On the face of it, one might have quite a bit of sympathy with the new clause. We share concerns about increasing fly-tipping as a result of the end of co-disposal of hazardous waste and the impact of the various Acts. Although we do not disagree with the reasons behind these Acts, we have concerns about the availability of places to take such waste. Earlier, we raised concerns that there is already insufficient funding going into the Environment Agency for detection of such crimes or for securing convictions.
We spoke to the Environment Agency to get its views about the clause, because on the face of it we had some sympathy with it. We asked the agency how it would feel about having the powers of arrest in those circumstances and it did not agree with the proposal. The crimes in question are serious, with a lot of money at stake, and not the sort of thing that a non-uniformed Environment Agency officer would want to walk in on. The agency told us that it would be more appropriate for uniformed police to deal with such serious criminals. On that basis, we cannot support the new clause.