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Sep 17 2013

Warning to Harrow residents: don’t be taken in by cold callers

harrow_council_logoHarrow Council urges residents to be aware of criminals operating in the area after a 61 year old man was fined £2825 for rubbish flytipped at a Stanmore hospital.

Brian Joseph Berkery, from Hampstead was “cold called” on 8th February 2013 at his home address by three men offering to remove building waste for £225. Rubbish weighing 3.5 tonnes was dumped the same afternoon on the grounds of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. Various paperwork clues and enquiries by Harrow Council’s Envirocrime Team led them back to Mr Berkery.

He appeared at Willesden Magistrates Court on 3rd September 2013 and admitted to the offences but did not think all the rubbish belonged to him. He was convicted of two offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, where he failed to take necessary steps to ensure his rubbish was not fly tipped, and for failing to comply with a notice requiring him to produce transfer notes. The council funded the cost of removal to the tune of £700.

[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]…61 year old man was fined £2825 for rubbish flytipped[/pullquote]Mr Berkery failed to get any names or check that the men were authorised to carry waste which landed him in serious trouble. The three men are believed to be active criminals and have never been traced.

Following the case, the council advises residents that unless you hand over your rubbish to a legally licensed waste contractor, you can remain responsible for the proper disposal of the waste. If the waste is then dumped you can end up with a criminal record and a fine.

Ex-Portfolio Holder for Environment, Councillor Asad Omar said: “It’s a great shame this man has had to pay after being duped, but that is the law. This is a reminder to residents in Harrow to be aware of criminals and scammers who operate around the borough. I ask residents to be careful and not to give waste to anyone who knocks on your door. If you need to have waste collected, check on the internet or a directory to find a reputable company and take details of the vehicle that is used so that waste is disposed of safely.”

Samantha Cooley, Accommodation Manager at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust said: “In February 2013, a resident reported hearing a loud bang outside the hospital accommodation. Out of the window they saw a truck speeding away and were horrified to see the road was blocked with all kinds of building materials and other household items. When I went to investigate with the Estates Manager, we thought it looked like it had come from a house renovation.

Whilst moving the rubbish to the side of the road we found emails, letters and a quote of works with contractor’s details. We immediately contacted the council and the Envirocrime officer swiftly took over the investigation. I think we were all determined not to let the culprits get away with thinking they could dump their rubbish anywhere without any consequences.”

If you wish to have waste removed, you can give the council a call on 020 8863 5611 and arrange for a collection and if you know of anyone who is fly tipping, give the council a call in confidence.

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