Dawn raids lead to arrests for suspect illegal asbestos dumping
Sixty Environment Agency investigators were supported by Avon and Somerset Police during last nights raid of several sites as part of ‘Operation Durable’.
The Country’s biggest ever probe into illegal asbestos dumping has climaxed in dawn raids which saw ten people arrested and released on conditional bail pending further enquiries until a date in January 2013.
The operation involved sixty Environment Agency investigators, supported by Avon and Somerset Police, raiding several sites as part of ‘Operation Durable’. The operation is a major investigation into Health and Safety breaches by an Avonmouth based company, its Directors and senior management specifically concerning suspected toxic waste offences.
The Health Protection Agency is said to be closely involved because of the nature of the waste and it is believed that the investigation is ongoing and expected to take many months to complete. Specialist Environment Agency crime staff from across England and Wales have been brought in to support given the unprecedented scale of the investigation. Police have been deployed with EA staff to make arrests, gain access to properties and assist with collecting evidence.
Andy Higham, Head of the Environment Agency’s NECT said: “The Environment Agency targets gravely negligent organisations and organised criminals who risk damaging heath, livelihoods and the environment. He then gave advice for those who know of similar offences which have taken or are taking place: “We take waste crime extremely seriously. This is a live and complex investigation, anyone with further information should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.’
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