AN investigation has been launched after a mattress and broken-up wooden furniture was dumped in a back alley.

The rubbish was left behind Primrose Street, Darwen, and is the latest in a spate of fly-tipping incidents in the Highfield area of the town.

Residents have complained to Blackburn with Darwen Council which has raised concerns about private landlords dumping rubbish following house clearances.

Recently-elected Marsh House councillor John Roberts said that as a result of complaints from residents, an investigation was taking place with the assistance of residents, adding that ‘once the culprit is identified, action will be taken including, if appropriate, prosecution’.

Coun Roberts said: “Dumping rubbish encourages rats, smells dreadful and means you cannot sit outside in the summer. The fines for dumping rubbish can be very severe.

“In a recent case in a nearby street, the court imposed a fine of £870.

“Most residents are sick to the back teeth with this behaviour that blights our communities and swift action needs to be taken.”

A letter has also been sent to residents urging them to help in identifying people who fly-tip in the area’s back alleys.

Blackburn with Darwen Council executive member for environment Coun Jim Smith said: “As a council we aim to ensure our borough is kept clean, and those who are found to have dumped rubbish are prosecuted, named and shamed in the press.

“The council is always proactive in dealing with flytipping and bringing those responsible to justice.

“We want to focus on the many volunteers who work hard to help keep our community clean, through Your Call events across the borough.

People should consider their neighbourhoods and their neighbours, and dispose of their rubbish properly, and I urge residents to help us catch those responsible and report any incidents of flytipping.”