UK government steps up fight against waste criminals
Their activity cost the English economy more than £600 million in 2015 and the review announced by the Environment Secretary today is the next step in the government’s ongoing work to tackle the crime - which is already a serious offence with tough penalties.
A Call for Evidence will enable a wide group of people to have their say on ways to crack-down further on Organised Crime Groups (OCGs), who profit from waste crime.
More than 850 new illegal waste sites were discovered by the Environment Agency in 2016-17. While an average of two illegal waste sites are shut down every day, they continue to create severe problems for local communities and business, particularly in rural areas, as well as posing a risk to key national infrastructure.
A study by the Home Office suggests that criminals may also use waste management activities such as operating illegal waste sites as a cover for crimes such as theft, human trafficking, fraud, drugs supply, firearms supply and money laundering. ■