Episode 3 Dom on the Spot


Episode 3

Dom Littlewood presents a programme following people whose job it is to hand out fines. A traffic cop pulls over a suspected litterer only to find he is a wanted man.


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Transcript


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Never before have so many on-the-spot fines been issued in Britain.

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-OK.

-You're about to fine me. I don't have any money for that.

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-Come here.

-We're going to be following the men and women who hand out

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over £30 million worth of tickets every month...

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Hello?

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-That gets my goat!

-My jaw is dropping.

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..for behaviour that's downright dangerous...

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..simply selfish...

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-It's been defrosted a while, that, hasn't it?

-Yeah.

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..or just, well, plain silly.

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Get off your phone! Doughnut.

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'We'll be revealing the cost of their bad behaviour...'

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-How much is the fine on this one?

-£100 for no seat belt.

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-It's expensive.

-I know, yeah.

-..and how this could affect you.

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I'm in the middle of a job. I'm working. I'm a builder.

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The police are on it...

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Out of your mouth, now!

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'The parking wardens are on it...'

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So once it's printed, that's it.

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There's no point arguing the point.

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'And I'm on it.' Put your seat belt on!

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Cheeky monkeys.

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I'm Dom Littlewood, and I'm On The Spot.

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'This time...' That was naughty, wasn't it?

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-Yeah.

-'..has this litter lout got something else to hide?'

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Drop! Spit them out, now!

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Spit them out!

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I go undercover in the hunt for blue badge abusers.

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Just what the doctor ordered.

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Oh, that's better.

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And, in Pendle, it's a stakeout in pursuit of Public Enemy Number One.

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Or should that be Public Enemy Number Two?

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There's two piles of dog mess here. This is where the dog goes.

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This is its spot.

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Today, I'm in Manchester,

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where I'm joining PC Matt Picton of the Greater Manchester Police.

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I'm going to be spending a bit of time with him in his office,

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but his office just happens to be an unmarked Beemer.

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Mate, you don't mind me eating in the car, do you?

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-No, absolutely not. You carry on.

-I bet it's something you do all the time, isn't it?

-Yes.

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Like I say, it's like a mobile police station.

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We're obviously out in them for seven, eight hours a day,

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and you do everything in here.

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'Yeah, you can even have your lunch, Matt. Don't mind me.

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'But be careful of indigestion, because Matt is a busy traffic cop,

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'and you never know when you might chance upon a dodgy driver.'

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-That was naughty, wasn't it?

-Yeah, right in front of us.

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-I'm not quite convinced it wasn't a spliff, to be honest, either.

-Yeah.

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Just to explain what was going on there, a car went past us

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and the driver threw what looked like a cigarette

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out of the passenger window,

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which is a bit of an odd thing to do, and Matt here suspects

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that it might have been a spliff.

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'A spliff, or a cannabis rolled cigarette,

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'could mean he'll face much bigger charges than just littering.'

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It certainly wasn't a cigarette that he threw out the window,

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so that would give me suspicion.

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-Yeah.

-And the fact is, he's got a brake light out,

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he's committed a moving traffic offence,

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and he's now not paying attention, means that we can

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drug-test them anyway, because they've committed an offence.

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Right in front of you.

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He couldn't have done it in a worse place, could he? HORN HONKS

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Well, whether it was a spliff or not, it looks like

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the problems are starting to mount up for this driver.

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-Hello, buddy. You all right?

-Yeah.

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Just come and join on the pavement. I don't want to get run over.

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Right, OK. One of you flicked something out of the window.

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-Was it you?

-What?

-Threw your cig out the window?

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-Possibly, yeah.

-"Possibly, yeah?" Well, you either did or you didn't.

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-Right. It's littering.

-LAUGHTER

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You can't do that. You jump out and have a chat with me.

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So, you're telling me you don't smoke cannabis.

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There's no cannabis in this car.

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Is it registered and insured to you?

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Right, OK. Just you stand over there a second.

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So when was the last time you cleaned your car out?

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I see what he's saying about cleaning your car out.

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-Good Lord!

-Come on, you come and join me.

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So, with the litterbug finally coming clean about his offence,

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it's time for him to face the music.

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Right, you have a seat in there for me.

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Right. OK.

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It might seem petty,

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however, throwing rubbish out of the window of a car...

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No, you don't pay me.

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Or flicking cigarettes out of a window causes

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massive issues for the council, basically.

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They've got to then pay someone to come and clean up after you,

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and it's not fair on them, is it, to have to pay to pick up your litter?

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Now, the eagle eyes of Matt there spotted a cigarette

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being thrown out the window. I saw it as well. It was pretty blatant.

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In fact, it was almost aimed at the car.

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The nub of it is,

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he's getting a ticket for littering on the highway.

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I have to say, he doesn't seem too bothered about his impending fine.

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In fact, he seems more interested in playing on his phone.

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He's actually making a mockery of the whole system, because he's filming the officer.

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He's actually filming us now, if you look at this. He really just doesn't seem to care less.

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Now, for someone like Matt,

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he's got to really sort of bite his tongue there and not speak his mind,

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because that's got to be pretty aggravating.

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I find it aggravating enough, when a camera's filming me,

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let alone when you're trying to do your job like that!

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RADIO CHATTER

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Could you do us a body check, please, on Trafford Road?

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-RADIO:

-Stand by.

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Matt's called in his details to HQ,

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and it turns out there's two outstanding warrants for his arrest.

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Handcuffs have just been slapped on this guy.

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He's still laughing and taking photographs,

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but obviously things have taken a serious turn now.

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Seems like he's a person of interest in another case,

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so he's going down the station.

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I think, in relation to the fine for littering,

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that's the least of your worries.

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Sit tight, pal, just waiting for a van. All right.

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I think in this instance,

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giving up smoking would have been a really good idea.

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And he might need that phone now,

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to let his friends knows his plans are about to change.

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OK, my friend, he's coming with us.

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He's got an outstanding warrant.

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Right, in relation to you,

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you need to get your brake light fixed.

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But just as Matt's breaking the news to them that they're going to be

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a person light on their journey home,

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inside the car, the litterbug

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looks like he's swallowing something in a hurry.

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Out your mouth! Out your mouth, now!

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Out your mouth! Drop!

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Spit them out, now! Spit them out!

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Get on the floor.

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Stay there, all right?

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Matt's had to move fast.

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We've just seen this lad take a whole load of pills,

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and we've no idea what they are.

