Fines of more than £8,200 have been issued for fly-tipping and littering offences across Darlington in the past month.

Civic Enforcement Officers, from Darlington Borough Council’s Community Safety Team, issued fixed penalty notices (FPNS) of £400 each to 20 people caught fly-tipping.

Further fines include one of £150 for littering from a vehicle and another of £75 for dog fouling.

Officers are also investigating several more incidents, involving larger fly-tips, some which have been reported by concerned local residents and are due to carry out further interviews soon.

FPNS of up to £400 can be issued for environmental crimes such as fly-tipping. The maximum fine for fly-tipping that can be imposed by a court is up to £50,000 or five years imprisonment.

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “We have a zero-tolerance approach to fly-tipping and other environmental crime and we will investigate, track down and prosecute those responsible.

“It costs the council more than £1.5m a year for street cleaning, which includes fly-tipping – that’s money we could spend on other services to benefit local residents.

“These latest figures show that our Civic Enforcement Officers’ efforts are producing results, but we can’t do it alone. We need residents to take pride in their local area, to do their bit to keep it clean and tidy.

“We also need you to be our eyes and ears. Our officers can’t be everywhere at once – so if you see someone fly-tipping, take notice of any details you can of the people or the vehicles involved, and report it to us.

“Working together we can ensure Darlington remains a pleasant place for all of us to enjoy.”

Fly-tipping and littering offences in Darlington can be reported online using the ‘Report-it’ page: http://www.darlington.gov.uk/reportit

Details of locations, vehicles, items, quantity and descriptions of people committing the act must be included in the report.