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DNA testing may be used in bid to beat fly-tippers.

Byline: NEIL ELKES Local Government Correspondent

Small Heath and Bordesley Green.

A bag of cannabis, a wig and a shower base tray were among items found dumped.

An anonymous lead, but have has fly-Tony Unit boss Tony Quigley said that the tried and tested method of sifting through bin bags for evidence only goes so far and, although they have some success in the courts, there is a demand for stronger evidence.

"We are always open to using neil.elkes@trinitymirror.com @neilelkes WASTE enforcers are looking at using DNA testing to identify the owners of fly-tipped mattresses and other furniture.

It is one of the latest ideas being investigated to help the city cut the PS800,000-a-year cost of cleaning up after fly-tipping.

Details emerged as the Birmingham Mail spent a day with Birmingham City Council's waste enforcement unit as they investigated and cleaned up tipping hotspots in Highgate, But prosecutions are hard to secure because the majority of residents are reluctant to come forward. "Too many people do not want to know," said Mr Quigley. "An anonymous tip is a lead, but we need to have evidence of who has committed the fly-tipping. We cannot presume or assume anything." The unit has ten CCTV cameras of HD quality and with automatic number plate recognition technology, costing PS14,000 each, targeting various hotspots.

But in a city the size of Birmingham these are only able to cover the worst areas.

As well as picking up a multitude of weird items, the bright yellowjacketed enforcement officers targeted businesses operating without waste disposal contracts and issued an PS80 on-the-spot fine to a Bordesley resident caught dropping a bag on the pavement.

The hit squad also teams up with housing officers and local wardens to target areas, identify problems and take action.

Last year they investigated 467 cases, but less than a third led to further action against the culprit. At the other extreme, two people were jailed for fly-tipping offences.

technology," he said.

tip is a we need to of who committed the tipping.

"We do not know if the DNA testing will work but we are looking at it. We have to prove beyond any reasonable doubt who is responsible, and this is worth a try." The 13-strong group visits fly-tipping hotspots week in, week out, sifting through the rubbish, talking to residents and businesses, and gathering evidence leading to those responsible.

Quigley

and sifting for so far have some courts, there is a technology," "We do the will are We prove any doubt responsible., this is The 13-visits fly-tipping week in, week through the rubbish, "An anonymous tip is a lead, but we need to have evidence of who has committed the fly-tipping.

Tony Quigley

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Members of the waste enforcement unit sifting through rubbish in Carlton Road, Bordesley Green

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 9, 2016
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