HGVs outside waste sites across England were checked for a range of offences last month, including tax evasion and vehicle defects. Officers from the Environment Agency (EA) and the Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) were primarily focused on the movement of mis-described waste and preventing it from being incorrectly and unsafely disposed of. They spoke with 30 lorry drivers regarding the cargoes they were transporting and tested nine lorries for hazardous waste. Police also seized a stolen generator worth £15,000 and flushed out lorry drivers who attempted to evade inspection.
Phil Davies, head of the JUWC, said: “Working with partners including HMRC, DVSA and the police, we stopped and inspected trucks we suspected were involved in the movement of mis-described waste. Anyone involved in similar activities should be aware that we will use the capabilities of different agencies to track and stop them.”
Between 2017 and 2020, the EA stopped illegal waste activity at 2,700 sites and initiated 191 prosecutions for illegal waste sites, with 39 prison sentences handed down. It also issued fines of over £1.1m for illegal waste sites, plus £5.5m in proceeds of crime act confiscation orders. In 2019/20, the EA prosecuted nearly 100 individuals and companies for waste crime offences, with fines exceeding £900,000, 28 custodial sentences and £1m of confiscation orders.