Environmental enforcement officers carry out vital work to protect the environment from harm, but the role entails far more than many people realise. As well as providing a proactive response to environmental issues, officers also devise workable solutions to tackle environmental threats, report on problems to partner agencies, and deliver education to members of the community to promote more responsible behaviour.
In this article, we explain seven facts that are often forgotten about the work of environmental enforcement officers.
Fact 1: The Long-term Damage Of Cigarettes
Most people are broadly aware of the health risks of smoking but, for environmental enforcement officers, cigarettes are a persistent nuisance. Despite declining numbers of smokers, four-fifths of the litter on the country’s streets consists of cigarette butts, which can cause significant environmental damage: toxic heavy metals, such as lead, zinc, and cadmium, can pollute soil and waterways and poison wildlife – and it takes 12 years for each butt to fully degrade.
Fact 2: Environmental Enforcement Officers Prepare Court Cases
The work of an environmental enforcement includes important investigative work, such as gathering evidence for forthcoming court cases. This could be to enforce a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) that an individual hasn’t paid or to support more significant prosecutions against businesses.
Fact 3: The Public’s Help Is Vital
Fly-tipping is a continual plague on the countryside, costing local authorities over £11m a year to clean up. Unfortunately, most fly-tipping occurs at night in remote locations and, while bespoke CCTV solutions can help to catch offenders in trouble spots, the help of the public in reporting fly-tipping offences and capturing vehicle registrations is essential.
Fact 4: The Risks Of Fly-tipping
Fly-tipping is not just an eyesore, but a criminal offence too, with severe penalties for offenders. Courts can issue fines of up to £50,000 or even impose prison terms, so the work of environmental enforcement officers is vital to secure successful prosecutions and protect the countryside.
Fact 5: Officers Deal With Many Highways Offences
Environmental enforcement officers are frequently the first point of contact for people who have concerns about offences on the highways such as unsafe scaffolding, dangerously parked skips, and abandoned vehicles. Each case must be carefully assessed to ascertain that an offence has been committed before action can be taken.
Fact 6: Environmental Enforcement Officers Use The Latest Technology
Local authorities can benefit from GPS-tracked patrols of any open space where there are environmental concerns, such as dog fouling, antisocial behaviour, noise pollution, vandalism, graffiti, or littering. Environmental enforcement officers are warranted by law to attend any public site at which non-compliance is suspected, including parks, beaches, and streets.
Fact 7: The Role Entails Important Administrative Duties
Environmental enforcement officers do not spend all their time on the streets, although walking patrols are an important part of their role. Officers also have important administrative work to complete, ensuring that security arrangements and audit procedures are correctly followed.
Contact Kingdom To Find Out More
Kingdom environmental enforcement officers are a professional uniformed presence who offer reassurance to the community and work hard to support a cleaner, greener, and safer space for everyone.
To find out more, please call us today on 0330 022 9422.
Image Source: Canva