With the support of EU member states there was an ENVICRIMENET kick-off meeting in the end of March 2011 in Budapest. Envicrimenet is to be an informal network connecting police officers and other crime fighters in the field of environmental crime to learn from each other about the extent and nature of environmental crime, the best practises to handle it, etcetera. With regard to global issues, such as climate change and damage to biodiversity, being involved in the fight against environmental crime is of the utmost importance to the police. Investigating environmental crime is a complex, global issue. Several parties are responsible for the supervision and maintenance of legislation and regulations, which is one of the key problems arising in the fight against environmental crime. Administrative bodies at the municipal, provincial and governmental levels in particular play an important role in supervising companies. Another key characteristic of environmental crime is an interwovenness of legitimate and illegitimate enterprises. In addition, environmental crime, unlike other forms of crime, is often revealed as a result of targeted investigations, rather than reports on an environmental offence committed.
Both the police in the Netherlands and police organisations abroad have been involved in several aspects of the fight against environmental crime, such as conducting investigations into violations of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation, which include the import, export, and transit of waste products by road, water and rail, and investigations into environmental crimes in general.
Several forms of environmental crime are being investigated, including:
• The illegal import and export of waste products;
• The smuggling of protected animal and plant species;
• The forgery of transport documents pertaining to waste products, and protected animal and plant species;
• Waste-related crime.
Envicrimenet is aiming to improve the results of the fight against environmental crime by, for example:
• Ensuring that member states become aware of the fight against environmental crime at the strategic level;
• Mutual sharing of expertise;
• Establishing relevant risk assessments that can be exchanged amongst the participants;
• Learning from one another in the fields of risk assessments and intervention strategies;
• Establishing tactical analyses of particular forms of environmental crime;
• Establishing joint investigations into environmental crime;
• Exchanging investigation methods;
• Exchanging information prior to initiating the operational phase;
• To create the right training and schooling possibilities in cooperation with Cepol.