Episode 4 Dom on the Spot


Episode 4

Dom Littlewood presents a programme following people whose job it is to hand out fines. In Sidmouth in Devon, the council is clamping down on visitors feeding gulls.


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

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Come here.

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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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That gets my goat.

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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?

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..or just, well, plain silly.

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Get off your phone!

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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. It's expensive. I know, yeah.

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..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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Open...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. There's no point arguing the point.

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..and I'm on it...

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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, in Cardiff, it's a fag butt bonanza.

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And people do it blatantly, right in front of you...

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I've got one. Like somebody obviously just has.

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Someone's in trouble.

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Belt up or pay up.

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Yep, that's the message from the traffic police.

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Your internal organs will carry on going...

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Yeah. So, if you're bouncing backwards and forwards

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because you've not got a seat belt on,

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you're going to bleed to death.

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And it's a case of, "Wild? They're absolutely furious!" down in Devon.

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You can't shoot them, you can't hang them, you can't do anything about it, can you?

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You know, human rights and all that jazz.

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The number of smokers in the UK is falling,

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but over 1,200 tonnes of cigarette butts

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are still ending up on our streets every single year.

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25% of smokers don't even think it's classed as littering

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to flick your fag butt on the ground.

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But perhaps an ?80 fine might make them think differently.

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What do you think of folk who throw fag butts in public places?

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Disgusting. Oh. How much should they be fined?

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?90,000. No, in reality, ?500.

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What, for dropping a cigarette butt? Yeah.

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People just dump stuff on the street

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and expect the council to take it away,

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which, of course, affects our council tax,

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because somebody's got to pay for it.

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Just looking around wherever you are, wherever you are in the world,

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there's always cigarette ends on the floor.

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So, if people were fined for doing it, then, yeah, I think it would be a good thing.

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Well, being a smoker, unfortunately,

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I'm one of them people that, when I have a cigarette, I throw the butt,

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but I always throw the butt in the roadway

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because that keeps the bloke employed

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who comes and sweeps the roads, obviously.

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Well, the fact is, mate, fag butts are litter.

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Councils all over the UK are fighting the scourge of cigarette butts.

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The capital of Wales is no different,

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and it's an expensive battle.

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Cardiff Council spend over ?5 million a year

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clearing up litter from their streets.

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And today I'm working with

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waste enforcement officers Steph and Lauren,

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who are going to try and help put a stop to that.

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This pair can sniff out a discarded dog end from 1,000 paces,

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and can dish out ?80 fines to anyone they catch in the act.

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You dropped your gloves.

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Oh. Cheers. Thanks.

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Hang on - fixed penalty.

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Right, fixed penalty, come on!

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But forget the odd dropped glove,

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these ladies are really on the lookout for butts.

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Fag butts, obviously.

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There's a guy down here smoking, in the black.

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Fag ends account for pretty much half of street litter,

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with around 200 million chucked away each day.

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Crikey, that's a lot of butts!

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Fag butt alert! And they've only been on patrol for five minutes.

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It's on the floor.

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Let's see what this guy has to say for himself.

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Was just crossing the road with the girls, we turned round,

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and, lo and behold, there was a guy standing there,

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watching us all across the road. Bang! Cigarette on the floor.

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So, they've now gone into the shop to try and get him out

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to have a chat with him.

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So, what was odd about it was, it was right in front of them.

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They've got "Waste Enforcement Officers" all over their jackets,

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so, no excuse, bang to rights.

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Hiya. All right?

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It's just about the cigarette that you dropped. OK.

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Yeah, obviously, that's an offence of littering. Right. OK?

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As you can see, the litter bin has got ashtrays on the top. OK.

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So, if you could use them in the future.

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So, let's review the evidence.

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Man smoking. Man throws fag end on the floor.

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It's an ?80 fixed penalty, discharges your liability.

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You don't have to pay it.

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If you don't pay it, it does go to court.

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If you pay it, it doesn't go to court. All right?

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It's a bit like a speeding fine. All right.

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So, first fine of the day,

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and they've only been here five minutes.

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Right. You realise now you've been fined 80 quid for that?

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Yeah, but that's ridiculous.

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I don't know. It's a lot of money, isn't it? It is. So, in future,

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is it going to stop you throwing your cigarettes on the floor?

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It is. OK.

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I suppose, in some ways, it's a painful lesson.

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Exactly. Spread the message out there, tell people,

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don't throw your fag butts down because there's a couple of ladies

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out here who are going to jump on you when it happens, you know? I know.

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Or give up smoking. Cheaper altogether! Ha-ha!

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Well, fair play to him. He took it on the chin

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and I reckon he's learned his lesson.

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Someone like him would probably throw litter in the bin...

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Yeah. But cigarette butts, he thinks it's all right.

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Most people will throw litter in the bin.

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It's frowned upon, but everyone throws cigarette on the floor,

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and that's why people think it's normal.

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It's changing their behaviours.

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It's getting the message out there. Yeah.

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And if anyone can get the message out there,

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it's litter detectives extraordinaire, Steph and Lauren.

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Your job - are you quite passionate about it, or is it just a job?

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I'm... I don't like littering.

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Never have, even when I was younger.

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Don't like it at all.

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I don't like to see dirty places.

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So, yeah, I think I am quite passionate about it.

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Where's she gone?

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Lauren's just spotted this guy dropping his fag butt

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on the floor right behind us.

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Has she got eyes on the back of her head?

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I tell you what, she misses nothing. She is...

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Oh! Out comes the fine pad.

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..if you don't mention, when questioned,

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something that you later rely on in court.

