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Home Breaking Two men have been arrested in a stolen van by officers working with local authority enforcement teams in north Kent

Two men have been arrested in a stolen van by officers working with local authority enforcement teams in north Kent

On Tuesday 29 November 2022, Kent Police’s Rural Taskforce together with colleagues from Dartford and Gravesham councils, targeted those who illegally carry and dispose of waste.

During the operation, patrols stopped a Ford Transit van on the A225 near Horton Kirby and identified it was bearing false number plates. Further enquiries established it had been stolen from Leicester two months earlier. The two occupants, a 20-year-old man from Kettering and a 22-year-old man from Dartford, were arrested on suspicion of theft of the vehicle. The former was also arrested on suspicion of burglaries and thefts in East Anglia.

A truck carrying garden waste was also stopped by patrols in High Road, Dartford. The driver was issued with a fixed penalty notice for not having a waste carrier’s licence and the vehicle was seized as it had no road tax or valid test certificate.

Another flatbed lorry carrying waste in Watling Street was seized as it was untaxed and a further driver in Devonshire Road received a traffic offence report for failing to tax his vehicle.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw said: ‘We are aware that those drivers who remove garden, household and building waste without a valid carrier’s licence are more than likely to be involved in fly-tipping. This blights communities, can pose a risk to the public and is costly to remove.

‘We will continue these checks in north Kent and those involved in waste disposal should ensure they have the correct documentation and that their vehicle is roadworthy. I would also remind residents who hire a tradesperson for this type of task, they have a responsibility to check the person they employ has a valid licence for the job.’

Gravesham Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox said: ‘We are pleased to be working with different agencies such as Kent Police to help find and prosecute those committing environmental crimes in our borough.

‘If you get someone to dispose of rubbish from your home, ensure they have a waste carrier’s license. Often those without a license will fly-tip your rubbish, which can also end up in a fine for you.

‘We take fly tipping seriously and do not tolerate it. Gravesham is a beautiful place and those responsible for fly-tipping should be ashamed of themselves. As part of our Environmental Enforcement Strategy, we will do everything we can to put a stop to them, as shown by our record so far since the Environmental Enforcement Team was created in September 2020 with over 697 enforcements so far including pursuing prosecutions through the courts.’

Leader of the Council Jeremy Kite said: ‘Op Assist continues to be an effective collaboration between local authorities and Kent Police to deter fly-tipping and illegal waste carriers both in the centre and in more rural parts of Dartford.

‘It’s great to see the wider reaching consequences of this latest operation. By catching suspected criminals from other parts of the country, we’re sending a warning that their illegal activity is not welcome in our borough.’

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