Crackdown on waste crime with tougher powers

New rules aimed at making it easier for enforcement authorities to tackle waste crime have come into effect. Waste crime costs the UK economy £568 million a year and diverts […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

New rules aimed at making it easier for enforcement authorities to tackle waste crime have come into effect.

Waste crime costs the UK economy £568 million a year and diverts as much as £1 billion every year away from legitimate business operations, according to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

The changes in legislation will speed up prosecutions for rogue waste site operators.

They will have their permits suspended if found to be in breach and regulators will be able to apply to the High Court for an injunction to enforce the suspension notices.

The changes also aim to protect members of the public by allowing regulators take steps to remove the risks of pollution, Defra added.

Resource Minister Rory Stewart said: “Waste crime blights communities and poses a risk to human health which is why we need to crackdown on the dangerous minority that flout the law.

“Tackling the problem at its root will help us to protect our beautiful natural environment, build a more efficient waste industry and support legitimate operations.”

Earlier this year local authorities were also given the power to stop, search and seize vehicles.