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Anything you do say will be given in evidence.

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Do you understand? Yes.

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All of a sudden, Lauren there was gone like a ferret.

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She spotted this guy, who literally walked past.

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He's gone - pff! - with his cigarette butt.

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She doesn't miss a trick and, lo and behold, he is getting an ?80 fine,

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by the looks of it. And I think he was on his way into church.

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The confession box, I hope.

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Well, praying won't do much good,

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because this guy just might be on the receiving end of the second fine

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these ladies have dished out in 15 minutes.

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You've done it right in front of them,

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which is, when you think about it, bad,

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but then you were saying you didn't even realise it was an offence.

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No. So, what do you think would be fair?

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Maybe a warning for the first occasion, and that. OK.

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You know what I mean? Just the scare of the ?80 penalty would be enough, I think. Yeah.

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It is going to change your attitude to...?

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Yeah. Thanks for talking to us.

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Appreciate it. I'm sorry about the money.

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It's bonkers how many people don't see cigarette butts as littering,

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but your nicotine-filled fag end takes up to 12 years to degrade.

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Yuck. It's obvious, but for some reason,

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people just tend to be that little bit ignorant about it, don't they?

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Yeah. Which is a bit of a sad thing, isn't it? You know? Oh, well.

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Onwards and upwards.

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Cor, it's a lot warmer this side, isn't it?

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But there's no rest for the wicked.

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Especially not these two.

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Sometimes you can literally just stand here, watch the high street,

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and people do it blatantly, right in front of you... I've got one.

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Like somebody obviously just has.

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OK. Someone's in trouble.

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I can't believe it. Not another one!

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That cigarette that you threw on the floor.

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Just need to speak to you about this.

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Obviously, it's an offence of littering. Are you aware of that?

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No. I didn't know that. No? Are you going to give me a fine?

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It's going to be an ?80 fixed penalty notice.

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Yeah. So, do you know that is littering, the cigarettes, no?

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No, I didn't. There's nowhere else to put them, is there?

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Nowhere to put it? There's a bin over there.

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I ain't going to stay here. You're writing it down. Just give me a ticket.

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Just try and use a bin next time,

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because it costs a lot of money to pick it up, all right?

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Yeah. All right, sorry about that. Have a nice day.

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That's three lots of ?80 up in smoke

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and we've only been here 45 minutes.

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How do you feel? Like, I would have picked it up on the floor,

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just then, and put it in the bin if the woman asked me.

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I didn't know. I didn't think of it. I wouldn't think of it like that.

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Now, I would put it in the bin.

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If you had other rubbish, say like that bottle of drink there...

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I'd put it in the bin, yeah. I would.

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So, that's really annoyed you.

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Will it stop you doing it again, though, in the future? Yeah, of course.

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I do feel sorry for you.

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Obviously, no-one wants to see anyone getting a fine.

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It's 80 quid, isn't it? But for the sake of a fag...

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It was an expensive fag, wasn't it?

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It was.

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This bunch seem to have learned their lesson.

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So, hopefully, a small dent in the 120 tonnes of fag ends

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that get chucked every day.

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Stop it, people, or this pair will be after you.

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The girls' shift is over. They've finished for the day.

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They've given out quite a few tickets today.

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Sadly all for the same thing.

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People throwing cigarette butts on the floor.

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It's an ?80 fine.

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The message is getting through, but it's a painful one.

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In the seaside town of Sidmouth in Devon,

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there's been a wave of anti-social behaviour.

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Theft, harassment, and grievous bodily harm.

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Criminals hanging around in gangs, waiting to strike.

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Seagulls have become a menace in our towns and cities

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as they patrol the skies looking for food.

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And, occasionally, local people have been caught in the crossfire.

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But feed the gulls here,

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and you could be in for a hefty fine.

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Former Exmouth town councillor Ian Stewart

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was visiting Sidmouth with his wife and two grandsons

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when they decided to stop and grab a sandwich.

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My grandson and I were sitting there, and I got the crab sandwich,

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and was just about to take a bite out of it,

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and I remember feeling and hearing a thud.

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And then this flash of white.

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And Henry looked and said, "Why have you got blood on your arm, Papa?"

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It was warm, I'd got a T-shirt on,

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and I looked down, sure enough, there was the blood.

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Suddenly, it all clicked into place,

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that I'd been attacked.

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I'd been attacked by a gull.

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It looked a lot worse than it was, but, given where it was, you know,

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you eat through there...

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Thank God it was me and not Henry.

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The mugging from above left Ian dazed and confused,

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but he was lucky to get away relatively unscathed.

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And Sidmouth's local businesses are also suffering

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the wrath of these flying foragers.

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Seagulls are being a complete pain, to be honest.

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What I call rats in the sky.

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Such a nuisance, they are taking food off the customers, off the plates.

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They are also coming around eating the ice creams.

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They have got this certain kind of technique,

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how they can fly behind customers,

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and they sort of swoop in one, kind of, motion,

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take the food and fly away at the same time.

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But local town councillor Simon Pollentine

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thinks the gulls are victims of bad press.

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It's become higher profile.

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There's been incidences of David Cameron

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having his chips nicked in Cornwall, somewhere.

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And it's not just chips.

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This cheeky chappie was seen at a bakery near Newcastle

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helping himself to a packet of crisps.

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Hang on, he hasn't paid for those!

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I don't think seagulls attack people.

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I think what we have here is...

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..a situation where the gulls are in the wrong place.

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They should be out on the cliffs, nesting

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and there is a very ready source of food for them here.

