Posted on 3rd April 2017
A woman has been fined more than £200 for repeatedly burning waste at a property in Shirebrook, despite warnings not to.
Gemma Cooper, formerly of Field Drive, Model Village was found guilty of disposing controlled waste by magistrates in Chesterfield.
The case was brought by Bolsover District Council, with the support of Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.
A joint patrol by the Shirebrook Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team and council officers on March 1, 2016, came across a large fire (approx. 3m sq.) in the garden of Mrs Cooper’s property on Field Drive.
The patrols had been set up to target concerns about the number of above average deliberate fires in the area, and were carried out as part of a campaign by police, Bolsover District Council and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness of the issue and encourage residents to use correct methods to dispose of rubbish.
Letters had been sent to all the residents of Shirebrook Model Village, and leaflets distributed in the area. A specific letter was also sent to Mrs Cooper about the issue.
The contents of the fire on March 1, 2016 included household waste including food, paper, cardboard, tins, plastics, wood and bin liners, causing noxious fumes close to a built up area.
She was interviewed by police and admitted to burning the waste on that land that day, and that she had also allowed others to burn waste on her land. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service revealed crews had been called out to her property eight times during a four month period.
Sgt. Mark Church of the Shirebrook Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Our main priority is to make Shirebrook a safer and happier place to live and work. This case shows how we work with partnership agencies to take action against those who behave anti-socially or putting the health and safety of others in the community at risk.
“I hope the news of this prosecution will also remind residents that there are rules around what can be burned in gardens. Action will be taken against those who flaunt these rules, so please show respect and consideration to your neighbours and your local community.”
Mrs Cooper was ordered to pay a total of £210 consisting of costs of £150, fine of £40 and victim surcharge of £20 at the hearing on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at Chesterfield Justice Centre.
Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Brian Murray-Carr said: “This woman had been given plenty of warning, but continued to break the law and cause problems for her neighbours by setting fires.
“I am regularly contacted by members of the public who complain that we do not do enough to tackle the problems such as fires and burning waste in back gardens and this case demonstrates our commitment as a council in dealing effectively with these type of problems together with other agencies.”