The number of fly-tipping incidents in Carlisle have decreased from last year's record levels, new figures show despite some high-profile cases.

Experts called on the Government to review sentencing guidelines, introduce bigger fines and “even jail ‘professional fly-tippers’ when they are caught”.

Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show there were 1,485 fly-tipping incidents in Carlisle in the year to March 2023 – a decrease of 12% from 1,696 in 2021-22.

This meant there were 13.3 incidents per 1,000 people in the area.

In Carlisle, most fly-tipped waste was discovered on highways, accounting for 44 per cent of recorded incidents. This was followed by 16% in back alleyways.

The largest proportion of discarded waste was household waste, making up 43 per cent of all incidents.

Across England, local authorities dealt with slightly fewer incidents in 2022-23 – 1.08 million compared with 1.09 million in 2021-22. However, environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy warned the number of 'tipper lorry load’ size or larger incidents has increased by 13 per cent.

A shocked Warwick Bridge homeowner was unable to leave her home in August after criminals dumped tonnes of processed waste in her driveway.

Janet Atkins who lives near the A69 awoke to discover tonnes of waste in her drive leaving her unable to move her car and go to work.

The environment agency launched a criminal investigation into the incident with the waste taking more than a week to be cleared.

The number of fixed penalty notices issued across the country fell from 91,000 in 2021-22 to 73,000 in 2022-23, with 58 in Carlisle.

While the average court fine increased by 13 per cent to £526, there were fewer fines given last year with a total value of £785,000 compared to £837,000 in the year before.

In Carlisle, just £803 was paid by those found guilty of fly-tipping.

Action is needed to cut fly-tipping cases which are still too high, according to farm leaders and countryside campaigners.

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Farm leaders want to see council enforcement officers given enhanced police-style powers to tackle fly-tipping and littering.

Darren Rodwell, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said: “Fly-tipping is inexcusable. It is not only an eyesore for residents, but a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin.

“This decrease in fly-tipping is positive, and a testament to the hard work of councils. We continue to urge the Government to review sentencing guidelines for fly-tipping, so that offenders are given bigger fines for more serious offences to act as a deterrent.”