New waste crime taskforce will tackle 'blight on our countryside'

Stuart Roberts NFU Vice President_51705

A new taskforce has been created which is dedicated to tackling serious and organised waste crime, such as dumping hazardous materials on private land and falsely labelling waste so it can be exported abroad to unsuspecting countries.

The Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) will bring together law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency.

Serious and organised waste crime is estimated to cost the UK economy at least £600 million a year and a 2018 Home Office review found that perpetrators are often involved in other serious criminal activity, including large scale fraud and in some cases modern slavery.

Meanwhile, the last fly-tipping statistics for the year 2018/19 revealed that local authorities in England dealt with just over one million incidents, an increase of 8% from the 998,000 incidents reported in 2017/18.

To tackle the growing trend in criminal waste networks, the new unit will conduct site inspections, make arrests and prosecutions and, upon conviction, push for heavy fines and custodial sentences.

NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts said: “The latest fly-tipping figures revealed a major issue that continues to spiral out of control affecting two thirds of all farmers with potentially a large number of unrecorded incidents taking place on private land – illegally dumped rubbish that’s costly and time consuming to remove, dangerous to human health, harmful to wildlife and livestock and, in some cases, fly-tipped waste pollutes watercourses and contaminates land.

“We support the introduction of this new unit but it does need farmers and landowners being involved at every stage as they are the people who too often feel ignored and are always the people at the sharp end of this growing problem.

“By working together, we can tackle this continual blight on our countryside and allow farmers to concentrate on what they do best, producing safe, traceable and affordable food for us to enjoy.”

The NFU's work on rural crime:

Visit the fly-tipping area of our Rural Crime Hub here to get more information on hazardous waste and steps you can take in order to prevent fly-tipping.

Contact the dedicated Rural Crime Hotline to give information anonymously about fly-tipping. Submit information online or call the dedicated Rural Crime Hotline on 0800 783 0137.

You can also play your part in the fight against rural crime by downloading and sharing our rural crime images on social media here.

Take advantage of these great AnchorNFU member discounts:

10% off CCTV products and installation from a range of SSAIB certified Installers across England and Wales: 

30% discount of RRP on Bushnell Trail Cameras. These cameras are triggered to record automatically when motion is sensed. They are potential deterrents for rural crime and can help provide crucial evidence in the event of an incident.

20% discount off RRP on Nextbase dash cameras. As it can take the police some time to attend incidents in remote rural areas, the use of modern technology such as dash cams by farmers can help police combat rural crime by recording valuable information.

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