THURROCK Council joined forces with colleagues from Essex Police and the Environment Agency on Tuesday (8 October) in an operation at an illegal waste site in South Ockendon where thousands of tonnes of waste has been dumped.
The operation came about thanks to liaison work taking place between the council and the Environment Agency.
Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: “This shows the kind of joined up working taking place to tackle environmental issues and large scale fly-tips in Thurrock. This site is enormous with a pile of waste over 30 feet tall covering an area more than half-a-mile long.
“It appears the site has been used for the disposal of waste at a criminal level and by working together we, the Environment Agency and the Police have shown that we will not tolerate environmental crime in the borough and will take whatever action is necessary to make sure sites like this are dealt with. Those responsible will face the appropriate consequences which should act as a deterrent to others and help to protect the borough for our residents to enjoy.”
Emma Viner, Enforcement Team Leader, Environment Agency, said: “The Environment Agency is leading the investigation into a number of alleged offences at this site. We are working collaboratively with our partners to bring those responsible to justice.
“Waste crime can pose a significant risk to our environment, local communities and undermines legitimate business. The Environment Agency is taking tough action to tackle organised criminality and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where offences are identified.”
Chief Inspector Terry Balding, head of the Essex Police Rural Engagement Team, said: “Rural crime can take place in a number different forms and the Essex Police Rural Engagement Team has key priorities which include fly-tipping.
“We will work with all agencies to protect the Essex countryside and its people. The Rural Engagement Team has almost doubled in size and will continue to grow to increase confidence within the rural communities across the county.”