Environmental crime under the microscope

David Small of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Stan Brown of Forensic Science Northern Ireland sign a Memorandum of Understanding. It heralds a new partnership between the organisations as they track down the criminals who threaten the environment by dumping illegally.
David Small of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Stan Brown of Forensic Science Northern Ireland sign a Memorandum of Understanding. It heralds a new partnership between the organisations as they track down the criminals who threaten the environment by dumping illegally.

A new partnership between the Environment Agency and Forensic Science is stepping up the fight against environmental crime.

Waste is increasingly a lucrative business. Yet those who process and dispose of rubbish illegally are not only breaking the law, they are putting the environment at serious risk.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) have agreed to work closely to enhance their efforts in targeting these criminals.

The organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which cements existing partnerships and points to improved links in the future.

NIEA Chief Executive, David Small said: “Forensic Science has world-class staff and cutting-edge facilities.

“This MoU builds on the connection between our two organisations - we have previously sought their expertise and submitted materials to their laboratory for examination. This is the next step of building the relationship and looking at more ways of working together.

“Our own staff have been making great strides in combatting environmental crime. This agreement allow us to intensify those efforts through greater access to the outstanding resources of FSNI.”

Forensic Science Northern Ireland’s Chief Executive, Stan Brown said: “There are many areas where FSNI can provide forensic support to the work of the Environmental Crime Unit. We welcome this opportunity to add value to the efforts of NIEA, and build upon previous contacts with their investigators.

“It is clear there is a strong link between us and a real spirit of co-operation. We look forward to working with NIEA in future.”

In collaboration, NIEA and FSNI will look to reduce crime and at the same time improve the environment.