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I think this is purely food driven.

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So, perhaps is not the birds' fault.

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After all, they need to eat, too.

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And some people have even encouraged the birds by feeding them.

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We have told some people.

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We have actually gone and told them explaining to them

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that there is a problem, please don't feed them.

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Most of them laugh it away, or say,

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"Look, we're here on holiday, we like to feed the seagulls."

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I don't think people really understand

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what they are doing, the damage they are doing in the seafronts.

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It's led the council to introduce new rules.

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Those caught feeding a seagull here

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could be hit with an ?80 on the spot fine.

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And the new penalties seem to be welcomed by the locals.

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I have personal experience.

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My grandson came to visit me and burst into tears

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when a seagull swooped down and ate his ice cream.

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You can't shoot them, you can't hang them,

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you can't do anything about it, can you?

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You know, human rights and all that jazz.

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Er, I don't think we need to go that far.

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But what about the fine?

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Is ?80 enough to stop people feeding them?

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Well, why don't you make it a round hundred, for goodness' sake?

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You know, ?80.

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You know? ?100 at least.

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Possibly ?200.

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?200?!

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Gordon Bennett! You wouldn't have any money left for an ice cream.

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My view is that, now they have got the signs up,

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and the bylaw is in place, if they had a season's blitz on it,

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that would send a very good message that we've introduced this,

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and we're actually going to follow it up, and we will fine you.

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But the locals here want to call a truce.

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They're hoping to find a way to live alongside their feathered friends.

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I think seagulls, gulls generally, are amazing.

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They are all here on the shoreline, flying up and dropping mussels,

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and I say, "Great, that's what you should be doing."

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But they don't listen.

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Until the time comes when we can live together in harmony...

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..when you're at the seaside, keep an eye on your lunch,

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or you could be going home hungry.

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Today, I'm on traffic patrol with Greater Manchester Police,

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who are always on the lookout for dangerous drivers.

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But nowadays, if you are caught

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using your mobile phone when driving,

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or speeding, some bigger than ever fines might be heading your way.

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I always enjoy my trips up north,

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and especially when I get the chance to drop into Manchester,

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home to two fantastic football teams.

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Well, three if you count Man City.

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I'm here on patrol with PC Matt Picton

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and though the city is set to be the fastest-growing in the north,

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it doesn't look like we're in a hurry to go anywhere today.

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What are we doing here, then, Matt?

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OK, it's got to, sort of, half past four,

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so, obviously, the roads are getting busy now,

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so the chances of us getting to places anywhere quickly

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are pretty slim, to be fair.

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So, rather than us sitting in standing traffic...

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..we'll plot up on a major arterial route.

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So, the M6O2 is in that direction...

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Yeah. Manchester United and the city is in that direction.

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And we'll just monitor traffic.

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Coming through, passing by.

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So, the usual - mobile phones, seat belts.

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Seat belts?! Do people still not wear them?

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I can't believe that.

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To promote any good driving...

0:16:040:16:05

And there's a gentleman just gone past with no seat belt on.

0:16:050:16:08

God, you've got eagle eyes.

0:16:080:16:09

I stand very much corrected.

0:16:090:16:11

Although, it doesn't make it any easier to understand.

0:16:110:16:14

The law was brought in in '83.

0:16:140:16:16

34 years ago.

0:16:160:16:18

Why would you not want to wear your seat belt?

0:16:180:16:20

It doesn't really make sense, does it? No. It's madness, to me.

0:16:200:16:23

If you've not got your seat belt on and you are involved in a collision,

0:16:230:16:27

and you travel forwards, your internal organs will carry on going.

0:16:270:16:30

So, if you are bouncing backwards and forwards

0:16:300:16:32

because you've not got a seat belt on,

0:16:320:16:34

you're going to get massive trauma in your internal organs,

0:16:340:16:36

and potentially bleed to death.

0:16:360:16:38

It's not like it interferes with your driving, or anything, these days.

0:16:380:16:42

Surely the car's bleeping at him all the time.

0:16:420:16:45

Sometimes they fasten them behind them,

0:16:450:16:47

but most advanced warning systems in cars,

0:16:470:16:49

they don't bleep for any longer than, sort of, 30 seconds.

0:16:490:16:53

Obviously, he's quickly putting his seat belt on, isn't he?

0:16:560:16:59

He's just put it on now, hasn't he?

0:16:590:17:00

Which is pretty pointless when we've already seen him.

0:17:000:17:03

Matt's right. I'd definitely say that not only has that horse already bolted,

0:17:030:17:07

it's done a few laps of the Grand National, too.

0:17:070:17:10

I'm guessing this driver must have a very good excuse

0:17:100:17:13

why he's refused to belt up.

0:17:130:17:14

Do you know why I've stopped you? No. Not wearing a seat belt?

0:17:140:17:17

Yeah. Why do you not wear your seat belt?

0:17:170:17:19

Come on. Honestly, I don't know.

0:17:190:17:20

It's not like it interferes with your driving or anything, is it?

0:17:200:17:23

Right, OK. Is it your car? Yeah. Is it registered and insured to you?

0:17:230:17:26

Yeah. Right, OK. Do you have your licence or anything with you?

0:17:260:17:30

Good to hear he's instantly admitted he did it.

0:17:300:17:32

Come and take a seat in the car. Yeah. On that side, mate, yeah.

0:17:320:17:35

34 years ago, 1983,

0:17:360:17:39

is when it became an offence not to wear your seat belt

0:17:390:17:42

when driving a car.

0:17:420:17:43

This guy here didn't put it on.

