A STOP and search exercise was carried out in Wells to crackdown on illegal fly-tipping.

There were 28 vehicles inspected on Strawberry Way, and a quarter of those stopped could not present a valid Waste Carriers Licence issued by the Environment Agency.

Mendip District Council (MDC) officers took part in the joint operation with Avon and Somerset Police.

They discovered that the majority of vehicle owners were compliant with legislation requirements, but some businesses will be subject to follow-up action and further enquiries.

These businesses could face a £300 fixed penalty notice.

MDC said illegal waste activities are 'dangerous and polluting', and cost the taxpayer 'millions' each year.

Cllr Heather Shearer, portfolio holder for community health at MDC, said: "I applaud the joint working of Mendip officers, the police and our partners in their continued efforts to manage the menace of fly-tipping which blights our communities.

“Residents will be reassured to see agencies working together so effectively to ensure compliance with environmental legislation. I understand further operations are imminent.”

The Wells operation follows a similar stop and search in Frome last month.

READ MORE: Flytippers from London and Brighton caught dumping waste in Somerset

During one operation at Oldford Hill in Frome, one fifth of the transporters inspected were unable to furnish the correct documentation.

And two of the vehicles stopped originated from the London and Brighton areas.

MDC has also reminded Mendip residents that they can be prosecuted even if their waste is fly-tipped by someone else on their behalf.

You can find a registered waste carrier by visiting environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers.

A spokesperson for MDC added: "Fly-tippers don't care about the environment or our communities – but Mendip District Council does.

"Please help us prevent environmental crime. If you spot a fly-tipping incident, report it to us as soon as possible."

To report a fly-tipping incident call 0300 303 8588.