Dom Littlewood presents a programme following people whose job it is to hand out fines. Dom joins the Revenue Protection Team from London Midland Trains.
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Never before have so many on-the-spot fines been issued in Britain.
-You're about to fine me, I don't have any money today.
We are going to be following the men and women who hand out
over £30 million worth of tickets every month.
That gets my goat.
My jaw is dropping.
For behaviour that's downright dangerous...
-It's been defrosted a while, that, hasn't it?
..or just, well, plain silly.
Get off your phone! Doughnut!
We'll be revealing the cost of their bad behaviour...
How much is a fine on this one?
-£100 for no seat belts. It's expensive.
-I know, yeah.
..and how this could affect you.
I'm in the middle of a job. I'm working. I'm a builder.
The police are on it...
Out your mouth, now.
..the parking wardens are on it...
So once it's printed, that's it?
There's no point in arguing the point.
..and I'm on it.
Put your seat belt on!
I'm Dom Littlewood, and I'm On The Spot.
..there's a computer-aided crackdown on car tax evaders.
-It's like Bill Gates' bedroom here, isn't it?
It's all cannabis plants.
..it could be HIGH noon for some freaky fly-tippers.
We come across this regular - probably four or five times a week.
And speeders beware, because things can get hairy up on Dartmoor.
They've called us WOMBLES,
which is Working On Moor Because Locals Exceed Speed.
We all moan about the train service,
the price of the tickets and the reliability of it.
But let me tell you, they've got a very good reason
to moan about us, the paying customer.
Because we defraud them out of £200 million a year by not buying tickets.
What would be your opinion of somebody who deliberately didn't pay for a fare on a train?
Would you find that annoying, would it worry you, or are you not bothered?
It's annoying because it pushes the prices up.
The rules say you should have a ticket,
and everyone should have a ticket.
Why should someone else not have?
-Sometimes I do that!
Today, I'm heading to Birmingham.
I'm joining up with the revenue protection team
of the London Midland franchise
to find out just how many of
their more than 70 million passengers a year
ARE paying their way.
This is known in the business as a blockade.
They've picked one busy station and they're going to block all the exits
and check every single ticket.
Exciting stuff, and it looks like we are going in mob-handed.
It's like an army.
We'll be positioning ourselves at Selly Oak Station in Birmingham.
It's close to the university,
so it's a line popular with students.
So we might be seeing lots of young faces today,
assuming they can get out of bed in time.
In charge today is revenue protection manager Mike.
I take it you're a student and this is your home address, yes?
And he looks like he's got all bases covered before the first train arrives.
From the next train coming in, anybody that's getting off a train,
whether they try to go over there or out this way,
-they will have their ticket inspected?
-They'll need to have a ticket.
-There's no way of escaping you guys, is there?
-Other than over the fence, which isn't unusual either.
It's a bit Tom Jones, is it? Not unusual.
No time for jokes, we're off.
Right, you've got about eight carriages here.
I wonder how many people are going to be on this train who haven't bought a ticket.
Tickets, passes and railcards, please.
Thank you, sir.
-Tickets, keep coming.
-Thank you very much.
I tell you what, pretty fair,
there's not one person who's got off the train
who's not having everything inspected.
-Everything's being checked.
Two lots of fines have been issued at the same time.
We're going to issue the penalty fare.
You get 21 days to pay or appeal,
or you can pay now if you really want to.
I'm going to ask you to just fill out some details in my notebook.
That's the first penalty fare of the day, £20,
and it looks like it's not going to be the last.
I think the fine pad is about to come out again.
This lady has a ticket,
but not the Railcard that's supposed to go with it.
So how does that affect things?
Basically it's a condition of the Railcard
that you carry it with you at the time of travelling.
So obviously you get a cheaper fare with a Railcard.
It's a £20 penalty.
Fortunately, she can appeal it if she can provide
proof that she has the right Railcard.
No such things as a slow start here,
one train down and two penalties issued.
Make sure you've got your Railcards out, ready for inspection.
And on the next train, the team don't have to dig too deep
to spot a problem with THIS passenger.
-How old are you, sir?
You're 15. Do you just want to come over here?
15?! Pull the other one!
Have you got anything that shows me you're 15?
Because you definitely look over 15.
What's your date of birth?
Right, OK, you're over 15, aren't you, sir?
Mate, can I just go through now? I'm in such a rush.
I dare say you are, sir.
If he's 15, then I've got a full head of hair.
And now, having been caught out, this young chap is threatening to throw his toys out of the pram.
What seems to be the issue with the gentleman?
