Fines for waste crime increase by 26%
The new sentencing guidelines have seen a significant increase in fines levied for waste offences, according to the Environment Agency.
Fines imposed on waste companies as a result of prosecution brought by the regulator totaled just over £707,000 in 2015, an 85% increase from 2014 (£383,000).
This is the result of an increase in the number of offences being prosecuted, from 51 in 2014 to 108 in 2015, and a 26% rise in the average fine per prosecution, the agency said in a report on waste industry regulation.
Revised guidelines on sentencing for environmental offences were issued to criminal courts in 2014 by the Setencing Council. These provided a tariff to indicate the right level of penalties dependent on the seriousness of the offence and the turnover and profit of the offender.
According to analysis by the agency, the guidelines have had a ‘marked impact’ on sentencing. ‘In very many cases this has meant an increase in the fine which might otherwise have been imposed by ...