Article: Environmental Offences: the Reality of Environmental Crime

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Economic instruments, informational devices, voluntary agreements and command and control regulation are just some of the techniques modern states use to protect the environment. The last of these — command and control — is sometimes dismissed as an increasingly obsolete strategy. It is often alleged that environmental offences are not ‘real’ crimes. They are merely ‘quasi-criminal’ regulatory offences. This article rejects this view. It argues that environmental crime is a serious and growing problem. It examines fly-tipping in the United Kingdom and claims that environmental offenders often have very strong financial incentives to break the law. It claims that fines are currently too low and that serious consideration should be given to the increased use of civil and administrative penalties.

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