The gentleman claims to be 15 or under.
I didn't have money to buy a full one.
And now you're about to fine me, I don't have any money for that.
-I haven't any money on me. That's why I had to buy...
You want to check that chap.
So it looks like our pretend teenage tearaway has now changed his tune.
He's no longer claiming he's 15, but just that
he didn't have enough pocket money to cover the adult fare.
You've committed a fraudulent offence by paying for a child ticket.
No disrespect, you're clearly not a child.
Despite being caught bang to rights,
he's refusing to take his punishment lying down.
In fact, he's trying to take off.
Yeah, that didn't work. Time to grow up fast, mate.
The gentleman that I was talking to is clearly over 15,
he has a child ticket, travelling on a child ticket,
which is an offence.
And it might be about to get worse for our not-so-young friend.
As this is a deliberate attempt at fare dodging,
rather than just a genuine mistake,
Neil now has the power to take things further.
He could choose to interview this passenger under caution,
leading to a court prosecution.
So, what's it going to be?
A penalty fare or a call-up to the big boys' court?
I'm going to deal with you by way of a penalty fare.
Technically I could deal with you by way of prosecution,
but I'll deal with you by way of penalty fare.
Write down for me, please, name, address,
date of birth, and then sign it and date it, OK?
So, it's just a £20 penalty fare, and some forms to fill in.
Let's hope he can remember his date of birth this time.
Fantastic. Thank you very much.
Right, thank you very much, sir. If you'd like to sign there, please.
I think this chap can count himself very lucky as it could have been a
lot, lot worse. I wonder if he's learnt his lesson.
Thought I was doing all right by paying a child fare.
I should've just jumped it completely.
I could have saved myself £1.50.
Maybe not. And as the next train rumbles in...
All tickets and passes today, please.
..the penalties keep on coming.
At this present moment, I can count one, two,
three, four, five, six,
Seven tickets being issued at the same time.
My jaw is dropping. I can't believe what I'm seeing.
The fines are all adding up, and with just
this one small exercise,
you can see why London Midland estimate
they lose more than £8 million each year
due to fare dodging.
I'll deal with that by way of penalty fare. Penalty fare's £20.
And you can't blame them for
trying to claw some of it back.
Do you not have a ticket at all with you, madam?
Unfortunately that means
you'll be eligible for a penalty fare.
I'm doing my best to try to catch my breath.
But for the guys, today seems to be a case of business as usual.
-It's busy, isn't it?
It is. It's about what we expected.
It's no busier than we thought it was going to be.
So, tell me about other days when you've done this.
How many people are you likely to sort of issue notices to?
One of the... I suppose you could say the worst ones that we ever did
here, we did 85 penalty fares in an hour and a half.
85 in an hour and a half!
Well, they're not there yet, but you never know.
-You need to keep your pen out because another train's pulling in here.
There's no point putting the pen away, is there?
No, you may as well keep it out.
Another train and another busy session.
I'm worried the team's in danger of running out of ink.
But in amongst those dodging fares,
Mike finds a passenger who does have a ticket.
The only problem is, it's for a different station.
OK, by using this ticket, you are committing an offence of over travel.
OK. It's the same price to get...
But, yeah, it's not what the ticket says.
It's only valid to university, so you've over-travelled.
-It is one stop.
But you've over-travelled.
It seems this passenger has bought a ticket for an earlier stop,
but got off here further down the line.
She can't see what the problem is,
as she says the price of a ticket for either stop is the same.
Tricky one, this. What is Mike going to do?
I'm going to issue you a penalty fare notice
for over-travelling on your ticket.
Ouch, that's a £20 fine.
That's going to hurt, especially on a student budget.
From what I understand, you've gone one stop too far on your ticket.
-Why is everyone doing that?
-Because it's the same price for me
to get from... to get a return from university to Birmingham
as it is for me to get a return from Selly Oak to Birmingham.
So you wouldn't expect there would be a £20 penalty fare on a student.
You've been issued with a penalty fare. You do have the right to appeal, as I said.
I understand the process, but you can appreciate how ridiculous that is.
How ridiculous is it that you're travelling on to a station
-that your ticket doesn't...
-It's the same price.
But your ticket doesn't let you travel to that station.
It's the same price, though.
It's not that you haven't bought a ticket, you bought a ticket...
So, appeal it, see how you get on.
Yeah, I don't really think that it's going to do anything.
You don't know unless you try, do you?
Well, they both make good points,
but unfortunately, only one of them is going away with a fine.
Are you feeling cheesed off about it?