0:17:440:17:47

Now, no doubt, his car was either bleeping constantly,

0:17:470:17:49

telling him to put it on, or he's put it behind him,

0:17:490:17:52

so he's not wearing it.

0:17:520:17:53

Why would you actually not want to wear a seat belt?

0:17:530:17:56

There's not really a justifiable reason.

0:17:560:17:58

I mean, you know, it's for your own safety! It's not uncomfortable.

0:17:580:18:01

I'll see if I can have a chat with him in a minute and find out why,

0:18:010:18:04

because this probably just cost him 100 quid.

0:18:040:18:07

I don't think it's endorsable but, you know,

0:18:070:18:09

I can't work out the logic behind it.

0:18:090:18:11

So, looking at the evidence, this seems pretty clear.

0:18:120:18:15

Not only did eagle-eyed Matt

0:18:150:18:17

see this driver not wearing his seat belt,

0:18:170:18:19

he's gone and admitted it, too.

0:18:190:18:21

So, now he's looking down the barrel of a possible ?100 fine.

0:18:210:18:25

But will the fact he fessed up so quickly work in his favour?

0:18:250:18:29

Will Matt let him off with just a warning?

0:18:290:18:32

The offence for which you have been stopped and going to be reported for

0:18:320:18:35

today, is failing to wear a seat belt. We know that, it's OK.

0:18:350:18:38

You do not have to say anything.

0:18:380:18:39

It may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned

0:18:390:18:41

something which you later rely on in court.

0:18:410:18:43

Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

0:18:430:18:44

We've cautioned you, but we can deal with it by means of a fixed penalty.

0:18:440:18:47

Nope. He's hitting him hard where it hurts - in the wallet. ?100. Ouch!

0:18:470:18:51

OK, my friend. Right, traffic offence report.

0:18:510:18:54

It is a straightforward fine.

0:18:540:18:55

There's no points on your driving licence for this offence,

0:18:550:18:58

it's just a straightforward fine.

0:18:580:19:00

You don't pay it now, we send a letter to your home address.

0:19:000:19:03

The fact he's not getting any points on his licence

0:19:030:19:05

is perhaps the only good news for him today.

0:19:050:19:08

Let's see what he's got to say for himself.

0:19:080:19:10

You didn't have your seat belt on, did you? No.

0:19:100:19:12

I've got to be honest, I can't see the logic behind that.

0:19:120:19:14

I don't know. I never really wear it, to be honest.

0:19:140:19:17

You just don't feel comfy when you've got it on.

0:19:170:19:19

That's the best excuse I can give you.

0:19:190:19:21

It ain't a good one, is it? In all fairness, is it?

0:19:210:19:24

I know, yeah. But... I don't know.

0:19:240:19:26

You can probably afford 100 quid, but it ain't nice, is it? No, it's not nice.

0:19:260:19:29

How do you feel about the officer there and what he has just done?

0:19:290:19:32

To be fair, he was the nicest officer I've had pull me,

0:19:320:19:34

you know what I mean? Yeah. Dead polite, no problems. Yeah.

0:19:340:19:37

So long as you state that is legal, he's got no issues, has he?

0:19:370:19:40

Yeah. And the fact that you've received this penalty of 100 quid,

0:19:400:19:42

you've got no chip on your shoulder about it?

0:19:420:19:44

No, nothing. He's caught me, hasn't he? No seat belt.

0:19:440:19:47

He's given me a fine. Simples. Are you going to change your ways?

0:19:470:19:50

I'd like to say, yeah, but probably not.

0:19:500:19:53

That's your beer money for a weekend, isn't it?

0:19:530:19:55

Yeah. You know? You could have taken the missus out for a nice...

0:19:550:19:58

Don't tell her that! Well, she'll be watching this.

0:19:580:20:00

You could have had a nice night out on Seb here,

0:20:000:20:03

but, instead, he spent his money on not wearing seat belts.

0:20:030:20:06

Right, you're going to be in trouble now. Nice talking to you.

0:20:060:20:09

I hope this chap isn't getting too much of an ear-bashing right now

0:20:090:20:12

and it's good he's able to have a laugh about it,

0:20:120:20:15

but there is a very serious reason

0:20:150:20:17

why we should all be clunk-clicking on every single trip.

0:20:170:20:20

Since the scrapping of the paper tax disc,

0:20:220:20:24

car clamping has gone up to over 9,000 vehicles a month,

0:20:240:20:28

about 110,000 a year.

0:20:280:20:30

So unless you want one of these little beauties, tax your car.

0:20:300:20:34

It's not rocket science.

0:20:340:20:36

Citizens have a duty to tax their car, so if you haven't done that,

0:20:360:20:41

you're not really playing the game.

0:20:410:20:43

Anybody who hasn't got their road tax really shouldn't be on the road.

0:20:430:20:47

If they can't afford the road tax, don't go on the road.

0:20:470:20:50

Clamping, if they don't pay, I think that's fair enough.

0:20:500:20:53

You should have a fine for that instead of clamps.

0:20:550:20:58

Clamp is not nice.

0:20:580:21:00

In the two and a half years since they got rid of paper tax discs,

0:21:000:21:04

the amount of cars clamped has almost doubled

0:21:040:21:06

because the simple fact is,

0:21:060:21:08

if you don't tax your car,

0:21:080:21:10

you're either going to get a hefty fine,

0:21:100:21:12

or lose it completely.

0:21:120:21:13

In South Wales,

0:21:140:21:15

it's Andrew Smith's job to ensure that untaxed vehicles are clamped...

0:21:150:21:19

..and the owners fined.

