Conviction for Man Who Hindered Investigation into Illegal Waste Site

This case shows the Environment Agency will not only prosecute waste criminals but also those who block their attempts to investigate major waste crime.


​The Environment Agency were investigating the illegal dumping of thousands of bales of mixed waste in a warehouse in Kent when Raymond Burling caught their eye. Investigating officers had obtained information that led them to suspect Mr Burling may have documents that were likely to assist with their investigation.

The Request for Information

With these suspicions in mind, the Environment Agency wrote to Mr Burling requesting the documents. Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Burling had 2 weeks to reply but failed to make contact. Officers then sent a second letter to Mr Burling requesting the documents that could assist their investigation. They received no response, despite the fact it clearly stated in the letter failure to respond was obstruction and may result in prosecution. In Late September (nearly 2 months since the first letter) investigators left a contact card at Mr Burling’s address but they still didn’t receive any contact from Burling.

In October, officers visited Burling’s address and were finally able to speak with him. They gave him a copy of the original letter and he was informed of the seriousness & importance of responding to the request. Despite this visit, Burling failed to respond or supply the requested documents. The result of these failures to respond meant the investigating officers had greater difficulty in investigating the illegal dumping at the warehouse.


On 9 December 2020, Peterborough Magistrates’ Court fined Burling £660 for ‘failing to provide facilities or assistance or any information or to permit any inspection’ regarding a criminal investigation. Burling was also ordered to pay the Environment Agency’s full legal and investigation costs of £2,793.93 and a victim surcharge of £66.

The investigation into the illegal dumping of baled waste is ongoing.