Yes, because there's people that don't buy tickets, ever,
and then there are people who buy tickets every time.
-You feel a bit hard done by, don't you?
It's 20 quid, though.
And as a student, that's a lot of money.
Well, it's hard not to feel sorry for that passenger,
but she's just one of many.
And this next case looks pretty black and white to me.
I'm going to say the obvious - why haven't you got a ticket, Chris?
Well, I just never meant to buy one, really.
-Cos you know that it's more serious if you just forget to buy a ticket. Did they explain that to you?
I mean, I've had these before,
actually paying off quite a large fine from before.
And stuff like that.
What, getting a fine from not having a ticket?
Yes. What happened was that I was issued with the fine,
forgot about the fine, gone to court,
and then it ended up a £600 fine.
But you've got on here again today without enough money to even buy a ticket.
Why have you done it, though? That's the obvious thing to ask, isn't it?
This line, it's not really monitored very well.
So you kind of know that you can get away without a ticket.
The prices of tickets every day, travel every day, it just builds up.
What will you do tomorrow? Will you buy a ticket or not bother?
Well, it all depends on the money.
If I've got somewhere to be and I've got no money,
and that train is going to get me there, I need to be there, then...
-You'll get on it.
-You know, if I've got the money at the time
and I know I'm going somewhere where I need to be, then I will pay.
Chris, been lovely talking to you.
All right, get that paid, don't let it get up to 600 quid next time, will you? All right. Cheers, mate.
Got to say, I'm completely gobsmacked at Chris's honesty.
For him, even though it's the second time he's been nicked,
first time the fare went up to 600...
Well, the fine went up to £600.
He actually said, I'm quids in.
And he said next time I get on a train, I haven't got any money,
I won't care less, I'll just get on anyhow.
He was so blase, smiling and chirpy.
I'm...I'm shocked, really was.
After that frantic couple of hours, it's time to wrap things up and have
a quick debrief with Mike back at his Birmingham HQ.
When London Midlands invited us along to watch them do one of
your blocks at the station, which is something you do quite regularly,
I was absolutely gobsmacked.
We were there two hours. How many tickets did you issue?
We issued 94 penalty fares, and we
-issued one interview under caution.
95 people were caught without a ticket.
I do feel sorry for people who've got a fine,
because a lot of them can't afford it.
But there is a message out there, isn't there?
You're going to get caught.
-These guys are doing this on a regular basis.
Buy a ticket. It's as simple as that, is it?
-Absolutely, simple as that.
-And you can buy me a coffee, come on.
-I'm freezing cold, I'm cream-crackered.
No-one wants to find their vehicle clamped or removed,
but in the last two years, since they got rid of paper tax discs,
the amount of cars clamped has almost doubled.
Because the simple fact is, if you don't tax your car,
you're either going to get a hefty fine,
or you're going to lose it completely.
How do you feel about cars on the road that are untaxed?
If I've got to pay for it, I think everyone else should pay for it.
Yes, I think it's a good point, isn't it?
Do you think it's unfair that they are clamped?
I think you have enough warnings.
If you are clamped, that's fair enough.
Many years ago my friend was knocked over by somebody
in a car who wasn't taxed.
So, I have a personal interest in that as well.
-Well, if you haven't got tax, you should be clamped, I believe.
You know, that's what we all... Everyone else has to pay their tax.
And I'm here in south Wales with
the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's clamping unit
who are on the lookout for untaxed vehicles.
Just got to watch the chain sometimes because they get a bit oily.
Thanks for telling me after I've given you a hand!
And as a seasoned clamper,
Andrew Smith will be tracking those vehicles down
and dishing out the fines.
That's all your clamps rattling in the back there, isn't it?
-You must be really happy when you've clamped
loads of vehicles and you can drive home without that rattle.
-Going back empty, yes.
-It would drive me bonkers, that would.
But to do that, he'll need to find the offenders.
Luckily, he's got a nifty bit of technology to help him.
What it's doing is, it's reading the number plates.
So everything that goes past us is being read by all four cameras.
That's an awful lot of cameras on a little van, isn't it?
It's covering all the bases, basically.
Because if you don't catch it on the front cameras,
you're going to catch it on the back cameras as you go past the car.
We've got a fairly good chance of catching them.
Really? There's a lot of vehicles out there untaxed?
Yes, even that 1% in the country, it's still a lot of cars.
And he's not kidding.
There are over 550,000 untaxed cars currently driving on the UK's roads.
That's £80 million that could be ploughed back into the road network.
And Andrew's heard all the excuses.
Is there a common denominator with some
that you hear time and time again?
