The number of fly-tipping reports in Harrow have increased by almost 30 per cent, as the council continues to battle against the “filthy” practice.

Statistics released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) showed that there were more than 9,600 incidents of rubbish dumping reported to Harrow Council in 2017/18 – the equivalent of around 26 a day.

This represents a jump of 2,791 from the previous year and Cllr Varsha Parmar, responsible for the environment at the council, said it was disappointing to see so many incidents in Harrow.

But she believes the number of people reporting fly-tips can be viewed as a positive, as it shows those living in the borough want to see change.

She said: “I am pleased that reports have increased – it means people are reporting all instances of fly-tipping to us.

“We’ve made it easier to report them through the app and website and these figures show they are working.

“Like our residents I hate seeing fly-tipping happen on our streets, it’s filthy and carried out by disgusting people.

“Residents should continue report fly-tipping to us so that we can keep the borough clean and continue to catch those dumping waste.”

The number of times the council took action against offenders increased from 1,385 to 1,622.

When taken as a percentage, this was less than in 2016/17 – but Cllr Parmar pointed out that the council is committed to punishing those responsible for fly-tipping.

“We clear and investigate all reports within 24 hours and, thanks to residents reporting them, it’s helping us catch criminal dumpers – we’re issuing more fines,” she added.

There are government plans to extend powers to fine those who pay others to take their rubbish away, if it is later found to be fly-tipped.

This change is expected to take place by the end of the year, though an exact date is yet to be set.

Defra explained that it is difficult to judge local authorities’ performances on fly-tipping as there are a number of variables in place.

These include the number and density of residents, and the prevalence of certain commuter routes in respective areas.