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Zero tolerance on waste crime

The war on organised waste crime has been given a £2 million boost by the Environment Agency (EA).

Zero-tolerance zones and an online register of legal carriers will be created as the law-enforcement body tries to get fly-tipping under control.

The EA is to receive the money from the extra revenue the Government will scoop when the Landfill Tax rises by £3 per tonne on April 1.

EA programme manager Arwyn Jones said: "This is a very significant amount of money. It will help us target career criminals."

The crackdown will begin with zero-tolerance trials lasting up to three months in three areas of the UK.

Prosecutions will face anyone found illegally dumping waste during that time in Stoke-on-Trent, Preston or a yet-to-be-decided part of north London.

There will also be communications campaigns in the run up to the zero-tolerance periods, targeting the public, criminals and punishment makers.

Jones added: "We will try to raise awareness among the judiciary of the range of options available to them.

"Fines are not always the answer, and other penalties can be used. For example, if we can prove a vehicle was involved in fly-tipping then we can ask for a driver's licence to be revoked."

Recent figures revealed that rubbish is illegally dumped in England every 35 seconds, costing £100 per minute to clean up.

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