fly tipping prosecutions hero

Fly tipping prosecution analysis 2023

6 October 2023

Analysis of Fly Tipping Fixed Penalty Notices and Criminal Prosecutions in England


Each year local authorities report to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) on fly tipping.  In particular, how many fly tipping incidents they suffered and what actions they took in relation to those fly tips. Possible actions include investigations, warning letters, fixed penalty notices (ie. a statutory fine of up to £1000 that is issued by the council), and criminal prosecutions.

LoveJunk analysed this data to establish how many fly tips resulted in a fixed penalty notice or a criminal prosecution, and which councils were most and least active in pursuing fly tippers.  



During 2022, there were a total of 1,091,019 fly tips incidents reported by local authorities in England.  Only 1 in 100 resulted in a fixed penalty notice that was paid, and just 1 in 500 resulted in a crinimal prosecution. In other words, the odds of getting punished as a fly tipper seem very remote! Below is more detail.


Criminal prosecutions

In 2022, 1,959 fly tipping incidents were prosecuted by the police. In other words, a criminal prosecution occurred in only 1 in 500 (0.2%) of the 1,091,019 fly tipping incidents reported. 

Of these fly tippers that were prosecuted, 20 received a custodial sentence, 30 got community service, and 1,798 were obliged to pay a court fine. Out of interest, 94% of these court fines were for £1,000 or less, and 80% were for £500 or less.


Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs)

In 2022, local authorities issued 91,103 fixed penalty notices that related to fly tipping. That was a punishment rate of 8.4% of all fly tips.

However, amazingly only 13,081 (14%) of those fly tipping FPNs were actually paid. The remaining 77,932 (8 out of 10) went unpaid. This meant that in reality only 1 in 100 (1.2%) fly tips in 2022 resulted in a fixed penalty notice paid by a fly tipper.


Other highlights

More than 6 in 10 (63%) of councils had no criminal prosecutions of fly tippers. This was despite the fact that those 194 councils suffered 552,665 fly tipping incidents between them.

More than 1 in 10 (14%) of councils didn’t issue any fixed penalty notices. This was despite the fact that those 43 councils suffered 51,840 fly tipping incidents between them.

Of the 266 councils who did issue FPNs, more than 1/2 (53%) of them never got paid.



Table of FPNs and Prosecutions for Fly Tipping by Council 2022


fly tipping prosecutions data 1 fly tipping prosecutions data 2 fly tipping prosecutions data 3 fly tipping prosecutions data 4 fly tipping prosecutions data 5 fly tipping prosecutions data 6 prosecutions data 7 fly tipping prosecutions data 8 fly tipping prosecutions data 9 prosecutions data 10 prosecutions data 11

Source: DEFRA, analysed by LoveJunk


Note: no data is available from Hackney council due to a cyber attack.


Further information

Thanks for reading! For any further information or access to the spreadsheet please contact [email protected] citing this post in your request.


Related Posts