Police ‘to do more tackling fly-tipping’ - Conservative crime chief candidate pledges

A candidate to be Peterborough’s future crime chief has vowed that police would become more involved in tackling fly-tipping if he is elected.
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Conservative Darryl Preston said he wants to see officers work closely with local authorities in dealing with the scourge of dumped waste which is a common complaint in Peterborough.

The city council has made numerous attempts to try and ease the problem - including the use of covert cameras - and brought in tougher fines of £400, but fly-tipping remains one of the biggest issues in Peterborough.

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Mr Preston, who is seeking to become the third Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner in May, told the Peterborough Telegraph: “The primary response is from the local authority, but I do think there is a role for the police in this and that is one I will be looking into and how I can work with the local authority, because at the end of the day it’s the residents in Peterborough which are suffering from this.

Fly-tipping on Norwood Lane at the junction with Newborough Road EMN-210401-132355009Fly-tipping on Norwood Lane at the junction with Newborough Road EMN-210401-132355009
Fly-tipping on Norwood Lane at the junction with Newborough Road EMN-210401-132355009

“It’s a significant concern and we should be looking to work together to tackle this.

“If it’s a crime in action I would expect the police to respond. Having said that I would expect the local authority to deal with prosecution.”

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence which can lead to a sentence of five years in prison, although it is councils which investigate and prosecute.

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Mr Preston added: “Fly-tipping is a blight on our communities and has an environmental impact. If elected police and crime commissioner I will give my full support to bringing offenders to justice, sending a clear message to those responsible that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is closed to their illicit business.”

Darryl PrestonDarryl Preston
Darryl Preston

Speaking about his priorities for Peterborough, the former Cambridgeshire police detective said residents had raised a number of issues with him.

“Anti-social behaviour is clearly a significant issue for residents across Peterborough, but we also have other issues such as serious crime like burglary,” Mr Preston said.

“The highest reported crime is violence, particularly around the night-time economy.”

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Another areas of focus would be road safety, with an investment made in the roads policing team.

“One thing I’ve heard consistently in Peterborough, and elsewhere, is road safety. The reason that’s so important is it kills more people than homicide and any other types of crime,” Mr Preston said.

The dad of two also stated that rural crime is a “significant issue in this county.”

He pledged to lobby to get stronger sentences for hare courses and to work with key groups on making the theft of vehicles used in agriculture harder to carry out.

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Asked about the police’s relationship with minority groups in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Mr Preston replied: “There is evidence we can do better. Chief constables up and down the country would agree with that, and police and crime commissioners regardless of party politics.

“One of the very first actions is to ensure your own force best matches the community you serve. That’s recruiting more officers from ethnic minority backgrounds, more support staff and special constables.

“There is always more that can be done and I will champion that.”

He also said he was supportive of the use of stop and search, adding: “Having been in the police myself I know it’s a very effective tool.

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“I know a lot of research has been done and some figures produced on how effective it is, but for me it’s the deterrent factor as well. I have teenage children - I would not want them to go out and be approached by someone carrying a knife and be the victim of some kind of knife attack. That scares me to death.

“I would absolutely want my police service to be able to lawfully, when they have reasonable grounds, to stop people and search them, and I’m a firm supporter of that.”