Number of flytipping offences in Argyll & Bute between 2010 and 2018

The request was successful.

Jonathan Rainey

Dear Argyll and Bute 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 Argyll & Bute 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 Argyll & Bute 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 Argyll & Bute Council has to abide by when investigating flytipping cases along with dog fouling and littering cases?

Yours faithfully,

Jonathan Rainey

Administrator, Argyll and Bute Council


Dear Jonathan Rainey

Request for information: Freedom of Information request - Number of
flytipping offences in Argyll & Bute between 2010 and 2018

Thank you for your information request which we have logged as reference
argyllbuteir:10118.

It has been passed to the relevant service(s) for attention and you should
receive a response under either the Freedom of Information (Scot) Act 2002
or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 by 2019-06-04
00:00:00.

Please quote the reference number above in any correspondence you may have
with the Council in regard to this request.

Regards

FOI Officer

Privacy information: Any personal information you have provided in
relation to this request will be used only for the intended purpose -
please read the full privacy notice to find out more about how your
personal information will be handled, and your rights under data
protection legislation.

Sinclair, David (Risk Management Assistant), Argyll and Bute Council

2 Attachments

Classification: OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Rainey

 

Request for information: Freedom of Information request - Number of
flytipping offences in Argyll & Bute between 2010 and 2018

Reference: argyllbuteir:10118.

 

I refer to your request for information which was dealt with in terms of
the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

 

I have attached the following information in fulfilment of your request:

1.    How many flytipping incidents in the county that your authority
controls were reported to Argyll & Bute Council, Police Scotland
(including then Strathclyde Police) and the Scottish Environmental
Protection Agency between 2010 and 2018?

Please see table below for fly tipping cases reported to the Council. We
do not hold information on cases reported to Police Scotland (including
then Strathclyde Police) and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
therefore your request for this information is refused under Regulation
10(4)(a) of the EIRs.

 

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
82 107 199 156 50 192 111 397 309

 

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?

We do not record this information therefore your request for this
information is refused under Regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.

 

3. Can the citizens of Argyll & Bute 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?

I have to advise that the information you requested is information not
held by the Council and as such I must refuse your request in terms of
Section 17 of FOISA as the Council cannot provide legal advice to
individuals and I would suggest that you seek independent legal advice on
this matter

 

4. What is the Litter Control Strategy that Argyll & Bute Council has to
abide by when investigating flytipping cases along with dog fouling and
littering cases?

We follow the Scottish Government’s Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse
(Scotland) 2018 (COPLAR). Further information on COPLAR can be found here:
[1]https://www.gov.scot/publications/code-p....

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request for information
has been dealt with you are entitled to request a review by writing to the
Executive Director Customer Services, Argyll and Bute Council, Kilmory,
Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8RT, or by email to [Argyll and Bute Council request email].

 

Your request for review must state your name and address for
correspondence, specify the request for information to which your request
for review relates and why you are dissatisfied with the response. 

 

You must make your request for review not later than 40 working days after
the expiry of the 20 working day period for response to your initial
request by the Council, or not later than 40 working days after the
receipt by you of the information provided, any fees notice issued or any
notification of refusal or partial refusal.

 

If you make an application for review and remain dissatisfied with the way
in which the review has been dealt with you are entitled to make an
application to the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle,
Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS (Tel: 01334 464610) for a
further review. You can now do this online here -  
www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal.

 

You must make representation to the Scottish Information Commissioner no
later than 6 months after the date of receipt by you of the notice or
decision you are dissatisfied with or within 6 months of the expiry of the
period of 20 working days from receipt by the Council of your request for
review.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

[2]David Signature

[3]roundel_fc_cmyk_with_initials_signature_0_0

 

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Jonathan Rainey

Dear Argyll and Bute Council,

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

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

Although I thank you for answering the 1st and 4th questions in the previous FOI request, I would like to request that certain questions be answered as stated in the previous FOI request along with the following questions below:

1. In response to the 2nd question, you answered it by stating you did not have any information considering that a total of 1603 cases were reported to your authority between 2010 and 2018 so I ask the previous questions along with 2 new questions again:
i) How many flytipping cases reported to your authority between 2010 and 2018 resulted in FPNs and/or criminal convictions?
ii) How many flytipping cases reported to your authority between 2010 and 2018 were subject to no further investigation due to insufficient evidence?
iii) How many flytipping cases reported to your authority between 2010 and 2018 were not subject to further investigation due to tampering of evidence?
iv) How many flytipping cases reported to your authority between 2010 and 2018 were not subject to further investigation due to concerns raised from the complainant(s) about reprisals from the reported offender(s)?
v) Since Argyll and Bute is the 2nd largest Scottish council area behind Highland Council, can you specify as to what divided areas of Argyll and Bute (including the Islands) had reported the total number of 1603 flytipping cases?

2. In response to the 3rd question, considering you also did not want to answer it, other councils have been asked the same question on whatdotheyknow.com including nearby West Dunbartonshire 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."

