SEPA has launched a desperate appeal for information to tackle waste crime.

Scotland’s environmental regulator is investigating potentially illegal activity at a location linked to waste vehicles in North Lanarkshire last week on Thursday, September 28.

Around 16 officers were joined by the council and Police Scotland to gather information on the range of businesses operating in the area, the size and scale of operations, the number of vehicles present and the risk of harm to the environment.

The location in question, which SEPA is not identifying due to its ongoing investigation, has expanded significantly without the appropriate environmental and planning permissions, and there are concerns around waste crime.

As part of its ongoing commitment to tackle environmental crime and as an environment protection agency ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st Century, SEPA has a dedicated intelligence and enforcement function supporting geographic teams in investigating waste crime.

Calum McGregor, Unit Manager in SEPA’s Environmental Crime Team, said: “We are warning criminals - your activities are firmly in the spotlight and compliance with Scotland’s environmental laws is non-negotiable.

“In Scotland, businesses committed to doing the right thing by our environment will find a regulator that supports innovation and excellence. For those who do the wrong thing you’ll find a regulator that won’t hesitate to act.

“We know that unauthorised end of life vehicle (ELV) sites can be linked to other criminality, which is why days of action such as this are so important to tackling waste criminality on a national level.

“Working with partners such as Police Scotland and local authorities – as well as Scotland’s Serious Organised Crime Task Force, the Joint Unit for Waste Crime, and cross border agencies - means that SEPA can make it harder for criminals to get a foot in legitimate waste businesses, and where these sites have appeared it will become easier to require those responsible to clean them up.

“I’d encourage anyone who thinks they may have information about waste crime in Scotland to get in touch with SEPA.

“Our officers cannot be everywhere, and the public are often our eyes and ears across the country.

“While this day of action was targeted at end-of-life vehicles, please do share any concerns you may have about waste crime of any type.

“Other suspicious activity can include approaches to bury waste on land, increases in lorries moving on and off sites (especially at night) as well as sudden increases in waste amounts, odours and flies.”