The owners of three abandoned vehicles have been ordered to pay a total of £4,700 following successful prosecutions by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
Abandoning vehicles is a criminal offence and carries a maximum fine of £2,500 and potentially three months imprisonment.
West Suffolk councils received 340 complaints of abandoned vehicles last year. Often the vehicles are just in poor condition or have been left in one spot for a length of time and the actual number of abandoned vehicles after investigation is a lot less.
After investigating, 69 of the vehicles reported in 2016/17 were classed as abandoned and the councils removed all of these. The councils can only take action against owners when an owner can be traced and in 2016/17 it issued 14 fixed penalty fines of £200 each. Eight of these however were not paid and so were prosecuted in court.
This was the case for three owners whose cases were all heard in their absence by magistrates sitting in Triton House, Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday, July 19.
Magistrates heard that a Red Nissan Micra found abandoned in Maxim Close, Clare, had a false cloned plates, accident damage, as well as a cracked windscreen, rusty brake discs, and missing wiper blades. Its owner Jason Fowles, of Christopher Way, Jaywick, in Esse,x has been ordered to pay costs of £735, a fine of £660 and a Victim Surcharge of £66.
The MoT on a silver Renault Megane in Ickleton Place, Haverhill, had expired a year prior to its removal in December. Magistrates heard that the vehicle in a residents parking area, had been declared off road and had gone mouldy around the body work, while debris was accumulating around the vehicle and the brake discs had rusted. Owner Tinny Nyangoni, of Ickleton Place, was ordered by the court to pay a costs of £912.50, a fine of £660 and victim surcharge of £66.
The final abandoned vehicle was also in a residential parking area in Haverhill. Stefco Moraliev’s blue Mazda 6 was removed from a parking area in Gannet Close, in March. Its road tax had expired back in August, while it also had a flat tyre and rusty brake discs. Moraliev was ordered to pay costs of £875, a fine of £660 and a victim surcharge of £66.
Councillor Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Operations, said: “Abandoning a vehicle is a form of flytipping. Vehicles are left to deteriorate, they can become dangerous as they fall apart, and they can have a serious impact on the look and feel of an area which in turn impacts on the mental wellbeing of local residents. That is why the council takes action to investigate reports of abandoned vehicles, gets them removed, issues fixed penalty notices – and when all else fails, why it is right that it formally prosecutes those responsible.”
If you suspect a vehicle has been abandoned, you can report it at http://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/bins/street_cleaning/abandonedvehicles.cfm