A staggering 665 fly-tippers have been convicted across the county since the launch of a major scheme 15 years ago to crackdown on the growing crisis.

The nation has seen a stark increase in the number of people selfishly choosing to dump piles of waste in idyllic beauty-spots – rather than visit a rubbish tip.

However Bucks is currently “winning the war on fly-tipping” as its prosecution rate is one of the highest in England due to its “zero-tolerance” attitude to the crime.

Hidden cameras planted in country lanes and remote laybys across the county are catching an increasing number of fly-tippers who litter the fields, woods, roads and verges with rubbish.

The news comes after it was revealed this week the amount of rubbish dumped across England each year could stretch from London to Moscow, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Last month the Free Press revealed more than 11,000 cases of fly-tipping have blighted the Bucks countryside over the past half-decade – costing the taxpayer millions of pounds in clean-up costs.

The Wycombe District is the worst-affected area in the county after thoughtless criminals illegally dumped waste a staggering 3,699 times from 2013 to 2017.

Leader of Bucks County Council (BCC) and chairman of the LGA's environment, economy, eousing and transport board, Martin Tett, has slammed the national "endemic" and led calls for a “faster and more effective” legal system to prosecute fly-tippers across the county.

He said: "Fly-tipping is unsightly and unacceptable environmental vandalism.

"This new analysis shows the scale of the fly-tipping epidemic we face in this country.

"It's an absolute disgrace for anyone to think that they can use the environments in which our residents live as a repository for litter.

“We need to make sure that when councils take offenders to court, a faster, more effective legal system ensures that serious fly-tipping offences result in hard-hitting fines."

Fifteen years ago BCC, Chiltern, South Bucks, Wycombe and Aylesbury Vale district councils launched their anti fly-tipping campaign Illegal Dumping Costs – and since then 665 people have been caught dumping waste.

Waste enforcement office at BCC, David Rounding, said: “We are becoming better and better at convicting people. If the evidence is there, we will get them to court.

“Since 2010 we have been averaging more than one conviction a week, and they each pay around £1,500 in fines and costs.”

The long-fought campaign against fly-tippers has saved the taxpayer at least £3 million due to the prevention of illegal dumping, according to BCC.

Signs at dumping hot-spots warn people about surveillance cameras – however CCTV still accounts for 40 per cent of convictions, while eyewitnesses account for a further 20 per cent.

As well as embarking on late-night investigations and dawn raids, teams also sift through rubbish for clues which can be traced back to the culprit – accounting for another 40 per cent of convictions.

Mr Rounding continued: “I call it ‘bag-diving’ because I am head-first in a bag most days.

“It’s such a silly mistake because, while we don’t catch everybody, we absolutely do catch plenty and if you are going to get caught you are going to stay caught - with a criminal conviction.”

While nearly two thirds of fly-tipping convictions are for the act of dumping, the people who produced the waste can be prosecuted too for failing their duty of care if they do not ensure their rubbish is being disposed of legally.

And majority of fly-tipping is carried out by rogue commercial operators, according to Mr Rounding.

He added: “If they run in 300 loads a month, at £200 a load, it’s an astonishing amount of money.

“If I go to a pile of waste, judging by where it is and what it looks like, I can tell you who I suspect. More often than not I am right. They might think the money makes it worth the risk but they can serve up to five years in prison, and we have jailed a few.”

A total of £918,000 has been raked in from fines and costs slapped on fly-tippers.