Shropshire Star

Tyre tagging initiative launched to tackle illegal fly-tipping after surge in incidents

Police have joined forces with Smartwater to try and tackle the fly-tipping of tyres after a six per cent increase in incidents in the past year.

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West Mercia Police staff promote tyre tagging scheme

To help tackle illegal fly-tipping West Mercia Police has teamed up with Smartwater and nine local authorities to introduce ‘tyre tagging’.

The £10,000 initiative will see garages across West Mercia being given a kit to mark tyres scheduled for disposal, using an invisible but forensically traceable liquid.

Tagging tyres will allow authorities to easily trace any that are dumped back to the garage responsible for disposing them and help prevent garages from being targeted by organised criminals to illegally dispose of tyres.

Across West Mercia, 10,000 incidents of fly tipping were reported in 2021, an increase of 6 per cent on the previous year.

Sergeant Marvin Choudhury, from West Mercia Police’s problem solving support team, said: “Illegal fly-tipping is an issue across the force and by working with our partners at Smartwater and local authorities we hope to crack down on this offence.

“Over recent years we have started to notice a connection between tyres being dumped illegally and organised criminals.

"By tagging tyres that are no longer fit for purpose, it will allow us to locate which garage the tyres have come from and to see if they have any links to organised crime.

“Garages across all four policing areas within our force; Shropshire, Herefordshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire will benefit from this scheme, and I am very pleased to have the support of all nine local authorities within these areas.”

The £10,000 funding for the initiative has been provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “Dumped tyres pose a significant environment risk, encourages other fly-tipping activity and is costly in a number of ways to the public.

“In response to community concerns, I am pleased to fund an initiative like this which encourage garages to act responsibly. It forms part of my investment of nearly £100,000 to combat fly-tipping across West Mercia.”

The scheme has also been backed by the Environment Agency, as illegally dumped tyres has a negative impact on the environment, as well as looking unpleasant.

Tania Tucker, senior advisor from the Environment Agency, said: “This tyre tagging scheme initiative being launched by West Mercia Police in partnership with local councils, is timely to see as legitimate disposal costs of tyres have increased, leading to more occurrences of fly tipped and illegally dumped tyres.

"Dumped tyres have significant environmental impacts and the cost to clear them can be significant for landowners and local councils.

"Marking tyres with Smartwater and making sure that they are collected by a registered waste carrier will help garages and other businesses to make sure that their waste tyres are not illegally disposed of and enable them to demonstrate that they are complying with their duty of care.”

Any illegal fly-tipping should be reported to the relevant local authority. To become part of the programme contact your local Rural and Business Police officer via 101.