On 16 January 2020, the UK Government launched a new taskforce dedicated to tackling serious and organised waste crime.
The Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) aims to tackle crimes such as dumping hazardous materials on private land and falsely labelling waste so it can be exported abroad.
The JUWC brings together law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency to work together to tackle waste crime.
By working together, it is hoped that Joint Unit partners will be able to more easily share their intelligence and resources to take action when investigating criminal waste operations and other connected illegal activities.
The new unit will conduct site inspections, make arrests and prosecutions and, upon conviction, push for heavy fines and custodial sentences.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has been confirmed as a JUWC partner and will work in partnership with the task force. Organised waste crime is estimated to cost the UK economy £600 million a year.
Source: Environment Agency, 16 January 2020