Environmental regulators have secured funding for an EU-wide database to tackle waste criminals.
The Environment Agency (EA) worked in conjunction with prosecutors in Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden to win EU funding for a five-year programme from the European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment (ENPE).
A waste crime database will allow prosecuting bodies to more effectively deal with cross-border criminals, especially those engaging in illegal international shipments of waste.
The programme will also look into preventing the destruction of wildlife and its habitats and crimes relating to industrial discharges and chemicals.
The money comes from the EU’s environmental funding ‘LIFE’ programme which was initiated in 1992 to finance green projects across the continent. It has contributed approximately €3.1bn since its inception.
ENPE was founded in September 2012 by representatives from regulatory bodies in seven European countries (UK, France, Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, Italy and Germany).
Jonathan Robinson, EA executive director and president of ENPE, said: “I am thrilled that the EA has secured this European funding. Environmental crime increasingly involves sophisticated and organised criminals, working across borders, and it can cause serious harm to the environment and put communities at risk.
“It is vital that the EA and other European environmental prosecutors work collaboratively to tackle this problem through bodies such as ENPE, and this funding will help us do that.”