Newham watchdogs swoop on waste crime suspects

16:00 09 April 2012

Environmental watchdogs swopped on dozens of waste sites across Newham and five neighbouring boroughs in a crackdown on illegal operations.

In all, Environment Agency officers targeted 53 sites, 14 of which were operating illegally – including two involved in the illegal export of electrical waste and two that were mishandling hazardous waste.

Enforcement action, which could include prosecution, could follow.

Operation Ammolite saw Environment Agency officers team up with the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, local authorities, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and HMRC to target suspected waste criminals.

Outside Newham more than 60 waste vehicles were stopped in road checks.

Checks found that 13 did not have a required waste carriers’ licence. Drivers now have to produce the correct paperwork to avoid prosecution.

An agency statement admitted east London “has a long-standing history of waste crime, with fly-tipping, illegal waste sites and waste burning being common problems.”

And while the Environment Agency has worked with many waste sites in the areas to ensure they are following the law, there is more work to be done.

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