Enforcing environmental crime




The City Council is continuing to use all of its powers, and adopt new powers, to stop people committing environmental crimes and making those that do face the consequences. This includes officers patrolling the city centre and other districts, working with partners such as Northumbria Police and the Environment Agency, more use of on-the-spot fixed penalty notices and increased use of technology.

Enforcement interventions are targeted at incidents where there is harm, or risk of harm, to the environment or public health; where the offence is commercially or financially-motivated; or where the offence is witnessed. The City Council has therefore invested in new technology to enable real time viewing of fly-tipping hotspots.

In 2018 the Council issued 5,025 fixed penalty notices for dropping litter – up 77 per cent on the previous year. Prosecutions were 758 – 84 per cent higher than in 2017.

In 2017 there were 186 prosecutions for fly-tipping and waste crimes compared to 257 in 2018.



This is the illegal dumping of waste and it is a serious crime. Last year we received over 5,500 reports of fly-tipping to Envirocall. If you witness a vehicle tipping waste illegally contact Northumbria Police on 999 or 101 at the time. If you think this waste is hazardous or near a river contact the Environment Agency Emergency Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

In other circumstances please contact us through fly-tipping and how to report it.

In each of the periods 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017, Newcastle City Council dealt with the second highest number of waste crimes recorded nationally. 

For more details see our fly-tipping page.



Littering in a public place not only makes a place look messy and run-down, it could be dangerous to health and is an offence. Last year we received over 2,500 reports of littering to Envirocall.

The maximum fine for littering is £2500 but in many cases the offender will be given the option of paying a fixed penalty of £75. 

For more information see our page on how we deal with litter.


Dog fouling

Dog fouling is not only deeply unpleasant, it can be dangerous. Contact with contaminated soil can in some cases cause Toxocariasis - a nasty infection that can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness and seizures. Last year we received over 1,000 reports to Envirocall about dog mess that owners hadn't cleaned up.

The maximum penalty for someone who doesn't clean up after their dog is £1,000 and the fixed penalty is £100. 

For more information see our page on dealing with dog fouling.

Open burning

Various laws prohibit the burning of waste and bonfires can cause nuisance and danger. Bonfires should never be used to dispose of waste from your home or business and we are likely to prosecute those found doing so.

In May 2019, three men were jailed for 9 months each for burning waste.

We have published details advice and guidance on bonfires.


Graffiti and fly-posting

The Council removes graffiti and illegal advertising from its own property. It also works with Northumbria Police to deal with these offences.

For more information, see our page on graffiti and our page on fly-posting.



Need more information?

Please contact: 

Public Safety & Regulation
Civic Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne

Telephone: 0191 278 7878
Email: psr@newcastle.gov.uk

Or contact:

Envirocall, our single point of contact for environmental issues 

Telephone 0191 278 7878 and ask for Envirocall

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