In the UK there are two different legal systems: England and Wales and Scotland. The legislation in the field of environmental criminal law is highly fragmented in many statutes and regulations, mainly due to the considerable amount of reforms carried out in the last twenty years. The most relevant one is the Environmental Protection Act, which embodies a whole range of criminal sanctions enforced by the appropriate Authority. A certain level of standardization reached is a result of the transposition of EU law, particularly, the Environmental Crime Directive.
It appears that in the UK, environmental crimes are not a priority for the Government or for the national and local policing. The rules of general criminal procedure apply to environmental crimes, although there are some rules, which are specific to environmental crimes. Most environmental crimes impose strict liability (i.e. no need to prove fault), which not only makes easier for regulators to enforce and prosecute environmental offences, but also constitutes a strong incentive for operators to take all possible risk-minimizing measures.
The UK legal system provides neither a specialized legislation concerning the environmental organized crime nor, more generally, legislation dedicated to the organized crime. Due to the transposition of the European legislation in to the UK legal system, the enforcing officers, such as the police, can decide whether it is more appropriate to prosecute the crime under the domestic legislation or under the EU legislation or under both.