The Environment Agency and Kent Police have intervened to prevent the suspected illegal disposal and burning of waste at rural sites on the outskirts of Maidstone, leading to the arrest of three local men.
Working in conjunction with officers from Kent Police, Environment Agency Environmental Crime Team officers today (Thursday 23 May) executed two search warrants across Maidstone and Ashford as part of their investigation into waste crime offences in those areas. As a result, the director of a waste company and two of the company's drivers were arrested and taken to their local police station for questioning. All three are now under further investigation.
This investigation is part of a wider crackdown on illegal waste sites across Kent and South London by the Environment Agency, which has seen the closure of 157 illegal sites over the last year.
Dave Riley, Environment Agency Investigating Officer, said:
"We have been working closely with Kent Police, who have been very helpful, to monitor the sites used for these crimes for some time. As a result of that investigation, we have been able to act quickly to ensure that this waste dumping is stopped.The Environment Agency is carrying out a complex criminal investigation into the potential dumping of the waste, which continues.
"Waste crime can put the environment and human health at risk and undermines legitimate local businesses. It is a serious offence which the Environment Agency wants to make sure doesn't pay."
If you can provide information about environmental crime, then please phone the Environment Agency's 24 hour Pollution Incident Hotline on 0870 80 70 60.