Dom Littlewood presents a programme following people whose job it is to hand out fines. Community wardens are called out to an abandoned car being used as a drug den.
Browse content similar to Episode 11. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Never before have so many on-the-spot fines
been issued in Britain.
We're going to be following the men and women who hand out over
£30 million worth of tickets every month.
-Round here, they are an absolute blight.
I am up to 104 now.
Wow. That is disgusting.
Just walk away.
'For behaviour that's downright dangerous...'
That was stupid for these sort of conditions, wasn't it?
Look at the mess you've created in the street.
How is that our fault?
-What is he doing?
Well, plain silly.
What a doughnut.
'We'll be revealing the cost of their bad behaviour...'
Ouch. '..and how this could affect you.'
-I'll give him a punch.
-Do you want to see me kick off?
The police are on it...
..the parking wardens are on it...
They should be thanking us for being here.
'..and I'M on it.'
Careful, it's a 30mph limit here.
I'm Dom Littlewood,
and I'm On The Spot.
..there's no hiding place in the battle of the bins.
I'm trying to give you a fixed penalty now or it will go to court.
I'm on the spot with the speed cops...
I'm reporting you for consideration of the question of
prosecuting you for speeding.
..as they find and fine the speeders.
Quite shocking, really.
And there's something nasty waiting for the litter patrol.
There were three needles that were exposed,
so that kid could have easily picked it up.
It's market day in Romford in Havering.
But Kam Paul isn't shopping for fresh fruit and veg.
She's in the market for something else.
Obviously, if an entire car park in
the middle of a town centre is closed,
all the vehicles that would normally park there are going to
find an alternative, and it will be
the surrounding area that gets busier.
Kam is a traffic warden in North East London.
With so many vehicles and so few spaces,
Kam is armed with the power to issue £130 on-the-spot fines
to any driver guilty of making the parking problems worse.
You're going to get into more confrontation with people,
which is something you really don't want.
Um, you just want to get through the day smoothly and peacefully.
Because that alone is a miracle in this job.
If you ever have one of those days
where none of the drivers come back and you don't get abuse from anyone,
it's a weird feeling.
You're like, "Oh, my God, I didn't get abused by anybody today!"
And with all those shoppers and traders flooding in, it's car wars.
Parking is at a real premium.
Kam has spotted a car squeezed into a loading bay.
The question is - will this be a fine?
This car has taken the loading space,
which has forced the van to go further into the footway.
So, what's the story?
That space is supposed to be off-limits to cars.
It's only good for larger vehicles who are loading.
Round the rear, Kam spots the car's owner - a builder.
-Got ten minutes on that.
Because you're not a van, boss.
Only vans and HGVs are allowed to load and upload in the loading bays.
-And obviously, with your vehicle there,
it's forced that vehicle to come more into the footway.
There's only the one spot for loading.
It's clearly an offence, but will it be a fine?
That's definitely a legit ticket.
Parking on a footway with a car, the builder with the BMW
gets a penalty of £130.
Unloading my tools, changing the awning.
Got a ticket. Now and again, they get us,
now and again, they don't.
You can't argue with them. It's not worth arguing.
Just pay it.
The reality is that, in this part of Havering,
wardens must always give an offending car ten minutes' grace.
Regardless of whether they're two, three or four hours overdue,
as long as they've bought a ticket.
And it's not long before Kam spots another potential offender.
My friend here has bought a ticket until 10.30.
It is now 11.30.
So it's already had an hour's grace.
But I'm still going to stand here, like the saddo that I am,
and I'm going to give him another ten minutes.
I should be able to issue this instantly, because he's had an hour.
But he's going to get another ten minutes.
Because that's the rules.
Kam waits, the clock is ticking.
The driver returns, but will he find a fine waiting for him?
I'm not getting a ticket, am I?
Well, yeah. You're an hour expired, boss.
-Look at the time.
10.28, and now it's 11.41.
I got two hours. I put a pound in.
No, you've got a free ticket.
My ticket's here. I put a pound in...
..and I got two pieces of a ticket.
I thought that was the part that I have to show, because it's got my
registration on. The other part is just the receipt, wasn't it?
No, that is a full ticket.
That is what would come out of the machine, sir.
I put a pound in, I swear to God, darling.
You can ask the lads in there.