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What have you gone and done that for?

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Eh? What happens if you've overdosed? Eh?

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You won't? How do you know? What have you taken?

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There's a whole load of drugs now on the back seat.

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I saw the guy trying to swallow as many as he could.

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I mean, it was a big packet.

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And how many have you taken?

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Five?

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2892, I'm going to need an ambulance as well.

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-RADIO:

-Roger.

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You know, obviously, we're a bit concerned now for what's going on.

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An ambulance has been called.

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It's gone from a simple offence of throwing a cigarette

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out of the back of a car, littering, to something now which is...

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which is quite shocking, really. SIREN

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Matt's priority now is to make sure this young lad is safe.

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So, we'll sit you up. You need to be sick, for your own benefit.

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RADIO CHATTER

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OK? Any movement, to try and run off or make off or fight,

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and I'll Taser you.

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Understand?

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Stay there with your legs crossed.

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You make any movement to go anywhere...

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No, you can't have a cigarette.

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It's crazy how these things escalate. He was pulled over

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because he threw a cigarette butt out of the car, for littering.

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It's just gone from a littering charge to chaos.

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After they finally get him in the back of the van,

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Matt has time to catch his breath.

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We would never have been aware of him had we not decided to

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-stop that car for something that people think is petty.

-Yeah.

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But small offences do lead to big offences,

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especially when you're on traffic.

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You just stop cars for no seat belt, a light out,

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and next thing you know, you're finding all kind of things.

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He's now in the back of an ambulance now, semi-unconscious,

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and he's going to end up in hospital for a day, two days, and then,

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when he gets released from there, he'll be dealt with by us,

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-and then placed before a court.

-Possible prison?

-Possible prison, yeah.

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What a crazy afternoon!

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It just goes to show that what we're doing is invaluable, sometimes.

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I mean, yeah, we're giving tickets out to people for road safety,

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but ultimately we're cops, aren't we,

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and if we end up with something like this, we deal with it.

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-Definitely not his lucky day.

-No.

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Right, good to go.

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Dog poo. No-one likes it.

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It's dirty, it's smelly,

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and in some cases it can make you seriously ill.

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And if you don't pick your dog poo up,

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you're going to get yourself a fine.

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But catching the culprit is easier said than done.

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DOG BARKS

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It's estimated that there are over 8.5 million dogs in the UK,

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and while most people look after their pets responsibly,

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dog-fouling is a huge problem for councils.

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You can be fined £100 if you don't carry a bag to clean up

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after your dog, but that threat doesn't seem to bother some people.

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Look! Hello.

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We hate dog mess because we have three spaniels of our own,

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and we always clean up our own dog mess and also we'll actually pick up

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other people's as well, to make sure the place is kept clean.

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One guy on my road, all he does,

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he drops dog litter, so he drops the poo and he doesn't pick it up,

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so, definitely, I think they should be fined, 100%.

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And just, pppphh! On the floor, and

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"Come on, darling," to the dogs!

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In Pendle, Jon Yurek, Environmental Crime Officer,

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is on a mission.

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We're going to go to Ravenscroft Road,

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and there is a report of dog fouling.

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This is a tip-off from the general public.

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The tip-off Jon's received has brought him to a garage on an industrial estate.

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A member of the public claims to have witnessed a man allowing

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his dog to do its business on a footpath every single morning.

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The only other clue Jon has to go on

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is that the suspect's vehicle is blue and white.

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I've been told between half past seven and eight o'clock is

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when he turns up.

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You can see the garage is closed,

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the gate's locked, so no-one's turned up yet.

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All Jon can do now is play the waiting game.

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This dog won't turn up, I know this dog won't turn up.

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If there was a dog here every day,

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you would find copious amounts of dog mess.

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It'd be everywhere, wouldn't it?

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But just as he's about to give up...

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Ah, there's the man. This is the guy turning up.

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..a van arrives, and it matches the description.

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If the intelligence I've been given is correct,

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I would expect that the dog is released pretty much as soon as

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the van goes inside. So let's see what happens.

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But after patiently waiting, there's still no sign of a dog.

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There's no dog here, is there?

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I can't see him going inside, making himself a pot of coffee,

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having his breakfast, checking his e-mails,

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coming out and then releasing the dog.

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That wouldn't be normal behaviour. There's no dog here.

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Has Jon been sent on a wild goose chase?

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It's certainly beginning to look that way.

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But what's this?

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Another blue and white vehicle.

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Ah, dog!

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It's the prime suspect!

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But has he been a naughty boy?

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There's the guy.

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Is Jon onto something?

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Or is he barking up the wrong tree?

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Time for a sniff around.

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It's not yet certain this dog has been doing its business on public land.

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-Hello.

-DOG BARKS

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Jon needs solid evidence,

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and by solid, yes, I really do mean solid.

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This is where the dog fouled, here.

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But you can see, there's one, two...

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there's two piles of dog mess here. This is where the dog goes.

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This is its spot.

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We're going to blur these little blighters so you're not put off.

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Yep, that's better.

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But with several deposits at the scene,

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how will Jon identify the right one?

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He can't exactly dust it for prints.

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OK, so, the report I got from the general public was correct.

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I've taken a photograph of the dog.

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CAMERA CLICKS

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-And I've taken a photograph of the fresh faeces.

-CAMERA CLICKS

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Let's see what the guy's got to say.

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But whilst Jon's been taking photos,

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could the guy have been back to the scene

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and tampered with the evidence?

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A quick word with you, please, sir?

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-I'm from Pendle Borough Council.

-Yeah?

-Environmental Crime Officer.

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All right? I notice you've just gone and picked up a defecation now.

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-Yeah.

-But when your dog was here, it went straight over there,

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fouled the ground, and you walked into the building there.

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-Yeah.

-OK? What I believe is that you've committed the offence of

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dog fouling, which is failing to pick up forthwith.

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Oh, dear. This could throw a spanner in the works.

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If it is private land, he might not be able to issue a fine.

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Was all that waiting around for nothing?

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Jon will need to do some checks at the office.

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But he still takes the bloke's details,

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because if this is public land,

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he could be in line for a £75 on-the-spot fine.

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But he'll have to wait to find out.

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It's the offence of failing to pick up forthwith, OK?

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-Is it? Right.

-That's the offence, sir. All right?

-Right.

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I was unaware that, on private land, it was still an offence.

