Leeds City Council has issued a strong warning after crushing five vans associated with fly-tipping, as part of an ongoing effort to combat environmental crime.

In the past year, the council’s serious environmental crime team has confiscated 14 vehicles from fly tippers, with 10 of them meeting the same fate of being crushed. Successful prosecutions in the courts have also led to some vehicle owners receiving custodial sentences.

The most recent five vans that were crushed were connected to various fly-tipping incidents across Leeds. These included offences such as being linked to significant fly tipping in Swillington, failure to provide waste transfer notes, and operating without a valid waste carrier licence.

Councils have the authority to crush vehicles under the Control of Waste (Dealing with Seized Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. This regulation empowers local authorities to seize any vehicle suspected of being involved in environmental crime.

Failure to provide proper documentation related to the vehicle or any waste being transported on it, when requested, can lead to the council permanently seizing, crushing, or selling the vehicle. The proceeds from such actions are then used to support initiatives aimed at tackling environmental crime. All five of the latest vehicles were crushed due to their poor condition and low resale value.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s, executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, said: “As part of our zero-tolerance approach to environmental crime we can and we will destroy your vehicle if it is used for fly-tipping.

“This council will always take swift action to limit the ability of criminals to fly tip in our city and this stark warning should make anyone think twice before they blight our local communities by fly-tipping.

“We know our residents feel strongly about fly-tipping, and as a council, we are committed to using all legal powers at our disposal to ensure that environmental crime does not pay.”