So, is this driver an hour over the limit after getting a free ticket,
or an honest purchase gone wrong?
He could be facing an on-the-spot fine.
-So you're giving me a ticket?
-No, if you move now...
-Yeah, I will move it now.
Kam's given him the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe it's because of those muscles.
That driver obviously claims to have put a pound in,
he's claiming that the machine's just taken his money and only
given him the half-hour free ticket.
I'm not totally convinced,
but he did come back within two minutes of my observation finishing.
A lucky one there. Lucky escape.
The market is doing a roaring trade on the site of the town's car park,
so, with 160 less parking spaces today, the locals look elsewhere.
But here, it's permit holders only.
The person can't get confused.
So, if you don't have a permit,
your car is not meant to be here.
And Kam's found an old friend.
This vehicle has a habit of not buying a ticket.
I can assure you, I have probably issued this car about
five times in the last two months.
Wow! This driver could have amassed over £600 in fines.
But what about this new offence?
They parked in a permit holders only car park.
This repeat offender will have to cough up another £130.
Even Kam is amazed by the cheek of this driver.
I think it was yesterday.
The driver was actually in the vehicle and I gave him the option
to move on and he said, "I'm not going to move,
"you might as well just give me a ticket."
Hold your horses.
This is yesterday's ticket to this vehicle that I issued,
it's got my badge number, it's got the date and then, at some point,
it's left his windscreen and ended up on the floor.
The question is, whether the wind took it,
or was it discarded in disgust?
And this is another ticket from the same day to the same car...
..so the driver's actually had two tickets from yesterday.
For him to have had two tickets,
he must have been removing them from his windscreen.
The person would not get a second ticket in the same location.
In two days, he's managed to get three fines,
which normally wouldn't be possible, unless you had it over three days.
So he's basically got three days' tickets in two days.
So he is on a record-breaking spree here.
Three £130 fines?
At that price, the driver must have pretty deep pockets.
And, closer to town, the parking issues keep on coming
for eagle-eyed Kam.
We're watching you from over there. The vehicle has been here a while.
So let's take a look at this piece of car crime.
Parked right bang in the middle of a loading bay.
Could this mean an instant £130 fine?
See, this is absolute appalling parking,
cos, not only has the driver gone right in between the loading bay,
he's forced the van behind to not park legally
and not left enough space in front for anyone to park legally.
So he has taken the entire bay.
And the driver's nowhere to be seen.
Will the owner return to find a fine waiting?
I should give it a ticket, but because the lady is calling
the driver, I'm going to give it a couple of minutes.
Time's ticking. In fact, time's running out for this car.
The owner miraculously appears.
Is this you, boss?
You're in a loading bay. It's for vans and HGVs only.
Kam's being incredibly lenient this time.
Almost caused an accident on his way out.
Do you remember that phrase Keep Britain Tidy?
It was a message that did get through to a lot of people,
but unfortunately, there are some out there
who think it's fine to dump your rubbish anywhere that suits you
and let someone else clear it up.
You know? Perhaps an on-the-spot fine might make them
think twice about it next time.
I feel irritated when I see litter.
I feel very annoyed.
It's not a nice thing to do, it's a bad habit.
I don't understand why people do it.
It can upset me.
In Cardiff, waste enforcement officer Steph is on the prowl,
looking for residents who can't be bothered to
dump their rubbish responsibly.
Steph has the power to issue an £80 on-the-spot fine,
but it seems that some are still willing to take that risk.
Earlier, Steph spotted a pile of rubbish
dumped where it shouldn't be.
So that could lead to a fine.
On the way over to here now, we saw some dumped waste in black bags.
It looks a bit of a mess, actually, so, um...
I'm going to search the bags.
As if trying to match rubbish with its owner
wasn't enough of a headache to deal with,
Steph's contending with another apparently common problem.
We also get a problem with bag slashers at this time of the year.
Bag slashers, you say?
So where people come round and they'll see a lot of bags,
they'll just slash through them to see what they can find.
So those are OK there, but then, you've got this mess here.
Which is completely...
Looks like a ransacked jumble sale.
Good luck with that, Steph.
If Steph can find evidence in the pile
linking the junk to a property,
then she could be able to issue the occupants with an on-the-spot fine.