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Well, that's what I'm saying to you. If it's private,

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then that can be disputed with, obviously, your boss and stuff,

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with regards to the fouling on private land.

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Even though it is private land, you know,

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I thought it didn't make any difference.

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Away from where everybody's walking,

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I think it's a bit, probably a bit harsh, really.

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I'm not happy about it.

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Jon doesn't look happy either.

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But if it is private land, there might be nothing he can do.

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But that won't stop him from trying.

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Once he's on the scent, he's like a dog with a bone.

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I've done a land registry check on the area, and it does appear

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that the dog fouling took place

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just within the boundaries of the private land.

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So, in relation to prosecuting the individual for dog fouling,

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there's not a lot we can do.

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For now, this gentleman won't be getting any further action

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against him, because the dog has defecated in private land

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and not on public land.

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I am gutted, because I can't pursue this.

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-The battle goes on.

-HE CHUCKLES

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So close, yet so far.

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But it looks as if Jon will have to put away the fine book for now.

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But litterers of Pendle, beware.

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This dirt detective could be watching you.

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Blue Badges - they're a crucial lifeline for disabled drivers.

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But misusing your badge is a criminal offence,

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and nationwide, prosecutions have risen by a whopping 67% since 2013.

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-They're lousy. Lousy.

-SHE LAUGHS

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Sorry about that, but they shouldn't!

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If you're... I mean, the poor people who need to drive,

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they need their space,

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as far as I'm concerned. And if I was still driving,

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I certainly wouldn't park in their spaces.

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People might think it's just being a little bit cheeky,

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it's not hurting anyone, but, yeah, it is, you know, there's...

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I've seen people trying to get into disabled bays when there aren't spaces available.

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You know, is it because someone who is registered disabled is in there,

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or is it someone who's being a little bit louche with the...

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and a bit lax with the rules?

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-Well, that's a bit naughty.

-Yeah.

-Don't like that at all.

0:16:390:16:42

-Yeah, that's right.

-Have a guess what the penalty could be.

0:16:420:16:44

-No.

-£1,000?

0:16:440:16:46

Yep, up to £1,000 and you get a criminal record.

0:16:460:16:49

Oh, I see. We'd better be a bit careful then.

0:16:490:16:52

You'd better be a bit careful indeed.

0:16:520:16:55

And Blue Badge abusers of Enfield especially beware.

0:16:550:16:59

The enforcers are out and about,

0:16:590:17:01

and you might not spot them coming,

0:17:010:17:03

because today they're undercover.

0:17:030:17:05

There are 2.5 million Blue Badges in the UK being used,

0:17:050:17:08

but not all of them are being used correctly.

0:17:080:17:10

And these ladies are out to catch the bad guys.

0:17:100:17:13

Isn't that right, ladies?

0:17:130:17:15

You're going to get the bad guys today, yeah?

0:17:150:17:17

Vicky Woodgate and her colleague Elaine Barnes

0:17:180:17:21

are the borough's finest.

0:17:210:17:24

But don't let their casual clothes fool you.

0:17:240:17:26

They mean business.

0:17:260:17:27

So, on average, how many people a day, a week, a month, or whatever,

0:17:280:17:32

are you actually catching misusing badges?

0:17:320:17:34

One in four people that we speak to are misusing. Yeah.

0:17:340:17:38

Oh, you surprise me. I thought it was going to be, you know,

0:17:380:17:40

every now and again you'll catch one, but if it's 25% of people,

0:17:400:17:44

that's pretty bad. Right, so, tell me what you're looking for.

0:17:440:17:47

We are looking for vehicles displaying Blue Badges...

0:17:470:17:51

-OK.

-..as this one is. It's parked on a single yellow line.

0:17:510:17:54

So you're allowed to park on a single yellow line...

0:17:540:17:56

-Yeah.

-..if you display a Blue Badge.

-OK.

0:17:560:17:59

I'm going to write the details down on my inspection sheet,

0:17:590:18:02

-and Vicky's going to...

-I'm going to take the photograph of the vehicle.

0:18:020:18:05

-But hang on, has it actually committed an offence yet?

-We don't know yet.

-We don't know.

0:18:050:18:09

-We won't know until the person comes back to the vehicle.

-Right. So why are you trying to photo it?

0:18:090:18:13

-If it turns out to be a misuse...

-Then you need that evidence?

0:18:130:18:16

-..then our photographs will be evidence.

-Gotcha.

0:18:160:18:18

I love this cloak and dagger stuff!

0:18:180:18:20

And given the weather, I think I might need to go undercover as well.

0:18:200:18:23

While you're doing that, I'm just going to nip in there and get a hat,

0:18:230:18:27

-cos my head is absolutely frozen.

-OK. Not a problem.

0:18:270:18:29

Just what the doctor ordered.

0:18:340:18:36

Oh, that's better.

0:18:360:18:38

No-one will recognise me now.

0:18:380:18:40

Right, on with catching the baddies.

0:18:400:18:42

What's the longest you've ever had to wait for someone to come back?

0:18:420:18:46

We have waited an hour, an hour and a half for a person to come back.

0:18:460:18:49

-I've waited a couple of hours.

-Have you?

0:18:490:18:51

Two hours?! I'm glad I bought that hat.

0:18:510:18:54

-Scary.

-Sometimes we'll get to a point and think,

0:18:540:18:56

"Well, they're not going to come back,"

0:18:560:18:58

and then we'll just rely on the CCTV, and then watch it to see

0:18:580:19:02

who comes back and who goes.

0:19:020:19:04

-There's no escaping Enfield Blue Badge enforcement officers, is there?

-No, there isn't.

0:19:040:19:09

Tell me about the fines and penalties which can be imposed

0:19:090:19:12

if people are misusing these badges.

0:19:120:19:14

Right, OK. So it'll go to a Magistrates' Court,

0:19:140:19:18

and the maximum fine is up to £1,000.

0:19:180:19:21

That's an expensive parking ticket, isn't it?

0:19:210:19:23

Very. And a criminal record.

0:19:230:19:24

-Gordon Bennett! It's quite tough.

-Yeah.

0:19:240:19:27

You'd think that would be enough to put people off,

0:19:280:19:31

but these ladies are here if it doesn't,

0:19:310:19:33

and they've found another badge to scrutinise.

0:19:330:19:35

How do you know that it is the right female?

0:19:370:19:40

Because she might have just lent it to a mate or a sister

0:19:400:19:43

-who's a very similar age.