It's the usual ones.
I didn't get my reminder.
'Sure enough, Andrew's box of tricks soon springs into life.
'Made me jump, anyway.'
'And that means there's an untaxed vehicle in the vicinity.
'Even driving at speeds, this kit can spot a tax-dodger.
'Certainly beats plodding the streets
looking at the old paper discs, doesn't it?
What we do is we check on my little hand-held computer.
It's like Bill Gates' bedroom in here, isn't it?
-All I can see is electronics.
And then we wait and see what message we get back.
So that comes back and says, yes, this is an untaxed vehicle.
You go back, boom, clamp.
-We've only been on the road five minutes.
That's telling me that one is unlicensed and the SORN is in force.
'Having a statutory off-road notification, or SORN,
'means a vehicle should NOT be on a public highway.'
Right, that's the first clamp of eight in the vehicle.
Have you ever needed more than eight?
I think that's a yes.
I've got to say, it doesn't actually look in bad condition.
It's not the old banger I was expecting.
'But it's still illegal.
'This Beamer is untaxed,
'with the owner claiming it's currently off the road.
'I think you can guess what's going to happen next.
-So, simple as that?
-Simple as that, clamped.
Yep, car is immobilised.
And all we do is we put a warning sticker on to say he's got a clamp on the vehicle.
-Because the last thing we want him to do is pull away with that clamp on.
-He wouldn't get very far, would he?
'But they will be getting a £100 fine,
'which rises to £200 if they don't get it sorted within 24 hours.
Now, I mean, that could have been a quarter of that size,
but I'm assuming what you want to do is not just let him know there's a clamp on it,
but also you're trying to put a message out there to people.
-It's been caught with no tax.
You know, you get your bum smacked and it's a message to other people,
-don't do it.
'And talking of getting important messages out...'
Put your seat belt on!
-He's putting it on now.
He's putting it on now. Put it on. And you! Put it on.
He's got it on behind him.
Gordon Bennett! You'll get a penalty for that.
'At least that van was taxed.
'So, just a few minutes into the patrol
'and that's one clamp down already for Andrew.'
What's the most you've issued in a day?
The most I've done in a day has been 28.
'No, he's not joking, is he?'
-Oh, what was that?
That was a warning notice,
so what we are going to do is we're going to pull in just there.
-You're going to run out of clamps at this rate.
-We could do.
'Not a car this time...
Not another one.
'..but a tipper truck.'
I'm getting the impression, looking at the vehicle,
that if the owner sees you putting a clamp on,
he's not going to be too happy.
Not only is this vehicle parked in a...
I think it's a loading-only bay...
Oh, someone's sitting in it.
'Oh, dear. I'm not sure the driver is going to be too pleased to see Andrew.
'But his truck is untaxed and parked up on a public road.
'I don't know about you, but I can definitely feel a fine coming on.
What I'm supposed to do is, I'm supposed to immobilise your vehicle.
-Which requires me to put a clamp on your vehicle.
-Which I'm going to be doing now.
So that's to stop you from moving this vehicle about,
because obviously at the moment it's come back as being untaxed.
'But will he get off without a fine?'
How do you feel about the fact he's clamping it while you're sitting in it?
-I'm shocked because I'm in the middle of a job.
I'm working, I'm a builder. I've got four vehicles.
That's what I'm saying, I've got four vehicles,
it comes out of my account, direct debit.
Let's hope it's a genuine mistake because you might be able to sort it out on the phone now, mightn't you?
I don't understand what's happening. I'm on the phone to the DVLA now.
This guy is here, he's quite shocked he hasn't got tax,
say he pays it by direct debit.
He's trying to sort it out now on the phone with the DVLA.
I'm hoping, I really am hoping it's a genuine mistake
and they can take the clamp off and say, you know, don't worry,
DVLA got it wrong on their system, you're all free to go.
I've got a funny feeling that's not going to be the case.
'The driver claims it's the DVLA that have made a mistake with the payment.
'The fact is, he needs to get his truck taxed straightaway.'
They were taking it out, they refunded it, they're saying
obviously that there was no registered keeper on this vehicle, so...
That's something maybe at their end.
-If I go tax it right now...
-If you tax it right now...
Yes, give me a second, then.
There's still going to be a fine on it, though.
Which is going to be what?
-If you tax the vehicle first, it'll be £100.
'Oh, well, didn't get away with it this time, mate.
'That's a £100 on-the-spot fine.
Can you wait here and I'll just do it now, quickly?
-I've got my paperwork to do.
-Yeah, and I'll pay it right now.
