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Arrests made at illegal waste site

Arrests have been made after Environment Agency (EA) officers backed by police raided an illegal waste site in Essex.

A warrant had been issued allowing the EA to search and enter the area at Temple Farm, West Hanningfield, Chelmsford and a number of arrests have been made so far for burglary, suspected theft of motor vehicles and environmental offences.

Environment Agency special enforcement team leader Chris Window said: “We have been concerned about operations at the site for some time and have been conducting investigations for some months.”

The new Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 made the raid possible as it hands the crown courts increased powers; including the ability to impose prison sentences of up to five years for certain waste offences.

Essex Police sergeant Morgan Cronin said: “The site has been secured and three arrests have been made so far. The arrests are for burglary, suspected theft of motor vehicles and environmental offences. A number of stolen vehicles have also been recovered from the site and it is likely more items will be recovered.”

The EA had been working closely with Chelmsford Borough Council and liaising with Essex police while investigating complaints from local residents about alleged burning operations at the site. The Bakers Lane Action Group had also been formed to protest against the activities in the area.

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