Just clothes, no evidence, so they're clothes from a family.
They could have taken it to a clothes bank
or weighed them in and got money for it.
There's a bag here, there may be something in here.
Despite the mess,
Steph's search for evidence towards a fine must continue.
Fly tipping isn't just like tonnes of waste
in a lane, builder's waste.
I'd class this as fly tipping as well.
No, it's just all children's clothes and shoes and...
Eugh! It stinks.
If you could have one wish right now, Steph, what would it be?
I'd love to find some evidence now.
I'm just going to knock their door and issue them...
I've got a feeling you're in luck.
With evidence linking the mess to an address...
-What number are we on here?
-..a fine is looking more likely.
And I know why they've done it.
And Steph thinks she knows the motive.
And they've done it, because I sent them a letter to clear the frontage,
because their front garden was just full of waste,
so they've picked it up and they've dumped it around the corner there.
I'm going to knock the door... and take a pen.
So Steph thinks the owner of the rubbish has just moved the problem
elsewhere and that's still a fine, but will the resident own up?
Are they even in?
Hiya, Cardiff Council Waste Enforcement.
DOOR SLAMS Charming(!)
But Steph isn't put off that easily.
Hiya. Cardiff Council Waste Enforcement.
Just about the dumped waste around the corner there.
Yeah, I found evidence to your property.
Do you want to come and have a look?
This camera-shy fellow isn't taking Steph's word for it.
Do you want to get a brown envelope off the back?
You'll receive a fixed penalty for that, all right,
-for dumping the waste.
-Where is it?
It's in the back of the van in a brown envelope.
Yeah, you have. I've also got...
Well, come on, then.
Yeah, he's gone to get it.
All right, I'll show you the photographs and then I've got the...
Steph is primed to issue a fine, but it's proving easier said than done.
All right? So all that there, OK.
It's from this property here.
Yeah, it is, yeah.
Because I sent you a letter to clear the front garden and now you've
dumped it all around there.
I've got a photo of all the evidence.
I can either give you a fixed penalty now or it will go to court.
So, let's remind ourselves of what that evidence is.
Black bags dumped around the corner,
a letter found amongst it, pointing to a house
that Steph previously wrote to,
asking the owners to clear out their front garden.
He's saying it's not his waste.
It obviously is. I'm going to have a search through the rest of it
cos there's still some left to search.
But he will get a fixed penalty for it.
So, he's not admitting to dumping his rubbish.
But if the court disagrees, he could be looking at a much bigger fine.
Do you know what would be great? If I have a look at the photos -
the one I took of his front garden - and, if that's in there,
I've got him bang to rights, really, haven't I?
Pull that down a bit. I asked him why it was there,
he said he didn't do it.
Well, who else would have taken his waste, though, you know?
But he won't pay the fixed penalty, and it'll go to court.
So I'll just... I'll just show the judge what I found,
and then it's up to him, then.
So it'll probably end up in court, this one.
But it will be a fixed penalty issued.
In Gloucestershire, I'm on patrol
with traffic cops PC Shelley Holloway
and PC Olly Buxton.
'We're heading to a regular haunt for the local speed demons,
'right in the heart of this rural idyll.
'And it might surprise you to find out it's very near a school.'
Presumably, this is somewhere where it's a bit of a hotspot for people
-offending, is it?
-Yes, so quiet village location, a 30mph zone,
as there's a local school nearby, and people don't pay any attention
to the 30mph limits.
That's a particularly bad area for people to be speeding.
Obviously, there's a school by there.
Yeah, we've had complaints from local residents.
They can't get on and off their driveways safely
without fear of being run down by a speeding car.
'Anybody caught speeding today could be looking at an on-the-spot fine of
'£100 and three penalty points on their licence.'
OK, so this is the road that we'll be doing the speed check on.
We've just passed the village primary school back there,
and it's a 40mph zone.
It's changing to 30 now as we enter the built-up area.
'Outside a school? Well, it doesn't bear thinking about.'
I'm assuming you've been to some horrific scenes
that have been caused by
people either being on the phone or speeding or texting or whatever,
-Yeah, most definitely.
How do you feel about that? How does it affect you?
I've got images in my head that will
stay with me for the rest of my life.
-Um, from scenes of fatal road traffic collisions,
where distraction or speed
or something like that has been involved,
-and I worry for my children growing up. It's quite upsetting.