You'll need that one anyway.
Right, V62. Give me two minutes, then.
Can I just check, Andrew? If he does all this,
are you able to take that clamp off for him?
-Once all the fines are paid and everything's paid on the vehicle...
-There's £100 anyway.
Well, not to us, but to the DVLA.
Obviously once all that's done, then it's gone through...
But like you said, they were taking the money,
but they refunded it, so it was genuine.
I haven't got time to be going through everything...
It just goes to show, you should check, you know.
'He's right, because if he had done,
'he might just have saved himself £100.'
So, basically, at the end of the day, it's just a bit of inconvenience,
£100 fine, someone's got to come down and take that clamp off.
-Or are you going to do it?
-He's going to do it, yes.
Oh, good. So apart from the 100 quid, it ain't too bad, is it?
-No, it's not the end of the world.
'You know what?
'It's probably a good job the driver was in the vehicle
'when Andrew appeared. Otherwise, he might still be clamped.'
Andrew's now taking the clamp, it's been probably less than 20 minutes
since he put it on.
That guy literally didn't realise it wasn't taxed,
he's gone to the Post Office, he's done it.
He's paid his 100 quid over the phone.
Quickest Andrew's ever put one on and taken it off.
I feel like you've set a record today, Andrew.
I'm going to have a word with Guinness Book Of Records.
Yes, it's a record!
Right, time to own up
if you have problems remembering what goes in what bin.
But this colour-coded rubbish rainbow isn't bureaucratic pettiness gone mad.
Our local councils have to hit tough recycling targets
or face stiff financial penalties,
which means, yes, that's right, council taxpayers footing the bill.
In Cardiff, any binbag bandits had better beware.
If there is any black bags out, or there is any contaminated waste out,
or any other issues that might occur,
then obviously we'll deal with them as we come to them.
Because it's recycling crackdown day.
And the Starsky and Hutch of domestic waste, Neil and John, are on a mission.
I've got my boots on there.
There's just a vital bit of kit to remember first.
You can tell he doesn't do any work.
At least I've been through three pairs of boots.
You're still on the same ones.
Right, let's go.
Suited and booted, it's time for the team to hit the road.
To meet tough new cycling targets,
the council want people to recycle more of their waste
in green plastic bags,
rather than just putting it in the general waste bins.
If we do come across any black bags, anything like that, then,
obviously, what we're going to do is, obviously, we'll search them.
If we find any information which is relevant to the premises
that we find it by, we will basically knock on the door,
and ask them for a doorstop interview
for why those bags are out,
because they shouldn't be out, basically,
because we don't obviously collect black bags any longer.
Any residents who break the city's new recycling rules
could face an £80 on-the-spot fine.
But it's not long before the boys come across
a very different type of waste.
It's cannabis plants.
Cannabis, yeah, cannabis crop.
Now, I'm no expert, but that looks like a lot of wacky baccy to me!
That's what it looks like from here.
It is, definitely.
Cut the crop down, and the actual pods which are left
from growing them, they just discard it on any street, basically.
But it will always be away from the property
wherever they've actually grew all the stuff, too.
So, it's just the waste product.
But I've still got a feeling whoever dumped this lot
could be looking at more than just a fine for not recycling.
We come across this regular.
Probably four, five times a week, like, you know.
Five times a week?
Gordon Bennett! As if dealing with normal rubbish wasn't bad enough.
Oh, you can smell it, as well.
Yeah, look, it's the remnants of it.
Ready for production, for sale.
The fact is, whoever's been producing this amount of cannabis
could be looking at a lengthy prison sentence.
That's two criminal offences.
One is actually putting the waste out on the street.
The second one is, obviously, harvesting an illegal crop, basically.
If we did find any evidence in here,
for a property, or anything like that, then, obviously,
we'd have to contact South Wales Police, then.
Fingers crossed whoever left this lot has slipped up and left a clue.
Not a sausage.
So, any chance of the lads catching this criminal
have pretty much gone up in smoke.
But the hunt for recycling rogues continues,
and Neil's fixed-penalty antenna is soon twitching.
Basically, what we've got here, now, we've got a load of green bags.
By the look of it already, they look contaminated, to me.
There's all sorts of stuff in here.
A lot of this stuff shouldn't be in a green recycling bag.
And, hang on, looks like Neil's found a bit of evidence.
Even put bank cards in here.
So, we've got actually a name now.
So, what we'll do now, we'll actually
carry on looking, see if we can find any other information.
But we might be able to trace that name now, with the council tax,
to find out where this has actually come from.
