Fly-tippers and rural crime


Sussex Police and Wealden Council investigators are seeking information about fly-tipping in lanes across the District.

Litlington Road on 20th April

It is thought to be carried out by the same offenders as each case involves quiet country lanes and happens in the early hours of the morning while nobody else is about.

Photos show several of the instances of blatant tipping, blocking lanes an causing danger as well as environmental hazard.

The most recent cases have happened in Lower Wick Street in Berwick on 24th July, and Dern Lane in Chiddingly on 18th July:

Dern Lane in Chiddingly on 18th July
Lower Wick Street in Berwick on 24th July

Previous instances occurred over the previous four months in Tinkers Lane in Hadlow Down; Old Road in East Grinstead (within Wealden); Litlington Road in Litlington (twice); Beech Green Lane in Withyham; Winton Street in Alfriston, and Holtye Hill in Holtye:

Hadlow Down on 1st June

Land owners and farmers are asked to keep their eyes open.  Anyone who spots any suspicious activity or has any information can contact Sussex Police online or by calling 101, quoting serial 207 of 24/07.  Alternatively contact Wealden District Council at or call 01323 443322.

PC Jonathan Ivatt of the Surrey and Sussex Road Policing Unit at Polegate said:

Fly-tipping is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and any information we receive will be shared with the Council for them to consider possible prosecution.  In addition we will follow up any information about vehicle, driving or other offences.

For further information on police action and advice about rural crime see the Sussex Police website.

Rural Crime Survey

The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society published their latest Rural Crime Survey this morning.  Their figures indicates fly-tipping affects two thirds of farmers in the UK.

When rubbish is illegally dumped on private land, landowners are often left to deal with the aftermath themselves.  The cost of removing the rubbish can run into thousands of pounds.  But the impact can be far more than financial.  Contaminated waste poses a real threat to the health and welfare of farmers, their livestock and the surrounding environment.

According to the NFU Mutual, the cost of rural crime has risen to £423,000 in East Sussex, a 78% increase from 2016.

The items most commonly targeted by thieves across East Sussex over the last 12 months were quad bikes and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), tools, machinery and equine equipment.

Tim Price, NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist, said:

Countryside criminals continue to become more brazen and farmers are now having to continually increase security and adopt new ways of protecting their equipment.

Social media is fast becoming the new eyes and ears of the countryside.  By keeping in close touch with neighbours and police through local farmwatch schemes country people can play a significant role in identifying suspicious activity and bringing thieves to justice.

Fitting gates to prevent easy access to farm yards and drives is one of the most effective measures. High-tech security such as movement detectors, infra-red cameras and ‘geo-fencing’, which triggers an alarm if a farm vehicle moves off the premises, can also play a part.

The report further reveals that limited police resources and repeat attacks are the biggest fears for people in rural communities, with many forced to change the way they live and work as a result of rural crime.

In conjunction with the latest technology, farmers are resorting to measures first seen hundreds of years ago to protect their property:



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  1. This is obviously commercial waste. The perpetrators would have to pay to take it to the tip, so think they can avoid that by dumping their rubbish anywhere. If it’s on private land, the poor owner has to pay for the cleanup. If on a lane, we all have to pay through our council tax with the inconvenience to locals of blocked routes. I once found the address of a flower shop on a wilted bunch of flowers amongst dumped rubbish in a field gateway, and reported it to the council. Any clue that helps catch and stop these anti-social pariahs should be investigated thoroughly.

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