Environmental Crime Partnership - Annual Report 2022
Growing as a partnership
Environmental crime officers working group
The environmental crime officers working group continues to allow local practitioners from across the county to come together to share experiences and influence strategy by reporting into the Environmental Crime Partnership.
The partnership continues to expand, with membership now spanning Greater Lincolnshire - enhancing partnership working across the county borders of Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire (Humberside).
In 2022 we welcomed new members including Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, National Trust and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside.
Presentations into the ECP
Over the year, external agencies such as Crimestoppers and the Probation Service have been invited to provide inputs directly to members - sharing learning and providing opportunities to further reduce and prevent waste crime across Lincolnshire.
Numerous convictions have been achieved by partners across the county. These have resulted in fixed penalty notices, costs sought up to thousands of pounds and sanctions including a six-month suspended prison sentence.
Vulnerable land panel
We are continuing to trial the vulnerable land panel, where partners work together at identified locations, to proactively prevent environmental crime.
We have a couple of hotspots that are being trialed and hope to feedback on this further in the next year
Waste carriers widget
As a partnership, we continue to encourage the use of waste carrier’s website ‘Widget’ on all local authority websites, enabling the public and businesses to easily identify licensed waste carriers.
ECP members in North East Lincolnshire carried out a multi-agency operation in Grimsby which resulted in Council Environmental Enforcement officers seizing two vehicles for unlawfully carrying controlled waste.
Partners included North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) Environmental Enforcement officers, Humberside Police, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
During the operation, environmental enforcement officers also opened 14 case files relating to waste carrier offences and for drivers failing to produce waste transfer notes.
Operation Clean Sweep IV
ECP members joined forces for another successful multi-agency day of action in South Kesteven, gathering intelligence and evidence to disrupt those believed to be involved in illegal waste activity.
The stop checks of 24 vehicles resulted in:
- Four fixed penalty notices of up to £300 each issued to unlicensed waste carriers
- Four prohibitions notices issued by the Police and DVSA
- Three follow up enquiries after vehicles illegally carrying hazardous waste, scrap metal, waste white goods, green waste and end of life vehicles were stopped.
- Ten waste sites that were suspected to be operating illegally or in breach of permits were also visited. One site was found to be storing thousands of tyres illegally and was instructed to stop all activity with follow up enquiries made.
Partners included South Kesteven District Council, The Environment Agency, Lincolnshire Police, DVSA and HMRC.
Sharing best practice
Lincolnshire Environmental Crime Partnership have been called upon to share their learning and best practice both on a local and national level.
Supporting prospective and existing partnerships nationally
The National Fly-tipping Prevention Group have updated the ‘Fly-Tipping Partnership Framework: How local authorities can set up and run an effective partnership to tackle fly-tipping’ with assistance from the ECP.
The national group is chaired by Defra and made up of a number of organisations working together to tackle fly-tipping. The ECP Chair and Vice-Chair were invited to sit on the sub-group to share their learning and provide guidance, all of which have been incorporated within this national framework. The Chair presented to this group, giving an overview of our existing partnership, current challenges and successes.
Crimestopper's Rural Crime Conference
In March, the Chair of the ECP was invited to present at Crimestopper's Lincolnshire Rural Crime and Cyber Crime agricultural conference.
The event was an opportunity to discover more about the initiatives and strategies being developed and delivered to make Lincolnshire a safer place to live and work.
The East Midlands Councils Environmental Health Continued Professional Development event
The ECP Chair presented at this professional development event, sharing the positive work of the partnership, for professionals to learn and take away ideas for creation of their own partnership.
Communicating as a partnership
A communications strategy has been developed for the partnership.
The key themes are:
- Consistent communication
- Reducing fly-tipping through education
- Deterring perpetrators
- Encouraging reporting
- Reassuring our communities
Social media campaigns
A number of ECP campaigns have been developed throughout the year - including bonfire night and Christmas - utilising the SCRAP fly-tipping messaging:
- Suspect all waste carriers
- Check that the provider taking your waste away is licensed
- Refuse unexpected offers to have waste taken away
- Ask what will happen to your waste
- Paperwork should be obtained – get a full receipt
This consistent, branded messaging on members' channels has increased the partnership's overall social media presence.
Projects and future ambitions
- Further roll out of successful multi-agency days of action across Lincolnshire. Plans include carrying out another Operation Clean Sweep in North Kesteven.
- Build on the success of sharing learning and good practice amongst the partnership and continuing to invite external agencies to provide inputs directly to members - increasing opportunities to further reduce and prevent waste crime across Lincolnshire.
- Find new, innovative ways to work together to protect Lincolnshire's environment and effectively tackle waste crimes, including supporting national days of action on a local level, such as 'Keep Britain Tidy' campaigns.
- Following on from the introduction of Operation Asgard (which includes the seizure of offenders' vehicles for forfeiture or destruction), explore opportunities for further joint working across members. Ideas include local patrols for Lincolnshire Police's Rural Crime Action Team and agencies to within hotspots, which may include seizing of vehicles.
- Explore and focus joint working to target scrap metal crimes.
- Continue to communicate as a partnership across Lincolnshire, following the communications objectives listed within the ECP communications strategy.
- Put in place a calendar of activity to scope opportunities such as local campaigns and targeted communication and education.