If the citizens of the Argyll and Bute Council area 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 would like to rephrase the questions so they can be answered in this internal review request:
i) If the citizens of the Argyll and Bute 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 Argyll and Bute to deploy covert and overt cameras to catch flytippers in the act? This has been advised in a 2013 ICO document (https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/consult...) which is where you need to confirm if you abide by the rules in the document.

An extra link to my article is provided for more references: 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

foi, Argyll and Bute Council

Classification: OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Rainey,

Thank you for your e-mail, I have opened a review file which I have passed to the Executive Director of Customer Services you should receive a response by 27th June 2019

Regards,

David

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Hendry, Douglas, Argyll and Bute Council

Classification: OFFICIAL

Mr Rainey 

                                                                                                                                                 

Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIR’s) 

Regulation 16 Review – argyllbuteir:10118 

 

I refer to your email of 29 May 2019 in which you requested a review of
how the Council responded to your email of 6 May. I’ve noted that the
original request was responded to within the 20 working day timescale on
29 May. 

 

I’ve noted that the response to parts 1 and 2 of your request contained
exceptions under the EIR’s and part 3 contained an exemption under FOISA,
I must therefore apologise that the response was not clear that your
request was being dealt with in terms of the EIR’s, which in this case was
the appropriate legislation.  

 

You asked for a review of the Council’s response to parts 2 and 3 of your
request and provided two new questions for part 2 and re-phrased your
questions for part 3. I’ve listed these and responded to each in turn. 

 

Part 2

In response to the 2nd question, you answered it by stating you did not
have any information considering that a total of 1603 cases were reported
to your authority between 2010 and 2018 so I ask the previous questions
along with 2 new questions again:

 

i) How many fly-tipping cases reported to your authority between 2010 and
2018 resulted in FPNs and/or criminal convictions? 48 

 

ii) How many fly-tipping cases reported to your authority between 2010 and
2018 were subject to no further investigation due to insufficient
evidence? We do not record this information and the response was correct
in refusing this part of your request in terms of Regulation 10(4)(a) of
the EIR’s as information ‘not held’ by the Council. 

iii) How many fly-tipping cases reported to your authority between 2010
and 2018 were not subject to further investigation due to tampering of
evidence? We do not record this information and the response was correct
in refusing this part of your request in terms of Regulation 10(4)(a) of
the EIR’s as information ‘not held’ by the Council. 

iv) How many fly-tipping cases reported to your authority between 2010 and
2018 were not subject to further investigation due to concerns raised from
the complainant(s) about reprisals from the reported offender(s)? We do
not record this information and the response was correct in refusing this
part of your request in terms of Regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIR’s as
information ‘not held’ by the Council. 

v) Since Argyll and Bute is the 2nd largest Scottish council area behind
Highland Council, can you specify as to what divided areas of Argyll and
Bute (including the Islands) had reported the total number of 1603
fly-tipping cases?   

Unfortunately, we do not hold records of this information from before 2016
and I have refused this part of your request in terms of Regulation
10(4)(a) of the EIR’s, however, I can confirm that the split for the 817
cases reported to the Council between 2016 and 2018 was Bute & Cowal 200,
Helensburgh & Lomond 283, Mid Argyll, Kintyre & Islay 132, Oban, Lorn &
the Isles 156 and No location recorded 46.

 

Part 3

 

i) If the citizens of the Argyll and Bute Council area give over their
contact details to your authority when reporting fly-tippers, are their
details involving their name(s) and address(es) mentioned to the
offender(s)? No 

ii) Does your authority use covert and overt surveillance cameras to
capture fly-tippers in the act?  

As a Council we would not deploy covert cameras in regard to fly-tipping
issues without appropriate consideration of the requirements of the
Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000 (RIPSA), ie, is it
necessary and proportionate for the purpose of the prevention or detection
of crime, in the interests of public safety or for the purpose of
protecting public health. We may consider the use of overt cameras with
the appropriate signage etc. 

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 Argyll and Bute to deploy covert and overt cameras to
catch fly-tippers in the act? As far as the Council is concerned please
see my response at ii) above. Citizens of Argyll and Bute are not entitled
by law to set up covert cameras, if overt camera footage was submitted
then we would consider whether its use in relation to a fly-tipping
offence was appropriate. 

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the review has been dealt
with you are entitled to make an application to the Scottish Information
Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS
(Tel: 01334 464610) for a review. You can also do this online by visiting
[1]www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal  

 

You must make representation to the Scottish Information Commissioner no
later than 6 months after the date of receipt by you of the notice or
decision you are dissatisfied with or within 6 months of the expiry of the
period of 20 working days from receipt by the Council of your request for
review. 

 

If you make an application for a further review to the Scottish
Information Commissioner and remain dissatisfied by the decision then you
may appeal on a point of law to the Court of Session.

 

Yours sincerely 

 

 

 

Douglas Hendry 

Executive Director – Customer Services 

 

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