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Company directors may face prison for environmental crimes

The Environment Agency has warned that it will pursue higher fines and jail sentences for company directors that flout environmental legislation.

At its annual event in London, the Environment Agency said a recent increase in fines and number of prosecutions had not discouraged businesses from environmental offences. The average fine per prosecution rose by 36% to £8,744 from 2001 to 2002 and the number of prosecutions rose by 13%. However, repeat offenders do not seem to have been put off as they represented 20% of the year’s figures.

It is considered that the fines should be at a level to make offences worth avoiding.