WHEN flytippers struck in a quiet country lane Hampshire farmer David Buckett knew you did not have to be Sherlock Holmes to investigate.
Discarded among the dumped chairs, mattresses and carpets were vital clues – bills, banks statements and letters all bearing the same Southampton address.
But when farmer Mr Buckett reported the fly-tipping that was blocking his field and tried for several hours to get an investigation under way he claims no one wanted to know.
And it was only after the Daily Echo got involved that council environment bosses launched their action.
By that time, we had started our own probe and within an hour we had tracked down the address, confronted the builders working there and the owner of the property.
Farmer Mr Buckett’s frustration began after the flytippers had struck at the entrance to his field at the picturesque farm near Upham.
Mr Buckett said that after six hours of phone calls to various agencies, such as the police, the Environmental Agency and Winchester City Council, informing them of the clues of the letters he claims no one took responsibility for investigating.
He said: “The council said they would take it away, but I wanted it investigated rather than just taken away and dumped. They didn't want to know.”
“All the time I was saying that I don’t just want it picked up, I want it investigated.”
The following morning council staff turned up at the scene in a truck to remove the mound of waste but when they saw a Daily Echo reporter and photographer there the workers refused to speak and left – leaving the rubbish behind.
The Echo tracked down the mail to a terraced house in Oxford Avenue in the St Mary’s area of Southampton which was under-going an extensive renovation.
The workmen inside denied all knowledge of fly-tipping and passed on the contact details of the owner Pardeep Singh.
Speaking outside the property, his dad, Sewak Singh denies responsible for the fly-tipping and had thought a skip had been hired to dispose of it in a legal way.
When contacted by the Daily Echo skip firm Stayton Waste and Recycling denied fly-tipping.
A spokesman confirmed Mr Singh had ordered a skip, but that it was due for delivery two days after the dumping and have offered a receipt as proof.
All the Echo’s information has now been handed over to Winchester City Council and Hampshire Police who say they are looking into who was behind the fly-tipping.
Winchester City Council said it had responded to the report of fly-tipping within the published timescales and removed the waste and an officer had been down to collect the letters as evidence.
A spokesman said: “We are currently conducting an investigation and will act accordingly based on the evidence we have gathered.”
Hampshire Police also said it was also now on the trail of the fly-tipper.
Countryside watch sergeant Stuart Tripp said: “We have received a report and the local Safer Neighbourhood team are now looking into the incident.”
Keith Broomfield, from the Environment Agency, said it was the council’s job to deal with small-scale flytipping of domestic waste, or small amounts of commercial waste.
The rubbish has finally been removed from the lane and Mr Buckett can now spray his fields – and await the outcome of the council and police investigation into the tipping.
He said: “This is happening because they knew the Echo was involved.
Nobody had been in the slightest bit interested before.
“This was a one-off opportunity to catch someone for this – all I want is the person responsible for this to be prosecuted.
That is all.”