Enforcement key to tackling environmental crime in Northern Ireland
CJI's Deputy Chief Inspector James Corrigan has called for improved enforcement action to deal with environmental crime in Northern Ireland. View report page
The call was made following the publication of a report on the operation and work of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency's Environmental Crime Unit (ECU).
This review found the work undertaken by staff within the ECU is contributing to securing convictions and the confiscation of money linked to waste crime. This type of activity is positive but it must be supported by strong regulation and enforcement.
"Significant organised waste crime has been found to exist in Northern Ireland with criminals, illegal and unscrupulous operators making significant profits from waste crime and illegal waste disposal. Individuals engaged in this type of activity must be in no doubt that compliance with the law is the priority of the ECU and a key objective of Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the DoE," said the Deputy Chief Inspector.
CJI was asked to review of the ECU by the Department of the Environment after concerns were raised during the summer of 2014 about the operation of the unit, its processes and investigation practice. While Inspectors were satisfied the way the unit was operating, a number of strategic and operational recommendations to strengthen the operation and performance of the unit are made in the report.