Duties and functions

Man fined for obstructing Environment Agency officers in Longtown

A man has been prosecuted for willfully blocking waste agents from accessing his site.

The Environment Agency announced the prosecution of David Edwin Baty on July 27, detailing an obstruction of access to his licensed site, Autobits, on Brampton Road in Longtown.

The Environment Agency periodically inspects sites like Autobits that have environmental permits.

These inspections enable the Environment Agency to assess the operator’s compliance with permit conditions and ensure that the environment is protected at all times.

Regulated Officers have a range of statutory powers to carry out site inspections.

Willful obstruction of these authorized officers in the performance of their duties is a criminal offence.

Mr Baty ignored legal powers and refused to allow Environment Agency officers to inspect his site, according to the Environment Agency.

He failed to appear at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on July 27 and in his absence was fined £2,200 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000, plus a victim surcharge from £190.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: ‘Mr. Baty refused to recognize our entrance fees and intentionally prevented our agents from accessing his site for a routine waste inspection.

“On a second visit to the site, officers gained access, but only by the use of force, authorized by a warrant issued by Carlisle Magistrates Court.

“It is really important that our officers have timely access to sites covered by permits to allow us to verify that they are operating in a way that protects the environment.”

He faced three allegations, including obstruction of environmental officer William Pattinson in the exercise of his powers or duties on January 6, obstruction of environmental officer Karl Hunter the same day and the obstruction of environmental officer Gary Tupper on February 10.

The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating sites dealing with waste, including scrap metal sites involved in the dismantling and recovery of materials from end-of-life vehicles.

Site operators involved in car wrecking operations, including the storage of scrap vehicles, must hold an environmental permit and operate the site in accordance with the conditions set out in their permit.

READ MORE: A Cumbrian climber will liberate the Lake District mountains solo in an epic challenge