larne residents are being encouraged to report environmental crime, such as illegal dumping, to Crimestoppers, the charity that allows the reporting of crime anonymously.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood this week announced the setting up of a partnership with Crimestoppers to crack down on waste crime.
“Illegal waste is big business which threatens our environment, our health and our economy. Unscrupulous businesses are taking huge sums of money from all of us that could otherwise be used for schools, hospitals and roads,” said the Minister.
“Working with Crimestoppers will help us tackle the illegal dumping of waste materials, including hazardous chemicals, scrap metal and tyres, which harm the environment.”
Encouraging the public to report environmental crime to Crimestoppers, Mr Attwood said: “Environmental criminals are undermining the legitimate waste industry, our way of life and our children’s heritage, for a quick profit. Large scale dumping is polluting our land, our water and our air and DOE and I will do everything we can to stop it, and to make Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest.
“Dumping or burying large amounts of waste – you will not be put at risk if you report it, so please help us protect your community’s environment, health and quality of life and call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111,” he said.
The Minister emphasised that Crimestoppers is an anonymous service that does not take anyone’s details. He praised Crimestoppers’ proven track record and noted the successes it achieved in Britain in 2010/11: 8,264 criminals were arrested and charged, £25.3million of illegal drugs were seized and £3.1million of stolen goods were recovered as a result of the information it received.
Susan Brew, Northern Ireland Crimestoppers Regional Manager said: “Crimestoppers are delighted to have joined up in partnership with DOE and feel very positive that this partnership will generate some valuable information. Crimestoppers is not, as many people think the police, but an independent charity which provide the number for people to call when passing on information.
“Crimestoppers anonymity promise, which has never been broken, means no personal details are taken from the caller, no calls are traced or recorded and people are not required to give evidence in court.
“We would encourage anyone with information to ring Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 as one quality call can make a huge difference towards fighting environmental crime.”
The joint partnership between Crimestoppers and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has been made possible using recycled environmental criminal assets whereby the NIEA benefits from a percentage of all confiscation orders secured against environmental offenders.