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23 May 2019, 12:25 | Updated: 23 May 2019, 12:29
A man has been arrested in connection with dozens of giant heaps of waste illegally dumped across southern England.
There have been 35 incidents since March this year in Surrey, Kent, west London, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire. In some cases 100 tonnes of rubbish have been dumped in one go.
On Tuesday, a 44-year-old man from Maidenhead, in Berkshire, was held at nearby Eton Wick by Thames Valley Police. A tipper lorry and van believed to be involved in the illegal activity have also been seized as part of the operation.
The investigation continues, with various lines of enquiry being pursued.
Emma Viner, area enforcement manager for the Environment Agency, said: "We are pleased an arrest has been made in connection with suspected large-scale illegal dumping across four counties and west London.
"Waste criminals put both the environment and local communities at risk with their reckless actions. The Environment Agency is determined to bring culprits to justice.
"We encourage anyone with information on these incidents to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Last year, the Environment Agency stopped illegal waste activity at 812 sites – more than two a day, disrupting illegal operators and helping legitimate business to grow. In 2017/18, the Environment Agency took out 93 successful waste-crime prosecutions, resulting in 17 prison sentences.