The Guardian newspaper published an article on the 22nd September 2016 regarding waste crime; which is quoted as costing the country £1bn a year, an increase of 100% from 2014 when it was estimated that waste crime cost the country half a billion pounds yearly.

Sir James Bevan, the chief executive of the Environment Agency was quoted in the newspaper as saying that “waste is the new narcotics. It feels to me like drugs felt in the 1980s: the system hadn’t quite woken up to the enormity of what was going on and was racing to catch up.”

In 2014 the Sentencing Council published a definitive guideline for Judges and Magistrates when sentencing people who commit environmental offences. It was the first time that a guideline had been published for environmental offences.

Whilst businesses can face an unlimited fine for unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste, with a £100 to £3 million fine range business individuals are also at risk. The Environment Agency reported this month a case which was heard at Teeside Crown Court. The Middlesbrough business man received a suspended prison sentence as a result of his environmental practices which resulted in a major fire incident in North East of England.

At Farleys we have a team of environmental law solicitors who specialise in assisting clients accused of environmental offences. Our lawyers can provide advice and representation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on all areas of crime. For 24 hour advice via our emergency crime line, call 01254 606050 or complete our online contact form and one of our lawyers will get in touch with you.