Environment Agency and Gloucestershire police officers raided an “unpermitted” waste site in the Forest of Dean yesterday (February 23) as part of a crackdown on illegal waste activities.
The unannounced visit was carried out by the Agency alongside Gloucester Constabulary as part of an investigation surrounding potential end-of-life vehicle dismantling activities at the site near Coleford.
The investigation is reportedly focused on suspected stolen vehicles as well as theft and fraud offences, with local police officers on standby while enquiries take place.
According to the Agency, evidence including photographs and paperwork was collected and seized during the raid for further examination by officers.
Acting inspector Paul Simmons of Gloucestershire Constabulary, said: “Police are assisting with enquiries into any suspected stolen vehicles and also any theft and fraud offences. Local officers from Coleford Police Station were on standby to allow the Environment Agency to undertake their enquiries and to prevent any breach of the peace.”
As the government body which regulates and grants permits for sites which handle and treat waste materials, the Agency said permits were necessary to prevent harm to the environment and ensure “there is a level playing field for all operators”.
The EA’s lead investigating officer in the case said: “We seek to gather information from partner enforcement agencies and use this and other intelligence to actively target the operators of illegal waste sites. We can then use this information to close sites and prosecute criminals who flout the law, disregarding our environment and blight communities.
“Illegal activities impact on the local community and deprive local businesses of the opportunity to dispose of this waste lawfully. Homeowners and businesses have a duty of care to ensure their waste is being disposed of by a legitimate company and being taken to a site that is authorised to take such waste.”
The CARS trade show (Complete Auto Recycling and Secondary Materials) takes place at Donington Park Race Circuit in Derby from July 13-14 2016. Organised by letsrecycle.com, the show is the premier event for auto recyclers and material processors, featuring indoor exhibitions, working demonstrations, offsite tours and a conference. Click here for more information
The latest raid follows a day of action against suspected illegal waste sites across England in March 2015 (see letsrecycle.com story).
Agency officers also raided several sites in North Yorkshire last year, with HMRC investigations surrounding RDF firm Niramax still ongoing (see letsrecycle.com story).