-Yeah, I mean, obviously when someone

0:19:430:19:45

-comes back to the vehicle, we ask to look at the badge...

-Yeah.

0:19:450:19:48

..and on the back of the badge is a photograph of the badge holder.

0:19:480:19:51

Is there any other way of checking?

0:19:510:19:53

Yes, we've actually got a database, the Blue Badge Database,

0:19:530:19:56

where we can put in the badge details and that brings up

0:19:560:19:59

all the badge details, including the photograph of the badge holder.

0:19:590:20:02

Do you know what? Half the problem is here.

0:20:020:20:04

You've got 14-inch nails on there, haven't you?

0:20:040:20:07

-I know.

-Honestly, you could dig a garden with those things! LAUGHTER

0:20:070:20:10

HORN HONKS All right, fella?

0:20:100:20:12

Get off your phone! Doughnut.

0:20:120:20:15

So, that's two vehicles down and still no luck.

0:20:180:20:21

But this duo are determined to wheedle out people abusing the system.

0:20:210:20:24

Now, she's spotted this lady returning to the vehicle.

0:20:260:20:28

In theory, she should be about mid-60s and female.

0:20:280:20:31

Obviously, the gender's correct.

0:20:310:20:33

She's just having a quick look now to make sure she's the right person.

0:20:330:20:36

I tell you what, it's like following a pair of bloodhounds.

0:20:360:20:38

INDISTINCT

0:20:400:20:42

And then, it's on to the next one.

0:20:420:20:44

Can I just check that the Blue Badge is yours? I'm from Enfield Council.

0:20:440:20:47

We're just doing Blue Badge patrols.

0:20:470:20:50

-Can I come under here with you?

-Yeah, course you can.

0:20:500:20:52

-We'll let him stand in the rain, shall we?

-Yeah, it's all right.

0:20:520:20:55

-Are you using this Blue Badge legally?

-Yes.

-Good for you.

0:20:550:20:59

What do you think of people who abuse Blue Badges and park in

0:20:590:21:03

these spaces, which obviously disabled people can use,

0:21:030:21:06

-and they shouldn't be?

-I'll tell you a little story.

0:21:060:21:09

-A guy pulled up behind me...

-Yeah.

-"You can't park there."

0:21:090:21:12

I said, "Why? I'm disabled."

0:21:120:21:13

He says, "You ain't got a Blue Badge."

0:21:130:21:15

I said, "Have a look round the front."

0:21:150:21:17

He said to you, "You're not disabled."

0:21:170:21:19

-Yeah, I'm not disabled.

-Yeah.

0:21:190:21:21

How many people say that to you? Do you get that quite a lot?

0:21:210:21:23

Yeah, I do, because I've got two new knees and I've got a new hip.

0:21:230:21:26

-Yeah.

-And the next one will be bionic, so that's it.

0:21:260:21:29

-Good Lord, he's like Steve Austin, isn't he?

-Yeah.

-LAUGHTER

0:21:290:21:31

But you are disabled, you're entitled to the badge.

0:21:310:21:33

-Yeah.

-And obviously some people will have a go at you cos they say

0:21:330:21:36

-you look fit and healthy.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:21:360:21:38

So, that's four legitimate Blue Badge users.

0:21:400:21:43

With the ladies' one-in-four hit rate,

0:21:430:21:45

either the people of Enfield are behaving themselves today,

0:21:450:21:48

or the owner of the next vehicle is in trouble.

0:21:480:21:51

What's in your radar now?

0:21:520:21:53

My radar is there's a disabled parking bay just here.

0:21:530:21:57

-Yes.

-So the vehicle should be displaying a Blue Badge...

0:21:570:22:00

-Yes.

-..as it's a disabled parking bay.

0:22:000:22:03

So what do we know about this one, then?

0:22:030:22:05

We know that it's...

0:22:050:22:07

A child's badge.

0:22:070:22:10

-Who is about nine years old.

-About nine years old.

0:22:100:22:12

OK. Obviously the parent would have that badge on behalf of their disabled child.

0:22:120:22:17

-Yeah.

-Does that mean they can use it without the child being in the car?

0:22:170:22:21

-No.

-No. So the child has to be present for them to be able to use that?

-Yeah.

0:22:220:22:26

There's nothing for it but to wait for the owner to return.

0:22:280:22:31

Someone's coming.

0:22:320:22:33

This is not looking good for the lady,

0:22:360:22:39

because she doesn't have a child with her.

0:22:390:22:41

Hello. I'm from Enfield Council.

0:22:430:22:45

-Yes?

-I'm just checking on the Blue Badges,

0:22:450:22:47

just to make sure that the right people are using them.

0:22:470:22:49

Can I just have a quick look at the Blue Badge there, please?

0:22:490:22:52

This lady's going to be in a bit of trouble here.

0:22:560:22:58

She has returned to the car on her own.

0:22:580:23:01

She's looking a little bit shell-shocked and very surprised.

0:23:010:23:04

I'm hoping for her sake she has just dropped her child off somewhere,

0:23:040:23:07

because then she's going to be in the clear.

0:23:070:23:09

After claiming she'd just popped to the shops for five minutes,

0:23:090:23:12

this lady fesses up that she's actually been to the dentist.

0:23:120:23:15

But there's no sign of her child.

0:23:150:23:17

It does seem like it is a real black-and-white case of,

0:23:190:23:22

she's using her child's disabled badge to park

0:23:220:23:26

for her own convenience.

0:23:260:23:27

I suppose, when I say it like that,

0:23:270:23:29

you all of a sudden think, you know, "Bang out of order."

0:23:290:23:32

So, will Elaine let this lady off with a warning?

0:23:340:23:37

Or is she heading for prosecution?

0:23:370:23:39

We know that you've got a disabled daughter, OK?

0:23:400:23:43

We won't be seizing the badge, yeah? But unfortunately,

0:23:430:23:46

we will have to report you to Enfield Council.

0:23:460:23:49

Expect to receive a letter within the next month or two.

0:23:490:23:53

Ouch! That's going to hurt more than a root canal.

0:23:540:23:57

If prosecuted, she faces a potential £1,000 fine

0:23:580:24:02

and, on top of that, a criminal record.

0:24:020:24:04

The ladies have just gone back to the office now to try and

0:24:060:24:08

get warm and dry, but regardless of the weather,

0:24:080:24:12

Blue Badge abuse is a problem that is not going away.

0:24:120:24:15

and it's happening every single day.