Because, underneath the uniform,
every police officer in the country has got a soft side.
-You're only human, aren't you?
-Yeah, we're not robots.
'Time to get to work. Shelley's speed gun uses a narrow beam,
'which bounces off the approaching vehicle and can give
'an accurate speed reading from up to a mile away.'
Now, if you do see somebody approaching from either direction
and they are speeding, what will you do?
So, if they're doing in excess of 33, we'll pull them in.
Anything over 40, then we'd be looking at prosecuting them.
'It's only a matter of minutes
'before Shelley spots her first offender.'
-Thank you for stopping.
'Could this be her first fine of the shift?'
Do you know why I've stopped you today?
-Do you know what the speed limit is on the road?
30. I thought I was doing about 30.
-You were doing 39, actually.
The speed limit starts way further back.
It's painted on the road in red as well.
As you came over the brow of the hill, approaching the cyclist...
-..you were doing 39mph.
OK, so let's have a look at the facts of this one.
This guy was doing 39 in a 30 zone.
Bearing in mind there's a school just a bit further along this road,
is it to be a summons, a fine or just a stiff warning?
So that's why I've stopped you.
All right? Now, at that speed,
it's below the threshold for me to give you a ticket,
but it is a 30mph limit.
9mph over is not acceptable really.
'This chap's escaped a £100 fine. It must be his lucky day.'
Can I ask you an honest opinion now?
How do you feel about speeding fines?
I think you have to have them.
You know, I mean, none of us like them.
None of us like to get caught,
particularly if we're only doing a few miles over,
but if we didn't have them, it would be chaos.
You said you were 78.
-Why is it that the older generation are the ones who
are not doing the job properly?
-Probably because it's so long since we were at driving school.
-You've fallen into bad habits.
All right, you've learnt your lesson, haven't you? Thanks, Brian.
'But I'm not sure the next driver
'Shelley's clocked, doing 37 in a 30 zone, can use the same excuse.'
-Obviously, you got pulled over there.
-Tell me the reason why?
I was going just above the speed limit in a housed area.
OK, a residential area.
-When you say just above the speed limit, what were you doing?
In a... Yes, exactly, so it
-was a little bit more than just above, wasn't it?
-Yeah, no, yeah.
How do you feel about the officers
who just pulled you over for doing that speed limit?
I think, I don't know, like, if your parents tell you,
you listen, but if someone else tells you, it kind of like...
-it hits home more.
-So, yeah, no. I understand.
-Were you aware you were doing 37?
-I didn't realise I was that over.
-I knew I was a little bit.
-You knew you were speeding.
I didn't realise that much.
It's easy to do.
Had they been a little bit harder with you and they could have been...
I know they obviously could have been.
If you'd got points and a fine, how would you feel?
A bit gutted. I don't think my mum would have been too happy.
Will it change the way you're going to drive, not just today,
but for the considerable future?
It has made me think a bit more, I feel.
So, yeah, definitely.
She was obviously the youngest driver you pulled over today,
only 18 years old. Because she's such a new driver,
she's only had her licence less than a year now,
the penalties could be a lot more severe, couldn't they?
Yes, so, as a new driver, if you accumulate six points within
the first two years of driving, your licence gets revoked
and you have to take your test again.
And you hear it's very hard to get booked in for a test,
finding a space these days, let alone pass it first time.
So it could cost them a lot of money.
If they then rely on their licence for work, they could lose their job.
From her point of view, I don't think
she realises just how lucky she was, does she?
No, and you often find these young drivers,
they get into the car,
they've got this new-found freedom, and they just take for granted
-..the condition of the vehicle,
but they are the most impressionable people that we meet.
And I think she will learn something from this experience today.
'Let's hope so. But when it comes to speeding,
'there doesn't appear to be an age limit.'
There seems to be an awful lot of people today
who are doing in the high 30s, between 30-39,
I'd say it's probably about one in every ten cars.
It's quite shocking, really.
PC Buxton has caught another speeder.
Let's look at the facts of this one.
This driver has gone way over the threshold, doing 43 in a 30 zone.
Could this mean an on-the-spot fine, or worse?
I'm reporting you for consideration of the question of
-prosecuting you for speeding...
