COLCHESTER is among the best areas in the country at punishing flytippers, new research shows.

Experts at Online Mortgage Advisor analysed official Government data on the number of flytipping incidents in 2019/2020.

Among the 975,631 reported across England, 1,649 of were reported in Colchester.

The analysis then looked at how many flytipping incidents across the UK had resulted in fines being issued.

In Colchester, 70, or 4.24 per cent, of the incidents resulted in fines for those responsible.

And while this seems a low percentage, it puts the borough in 14th place out of all the areas in England.

Martin Goss, Colchester Council’s former waste, environment and transportation boss, said flytipping was not tolerated by the authority.

He said: “It is very good news good Colchester has been one of the best performing in terms of prosecuting fly-tippers and issuing fines.

“It is a disgusting and disgraceful thing to do.

FIRE PLEA: Councillor Martin Goss wants fire starters to be considerate of their neighbourss health

FIRE PLEA: Councillor Martin Goss wants fire starters to be considerate of their neighbours's health

“I am proud of my record in going after flytippers and the message from us as a council to those who do it is - they will be caught and they will be fined.”

Mr Goss said the council had seen a marked increase in the number of incidents of flytipping during lockdown and added the temporary closure of Colchester Recycling Centre during lockdown and the new system in place after reopening had made the issue worse.

Rubbish - a flytip dumped in Boxted in 2020

Rubbish - a flytip dumped in Boxted in 2020

“We have been consistent in having a hardline message, particularly through lockdown,” he said.

“Flytipping has increased during the lockdown in part because of Essex County Council’s handling of the recycling centre.

He added: “This research shows as an authority we will go after those who flytip in our borough.”

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “When we reopened the recycling centres, our priority was the safety of site staff and users.

“This required a similar approach to many retail businesses to limit the number of users permitted on site at any one time.

“The disruption to some local waste collection services and high demand contributed to the congestion around some of our sites.

“A booking system was considered but the development of a system would have delayed the re-opening of the recycling centres and reduced service access during a period of high demand.”