0:24:150:24:17

Fly-tipping - it looks horrible, costs a fortune to clear up,

0:24:240:24:28

and last year, local authorities dealt with

0:24:280:24:31

almost a million incidents.

0:24:310:24:33

Croydon Council get their fair share.

0:24:330:24:35

But in December 2015,

0:24:350:24:38

investigators Graham and Chris came across a case which...

0:24:380:24:42

well, beggars belief.

0:24:420:24:43

This is an alleyway at the back of some houses,

0:24:450:24:47

in a road in the Croham area of Croydon.

0:24:470:24:51

And this has been used on a number of occasions

0:24:510:24:54

to commit serious fly-tips.

0:24:540:24:56

These types of area are good because people don't want to be

0:24:560:25:00

overlooked when they're committing those offences,

0:25:000:25:02

they want to find somewhere quiet, discreet, out of the way.

0:25:020:25:05

And there was one fly-tipping felon who thought he'd found

0:25:060:25:10

the perfect spot to do his illegal dumping.

0:25:100:25:13

This, to all intents and purposes, was exactly what he was looking for.

0:25:130:25:17

There were three fly-tips that happened here, at this location,

0:25:170:25:20

quick succession, in the space of three months.

0:25:200:25:23

Unbelievable.

0:25:230:25:25

The race was now on to track the fly-tipper down and stop him

0:25:250:25:29

before he caused any more damage.

0:25:290:25:31

But as luck would have it, the lane wasn't quite as secluded

0:25:310:25:34

as he had hoped.

0:25:340:25:36

The fly-tips that occurred in this alleyway were,

0:25:360:25:40

fortunately for us, seen by a member of the public's CCTV.

0:25:400:25:44

Not so clever after all, then.

0:25:440:25:46

And when they saw the footage, the investigators were shocked.

0:25:470:25:51

Up this alleyway,

0:25:520:25:54

when he got to round about here, he would stop,

0:25:540:25:57

release the back of the tipper truck.

0:25:570:25:59

He would get back in the cab and then drive on down the alleyway,

0:26:010:26:04

leaving all of the contents of the tipper behind him.

0:26:040:26:07

And sometimes, well, he wouldn't even bother stopping.

0:26:080:26:12

The vehicle drives past with the tipper up, the tailgate dropped,

0:26:120:26:16

and about two tonnes of building waste,

0:26:160:26:20

plasterboard and dust is dumped

0:26:200:26:23

immediately in front of the camera.

0:26:230:26:25

It's quite a dreadful piece of footage.

0:26:250:26:28

You're telling me!

0:26:280:26:29

Not to mention the danger it could pose to the families

0:26:290:26:32

and children using this alleyway.

0:26:320:26:34

What a doughnut!

0:26:340:26:35

But guess what.

0:26:350:26:37

That CCTV footage was pretty clear.

0:26:370:26:40

Don't you just love technology?

0:26:400:26:42

On each of those occasions, a resident's CCTV picture

0:26:420:26:45

captured the registration of the vehicle involved.

0:26:450:26:48

We then obviously made enquiries into the keeper

0:26:490:26:53

of the vehicle.

0:26:530:26:54

The vehicle was registered to a guy called George Smith.

0:26:540:26:57

He'd been doing cash-in-hand house clearances and pocketing the money,

0:26:570:27:02

instead of paying to dispose of it.

0:27:020:27:04

But even having his truck seized wasn't going to stop him.

0:27:040:27:07

That same weekend, a couple of days later,

0:27:070:27:11

another vehicle was purchased by the same person,

0:27:110:27:15

who then came back to the same place

0:27:150:27:17

and committed another offence.

0:27:170:27:19

This numpty really doesn't learn,

0:27:190:27:21

and this time his new, almost identical truck was caught

0:27:210:27:25

on another resident's CCTV.

0:27:250:27:27

George Smith drove down in his new vehicle,

0:27:270:27:31

got to this point, couldn't drive down the alleyway

0:27:310:27:34

because of his own fly-tip, and had to do a three-point turn,

0:27:340:27:37

directly underneath the camera.

0:27:370:27:39

That was condemning evidence.

0:27:390:27:41

Gordon Bennett! You couldn't write this stuff.

0:27:420:27:45

So, with this new evidence,

0:27:450:27:47

Graham and Chris went to seize Smith's new truck.

0:27:470:27:49

Whilst I was seizing that in the street, a couple of days later,

0:27:510:27:55

George Smith approached us

0:27:550:27:58

and acknowledged that he was the owner of the second vehicle.

0:27:580:28:02

And it all then started to connect together.

0:28:020:28:03

The council took this serial offender straight

0:28:050:28:08

to the Magistrates' Court.

0:28:080:28:10

Unbelievably, he pleaded not guilty.

0:28:100:28:12

His defence, such as it was,

0:28:140:28:16

was that someone else must have seen his vehicles and copied them,

0:28:160:28:20

from numberplates to logos, to everything about the vehicle.

0:28:200:28:25

That's what he said had occurred.

0:28:250:28:27

Seriously?! That wouldn't wash with me.

0:28:270:28:29

But what about the judge?

0:28:290:28:30

That answer wasn't believed by the judge who heard the trial,

0:28:310:28:35

and he was found guilty.

0:28:350:28:37

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment as a total.

0:28:370:28:40

I should think so, too.

0:28:410:28:42

It meant a decent spell behind bars for Mr Smith,

0:28:420:28:46

just because he didn't want to fork out £200

0:28:460:28:49

for disposing of waste properly.

0:28:490:28:51

There's a lot of hard work, a lot of time and effort went into it,

0:28:510:28:54

a lot of cost in investigating the actual offences as well.

0:28:540:28:57

So when we got the final result, it was very satisfying.

0:28:570:29:01

The members of the public are the real heroes in this.

0:29:010:29:04

On top of that...I think it does send out a good message to people,

0:29:050:29:08

that people, you know, if you commit that sort of serious offending,

0:29:080:29:12

-you may well end up in prison.

-Well, hopefully,

0:29:120:29:15

the phantom dumper will think twice about doing this again,

0:29:150:29:18

after a year at Her Majesty's pleasure.

0:29:180:29:21

Illegal truck-tippers and dodgy van drivers beware,

0:29:240:29:28

because today, in Cardiff, the police, HMRC, the Driver and Vehicle

0:29:280:29:33

Standards Agency and the council have come together to carry out

0:29:330:29:37

roadside checks.

