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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

22 Jan 2010 09:01:06

Crime scene methods to tackle waste crime



Crime scene methods to tackle waste crime
The Environment agency is to use "CSI-style" technology to catch people who illegally bury waste underground.

There are estimated to be 800 illegal sites across the country, costing millions of pounds for taxpayers each year.

Since 2008, a blitz on waste criminals has led to 1,500 sites being closed – with the aid of an armory of advanced detection techniques.

The latest method has already uncovered a waste burial site in the New Forest National Park, which will cost an estimated £500, 000 to clean up.

Resistive tomography is similar to the technology used in Channel 4's team of historians in Time Team.

Electrical impulses are sent through the ground. Any signs of resistance will be used to map what lies underneath – and find illegal waste.

Other methods deployed by the agency include handwriting analysis and a form of tracking to mark objects and contaminate the criminal on future visits to the waste site.

Dr Paul Leinster, chief executive of the Environment Agency said: "By dumping waste illegally, waste criminals avoid landfill charges and undercut legitimate waste businesses, but more importantly they put the environment and human health at risk.

"We are making sure that waste crime does not pay, and have set up specialist crime teams to catch criminals and confiscate the assets they’ve gained from crime."

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