answer your additional questions as clarification of our initial
response rather than as a new request.  None of these incidents led to a
prosecution. It was not considered to be in the public interest to divert
limited public resources to seeking to investigate any of these incidents
fully given the nature and scale of the incidents,  and the minimal impact
on the public.  All these incidents were on land except for one occasion
when there was a fridge reported in a burn in a remote location in 2015. 
 

 

 

Your original request together with the Council’s response

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? ZERO

 

Your further query

Were there no flytipping cases dropped due to the evidence being tampered
with?

ii) Were there no cases dropped due to fears of reprisals?

iii) Were there zero cases being dropped due to lack of evidence?

 

The Council’s review response

The response you received is accurate according to the Council’s records. 
There were no cases dropped between 2010 and 2018 because of evidence
tampering/ fears of reprisals/lack of evidence.  By this I mean that no
cases were commenced and then not proceeded with for any of the listed
reasons.

 

There were no such prosecutions raised in the time period.  Please see the
answer to 1. above.  The Council has to take a proportionate response to
the report of items having been fly-tipped and none of the cases recorded
were considered to be sufficiently material, taking into account the
factors highlighted in the Government Guidance,  as to justify the
investment of resources into seeking to identify and prosecute the
individual concerned. 

 

Your original request together with the Council’s response

3.       Can the citizens of the Shetland Islands 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? N/A

 

Your further query

If the citizens of Shetland were to witness flytipping on land and illegal
dumping at sea, can they be able to set up their own covert surveillance
cameras to capture flytippers in the act and use cameras with long range
zoom-ins to capture illegal dumpers both on land and at sea themselves?

Regarding the laws on tackling illegal dumping at sea, there are already
existing laws including international laws as well as the Marine
Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 in the United States of
America as well as the Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35/EC in the
European Union and the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 in the UK to deal with
these issues along with other legislation including the Environmental
Protection Act 1990.

 

 

i) If the citizens of Shetland are allowed to use cameras both covert and
overt to capture flytippers and illegal dumpers in the act, then 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 on covert and overt surveillance need
to be taken into consideration which includes regards to advice from the
Information Commissioner’s Office?

ii) If high-quality footage of an offence is successfully captured, can
the footage be used in court

 

 

The Council’s review response

The legislation provides an individual with the right to access
information held on the Council’s records.  This question is not a request
for information which the Council holds but is seeking a legal opinion on
the rights of individuals to carry out filming and the admissibility of
any such filming in the courts.   The response of “Not applicable” is
therefore correct although it would have been more helpful to the
applicant to explain why this sort of question is not a valid request for
information. The Council is not legally required to respond, and it would
be potentially misleading to express a legal opinion which may be altered
by the specific circumstances of an incident or by developments in the law

 

I would confirm that the situation of the Council having to consider these
issues and reach a conclusion has not so far arisen and there are no
records held relevant to the subject matter of your inquiry.   It is
perhaps more appropriate to therefore say that the exception under
Regulation 10 (4) (a) is applied and that the information is not held.

 

I note that you say that you publish the responses to your FOISA requests
and I would like to take the opportunity this provides to emphasise that
any member of the public with information relating to anything fly- tipped
should bring the matter to the attention of the Council.  The Council
would always respond to any report from the public in respect of
fly-tipping however, it is not part of the remit of the Council to provide
legal advice to individuals.

 

Your original request together with the Council’s response

4. What is the Litter Control Strategy that Shetland Islands Council has
to abide by when investigating flytipping cases along with dog fouling and
littering cases? Existing Scottish Government legislation

 

Your further query

On 22 May 2019 you asked Does your authority abide by the Code of Practice
on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2018 (COPLAR)?

 

 

The Council’s review response

Shetland Islands Council does not have its own Litter Control Strategy but
administers this function in accordance with the Scottish Government
Guidance which can be accessed at
[2]https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fly-tipping-... The
Council does comply with the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse
(Scotland) 2018 where it is relevant. 

 

 

I hope that you will find this review satisfactory.  However, if you
remain dissatisfied then you have the right to refer the matter to the
Scottish  Information Commissioners Office. You must make your appeal
within 6 months of the date of this email.  The contact details are as set
out below. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Susan Brunton

 

 

 

Contact details:

The Scottish Information Commissioner Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

ST ANDREWS

Fife

KY16 9DS

E-mail: [email address]

Online Appeals

You may also submit an appeal online at
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appea...

 

 

 

 

 

 

-----------------

Susan Brunton  -  Team Leader – Legal and Insurance

 

Legal

Governance and Law

Shetland Islands Council, Office Headquarters, 8 North Ness Business Park,
LERWICK, Shetland  ZE1 0LZ

-----------------

Tel:         (+44) 01595 744087

Fax:         (+44) 01595 744585

 

[3]Our values: excellent service, taking personal responsibility, working
well together

References

Visible links
1. https://login.westlaw.co.uk/maf/wluk/app...
2. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fly-tipping-...