Jail for Kent waste criminal

A man whose truck was used to dump waste at a Kent business park has been taken to jail.

Essex’s James Atkins has been sentenced to 16 months in prison after an operation by the Environment Agency.

The 29-year-old was found guilty of possession or control of a truck used to dump brick debris, earth and plastic under cover of darkness at Swan Business Park in Dartford in February 2017.

Investigators reviewed CCTV footage that showed a red DAF tipper truck, registered on Atkins, being driven onto the site at almost midnight as the rubbish was being dumped.

A black and white CCTV image shows the headlights of a truck coming into view

Midnight caller – The driver of this truck hauling rubbish in Dartford must have thought no one would see them late at night

Businesses in the business park had to pay more than £3,000 to have the waste removed.

Essex Police impounded the truck after it was found abandoned in Purfleet a week after the incident. Atkins produced a key and documents to prove he was the registered owner.

Environmental crime officials then questioned Atkins cautiously, but he responded with “no comment” to each question.

Lesley Robertson, who led the Environment Agency’s investigation that ended in Atkins’ incarceration, said:

We take illegal waste activity very seriously and will have no hesitation in stopping criminal behavior and prosecuting those responsible.

Atkins allowed his vehicle to be used to dump waste at Dartford. It acted with a commercial advantage and undermined legitimate businesses with little or no regard for the environment – and companies that had waste dumped off their premises had to pay to clean it up.

His imprisonment shows how seriously the court assessed this case.

Judge Mary Loram KC said Jan. 25 in Chelmsford Crown Court that Atkins was responsible for what she called “planned and cynical waste management,” which she described as “sophisticated.”

The Environment Agency told the court Atkins’ activities enabled him to avoid the fees and taxes associated with lawful disposal and that he “undermines legal competitors” and causes “significant interference with the legitimate activities of site users and business owners.” have.

Atkins, of Copperfield in Chigwell, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for refuse offences, an additional month each for failing to surrender at a previous court hearing and a suspended sentence for being disqualified for the refuse dumped at Dartford.

He has also been ordered to pay £6,000 in costs after being sentenced in absentia at the same court last October.

Atkins was charged with violating Section 33(5) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for being in control of a vehicle from which controlled waste was dumped on unlicensed land and with violating Section 34(1) and (6 ) of the same act for the handling, control and transfer of controlled waste without taking adequate measures.

Anyone suspecting a waste crime can call the Environment Agency Incident Hotline on 0800 807060 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For more information on waste permits see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/waste-environmental-permits.

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