IEMA backs call to end UK’s “enforcement gap”

Environmental protection standards in Britain are under threat as inspection and enforcement budgets are cut. That is the startling message today from a new campaign,, which IEMA is supporting.

Posted on Aug 20, 2019

The campaign’s analysis, published today, shows huge declines in the budgets and staff of enforcement agencies overseeing vital areas of public policy – including environmental protection. This has created a dangerous “enforcement gap”, highlighted in today’s briefing. [1]

In a letter to The Times, IEMA joined twenty organisations from across UK civil to warn that “steep reduction in inspections and monitoring of regulated business in recent years risks undermining the achievement of public policy objectives.” [2]

Emma Rose of said:

“The analysis we are publishing today is alarming, and is cause for serious national concern.

With important regulators operating with on average 50% less funding than ten years ago, there is a need for a closer look at the state of our public protection infrastructure.”

Martin Baxter, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor said:

“We need a properly funded regulator to underpin our vital environmental protections. Businesses that effectively manage compliance with environmental regulations shouldn’t be undercut by those who flout the rules.”

[1] You can read’s first briefing paper here:

[2] A shortened version of the letter was published in The Times on Tuesday 20th August. The full letter is available here: It was signed by the following organisations:

Alliance to Save our Antibiotics

Birders Against Wildlife Crime

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Compassion in World Farming

Friends of the Earth

Green Alliance

Hazards UK

Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment

Mums for Lungs

National Consumer Federation

New Economics Foundation

People Need Nature

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Save Face


The Angling Trust

Trade Justice Movement

Windrush Against Sewage Pollution

Women’s Environmental Network

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