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EA waste crime asset recovery reaches £10.9m

The Environment Agency (EA) has said that around £10.9m has been recovered from waste criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (Poca) since 2008.

Writing for MRW, financial investigation team leader Fiona Havercroft said the EA had professionalised its approach in the face of rising waste crime.

The EA is putting more resources into specialised teams in order to gather information to assist criminal investigation and pre-prepare evidence for confiscation orders under Poca.

Havercroft said: “The EA has been using proceeds of crime legislation since 2008 and sometimes works with regional asset recovery teams and local police. Since then, a dedicated team of financial investigators has been formed.

“So far, orders to the amount of £10.9m have been granted by the Crown Court on behalf of the EA.

“We hope the work we do offers some reassurance to legitimate waste operators, showing that we actively look to disrupt and deter those who are undercutting legitimate business.”

Courts can also award compensation to landowners if they have been victim of illegal dumping.

A case heard at Stafford Crown Court, where an individual was ordered to pay more than £29,000 in confiscation, resulted in compensation being awarded to an elderly couple whose land had been used to deposit illegal waste. The defendant had to sell his property to pay the victim in full.

The EA’s financial investigation teams are regulated by the NCA Proceeds of Crime Centre.

In the latest Budget, the EA was given an additional £30m during the next four years to tackle waste crime.

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