Defra review of serious and organised waste crime

The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) is welcoming the Environment Secretary’s decision to set up a review of serious and organised waste crime and its impact on communities.

Julia Mulligan, NRCN Chair and North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, has been invited to sit on the committee’s advisory panel by Michael Gove who recognises the extent of the issue and that it needs to be addressed.

Waste criminals act illegally to evade landfill tax, undercut responsible waste disposal businesses, operate illegal waste sites, export waste illegally and fly-tip – blighting communities with bad smells, fly infestations and fires.

Julia will be part of the work which will seek to establish the level of threat more accurately and make recommendations on what capabilities and powers public authorities responsible – particularly the Environment Agency – need to tackle it.

Waste crime was one of the biggest concerns raised by the last National Rural Crime Survey in 2015.

Six in ten of those who took part did not feel the issue was adequately addressed by police or other organisations. It was also the issue which communities felt was most underreported because they did not believe anyone would take action to address it.

The results of the 2018 National Rural Crime Survey, which has just closed for submissions after eight weeks of taking evidence, will be fed into this new review.

Julia Mulligan said:

“Fly tipping and other waste crimes can blight our rural communities. As well as harming the way the countryside looks and putting off tourists, the cost of clearance for farmers and landowners is expensive and unfair and it also poses dangers to livestock and wildlife.

“It is often carried out by the same people in the same places who think they can act with impunity time after time. This serious and organised crime has to stop, and it is positive the Secretary of State agrees.

“Over the next few months, I want to make sure the views of rural communities are heard in this review so that the recommendations to Ministers include measures that will have a positive impact on the countryside and the people who live and work within it.”

The review will work over the summer to produce a report due to be considered by Ministers in September. Views can be given directly to Defra during this time at