0:21:210:21:23

Normally what will happen is you'll get designated

0:21:290:21:33

a postcode area to be in and you'll travel to that area.

0:21:330:21:38

And, basically, do as much of that area as possible.

0:21:380:21:42

And today, Andrew's roaming the streets of Cardiff using his ANPR,

0:21:420:21:47

or automatic number plate recognition cameras.

0:21:470:21:50

I have four cameras, two on the front, two on the back.

0:21:520:21:54

And basically all it's doing is reading the number plates,

0:21:550:21:58

so, as we're driving by,

0:21:580:22:00

it's scanning each vehicle and each number plate and we have, obviously,

0:22:000:22:03

a computer in the back of the van that holds the database.

0:22:030:22:07

And if your vehicle is one of the half a million without road tax,

0:22:090:22:13

look out!

0:22:130:22:14

COMPUTER: Attention.

0:22:140:22:16

He's only been out for ten minutes.

0:22:160:22:18

Could Andrew have his first clamp of the day?

0:22:180:22:20

A lot of getting in and out.

0:22:200:22:21

This one comes back as being on a Sorn.

0:22:240:22:27

So what a Sorn is is a Statutory Off Road Notice.

0:22:270:22:30

What they're actually telling the DVLA

0:22:300:22:31

is that they're not going to be using the car

0:22:310:22:33

and they're keeping it off the road.

0:22:330:22:36

So, with that, they wouldn't necessarily have to have

0:22:360:22:38

the vehicle taxed,

0:22:380:22:40

but obviously we've come across it and it's on the public highway.

0:22:400:22:44

So the owner of this vehicle claims they don't have to pay car tax

0:22:440:22:48

because the car isn't kept on a public road.

0:22:480:22:51

But you don't need any special technology to see that it most certainly is.

0:22:510:22:56

So, clamp out...

0:22:560:22:57

..assume the position...

0:22:580:23:00

And say hello to a ?100 fine.

0:23:020:23:05

But - hold your horses - it looks like the owner's here.

0:23:090:23:12

Now, don't worry, mate. The car's not going anywhere.

0:23:120:23:15

You did have time to put your trousers on.

0:23:150:23:17

Right, Andrew, time to explain the very complex term "off road."

0:23:170:23:21

A Statutory Off Road Notice is just that.

0:23:210:23:25

It's an off road notice.

0:23:250:23:26

What you doing is you're keeping it on the public highway.

0:23:260:23:29

No, he still doesn't get it.

0:23:290:23:30

What you're doing is you're parking it on the public highway.

0:23:320:23:34

You've told the DVLA that you're keeping it off road, but you're not.

0:23:340:23:37

It's off the road. Yeah, but it's on the public highway.

0:23:370:23:41

OK, try one more time, Andrew.

0:23:410:23:43

To keep a vehicle on the public highway, it has to be taxed,

0:23:430:23:46

so if you tax the vehicle, OK, there would be fines to pay with that.

0:23:460:23:50

Once all of those are paid, the clamp can come off.

0:23:500:23:53

Once the clamp's off, OK, you're then given 24 hours to move the vehicle.

0:23:530:23:57

It turns out it's his girlfriend's car, but whoever it belongs to,

0:23:570:24:01

they're still going to be at least ?100 out of pocket.

0:24:010:24:04

Yeah, he was under the impression that he was doing the right thing

0:24:050:24:09

in having the vehicle on the Sorn.

0:24:090:24:10

Obviously, he's not, because it's on the public highway.

0:24:110:24:14

If he'd have had it on his driveway or in the parking for the flats,

0:24:140:24:20

then, yeah, he would have been within his rights.

0:24:200:24:23

Well, the owner did pay the fine and the car tax,

0:24:250:24:28

so the clamp was removed.

0:24:280:24:31

That's the first of the day and, I dare say,

0:24:330:24:35

it won't be the last one of the day.

0:24:350:24:37

Non-payment of road tax costs the UK economy around ?80 million a year,

0:24:370:24:42

money that could be spent keeping the roads up to scratch.

0:24:420:24:46

So if your car's on the road, you need to pay for it.

0:24:460:24:49

COMPUTER: Attention. And someone's sat in it.

0:24:490:24:52

I'm not sure that the driver of this car was expecting Andrew to appear.

0:24:520:24:56

Hiya, is this your vehicle?

0:24:570:24:59

It's coming back on the DVLA database as being untaxed.

0:24:590:25:02

Are you sure, definitely sure that it's come out every month?

0:25:020:25:06

The driver claims that she has a direct debit set up

0:25:060:25:08

to pay her car tax.

0:25:080:25:10

I'll just make sure that it's the right registration number that's come up.

0:25:100:25:14

So, Andrew will have to double-check before he can take any action,

0:25:140:25:18

but it's not good news.

0:25:180:25:19

No, it's still coming back as being untaxed.

0:25:190:25:22

So, a car parked on the side of the road doesn't have current road tax.

0:25:220:25:26

Is it a clamp, or will Andrew take pity on her?

0:25:260:25:30

Basically, what I'm going to have to do is immobilise the vehicle.

0:25:310:25:34

Maybe not. The driver says she can't get home if her car's clamped.

0:25:340:25:38

No kidding. But wants to put it on her mum's driveway.

0:25:380:25:41

I can't... I can't allow you to move the vehicle.

0:25:410:25:44

Basically, I'm not supposed to, all right?

0:25:440:25:46

What's supposed to happen is the clamp's supposed to go on now.