0:29:370:29:39

PC Ian Thomas is part of the police team looking for

0:29:400:29:43

dodgy drivers and dangerous vehicles.

0:29:430:29:45

While Dan Allen works for Cardiff's waste enforcement team.

0:29:470:29:51

-Have you got a waste carry as well, sir?

-Yes.

0:29:510:29:53

Lovely. These are the ones I like, all the easy ones.

0:29:530:29:56

It's his job to check that van drivers have legit paperwork

0:29:570:30:00

to carry commercial waste.

0:30:000:30:02

If they haven't, he could issue them a £300 fine.

0:30:020:30:05

This isn't just bureaucracy gone mad.

0:30:050:30:08

If you haven't paid for the correct licence,

0:30:080:30:10

then you won't be able to dump the waste at a legit site.

0:30:100:30:13

Which means, yep, it gets fly-tipped.

0:30:130:30:17

No worries. Anyway, thanks for that.

0:30:170:30:19

-OK?

-Yeah, no worries. Thanks a lot.

0:30:190:30:20

Dan has spotted a van that he wants to check over.

0:30:210:30:25

This van's been pulled in here now. It's got a lot of scrap on it.

0:30:250:30:28

He states that he has a full waste carrier licence,

0:30:280:30:31

but the licence is spelt wrong.

0:30:310:30:33

Well, he can't spell licence, but let's hope he's actually got one.

0:30:330:30:36

You think you've got a waste carrier's licence?

0:30:360:30:39

-I've got a waste carrying licence.

-For ALL waste?

-Yeah.

0:30:390:30:41

That's what I need you to provide to me, and I also need you to

0:30:410:30:43

provide your waste transfer notes, for when you've ticked that off.

0:30:430:30:46

-Going to just give me a fine now, but, or what?

-They don't often ask for a fine!

0:30:460:30:49

But he might be about to get one anyway.

0:30:490:30:52

He hasn't produced a licence or a transfer note for the waste

0:30:520:30:56

he's carrying. So what's it to be?

0:30:560:30:58

A warning or a fine?

0:30:580:31:00

You've got seven days to provide us with those two documents

0:31:000:31:03

-to Cardiff Council.

-I just send them to you on e-mail or something?

0:31:030:31:06

He'll need more than an e-mail to get out of this one.

0:31:060:31:09

If you fail to do it, though, it's £300 fixed penalty for each one.

0:31:090:31:12

And then, obviously, if you don't pay that fine, you'll be prosecuted for the offences.

0:31:120:31:16

-Yeah, yeah.

-All right?

0:31:160:31:17

He's been given a week to find the right paperwork. If not,

0:31:170:31:20

he'll be getting two £300 fines for each missing document.

0:31:200:31:23

Wow! That's £600 in total.

0:31:240:31:28

He says he does have a waste carrier's licence for all vehicle...all waste.

0:31:280:31:32

So I've asked him to provide us with them things, but he said,

0:31:320:31:35

"No, just prosecute me, take me to court, or just fine me."

0:31:350:31:38

So I've given him the details,

0:31:380:31:39

he probably won't get back in contact with us now.

0:31:390:31:42

If he does, then lovely, we know that he's legit.

0:31:420:31:44

If he doesn't, then it'll be £600 fixed penalties

0:31:440:31:47

and then we'll prosecute him if he fails to pay.

0:31:470:31:50

One-two, one-two. We're not allowed.

0:31:500:31:53

No, you're not allowed without a permit, and it turns out

0:31:530:31:57

it's not just scrap he's carrying.

0:31:570:31:59

He's got his girlfriend with him as a passenger.

0:31:590:32:01

You have got a misspelling on your van.

0:32:010:32:03

They've missed out a C in Recycling.

0:32:030:32:05

-The C's gone missing.

-She's not wrong, you know.

0:32:050:32:09

But this is a multi-agency operation,

0:32:090:32:12

and now SHE'S come to the attention of HMRC.

0:32:120:32:15

That's the taxman to you and me.

0:32:150:32:17

We're not working, though. She said I'll get in trouble

0:32:170:32:21

-with benefits because you're giving me a lift...

-Get in here!

0:32:210:32:24

You're not taking her name, no. You can arrest me, do what you want.

0:32:240:32:28

You're not having my missus's name. Now go away!

0:32:280:32:30

No! I'm telling you now, eh?

0:32:330:32:35

Walk off. You're not getting... You haven't done nothing wrong.

0:32:350:32:38

I'm not saying she's done anything wrong.

0:32:380:32:41

No, you're not taking nothing. We're not even working, like.

0:32:410:32:44

-We're not giving you names.

-It's not about you working.

0:32:440:32:46

You're mad, you're mad!

0:32:460:32:48

Turns out she was just getting a lift.

0:32:480:32:50

But it's not been a great afternoon for the van driver either way.

0:32:500:32:54

We're hard-working people, like, you know what I mean?

0:32:540:32:57

I want to go back doing scrap, and I can't go out and collect scrap

0:32:570:32:59

until I have my licence sorted. I thought I'd go to the council today,

0:32:590:33:02

and once I'd paid and done that with them, I can go scrapping and finish off my load today.

0:33:020:33:07

It's been on there for, like, a month.

0:33:070:33:08

-What's that?

-Steak bake.

-So why are you saying it like that for?

0:33:100:33:13

Two.

0:33:130:33:15

Well, you've got to keep your strength up.

0:33:150:33:17

But while Dan and the waste enforcement officers have their break...

0:33:170:33:20

-Keys in there.

-..a van has just come in that's caught the eye

0:33:200:33:24

of PC Ian Thomas and the Vehicle Standards Agency.

0:33:240:33:27

This vehicle, it does look slightly overweight.

0:33:270:33:30

It's just currently being checked on the mobile weighing scales,

0:33:300:33:33

and we're just currently checking the weight on the vehicle,

0:33:330:33:35

with the driver and passenger in it as well,

0:33:350:33:37

to get a true reflection of the weight.

0:33:370:33:39

I hope you didn't have a big breakfast, lads!

0:33:390:33:42

It all adds up!

0:33:420:33:43

It's a tense wait, but are they overweight?

0:33:470:33:51

On this occasion, the actual vehicle looked overweight,

0:33:510:33:54

but on weighing the vehicle,

0:33:540:33:55

the vehicle is within 200kg within weight.

0:33:550:33:59

So he's good today.

