Social media played an integral role in bringing a fly-tipper to book after his crime was witnessed by a resident who then mentioned the incident on his Facebook page.
Amir Ben Malik, of Kidderminster Road, Broad Green, admitted the offence at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (10) and was fined £110, and ordered to pay costs of £200 and a £20 victim surcharge, the total of £330 to be paid before 1 May.
The court heard that Malik, at the time a driver for Merton-based BMS Transport, was spotted in Kemp Gardens, Broad Green, fly-tipping a quantity of furniture from his company van.
The act, last July, was brought to the attention of one of the company directors who immediately contacted Malik, who admitted responsibility, and told him to return to the site to collect the waste he had dumped. He was subsequently sacked from his job.
Malik initially stated that he had acted for another man but later changed his story, saying the fly-tipping had been his own idea. He claimed that waste was already there, but accepted that, even if this were true, it was neither mitigation nor a defence.
Malik took the waste to his home address and claimed that a bulky waste collection was booked with Croydon Council. No record of such a booking existed, and Malik again changed his story, saying that he had arranged for a man with a van to take the waste away.
“This man went along to a residential street thinking that he’d be able to commit his crime unnoticed under cover of the night, but he was wrong, and he now has a criminal record.
“Thanks to the power of social media, which so often gets a bad press, many people, and eventually his employer, learned of what he’d done and he was made to account for his horribly antisocial act.
“This is a great example of the need for residents to speak up if they see anything like this going on. If the resident in this case hadn’t acted, Malik would have got away with his crime, leaving Croydon council taxpayers to pick up the tab for clearing his mess.
“Other would-be fly-tippers should take note, and be aware that the council will prosecute. They must realise that they shouldn’t mess with Croydon.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
The crackdown on fly-tipping is part of the council’s Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign, aimed at combining the help of volunteers with council action to encourage recycling and lead enforcement against the worst offences.
Since launching the initiative last June, the council has:
• signed 184 volunteer community champions;
• issued about 150 fixed penalty notices of up to £80;
• carried out around 250 business licence inspections;
• cleared 88% of reported fly-tipped waste within 48 hours; and
• seen more than 4,000 people report fly-tipping issues
Dumped waste can be reported via the council’s dedicated fly-tipping hotline on 020 8604 7000, the council’s My Croydon smartphone app or by emailing email@example.com
For more information, visit www.croydon.gov.uk/environment/dontmess