0:25:460:25:49

Because I'm not supposed to allow you to drive the vehicle because according to the database,

0:25:490:25:53

according to all the information I'm getting,

0:25:530:25:56

is that your vehicle comes back as being untaxed.

0:25:560:25:58

I have to put the clamp on.

0:25:580:26:00

She says she's embarrassed at being clamped and, to be fair,

0:26:000:26:03

I think I would be too.

0:26:030:26:05

I understand that. I understand that it's a bit of an embarrassment,

0:26:060:26:11

but what I'm telling you

0:26:110:26:12

is that I'm not allowed to allow you to move the vehicle.

0:26:120:26:15

I have to stick the clamp on.

0:26:170:26:18

It's then up to her to ring the DVLA

0:26:190:26:22

and they can sort it out between themselves.

0:26:220:26:26

Well, she tried,

0:26:300:26:31

but it looks like it's game over for this unhappy driver

0:26:310:26:34

who, despite her pleas, couldn't change Andrew's mind.

0:26:340:26:38

Obviously, you've got to try and be fair across the board,

0:26:380:26:41

so those people that aren't there to fight their corner,

0:26:410:26:44

you can't turn around for the people that are there to say,

0:26:440:26:48

"Well, OK, you are here."

0:26:480:26:50

Well, the driver was there, but she's also got a ?100 fine.

0:26:500:26:54

That's two clamps so far

0:26:570:26:59

and I've got a feeling Andrew might be going back

0:26:590:27:01

to the depot with an empty van today.

0:27:010:27:04

We have five clamps, one ticket, and one insurance.

0:27:080:27:12

It's not bad for a couple of hours, that isn't.

0:27:140:27:17

He's a nice fellow, Andrew, but don't pay for car tax...

0:27:170:27:21

COMPUTER: Attention.

0:27:210:27:22

..and he might just appear, armed with his trusty clamps.

0:27:220:27:26

Box junctions,

0:27:370:27:38

red routes, and don't forget those funny signs

0:27:380:27:41

that look like a motor bike is jumping over a car.

0:27:410:27:44

Sometimes it can seem like there is more paintwork

0:27:440:27:47

and hardware on our roads

0:27:470:27:48

than on the shelves of your local DIY supermarket.

0:27:480:27:51

But it's all there for our safety and convenience.

0:27:510:27:54

But if you, the hapless motorist,

0:27:540:27:56

should fall foul of all this street signage and find yourself with a fine,

0:27:560:28:01

then it's going to hurt. However, don't give up hope.

0:28:010:28:04

If you're in London and think you are innocent,

0:28:040:28:07

then bring your story plus any photos, videos,

0:28:070:28:10

even letters from your mum along with you to here,

0:28:100:28:13

the London Tribunals,

0:28:130:28:15

to have your case heard by an impartial

0:28:150:28:18

and professional adjudicator.

0:28:180:28:20

Last year, they heard about 40,000 cases

0:28:200:28:22

and almost half of them were successful.

0:28:220:28:25

So if you feel a bit aggrieved, it's worth fighting your case.

0:28:250:28:29

I'm meeting up with Ora,

0:28:300:28:32

who is hoping he's going to be one of the lucky 50%.

0:28:320:28:35

Good to meet you.

0:28:350:28:36

Now, you're not watching a video there of a movie, are you?

0:28:360:28:39

No. What is it?

0:28:390:28:41

It's the actual incident that happened and it's a box junction.

0:28:410:28:45

And your defence here is what?

0:28:450:28:47

Basically, there was plenty of room at the box junction, on the lane,

0:28:470:28:52

and I went through,

0:28:520:28:53

but another car in another lane came and this one stopped here.

0:28:530:28:58

And there was no room.

0:28:580:29:00

I suppose the argument is, you know,

0:29:000:29:02

the Highway Code says they must be empty before you enter the space.

0:29:020:29:05

Must be room for you to exit them, isn't there?

0:29:050:29:07

Well, I mean, it's just the rear tyres but it's not impeding any...

0:29:070:29:12

Anything, really. You've obviously got quite a fair argument.

0:29:120:29:15

What do you think your chances are here?

0:29:150:29:17

Well, I just look at logic and reason.

0:29:180:29:20

If you've got logic and reason, it should be fine.

0:29:200:29:23

How much is your fine at the moment?

0:29:230:29:25

?130.

0:29:250:29:27

Ouch.

0:29:270:29:28

OK. Well, good luck.

0:29:280:29:30

Thank you. I'll be sitting in the back

0:29:300:29:31

and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. Cheers.

0:29:310:29:35

130 quid, ouch indeed.

0:29:350:29:38

Let's hope for his sake logic and reason are on his side,

0:29:380:29:42

as adjudicator Belinda is waiting.

0:29:420:29:44

Hello. Come and take a seat, please.

0:29:470:29:48

Thank you for seeing me.

0:29:480:29:50

But first, she wants to give Ora a quick Highway Code refresher.

0:29:500:29:53

So, before we look at the evidence, can I just,

0:29:540:29:57

probably telling you what you already know,

0:29:570:30:00

but can I just explain about box junctions?

0:30:000:30:03

If we imagine this is the box junction,

0:30:030:30:06

the way that the legislation was set up

0:30:060:30:08

and the wording that's used is for motorists to, in their vehicle,

0:30:080:30:13

stay one side of the junction,

0:30:130:30:16

conscious of the dimension of their vehicle,

0:30:160:30:19

until they can see enough space the other side of the junction

0:30:190:30:23

to completely accommodate that vehicle.

0:30:230:30:26

That's what I said!

