A new taskforce dedicated to tackling serious and organised waste crime has been launched, bringing together law enforcement agencies, regulators and tax authorities.
The Joint Unit for Waste Crime will address crimes such as the dumping of hazardous materials on private land and falsely labelling waste so it can be exported abroad to unsuspecting countries.
The move fulfils one of the aims of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy focused on tackling waste crime.
According to a government statement, waste crime is thought to cost the economy at least £600m a year, while a 2018 Home Office review found that perpetrators are often conducting other serious criminal activities such as modern slavery and fraud.
Working between agencies will allow the partners to share intelligence more easily, and to “take swifter action” where necessary, the statement said.
Former Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “The joint Unit will shut down illegal waste sites, catch criminals before they can do further harm to our environment and local communities, and make them pay for the damage they have done through custodial sentences and the payment of compensation”.
Taken from CIWM Circular January/February 2020 Issue.