Envirocrime Report

by Nigel Bakhai on 29 January, 2011

Labour-run Ealing Council has recently announced plans to reduce the number of Envirocrime Prevention officers who deal with issues like flytipping and illegal street trading in the borough.

As a result of these changes, the number of ward based Envirocrime officers will be reduced from 20 down to 11 which will mean that going forward most will have to cover two wards instead of one.  The Council’s reasoning is that on average each officer received just one customer enquiry or service request per day so the council feels the need to add to their workloads.

However, please find below a recent report on the work undertaken by the Envirocrime Prevention officer in Elthorne ward between 1st November 2010 and 19th January 2011 as an example of their value in dealing with environmental issues in the local area.

Type of Issue                               No. of Actions
Waste/ Refuse Investigations     37
Abandoned vehicles                       7
Untaxed vehicles                          12
Skip permit inspections                 6
Street Trading issues                    8
Footway damage                          10
Highway Obstructions                   4
Overhanging vegetation                3
Graffiti / Flyposting                       6

In December, the former owner of Hanwell Kebab in Boston Road was found guilty at Acton Magistrates Court of failing to prevent his staff from flytipping and fined £500 for the offences along with £500 in costs and £15 victim surcharge.

Following complaints from neighbours and myself as ward councillor, a notice has been served on the managing agent of Imaam Court on the Uxbridge Court for flytipping and failing to provide storage facilities.

In January, the Envirocrime team carried out an inspection of vehicles on the Green Man Lane estate in conjunction with Ealing Homes and identified 11 untaxed vehicles.

Looking at this report, it seems that our Envirocrime officer in Elthorne is not only currently dealing with more requests than the Council claims, but my fear is that it will be difficult to maintain his excellent success rate in clearing up these issues if he or his replacement is covering two wards which could potentially lead to a build up of more fly tipping and environmental problems in the local area. I raised this concern in the 1st February 2011 council debate on the future of Envirocrime Prevention officers and Park Rangers, but unfortunately the Labour group ignored my request to rethink these cuts to staffing numbers.

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