Environmental Audit Committee

2 April 2004



Environmental crime covers a wide range of issues, such as waste, pollution, anti-social behaviour, and wildlife offences.  Environmental crimes affect significant numbers of people, while the range of laws governing such crimes crosses the public/private law divide. There is concern that too many environmental crimes go unprosecuted or insufficiently punished. 

The Environmental Audit Committee has appointed a Sub-committee which will examine how the Government, judiciary and other bodies are helping to secure access to environmental justice in England and Wales. The Sub-committee intends to follow up its second enquiry into anti-social behaviour and local environmental crime with a third inquiry looking at wildlife crime.

We are particularly seeking views on the following questions:

(1) What is the scale and impact of wildlife crime?

(2)  Is the framework of national and European law and of international regulation robust enough to deal   with wildlife crime effectively?

(3)  Do responsible bodies who deal with this type of crime have sufficient resources and powers to do so?  Do they treat wildlife crime with proper and due gravity?

(4)  Is there sufficient dialogue and co-operation across Government and amongst the various bodies responsible for dealing with this type of crime?

The Committee would be grateful to receive memoranda from interested individuals and organisations relating to these and any other connected issues.  Written evidence should be sent to the Clerk of the Sub-committee, Mr Mike Hennessy, by Friday 30th April 2004 by e-mail to eacom@parliament.uk. (with a hard copy by post).   A brief guidance note on the preparation and submission of evidence is available on the Committee's web pages.

The Sub-committee plans, after this third inquiry, to hold an inquiry into corporate environmental crime.  Suggestions for further areas of environmental crime into which the Sub-committee could inquire would be gratefully received.

Notes for Editors

1. The EAC's sub-committee will be known as the Sub-Committee on Environmental Crime. Its membership is as follows:

Chairman:     Mr Peter Ainsworth, MP

Mr Colin Challen, MP

Mrs Helen Clark, MP

Sue Doughty, MP

Mr Paul Flynn MP

Mr Simon Thomas MP

2. Details of all the Committee's inquiries, together with its Reports and other publications, are available on the internet at: http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/environmental_audit_committee.cfm