More than 60 waste vehicles have been stopped and 53 waste sites inspected in an Environment Agency blitz on illegal waste operations in London.
Under Operation Ammolite, Environment Agency officers teamed up with Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, local authorities, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and HMRC to target suspected waste criminals.
Of 63 vehicles that were stopped in Barking and Dagenham, Tower Hamlets and Enfield, officers found that 13 did not have a required carriers licence. Those stopped had seven days to produce the correct paperwork to avoid prosecution.
While in the 53 waste sites that were targeted in the same areas as well as Hackney, Waltham Forest and Newham. Fourteen sites were found to be operating illegally, including two involved in the illegal export of electrical waste and two who were mishandling waste. The Environment Agency will now work with the site operators to bring them into compliance or take enforcement action, which could include prosecution.
Environment Agency senior environmental crime officer Owen Bolton said: “Illegal waste activity is a huge problem in this area, harming the environment and taking work away from legitimate businesses. Waste crime is a serious offence and we use all legitimate means at our disposal to bring criminals to justice, including taking them to court where they face a criminal record, a fine and imprisonment in more serious cases. “