RESIDENTS have been warned by the council that they could be prosecuted if they pay someone to dispose of their rubbish who then dumps it.

Councillor Phil Smith made the warning during a meeting of Thurrock Council at the Grays civic offices yesterday in response to a question from Orsett councillor Sue Little about what the council was doing to tackle fly-tipping.

Councillor Smith responded: “House owners need to understand that if they pay someone to take rubbish away and they subsequently throw it in the street somewhere, we will identify it back to the home owner and we will prosecute the homeowner along with the person who did the fly-tipping.”

He also told the meeting there had been 395 incidents of fly-tipping dealt with by the council in the first few months of the year, which was increase from 288 in the same period last year.

However he said the council was seeing some success with the six covert cameras it had placed in fly-tipping hot spots around the borough, accompanied by signs stating the fact, with the result that fly-tippers had largely stopped dumping in those areas.

“These criminals are in it to make money so let’s make it not worth their while to do it,” he added.