Sixteen vehicles stopped in crackdown on rogue traders in Northamptonshire

Environment Agency. EMN-151108-124421001
Environment Agency. EMN-151108-124421001
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Sixteen vehicles were stopped as part of a crackdown on rogue traders led by the Enviroment Agency in Northamptonshire.

Two illegal waste carriers were detected and one illegal waste site was identified. An investigation is now underway, a spokesman for the agency said.

“Activities on the day ranged from executing warrants and identifying vehicles used by criminals through automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), to conducting intelligence-led patrols in areas where older or vulnerable people live,” the spokesman said.

“Police and trading standards services co-ordinated efforts across the country with support from the Department of Work and Pensions, Environment Agency, HM Revenue and Customs, the DVLA, the DVSA, Border Force and Scambusters to catch rogue traders and prevent innocent people from becoming victims of crime,” he added.

More than 30 Environment Agency officers were out on the ground working closely with emergency responders and investigators.

Andrew Luckett, office manager for Operation Liberal, said: “Distraction crimes and scams continue to occur and the victims are swindled out of their life savings for unnecessary and overpriced work which has a detrimental effect on the victim’s health and their confidence.

“We will continue to carry out operations like this and remind the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity or concerns about an individual offering to carry out work to the relevant agency.”

Nicky Lawton, deputy director of the Environment Agency’s Enforcement Service, said: “The Environment Agency works closely with partner enforcement organisations to identify and stop rogue traders. We will take action against illegal operators who risk polluting the environment and undercutting legitimate businesses.

“Any waste collector should have Environment Agency permits; always check whether a trader is legitimate and if you are suspicious of a waste collector report it to the EA 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers.”

Steve Playle, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute lead officer for doorstep crime, said: “Operation Rogue Trader is a great opportunity for the different partners involved in tackling doorstep crime to come together and carry out some enforcement work and to raise awareness of the issues.

“Cold calling criminals undertaking property maintenance work continue to exploit vulnerable and elderly home owners.

“Trading Standards officers right across the UK are committed to making the lives of criminals as difficult as possible by sharing intelligence, causing disruption and taking criminal prosecutions where necessary.”

Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of any doorstep offender or rogue trader should ring their local police or call Crimestoppers, the national charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

People should report cases of rogue traders or uninvited doorstep callers to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06. The Environment Agency hotline is 0800 80 70 60.