UK launches review to crackdown on ‘organised waste crime’

Official figures reveal it cost the English economy more than £600m in 2015

By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government has launched a review to tackle the scourge of “organised waste crime” in the country.

Waste criminals act illegally to evade landfill tax, undercut responsible waste disposal businesses, operate illegal waste sites, export waste illegally and fly-tip – polluting the environment and blighting communities.

That cost the English economy more than £600 million in 2015 and more than 850 new illegal waste sites were discovered by the Environment Agency in 2016/17.

A study by the Home Office suggests criminals may also use waste management activities such as operating illegal waste sites as a cover for crimes like theft, human trafficking, drugs and firearms supply and money laundering.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has therefore launched a call for evidence – open until 8th July 2018 – and is inviting people to have their say on ways to crackdown further on organised crime groups (OCGs) that profit from waste crime.

The review will consider the types of crimes being committed and OCGs involved, the environmental, community and economic impacts and how the Environment Agency, other organisations and the law enforcement system can work together to tackle the threat.

Mr Gove said: “We must crackdown on these criminals who have no regard for the impact they have on people’s lives. The time is right for us to look at how we can best tackle these antisocial and inexcusable crimes.”