0:30:260:30:28

Any stopping of any part of the vehicle within the crosshatched area

0:30:280:30:33

is a contravention.

0:30:330:30:34

He's got my sympathy,

0:30:340:30:36

but anyone else get the feeling Ora might have to box clever

0:30:360:30:39

if he's going to win this one?

0:30:390:30:40

So, let's see how this one pans out, yes?

0:30:400:30:44

So, the traffic's moving and this is you, isn't it?

0:30:440:30:47

The red vehicle. Yes, and this one...

0:30:470:30:49

You see, there's plenty of space up ahead and then this vehicle starts

0:30:490:30:52

indicating now to go left, so this vehicle here...

0:30:520:30:57

Erm, you know, obviously...

0:30:580:31:00

And I was beeping my horn and, you know, it was very frustrating.

0:31:000:31:04

And so that leaves you with your rear wheels...

0:31:040:31:06

I would have had plenty of space.

0:31:060:31:09

And it has happened after,

0:31:100:31:11

so these are extraordinary circumstances which were in milliseconds.

0:31:110:31:17

Is that a glimmer of sympathy on Belinda's face?

0:31:180:31:21

Ora might be winning this.

0:31:210:31:23

Can I just take it forward to one spot and then explain something?

0:31:230:31:28

Hmm... Maybe not.

0:31:280:31:29

If we stop it here,

0:31:290:31:32

the idea of the legislation as I explained to you is that you wait

0:31:320:31:35

here until you can see that there's enough space the other side.

0:31:350:31:39

This is the only way to avoid a contravention.

0:31:390:31:43

But you didn't wait and you proceeded

0:31:430:31:47

on the anticipation, I think, really, that you would have a space.

0:31:470:31:52

Just to interject...

0:31:520:31:53

Yes. Sorry.

0:31:530:31:55

I mean, there's about four or five feet ahead of this vehicle and

0:31:550:31:59

there's about three or four feet ahead of this vehicle.

0:31:590:32:03

And ahead of that one, so...

0:32:030:32:05

So, yes, it's a general anticipation, isn't it?

0:32:050:32:08

By motorists that they're all going to move at a pace and fill up those

0:32:080:32:12

spaces and unfortunately... And then that vehicle stopped straightaway.

0:32:120:32:16

It didn't pan out as you anticipated, did it?

0:32:160:32:20

I think she's got you boxed in there, Ora.

0:32:200:32:22

To be appreciative of the law, you know, I understand that the...

0:32:220:32:27

You know, that is the law. Yes.

0:32:270:32:28

With box junctions, but, please,

0:32:280:32:31

I've never done this before and I'd like you to take into account that

0:32:310:32:36

there were circumstances there that were not in my control.

0:32:360:32:42

Right, let's take stock.

0:32:420:32:44

Ora's video evidence shows he thought he would have enough space,

0:32:440:32:47

but then he didn't, but only by a foot or so.

0:32:470:32:51

What is it going to be? I know what I think.

0:32:510:32:53

It's strict liability.

0:32:540:32:55

Your vehicle is in the junction.

0:32:550:32:57

I cannot find that you, your vehicle was cut up at that point.

0:32:570:33:02

And so I have to refuse this appeal.

0:33:020:33:04

That it. Fine upheld.

0:33:060:33:08

Say goodbye to 130 quid, I'm afraid.

0:33:080:33:10

That is the end of the case.

0:33:100:33:11

Can I make another appeal?

0:33:110:33:13

Because I feel that I was not in the wrong there at all.

0:33:130:33:16

But he won't get back in the box that easily.

0:33:160:33:19

Well, I found that a contravention did occur.

0:33:190:33:21

Yeah, that is due to another vehicle's intervention.

0:33:210:33:25

Further along the line, not in front of yourself.

0:33:250:33:28

Yes. So the contravention did occur.

0:33:280:33:30

The thing is, I am asking for some leniency,

0:33:300:33:32

because I'm not actually impeding the box...

0:33:320:33:35

Well, as I indicated at the beginning of the hearing,

0:33:350:33:38

I am here to determine whether a contravention occurred or not.

0:33:380:33:42

My remit does not extend to altering

0:33:420:33:44

the amounts of the penalties that are involved.

0:33:440:33:47

They are set by statute.

0:33:470:33:48

It is ?130, I have found that a contravention occurred.

0:33:480:33:53

I will have to refuse this appeal.

0:33:530:33:55

Thank you. You will receive, as I say, my decision in the post,

0:33:550:33:59

in writing, in due course.

0:33:590:34:01

OK, that is your decision, then.

0:34:010:34:03

Thank you. Thank you.

0:34:030:34:04

Good day to you.

0:34:060:34:08

I was right.

0:34:080:34:09

But maybe I should stop with the dodgy box puns,

0:34:090:34:12

I don't think Ora is that happy.

0:34:120:34:13

I think I can sense how you're feeling. Er...

0:34:130:34:17

I feel a bit dejected, you know,

0:34:170:34:18

because those were events out of my circumstances,

0:34:180:34:22

and she was kind of right about me moving too fast.

0:34:220:34:27

You kept fighting your corner, you certainly...

0:34:270:34:29

You didn't throw the towel in easy. But she wasn't budging, was she?

0:34:290:34:33

No, I think...

0:34:330:34:35

The way that they do it is if you have anything

0:34:350:34:38

touching the box... Yeah.

0:34:380:34:42

You can have a wisp of hair, whatever, then that is it.

0:34:420:34:45

I'm getting the impression that the ?130 penalty is going to hurt.

0:34:450:34:49

Yeah, it is going to hurt. I am a single father, I mean, you know.