So, now we've tied the credit card up with actually an address
in the bag, and we'll knock on the door now. And if they have,
if they answer the door now, they will have an on-the-spot fixed penalty, basically.
Crikey. Looks like Neil's not about to let this litter lout get away with it.
Hi, there. Morning, mate. My name's Neil from Cardiff Council enforcement.
With reference to all the bags you've put out the front here.
OK, unfortunately, you've presented them illegally,
they shouldn't be out on the street. They're all contaminated.
OK. Excuse me, sir, hello!
But there's no fazing ex-prison officer Neil.
-Do you want to call the police?
He's seen it all before
and he's not going to give up that easily.
Five minutes later, the door slammer's mum opens up,
offering to take the rubbish back in.
No, no, no, it's too late for that, now,
we're actually calling the South Wales Police now.
Oh, there's more of them. I'm going to have to go.
They've just opened the door now, so, I think it's good to be round two.
If you were civil about it, then this wouldn't be happening.
Unfortunately, now, what you've actually done is you've actually committed an offence.
When you slammed the door, you slammed my hand on it, right?
You were lucky it didn't catch in the doorway because, otherwise,
you would be getting arrested now for assault, OK?
So, contaminated bags put out on the wrong day,
together with an aggressive response.
Is that going to mean a fine?
You might have waited, just got off with just a warning today,
all right? But now, because of what you've done,
I'm actually going to issue you now with a fixed penalty, all right?
This fixed penalty is for £80.
A fine for the rubbish it is, then.
But what about that door slam?
Neil explains the situation to the police.
-Next minute, he just slammed the door straight on me, catching my hand.
It's all right, it didn't get trapped in the door, just literally, as they slammed it, it came back.
Then they've refused to give us any information, obviously,
so we could follow up our inquiries.
Since then, they've actually come to the door now,
and they've actually given us all information now that we needed off them.
So, from a prosecution point of view, we've got enough to carry on with, now.
And we did try standing it down.
Luckily for this young lad,
experienced Neil has defused the situation, and handed out his fine.
So, no jail time today.
We've actually given the benefit of the doubt.
We've educated him as well, this time,
as to what they've actually done wrong,
both from a violence point of view,
and also from a waste enforcement point of view.
At least the door-slammer will think twice before chucking out
his DVD collection in the recycling next time.
Last year, there were 3.5 million parking tickets issued
in London alone.
I've done my sums. That's over 9,500 every single day.
Some people think that giving traffic wardens grief
will encourage them to cancel their tickets.
But it just won't help.
The only real chance you have of not paying up is to appeal.
Today, I've come to the Environment And Traffic Adjudicators Tribunal in London, to meet Dr Kurt Barling.
He's disputing parking fines totalling £315
that he believes were not served fairly.
He's here today to try and get the ruling overturned.
My car got lifted from outside my house, well,
four doors up from my house.
Right, so that's an expensive problem.
It was a very expensive problem.
Actually, my daughter had parked it halfway across this driveway
which is a neighbour's driveway.
It's typical commuter country where commuters come in,
in droves, in the morning, and park all the way along the roads.
You've never got anywhere to park. So,
we've got plenty of experience of having difficulties parking,
so we've got this little regime going.
Anyway, this particular day, we didn't anticipate a neighbour
calling the local enforcement officers.
Was this guy actually blocked in now?
-Technically, he was blocked in.
-How much was the penalty, Kurt?
-And £60 parking fine.
'As parking problems on Kurt's road are a regular occurrence,
'he's even made himself a sign to put in the car window.'
So, look, that's what I put on the back.
OK. "Apologies for parking here.
"As usual, commuters have cluttered up the road. Grr!
"Just knock, we're in, and we'll move in a jiffy.
"Thanks. Kurt and Kim."
Everyone knows who Kurt and Kim is. We've lived there for 24 years.
I'm going to give you my unbiased opinion on this.
You have blocked someone in on their driveway.
I've seen the law. And the letter of the law is quite clear.
Enfield has told me what the law is.
I think it's unreasonable, disproportionate, and vexatious.
'Er, I think he means "annoying"!'
Now, in an ideal world today, what are you hoping for?
-For this to be completely wiped?
With over £300 at stake, Dr Barling is hoping that
head adjudicator Caroline Hamilton will see his side of the story.
Yes, thank you, bring him in.
Come in, come in, sir. Have a seat there.
'Over to you, Caroline!'
The allegation is that, on the 13th of January of this year,
you parked adjacent to a dropped footway.
And I can see that your vehicle was ticketed,
and it was removed by the enforcement authority.
