Northern Irish agencies join forces to tackle organised waste dumping


Organised dumping of illegal waste has become so bad in Northern Ireland that two regional agencies are joining forces to try and stop it.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) said that waste is an increasingly lucrative business and that they will be working together closely to stop it.

The organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which cements existing partnerships and points to improved links in the future.

NIEA chief executive, David Small said: “Forensic Science has world-class staff and cutting-edge facilities.

"This MoU builds on the connection between our two organisations - we have previously sought their expertise and submitted materials to their laboratory for examination. This is the next step of a building the relationship and looking at more ways of working together.

“Our own staff have been making great strides in combatting environmental crime. This agreement allows us to intensify those efforts through greater access to the outstanding resources of FSNI.”

Forensic Science Northern Ireland’s chief executive Stan Brown said: “There are many areas where FSNI can provide forensic support to the work of the Environmental Crime Unit. We welcome this opportunity to add value to the efforts of NIEA, and build upon previous contacts with their investigators. It is clear there is a strong link between us and a real spirit of co-operation. We look forward to working with NIEA in future.”

In collaboration, NIEA and FSNI will look to reduce crime and at the same time improve the environment.

NIEA’s head of environmental crime, Derek Williamson added: “NIEA is targeting the large-scale criminal enterprises which blight our landscape and show a complete disregard for the environment. These are sophisticated illegal operations which process and dispose of waste - but all rubbish comes with a trail. With the help of NIFS, we will be able to trace and apprehend those responsible, with a view to securing convictions in the process.”