Waste: Crime

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered am ar 23 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Ceidwadwyr, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to help tackle waste crime in rural areas.

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is committed to tackling waste crime, and we are preparing significant reforms to continue to increase the pressure on illegal waste operators. Reform of the waste exemptions regime will close loopholes and prevent exemptions from being misused to permit risky and illegal activity. Our planned electronic waste tracking reforms will make it harder than ever to mis-identify waste or dispose of it inappropriately. Planned changes to the Carriers, Brokers and Dealers licensing regime will modernise licensing and make it harder still for rogue operators to escape detection. These will come in addition to measures in the Environment Act 2021 which gives agencies stronger powers of entry and access to evidence in prosecuting waste crime as well as providing the Environment Agency with the ability to recover costs of investigation, intervention and enforcement at illegal or non-compliant waste sites.

The Government also launched the Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC). It brings together the Environment Agency, HM Revenue & Customs, the National Crime Agency, the police, waste regulators from across the UK and other operational partners to share intelligence and tasking to disrupt and prevent serious organised waste crime. Since its launch the JUWC has worked with 131 partner organisations and engaged in 253 multi-agency days of action, which have resulted in 180 associated arrests by other agencies.

Alongside this we are working with stakeholders, such as the National Farmers Union and local authorities, to share good practice including how to prevent fly-tipping on private land. We are also currently funding a post within the National Rural Crime Unit to explore how the police’s role in tacking fly-tipping can be optimised, with a focus on rural areas.

Across three rounds of our fly-tipping grant scheme we have now awarded nearly £2.2 million to help more than 50 councils tackle fly-tipping at known hot-spots, including in rural areas, such as by installing CCTV and raising awareness of the household waste duty of care. Case studies from completed projects have been published so that others can learn from successful interventions.

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