Environment Agency secures funding to tackle crime

7th September 2015


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  • Electronics ,
  • Waste ,
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Author

Brian Gray

The Environment Agency is to receive €640,000 (£470,000) from the EU to help combat cross-border environmental crime, including the illegal export of waste.

The money comes from the European LIFE programme and will aim to strengthen the work of the collaborative European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment (ENPE), which was set up to promote information exchange on enforcement and prosecution of environmental crimes between EU member states.

Jonathan Robinson, executive director of legal services at the agency and president of ENPE, said: "I am thrilled that the agency 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"

The five-year ENPE programme focuses on illegal waste shipments, crimes relating to industrial discharges and chemicals, and the illegal destruction of wildlife habitats. The agency will help facilitate the collection of environmental crime data across Europe to assist enforcement officers and environmental prosecutors. "It is vital that the agency and other European environmental prosecutors work collaboratively to tackle this problem through bodies such as ENPE, and this funding will help us do that," said Robinson.

The new funding comes after a recent INTERPOL investigation found that the illegal shipment of electronic waste increasing, with more than 4.7 million tonnes being wrongfully mismanaged or illegally traded in Europe.

David Higgins, assistant director of INTERPOL's environmental security sub-directorate, said e-waste is profitable and vulnerable to exploitation by illegal traders. "The law enforcement community needs to be more pro-active with illicit e-waste investigations, complemented by strengthened prosecution and sentencing," he said.

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