-Is this your vehicle?
And I can see here that that footway is dropped to meet the kerb.
All right, tell me why it is you believe that you are entitled
to park in front of this dropped kerb?
What you've got to bear in mind is that this road is a very busy road.
-It's a road that commuters use,
and have used for years. It's been a bone of contention for years.
So, what led you to believe you were entitled to park over another neighbour's driveway?
'OK. Caroline's not impressed, yet. But will Kurt's sign do the trick?
Kurt and Kim? You're Kurt, are you?
-Kim's my wife.
"Apologies for parking here.
"As usual, commuters have cluttered up the road. Grr!"
I see, so, you have the habit of popping that in your vehicle?
I've got two vehicles. And if we have to park across,
we always do that, and everyone knows us. I've lived on the road for 24 years.
-So, on the 13th of January at some point, she parked there.
'So, the sign didn't work. Is there anything that can persuade Caroline?'
So, what's your ground of appeal?
I think it's unreasonable.
Given the circumstances of the road, given the history,
given that we know this particular complainant never moves his vehicle.
Your case is that you believe you were entitled to park,
or you should be entitled to park there
because your neighbour doesn't use his vehicle?
I think we're not entitled, the law says,
as you've told me, and as the local authority has told me.
I think my daughter assumed, because there's no-one...
So, now you're saying the case is that she thought she could park there
because it wasn't restricted?
Well, I can't argue that because I don't know.
'Anyone else think Caroline's closing in on a decision?'
'Is this fine going to be upheld?
All right. Is there anything else you want to tell me about this incident
that you feel you haven't already told me?
No. Only that I've done my best,
we do our best, to be considerate neighbours.
And so we are aggrieved.
So, Dr Barling's daughter parked his car partially over a neighbour's
driveway, and left a note in the window.
But, is the doctor's version of events enough
to make Caroline side with him, or will she uphold
the council's decision to fine and remove the vehicle?
You weren't entitled to park there.
The enforcement authority was entitled to issue an instant ticket
to your vehicle. This enforcement authority was entitled to issue
the ticket, and the enforcement authority was entitled
to remove the vehicle because it was causing an obstruction.
I'm not going to be able to allow your appeal on that basis.
All right? Thank you very much for coming.
OK. Thank you.
So, the decision of the council has been upheld,
leaving Dr Barling out of pocket to the tune of £315.
All right. Not the outcome you wanted?
No, clearly not, no.
Sometimes, the law is an ass, and,
I think, in this case the law is an ass, you know. Erm...
You've got to try and present your case as effectively as you can.
On this occasion, it wasn't effective enough.
For me, was always about the principle.
For many people, I'm sure,
money isn't always the issue, the principle is.
-You'll take it on the chin and learn a lesson?
-And tell your daughter not to park there again.
Kurt, thanks for your time, much appreciated.
Let's be honest. We're all guilty of speeding at some point in our lives.
But, nowadays, things have changed.
If you get caught doing over 50 in a 30 zone,
90 in a 60 zone
or 100 in a 70 zone,
you could now be fined a whopping 150% of your weekly wage.
Now that's going to hurt everyone.
The new laws came in in April 2017,
and apply to drivers everywhere,
even up here on Dartmoor in Devon.
Dartmoor is a hugely popular tourist destination,
and has a big farming community.
But it's also a notorious cut-through for traffic
trying to avoid the area's busier roads.
And, unfortunately, not all the inhabitants
of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can read road signs.
Every one of these RTCs is potentially a fatality for the driver.
If you hit one of these big animals at speed,
it must be like hitting a brick wall.
Dartmoor's ponies are allowed to graze free across the moor.
But that's come at a cost.
160 animals were killed by drivers on Dartmoor last year.
But anyone speeding out here had better beware because Gregg Manning
and the Community Speed Watch might just be waiting for you.
The high-viz jackets certainly help.
I mean, to start with, from a distance,
they don't know if we're police or if we are Community Speed Watch.
And we're not just talking about a leisurely drive in the countryside, either.
Recently, we've had some data taken off our speed devices,
and there are some horrific speeds.
You know, 117mph, on a B-road
that's open to animals and people.
It would be bad enough on the motorway with everybody going in the same direction.
But here, it's beyond belief, frankly.
It is, when you realise the limit on these roads is just 40mph.
Luckily, Gregg's got his radar speed gun at the ready,
to catch any wannabe racing drivers.
We record both the index plate of the vehicle,
the speeding vehicles only,
and the make, model and colour, and we also do a count,
so we know how many vehicles.
