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Two Interviewed, as Essex site taken by surprise in Environment Agency 'Illegal Waste' sting operation

"Waste crime undermines legitimate business, can cause harm to the environment and misery for local people

Environment Agency officers have interviewed two people suspected of illegal waste offences at an Essex industrial estate in the second raid in four months.

On Tuesday morning (22 Oct) 12 Agency officers joined 30 Essex Police officers, 3 Borders Agency staff, 1 immigration officer and 4 representatives from Brentwood Council to check out illegal activities at Thoby Priory Industrial Estate, Mountnessing.

During the earlier raid in June, part of Operation CYCLONE, officers found one site illegally burning waste, a car-breaking yard with no environmental permit and an illegal textile operation. Suspected illegal activity was still going on at the estate today.

Today police made three arrests for offences other than waste.

Operation Cyclone involved three separate days of action in March, June and September across the country. In the East of England dozens of sites were visited with police and local authorities in a bid to stop illegal waste activity that can blight local communities and undercut legitimate business.

The aim was to disrupt the supply of waste to illegal waste sites, gather intelligence and encourage people to report waste crime either through the Environment Agency incident line: 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously through Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111

Environment Agency Manager Claire Beecroft said:
The aim behind today's raid was to work with enforcement partners to disrupt those believed to be involved in illegal waste activities.

"Waste crime undermines legitimate business, can cause harm to the environment and misery for local people.

"We will continue to work with our enforcement partners to combine our powers to disrupt illegal waste activity. We urge anyone with information about illegal waste activity to contact our hotline 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
Illegal waste sites can cause serious pollution incidents, bad smells, chemical spills, blight on the landscape, and misery for surrounding communities. Sites that covertly hold hazardous waste and chemicals without safeguards are breaking the law and risk causing serious pollution incidents that damage rivers, habitats and pose a risk to human health.

Crimestoppers Director of Business Development, Rodger Holden, said:
"We have worked alongside the Environment Agency since 2011 and this relationship has been key to eliminating waste crime that can have a huge effect on people's lives".
The Environment Agency Waste Crime Report has just been published. It shows that In the East of England, there were 45 waste prosecutions in 2012 resulting in combined fines of £223,155 and costs totalling £126,311.