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MSP highlights fly-tipping pressures

Highlands and Islands MSP, Jamie Halcro Johnston.

Questions have been raised over whether increasing financial pressures are hampering efforts to prevent and respond to fly-tipping cases.

Quizzing environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham at Holyrood this week, Highlands and Islands MSP, Jamie Halcro Johnston, raised concerns about the impact of increased financial pressure facing Police Scotland and local councils.

Mr Halcro Johnston spoke out after being contacted by constituents concerned about incidents of illegal dumping in their areas. He has urged the Scottish Government to take the issue of fly-tipping more seriously, highlighting the environmental and social impacts of the incidents.

Speaking later, Mr Halcro Johnston said: “Rural communities, like many across the Highlands and Islands, are particularly vulnerable to the utterly irresponsible and, of course, criminal activity of fly-tipping.

“Incidents can cause real distress, as well as serious environmental concerns, for those communities blighted by fly-tipping. And the problem is often compounded when the waste which is dumped is not removed and then attracts even more incidents.

“While fly-tipping is often carried out by a small number of offenders, too few of those responsible are being brought to justice. With both Police Scotland and local council budgets squeezed, that undoubtedly impacts on efforts to identify and prosecute offenders, as well as hampering efforts to clean up blighted areas.

“The importance of a clean and attractive environment to the health and well-being of local residents is often overlooked. Many are rightly proud of their local communities and are left angry at those who fly-tip, as well as frustrated at efforts to combat it.

“The Scottish Government needs to ensure there is a greater emphasis on tacking the scourge of fly-tipping, bringing to book those responsible for it, and making sure Police Scotland and local councils are properly resourced to do so”.

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