ERJ staff report (DS)
Solihull, UK -- If people in the UK become aware of illegal tyre disposal activities, they now have one central contact point. A small project team within the UK's Environment Agency led by a former police officer is building an intellegence database in an attempt to precent large-scale illegal tyre disposal activities.
Roy Howitt, a former police officer, is the project leader. He said his aim is to bring together data on illegal tyre disposal activities throughout the UK and ten look for patterns in the data and use that to identify and prosecute the bigger players in the field, rather than the low-level operators.
Hewitt said the aim is to encourage those in the tyre trade to pass on information about illegal activities. Anyone with relevant information, he said, should contact him directly.
Hewitt said such action is strongly in the interests of the legal participants. Those who do not have licences and do not dispose of their tyres according to the law operate at much lower costs than those who fully comply with the rules. This, the illegals can undercut the legal operators. If those illegal operators can be closed down, then the legal operators are likely to find it easier to build a succesful business, he said.
Hewitt's funding lasts until March 2011. The aim is that the projhect can be established before the money runs out and then become self-sustaining within the overall funding of the Environment Agency. In the mean time, the Agency is seeking money from Brussels to keep the project going beyond March of next year.
Contact Roy Hewitt on 0191 203 4202 or mail to [email protected]