MORE than 20 suspects are under investigation following an operation targeting fly-tipping.

Cheshire Police’s rural crime team led the five-day crackdown in partnership with the Environment Agency, Warrington Borough Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council.

Companies believed to be involved in the illegal disposal of waste were investigated, while stop checks were carried out on more than 100 vehicles across the county – around 10 of which were subsequently seized.

Roughly 50 fines were handed out for a range of offences from five operational bases, one of which was situated in Warrington.

Warrington Guardian:

Sergeant Rob Simpson said: “Waste crime is a big problem across the country.

“It causes significant environmental and public health problems, blights local communities and drains the UK economy of hundreds of millions of pounds a year in clean-up costs and lost tax revenues.

“Those involved in waste crime are often involved in other serious criminal activity, including large scale fraud and in some cases modern slavery.

“The operation was a success and we will continue to target those who use our roads to commit waste crime.”

Cheshire Police has confirmed that more than 20 people are now being investigation following Operation Permits.

Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for environment and public protection Cllr Judith Guthrie said: “‘Cross agency support is welcomed to focus on tackling waste crime.

“Whilst individually we all deal with this issue, we are able to achieve more collectively.”

Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane added: “Waste crime is a blight on our communities.

“It poses a real threat to the environment, causing nuisance, environmental contamination and public health problems, is expensive to clean up and can also harm the economy by taking business away from legitimate, responsible firms and damaging the reputation of the waste and resource management industry.

“As the county’s PCC, I am fully aware of the hard work being done at Cheshire Police to tackle those who illegally exploit the waste industry and the environment and I applaud all those involved in this successful five-day operation.”