Reports of abandoned vehicles in Ipswich at 14 per week, new data reveals
PUBLISHED: 05:30 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:29 15 January 2020
Tough new fines are set to be introduced in Ipswich for abandoned vehicles, as new data shows hundreds of reports in a year.
Ipswich Borough Council's executive on Tuesday carried out a review of its fixed penalty notices - and agreed to introduce five new fines.
Those who pay people to take their rubbish and fly-tip it can be fined up to £200; graffiti will incur an £80 penalty; putting up flyers or posters in areas deemed inappropriate will result in an £80 fine, people abandoning vehicles face a £200 cost and a breach of community protection notices will incur an £80 fine.
According to the council's report, the issue of vehicle abandonment was significant.
It said: "During last financial year, the service received 779 reports of abandoned vehicles.
"It is resource intensive to investigate all of these complaints.
"Ninety-nine of these vehicles were deemed abandoned and were either claimed (38) or destroyed (61).
"Where a vehicle has been deemed to be abandoned and lifted, it is proposed the registered keeper is served a fine."
The figures equate to around 14 vehicles reported a week or two per day.
The penalties, backed unanimously by the council's executive, will sit alongside existing fines in place for offences such as fly-tipping, dog-fouling and littering from vehicles.
Alasdair Ross, portfolio holder for community protection at the authority, said: "The use of fixed penalty notices allows the council to deal with more minor offences in a proportionate manner , and also allows the perpetrator to pay early.
"These have not been reviewed for some time.
"Fixed penalty notices have been introduced as an option for enforcement for other offences."
A spokeswoman from Suffolk police said: "Vehicles that appear to be abandoned but are not stolen or causing any danger or obstruction are referred to the local authority for removal under their powers.
"However, when a stolen vehicle is located, officers will generally arrange for it to be removed and recovered. This is to protect it from damage or further theft, and to ensure it cannot be used for other criminal activity and to prevent it from causing an obstruction or danger to other road users.
"Once the vehicle has been recovered, officers contact the owner and inform them where it is being kept and when it can be collected. To collect it, the vehicle owner or their insurer (depending on policy) will have to pay the recovery agent a Statutory Removal fee and subsequent storage charges."