There are calls for tougher action against fly-tipping after concerns were raised over a lack of prosecutions.

Latest figures released through freedom of information requests show that, between 2019/20 and 2022/23, no cases of fly-tipping in West Dunbartonshire resulted in a conviction.

New fly-tipping rules which came into effect this month mean those who commit an offence could be handed an on-the-spot fine of up to £500 – more than double the previous £200 limit.

However, the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who obtained the figures, insist this move is not enough.

“Fly-tippers are increasingly brazen,” said Willie Rennie, the party’s communities spokesman.

“From back lanes to main roads, most communities are blighted by other people’s rubbish.

“It’s ugly, dirty and smelly, yet only a tiny fraction of cases ever result in a fine or a trip to court.

“I am relieved that, after years of pressure from my party, the government has finally increased the level of fines available.

“However, there is still a fundamental unfairness in the system which leaves farmers and other owners with the responsibility for clearing up waste dumped on their properties.

"More needs to be done to clamp down on this disgusting behaviour and to ensure that repeat offenders feel the full force of the law.”

Mr Rennie has urged the Scottish Government to introduce a new rule that would see offenders being ordered to contribute to clean-up costs, with the money then put towards a national fund to help farmers.

He added: “Alongside a robust fixed penalty system, Scottish Liberal Democrats want to see the introduction of a new restitution order, enabling the courts to require contributions from offenders to cleaning up their mess.

“These contributions could then go towards a national fund which would help support farmers and all those who bear the brunt of fly-tipping.”

The figures show that, across Scotland as a whole, almost 300,000 incidents of fly-tipping were reported since 2019/20.

More than 3,000 fixed penalty notices were issued to offenders but just 51 cases were sent to prosecutors.

Only seven councils passed cases to the procurator fiscal, with convictions obtained in just two – East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire.

Last year, the Scottish Government published a litter and fly-tipping strategy in a bid to tackle “the serious environmental and economic impacts” caused by those who dump waste.

A spokesperson said: “The strategy includes an increase in the fixed penalty amounts for fly-tipping offences from £200 to £500, which came into effect on January 1, and improving support and providing funding to aid private landowners in deterring fly-tipping on their land.

“We would encourage relevant public authorities to investigate fly-tipping on public and private land.”