0:33:590:34:01

So, they passed the weight test,

0:34:010:34:03

but there might be another problem.

0:34:030:34:05

Subsequently, all the checks that we've completed, the driver

0:34:050:34:08

doesn't appear to have the correct documentation for the vehicle.

0:34:080:34:12

The police are running checks to see if the driver is insured.

0:34:130:34:17

If it turns out he's not,

0:34:170:34:18

he could be looking at a £300 fine

0:34:180:34:21

and the van could even be seized.

0:34:210:34:23

He'd better have his fingers crossed.

0:34:260:34:28

I wouldn't want to have to explain that one to my boss.

0:34:280:34:31

So, the vehicle ultimately will be seized.

0:34:310:34:33

He's going to be reported for driving offences.

0:34:330:34:36

It's a £300 on-the-spot fine,

0:34:360:34:38

and the van has been confiscated.

0:34:380:34:41

They're going to have a long walk back from where they've come from,

0:34:410:34:45

Pontypridd. It's a fair distance.

0:34:450:34:47

So I think they've got some grovelling to do to their boss

0:34:470:34:50

as well, for losing their vehicle today.

0:34:500:34:52

Oh, dear. I hope it's not a long walk home, boys.

0:34:520:34:55

And their van is given a lift to the local pound.

0:34:570:35:00

There will be fines or fees incurred

0:35:000:35:03

for the release of the vehicle as well, and the storage of it.

0:35:030:35:06

If it's not collected, eventually it will be crushed.

0:35:060:35:09

It just shows - unlicensed fly-tippers and uninsured truckers,

0:35:090:35:14

road tax dodgers and MOT avoiders -

0:35:140:35:16

you get all sorts at a multi-agency vehicle check.

0:35:160:35:19

Have you ever not paid your fare and got away with a train ride?

0:35:250:35:29

Erm...

0:35:290:35:31

I know it's shameful to admit, but I did actually, a long time ago.

0:35:310:35:35

I don't like fare evaders,

0:35:350:35:37

because they're causing the price of the tickets

0:35:370:35:40

to go up for other people.

0:35:400:35:42

We all have to pay our way, we all go to work,

0:35:420:35:44

we should all pay the fare.

0:35:440:35:46

I'm with the guys from London Midland today - these are the fare checkers.

0:35:480:35:51

They're going to go up and down the train and find out if everybody's bought their tickets,

0:35:510:35:55

as they should've done. Now, there's one, two, three...four officers going to do it.

0:35:550:35:58

And they seem to think it's a very regular thing and they're going to catch people.

0:35:580:36:02

So, let's see what happens.

0:36:020:36:03

The London Midland rail franchise operates 1,300 services a day.

0:36:060:36:11

But they lose around £8 million a year to fare dodgers.

0:36:110:36:14

So it's definitely a big problem.

0:36:140:36:16

Train's approaching.

0:36:180:36:20

Today, it's the job of Mike and Jelle to catch passengers

0:36:210:36:24

who are travelling light.

0:36:240:36:25

-I'm sticking with you, Mike.

-OK.

0:36:270:36:30

Tickets and passes, please.

0:36:340:36:35

That's great, thank you very much.

0:36:350:36:37

Today, Mike is in charge.

0:36:370:36:39

He's armed, and he's not afraid to use it.

0:36:390:36:42

You can put your pen away for now, can't you?

0:36:420:36:44

All primed, ready to go. Pen in hand. LAUGHTER

0:36:440:36:47

But it's not long before that pen is needed, though.

0:36:480:36:51

You don't have a ticket?

0:36:510:36:53

Where are you travelling to?

0:36:570:36:59

To here, OK.

0:36:590:37:00

Looks like this passenger is trying to hitch a ride for free.

0:37:000:37:04

Not happy. She's now decided to get off the train, she's saying,

0:37:040:37:07

"This is making my day terrible. I ran for the train..."

0:37:070:37:10

Funny thing is, she's not out of breath.

0:37:100:37:12

So they obviously realise that's not quite the case,

0:37:120:37:14

and she's about to receive a penalty.

0:37:140:37:16

We treat everyone the same when we catch them on the train without a ticket.

0:37:200:37:24

We issue a penalty fare.

0:37:240:37:26

As a result of the guys starting to question about the ticket,

0:37:260:37:29

she said, "I'm going to get off here." This was literally one stop.

0:37:290:37:31

She stepped off. What I don't think people realise, I certainly didn't,

0:37:310:37:35

is, if you get off, they will get off with you.

0:37:350:37:37

So she's going to be issued with a penalty notice now.

0:37:370:37:40

And then, obviously, they'll get on the next train that arrives

0:37:400:37:43

and continue their journey.

0:37:430:37:45

I'm expecting her...she'll probably do the same thing.

0:37:450:37:47

I don't think this is actually her stop. I think she just wanted to

0:37:470:37:50

get away from the embarrassment of being caught without a ticket.

0:37:500:37:53

So, she's not able to evade the inspectors

0:37:530:37:55

and fixed penalty this time.

0:37:550:37:57

Now, though, we have to wait for the next train.

0:37:580:38:01

Is it quite a common thing for people to think,

0:38:020:38:04

by jumping off the train, that you guys are going to back off?

0:38:040:38:07

Absolutely, yeah. I mean, we get a lot of people saying,

0:38:070:38:10

"Oh, it's only one stop. Why should I get a fine? I've gone one stop?"

0:38:100:38:14

I'll tell you what, there's no escaping these guys.

0:38:140:38:17

-You're like the A-Team, aren't you?

-A little bit.

-You track them down, you hunt them down.

0:38:170:38:21

-I guess so, yeah.

-You're like Liam Neeson, you know.

0:38:210:38:24

-"We will find you, we will get you..."

-Pretty much, yeah.

0:38:240:38:26

-"..and we will give you a penalty." Yeah?

-Yeah.

0:38:260:38:28

-There might be a role for you in the movies.

-Who knows?

-What do you reckon?

0:38:280:38:33

I didn't think that was a half-bad impression.

0:38:330:38:35

But it's onto the next train, and I tell you what,

0:38:350:38:38

there's certainly no dust on that fine book.

0:38:380:38:40

Tickets and passes, please.

0:38:400:38:41

Why didn't you buy your ticket at Aston?

0:38:430:38:45

OK, unfortunately, Aston is a penalty fare station,

0:38:450:38:47

and you're on a penalty fare train at the moment.