..for speeding at 30 with manned equipment.
You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you
do not mention now something which you later rely on in court,
and anything you do say may be given in evidence.
'He's been done.
'It could be a court summons and a possible driving ban.'
Is there anything you want me to report as your reply
-as being reported for speeding?
-No, nothing at all. Bang to rights.
-Will what's happened today
-affect the way you drive from here on?
So you'll continue to push your luck whenever you can?
It's not a case of pushing my luck.
Like I've said, I've just come out of the dentist
and not feeling too brilliant and all the rest of it
after my treatment. I just couldn't wait to get home.
Just distracted. So I don't think I'm a bad driver in general,
just the situation of today.
And that was that.
Should you receive a fine now and/or another three points,
-how would you feel about that?
-Pay it and that's it.
'He might think differently if he knew that a young person is
'seriously injured on the UK's roads every ten minutes.'
Cheerio. Bye-bye. Now, there is someone who has just received
what's called a NIT, which is a Notice of Intended Prosecution.
He is almost certainly going to end up with a fine and points.
I can't predict that 100%, of course.
43 in a 30, with a school coming up.
It was a bit naughty. Didn't seem that bothered at all.
Horses for courses, I suppose, as they say.
In Crawley, West Sussex,
the council are determined to combat antisocial behaviour in the town.
We just had a call from the police that there's an abandoned caravan,
I believe. Someone's using it to use needles,
and they leave quite a lot in there.
It's on private land, so it's quite hard to get rid of this caravan.
But someone is using it.
Sam Lucas and Naveed Ur-Rehman are council community wardens.
They've been called to a report of an abandoned vehicle
being used as a drug den.
We get the reports from the people living around there
that there's needles in there again. So..
Sam and Naveed's priority is to reduce antisocial behaviour,
including anything that might pose a risk to the public.
Needles are obviously hazardous waste.
And they can carry lots of diseases, so, we try to...
..respond within half an hour, really,
when we get a needles call to pick them up as soon as possible,
because we don't want anyone touching them.
But it's not the vehicle they were expecting.
Guessing it's this one.
Yes, it's this. It's not a caravan.
It's got needles underneath,
so I need to go and get our equipment
to get them removed, basically.
-It's not a caravan. I swear it was a caravan.
-An abandoned car, or...
-Do you want to do it?
If Sam and Naveed can find the owner of this car,
then a hefty fine for abandoning it could be on its way.
-Do you live here, sir?
Right, we just had a call regarding there's used needles in the area.
-Have you seen people coming here taking drugs
or, like, drinking, other stuff?
Most of the people are drinking when I see them.
-OK, yeah. Where do they drink? Right over here?
It's not nice, because I can see you've got a child there.
If like there's needles over here, so that's really dangerous.
What I can do is, I'll give you a warden's card...
May as well, because if you want to speak to me.
If you see them taking drugs or smoking drugs, just ring 999.
-OK? Thank you, sir.
-Have a good day. Cheers.
This abandoned car is being used as a drugs den right underneath
a block of residential flats, but with kids around,
it's urgent that Naveed and Sam make the area safe.
When we arrived, there was a parent with his child walking along.
And, at even a few feet away,
there were three needles that were exposed,
so that kid could have easily
picked it up and stabbed himself without his dad looking.
So it is a safety risk to the residents.
And the state inside the car is not very nice either.
There's loads of packets of syringes.
-But there's none actually in there, I don't think.
It gets worse. The car is unlocked,
so the drug paraphernalia could easily end up in the wrong hands.
-The fact is, abandoning a vehicle is an offence,
but was the car ditched or stolen and dumped?
They've noted the registration.
If the car's been dumped and not stolen,
they can track the owner through the DVLA,
and a £200 fine could be on its way.
I will make a note and just pass it over to the abandoned vehicles.
-It's on private land, though.
They've got the power to remove the vehicle from private land.
Now that Naveed and Sam have made the vehicle safe,
the council clean-up team can get to work,
which is good news for the residents.
That's all for today. Join me next time,
when I'll be with the men and the women on the front line of fines
with more Dom On The Spot.
In Crawley, community wardens Naveed and Sam are called out to an abandoned car being used as a drug den, and Dom is on the spot with the Gloucestershire traffic cops stopping speeders along a country road.