Almost £220,000 in fines and costs have been imposed by courts following Environment Agency investigations into those flouting waste and fishing laws in the North East.
During 2016 there were 25 prosecutions of individuals or companies for waste offences, amounting to total fines of £93,390 and costs of £109,683.
There were also three custodial sentences, two suspended sentences, a curfew, community orders and two formal cautions, as well as compensation awarded to a landowner who had to clear waste illegally dumped.
In fisheries enforcement, there were six serious offences resulting in £460 in fines and £600 costs, plus forfeiture of equipment and a crushed vehicle.
There were a further 54 offenders prosecuted for 59 rod licence offences resulting in fines of £14,327, with four offenders also given conditional discharges.
Taking tough action
Enforcement activity has taken place right across the North East in Teesside, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland.
The Environment Agency’s enforcement teams work alongside other specialist teams to support businesses in abiding by their permit conditions, but take tough action against those who deliberately flout regulations.
And fisheries enforcement officers carry our regular patrols and act on information and intelligence to target illegal activity on our rivers.
Working closely with partners
Jamie Fletcher, Environment Manager at the Environment Agency in the North East, said:
Waste crime can cause serious pollution to the environment, puts communities at risk and undermines legitimate businesses, impacting on investment and economic growth.
Similarly those fishing illegally are cheating other anglers and putting the future of the sport and quality of our rivers in jeopardy.
We have specialist teams that work hard to target those suspected of being involved in illegal activity and to ensure any necessary action is taken against them.
We work closely with a wide range of partners including local authorities, police and the fire service, and I’d like to thank them for their continued support.
There have been some excellent results at court over the past year, and communities and anglers can rest assured that this will continue.
To report information about illegal activity contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. To report a crime ongoing dial 999.