0:38:470:38:49

Oh, dear. I bet she'll be getting off at the next stop, too.

0:38:490:38:53

We'll be stepping out at Sutton Coldfield with you.

0:38:530:38:55

Really annoying, because everybody who seems to get caught for not having a ticket

0:38:580:39:02

immediately gets off, which means you have to get off as well,

0:39:020:39:05

while the ticket's issued,

0:39:050:39:07

wait ten minutes, 15, whatever it is,

0:39:070:39:08

for the next train, and then get back on.

0:39:080:39:11

We've probably left Birmingham New Street about an hour ago,

0:39:110:39:14

we've probably only gone about two stops.

0:39:140:39:16

-It's like Groundhog Day, this, isn't it?

-It is, isn't it? Constant.

0:39:190:39:23

On, off, on, off.

0:39:230:39:25

I don't know whether I'm coming or going.

0:39:250:39:28

As soon as he realised she didn't have a ticket,

0:39:280:39:30

her immediate response was, "I'm just about to get off."

0:39:300:39:33

I get the impression a lot of people think, by doing that, the guard's going to say,

0:39:330:39:36

"Oh, OK, don't worry, then." But obviously it's not the case.

0:39:360:39:39

Not this time, and things are going from bad to worse

0:39:390:39:42

for this fare-dodger, as, on checking her details,

0:39:420:39:45

it seems she's had a brush with the inspectors before.

0:39:450:39:48

You have had two penalty fares.

0:39:480:39:50

I'm afraid the news doesn't get any better after that.

0:39:500:39:53

Because the one penalty fare you gave incorrect details,

0:39:530:39:56

and it came back as a false case and it's still open.

0:39:560:39:58

You gave the wrong address.

0:39:580:40:00

Naughty, naughty!

0:40:010:40:03

If you get caught giving false information to these guys,

0:40:030:40:06

it can go from being a simple fixed penalty

0:40:060:40:09

to potentially being prosecuted.

0:40:090:40:11

But will Mike go easy on this young lady?

0:40:110:40:14

I'm afraid what we have to do now is we're going to have to

0:40:140:40:16

conduct an interview under caution. So listen carefully, you're not under arrest.

0:40:160:40:20

You don't have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do

0:40:200:40:23

not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court.

0:40:230:40:26

-Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?

-Yes.

0:40:260:40:30

At least the sunshine's come out.

0:40:310:40:34

Well, not for her, it hasn't.

0:40:340:40:36

Our prosecutions team will contact you to discuss how it goes.

0:40:360:40:39

OK, that's it. You're free to go.

0:40:390:40:41

So now she's facing prosecution,

0:40:410:40:44

but this will hopefully be the last time she tries that trick.

0:40:440:40:48

She's only about 18 or 19, isn't she?

0:40:480:40:50

-18.

-18, and this is her third offence for no ticket?

0:40:500:40:52

-Yes.

-So there's a very strong chance, really...

0:40:520:40:55

It is quite strong if it's her third offence, that, at 18 years old,

0:40:550:40:58

-she could end up with a criminal record.

-It is a possibility, yeah.

0:40:580:41:00

Cor, what a waste!

0:41:000:41:02

Whilst we're here, it would be rude not to check everyone's tickets

0:41:020:41:05

at the station. And these guys are on fire.

0:41:050:41:08

So, date and time, Sutton Coldfield, you've been found at the station without a ticket today.

0:41:080:41:12

-Yeah.

-There's £20 now outstanding. Would you like to pay that today or within 21 days?

0:41:120:41:16

-21 days.

-Cool. Just make sure you get a ticket before you get on the train in future.

0:41:160:41:19

Or keep it on you until you've left the station.

0:41:190:41:22

-No problem, darling.

-Thank you very much. Thank you.

0:41:220:41:24

And this guy's partner has been caught short as well.

0:41:240:41:27

That's a double whammy. 40 quid!

0:41:270:41:30

Tell me the honest truth, don't you interrupt me...

0:41:310:41:33

-I won't.

-Why haven't you got a ticket?

0:41:330:41:35

-I left it on the train.

-Did you seriously? That's what he said.

0:41:350:41:38

Yeah, I seriously left it on the train. I've even got the change. Hang on.

0:41:380:41:42

The right change for the ticket. I thought you said YOU bought the ticket!

0:41:420:41:45

-Well, we both...

-Out of my money.

0:41:450:41:47

Hang on a second. Hang on a second. Back there he said, "I bought the ticket."

0:41:470:41:51

This fella's a chum, you know. He is...

0:41:510:41:54

Ugh, no, don't kiss me!

0:41:540:41:56

I'm going to let you go. Cheers.

0:41:560:41:59

Did they buy a ticket? Yes, Dom. Whoa!

0:41:590:42:02

Yeah, hang on a second.

0:42:040:42:06

He kissed me head!

0:42:080:42:10

CHUCKLING

0:42:110:42:13

Time to head back to Birmingham, I think.

0:42:130:42:16

And at least someone on this journey is being a good boy.

0:42:160:42:19

Give me a paw, give me a paw.

0:42:190:42:21

Show me your ticket. OK, you've got a ticket, there you go.

0:42:210:42:24

Well-behaved, eh? Well-behaved.

0:42:240:42:26

I tell you what, we've just come from... Well, we didn't even get as far as Lichfield,

0:42:300:42:33

because we went in one direction and there was so many people avoiding the tickets,

0:42:330:42:37

we had to keep getting off the train, so we actually got as far as

0:42:370:42:40

Sutton Coldfield, crossed over the platform, came back again,

0:42:400:42:42

and there were people who were even on that platform with us,

0:42:420:42:45

surrounded by ticket inspectors, who still got on the train

0:42:450:42:48

without a ticket and thought it was all right.

0:42:480:42:50

It shocked me just how many people will take it for granted,

0:42:500:42:55

"I'm not going to buy a ticket and I'll get away with it,

0:42:550:42:58

"and if I don't, I'm going to argue it tooth and nail."

0:42:580:43:00

It's jaw-dropping.

0:43:000:43:02

I tell you what, being out with

0:43:030:43:05

Britain's enforcement officers is a real eye-opener.

0:43:050:43:08

Join us next time for more Dom On The Spot.

0:43:080:43:11

Dom is in Manchester with busy traffic cop Matt Picton, who pulls over a suspected litterer only to find he is a wanted man. The programme also hears about one of Croydon's most notorious fly-tippers, whose methods have to be seen to be believed.