A massive tyre dumping operation taking place across South Buckinghamshire was brought to an end when County Council enforcement officers and Thames Valley Police pounced on the perpetrator right in the middle of a midnight dumping spree. After a brief car chase, the man abandoned his van and was traced by police dog handlers who found him hiding up a tree.
Usman Ahmed, 28, of Knolton Way, Slough, was convicted on 4 October following a trial at Wycombe Magistrates Court of nine offences of illegal dumping, and his sister Rizwana Ahmed, 23, of the same address, was convicted at the same hearing for assisting her brother and covering up his criminal activity. Due to the severity of the offences, the magistrates chose to commit the case to the Crown Court for sentencing.
Sentencing duly took place at Aylesbury Crown Court on 12 December, when each of them were fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £5,195.50 in costs, on top of which was a victim surcharge. Mr Ahmed was also sentenced to 200 hours' unpaid work and his sister to 110 hours.
Though the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire enforcement officers that brought the prosecution collected evidence for nine offences, it is believed that in total Mr Ahmed may have been responsible for over forty dumping incidents across South Buckinghamshire, each involving 50-60 tyres. The tyres were usually dumped across unlit roads in the middle of the night.
No evidence of Mr. Ahmed's identity was ever found with the dumped tyres, and all his activity took place late at night when there were no witnesses. Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire enforcement officers, with police support, were instead able to catch the criminal red-handed after building up intelligence from surveillance cameras.
Sentencing the pair, Judge Francis Sheridan expressed strong opinions about the blight caused to Buckinghamshire by illegal dumping, calling fly tippers "the scourge of the countryside" who are "robbing the county of its money" through clear-up costs – money which could otherwise be used to provide much-needed services for local people. He also made it clear that he would always strictly enforce the environmental law, and wouldn't hesitate to hand down a custodial sentence if either of the Ahmeds came before him for dumping offences again.
Cllr Mike Smith, Chairman of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, said: "The severity of the sentence suitably reflects the crimes committed. This was a premeditated and planned fly tipping operation and the judge’s comments couldn’t put it better. It is a scourge on our countryside and an unnecessary drain on public resources, already stretched to the limit.
"Our Waste Partnership officers have worked closely with the police to secure the convictions in this case. Not only was the extent of the dumping extreme, but it was done in such a way in the middle of roads at night as to create a severe risk of death or injury to passing motorists."
Cllr Warren Whyte, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment said: "With the collusion of his sister, this man has been responsible for the dumping of tyres on our country roads on an industrial scale – indeed, he appears to have been operating a criminal waste disposal business. The County Council, prosecuting on behalf of the Waste Partnership, has had the invaluable support of Thames Valley Police in getting the criminals to court, and I'm very pleased that the fines and costs imposed reflect their appalling behaviour."