And then we can work out the percentage of those vehicles
that are actually exceeding the limit.
Normally, Gregg's team hand the speed gun info to the police who
dish out warning letters.
He's dropping down again, now.
But, today, the cavalry, well, the police, have arrived in person,
and they're out to issue some tickets.
-Good afternoon. I'm Gregg.
-Hi, pleased to meet you, Gregg.
We're probably visible from space now, with all this high-viz!
Meet Special Police Constable Chris Haynes-Brown.
We are special constables ourselves, so we're also volunteers.
And it's great to see that we've got community spirit that can pull
together these groups
that will raise awareness of the speeding issues across the moor.
Only today, we've just driven past a dead pony
on the side of the road that a car's hit.
We're laser-trained, so we can prosecute,
and we will prosecute those drivers that go over a certain threshold of speed.
But, first, they've got to catch them in the act.
Although it looks like a bit of a slow start...
Got a bicycle coming now.
-He needs to pedal a bit faster.
-Oh, that's good, it's good.
Next time, mate.
But, it's not long before
the police get a real speeder in their sights...
..because this Land Rover's well over the limit.
Do you mind if I jump in? I'm just going to caution you.
-So, you're not under arrest.
And once we've finished with the paperwork, you are free to leave.
So, you do not have to say anything
but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned
something which you later rely on in court.
Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?
Oh, dear. It's not looking good.
He's being read his rights already.
Effectively, you've been caught doing 55mph in a 40 limit.
Do know whether you've got any points on your licence?
Yeah, I have, I've got three at the minute.
Three points? Whoops.
He really should have known better, then.
But does the owner of this Land Rover have an excuse up his sleeve?
I've just been out to a farm to deliver a tractor,
and I was just my way back home.
I thought it was higher than it was on here.
And actually I didn't even realise I was doing the speed I was doing, to be fair.
That's a "no", then.
So, Chris clocked this driver doing 55 in a 40-mile-an-hour zone.
The law says that three points and a fine of 50% of the driver's weekly wage. Ouch!
So, all I need now is your signature on the bottom, there.
Looks like Chris has got him bang to rights.
The question is, has he learnt his lesson?
I know not to be doing 50 along this bit again, that is for certain.
So, that's yours.
I wish you a better start to the bank holiday weekend.
Take it on the chin, and thanks for being so civil.
-That's all right.
-OK. He now realises that it's a 40 along here.
He was very civil, that's exactly the perfect person to pull over.
It will be, for him, most likely, a financial penalty,
and more points on his licence.
It's scary how quickly these eagle-eyed volunteers
and special constables start racking up speeding offences.
But their hard work trying to protect the livestock and motorists
here isn't always appreciated.
They've called us "wombles" on social media,
but I've come up with an acronym for that
which is Working On Moors Because Locals Exceed Speed.
So that's why we're WOMBLES.
We thought they'd work that out.
We're talking speeding, not littering!
Hang on a minute. That motorcyclist looks like he was going some.
This bike has just been recorded as doing 56mph
on the B3212, just coming out of Postbridge
which is a 40-mile-an-hour limit.
So, my colleague is going to process him, give him a ticket.
Doing 56 might not sound like much
but I wouldn't fancy hitting a pony at that speed.
And he's not the only two-wheeled speed demon they've had a run in with.
He came from that side. He was going this way.
And he stopped, and he almost stopped,
and he wiggled the back of his bike,
revved up, lifted his front wheel
and shot off in that direction so fast we couldn't get his number plate.
But it was a blatant, sort of, you know...
Today's Dartmoor demon doing 56 in a 40 zone
is facing a whopping fine of 100% of his weekly salary.
I bet he didn't see that coming.
It's proved that working with Dartmoor National Park,
Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society
and the community volunteers that man Dartmoor Speed Watch,
we've really come together well today,
they've recorded 20 vehicles out of 120 vehicles that have gone by.
We've issued a few tickets as well.
And so, hopefully, this is going to reinforce the message that more care is really important.
So, the police are on their way, leaving Gregg and his team to carry
on slowing down the speedsters and protecting the ponies.
It would be nicer if we could come out here and record 127 cars
and have no speeding vehicles. That's what we're aiming for.
But I think we've got a way to go yet before we can achieve that.
That's all for today. Join me next time when I'll be out
with the men and women who issue Britain's on-the-spot fines.
In Birmingham, Dom joins the Revenue Protection Team from London Midland Trains as they catch and fine almost a hundred fare dodgers in just two hours. And seasoned car clamper Andrew is patrolling the streets of Cardiff clamping and fining car tax evaders.