Controlled Waste (Seizure of Property) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013September 24, 2013
The Department of the Environment (“the Department”) is seeking views on its proposed approach to property seizure which cosul result in new Regulations. These will set out procedures to govern the seizure of vehicles and their contents (“seized property”) that are suspected of being used in illegal waste activity in Northern Ireland.
The proposed Regulations are intended to seek to address the increasing issue of fly-tipping and illegal disposal of waste as the Department has deemed the current subordinate legislation on vehicle seizure impractical and ineffective.
The new powers will enable authorised Departmental officials or constables to search and seize a vehicle, its contents and mobile plant in a wider range of circumstances and without the need to obtain a warrant in advance. The proposed Regulations allow the Department to retain the seized property for a limited period (28 days) without recourse to a magistrates’ court. Departmental officials will also be able to apply to a magistrates’ court for authorisation to hold seized property (including vehicles) beyond the 28 days limit. The powers apply to a broader range of waste offences. A Departmental official will be able to seize the property without the presence of a constable and authorised officers and constables may enter any premises for the purposes of searching or seizing property.
Responses to the consultation are requested by 30 September.