£400 ‘fly-tipping’ fine for Welsh woman whose bin was stolen
Ted Peskett, Local Democracy Reporter
A Vale of Glamorgan woman who says she has been falsely accused of fly-tipping after her bin was stolen has been left furious at the prospect of having to pay a hefty fine.
Chloe Robertson, who lives in Hayes Road, Sully, said her metal bin was stolen in late July after she put it out for collection.
The contents of the bin – three refuse sacks – were discarded further along the street and the bin was taken.
To Chloe’s bemusement, she was issued with a £400 fixed penalty notice on August 24 by Vale of Glamorgan Council for allegedly fly-tipping the three refuse bags – something she firmly denies.
“If I’m 100 per cent honest, I didn’t take it hugely seriously because I immediately knew that I had not done this,” said Chloe, aged 33.
“I thought that as soon as I explained what had happened then they would just drop the case and I thought it was going to be this simple.”
If she does not pay the fine, Chloe said she could face court and an eye-watering fine of £15,000.
Despite all her efforts – contacting her local MP, Alun Cairns, going down to the police station for CCTV footage and asking the council for CCTV footage – Chloe has still not been cleared of the alleged offence.
She said the only way to prove her innocence to the council was to provide video or photo evidence of someone else dumping the contents of her bin on the street.
Chloe also claimed that the council had not been responsive to her data access requests for CCTV footage of Hayes Road.
She added: “I have just been fined £400 for not actually having done anything at all and actually I have had my bin stolen. I cannot take the risk of having a criminal record and I can’t take the risk of having a £15,000 fine because I just wouldn’t be able to afford that.
“This isn’t the type of person I am, where I dump three domestic bags a few days before bin day in my own street. I wouldn’t do that.”
‘This is how I’m repaid’
Chloe, who describes herself as a successful and professional individual, works for a credit insurance and debt collection company.
She said: “I have dedicated 16 hours per week for three and a half years working as a Special Constable for South Wales Police, always worked since 16 years of age and paid my taxes and this is how I am repaid by my local council.”
A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Ms Robertson has been issued with a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice for the offence of fly-tipping.
“Officers attended a suspected fly-tipping incident at the entrance to Hayes Road in Sully and found a number of black-coloured plastic bin bags, filled with mixed domestic waste.
“[Ms Robertson] was sent a PACE1 Form. In her response, Ms Robertson admitted that the waste shown in the photographs was hers.
“She also claimed that the bags of waste had been contained inside a steel bin which had been stolen, however was unable to provide evidence of this.
“A case conference was held between the investigating officers, the Enforcement Supervisor, the Enforcement Technical Officer and the Enforcement Manager.
“It was decided that there was sufficient evidence to offer Ms Robertson the opportunity to discharge her criminal liability by paying a Fixed Penalty of £400.”
“To date, Ms Robertson has not taken advantage of this offer. The council do not have any CCTV evidence in relation to the offence, and at no time has Ms Robertson been told otherwise.
“The evidence that we have is the documentary evidence that the officers found at the location of the offence and Ms Robertson’s own admission.”
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Solomon says, recognising that Chloe is a professional debt collector, VoG should give her the responsibility of collecting the £400 and the £15,000 from herself. Then file and forget.
Responsible person in Vale of Glamorgan Council needs sacked.