0:34:490:34:53

Yeah. I am just trying to get on by, you know,

0:34:530:34:55

I am trying to run two businesses...

0:34:550:34:57

Listen, I am sorry about the decision.

0:34:570:34:59

Good luck for the future. Thank you.

0:34:590:35:00

Thank you. Thank you very much. Cheers.

0:35:000:35:02

You know, I feel for Ora.

0:35:020:35:04

It wasn't a massive mistake, but the Highway Code is the Highway Code.

0:35:040:35:08

It is there for a reason.

0:35:080:35:10

It is estimated to cost about ?50 million a year

0:35:100:35:13

clearing up fly-tipping.

0:35:130:35:15

That, give or take, is about ?1 million a week which could be spent

0:35:150:35:18

on something much more needy, like the NHS.

0:35:180:35:20

Fly-tipping is a personal bugbear of mine.

0:35:200:35:22

I think it is an absolute disgrace.

0:35:220:35:24

We all accumulate stuff, we all accumulate an awful lot of rubbish,

0:35:240:35:28

but we don't all bang it in the back of the car and then throw it,

0:35:280:35:30

you know, possibly in a beauty spot in the forest or the common,

0:35:300:35:33

whatever it might be.

0:35:330:35:34

I don't agree with that at all.

0:35:340:35:35

I don't like fly-tippers. Even though it is hard,

0:35:350:35:39

say if you are doing a big clear-out or whatever, it is hard,

0:35:390:35:42

because some people have those big huge bins where you can just go and

0:35:420:35:45

throw your rubbish, some don't.

0:35:450:35:46

So it is difficult, but leaving your stuff at the end of the road,

0:35:460:35:49

that is not cool. I don't think that is cool.

0:35:490:35:51

I don't agree with that at all.

0:35:510:35:53

Those people, they do it and they run away.

0:35:530:35:55

I asked the council... I asked the council to put cameras there

0:35:550:35:58

to detect those people and give them heavy fines.

0:35:580:36:02

You see? It is going on, it is very bad.

0:36:020:36:05

People who fly-tip are absolutely the pits.

0:36:050:36:10

This is the London Borough of Havering.

0:36:100:36:13

It may be on the edge of the biggest city in Europe,

0:36:130:36:15

but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its very own little pockets of

0:36:150:36:19

rural peace and beauty.

0:36:190:36:20

Or at least it should,

0:36:200:36:22

until some doughnut decided it was a good idea to dump this...

0:36:220:36:27

..this...

0:36:270:36:28

..and this.

0:36:280:36:30

Criminal. No, really, it is criminal.

0:36:300:36:32

Fly-tipping on an industrial scale can earn you an unlimited fine and

0:36:350:36:39

five years in prison.

0:36:390:36:41

It is a serious criminal offence.

0:36:410:36:43

You actually obtain a criminal record.

0:36:430:36:46

Fighting the fight for this little corner of England's green and

0:36:460:36:49

pleasant land, against the monster of criminal fly-tipping,

0:36:490:36:52

are waste enforcement officers Jim Ratcliffe

0:36:520:36:55

and his colleague Rod Wynn.

0:36:550:36:57

People who are operating the waste transfer sites

0:36:590:37:03

are disposing of the waste illegally,

0:37:030:37:06

and saving the money that they have to pay to dispose of it legally.

0:37:060:37:11

And it is not just the environmental cost that is at stake.

0:37:110:37:14

The burden for clearing these crime scenes up is borne

0:37:140:37:18

by the good people of Havering borough.

0:37:180:37:20

That is council taxpayers to you and me.

0:37:200:37:22

It is costing us about ?50,000 a month to...

0:37:220:37:25

In costs, to dispose and remove

0:37:270:37:29

the fly-tipping that is taking place.

0:37:290:37:31

Jim and Rod are on a call out to one of the fly-tipping hot spots on their patch.

0:37:320:37:37

This might look like a dead end,

0:37:380:37:40

but ironically, it is actually an access road to the local tip.

0:37:400:37:44

Well, it was until someone dumped this lot.

0:37:440:37:47

And the scale is apparent, even from a couple of hundred metres away.

0:37:470:37:50

That is a major fly-tip.

0:37:510:37:54

Possibly an eight-wheeler load,

0:37:540:37:55

that has come out of a waste transfer site.

0:37:550:37:58

Or a building site.

0:37:580:37:59

That is the kind of stuff that would cost you ?149 a tonne to dispose of.

0:37:590:38:04

I would say there is about ten tonnes there.

0:38:050:38:09

So they have saved themselves the best part of ?1,500.

0:38:090:38:12

But this isn't the first time this secluded site has turned into a crime scene.

0:38:120:38:16

This here is the aftermath of a fly-tip which took place a couple

0:38:160:38:20

of weeks ago that was subsequently burnt down

0:38:200:38:22

before we could remove it, and as you can see,

0:38:220:38:24

it has burnt all the vegetation around it as well.

0:38:240:38:27

So it has actually caused damage to the environment as well as the costs

0:38:270:38:31

of removing the fly-tip.

0:38:310:38:33

Lovely peaceful place.

0:38:330:38:34

And they ruin it.

0:38:340:38:35

To make matters worse, Jim and Rod are seeing copycat crime,

0:38:350:38:40

domestic waste in bin bags dumped on top of the industrial waste.

0:38:400:38:44

What we'll do now is pass it over to Cleansing. They'll come straight down and clear it.

0:38:440:38:48

You know what makes matters worse?

0:38:480:38:50

The council tip,

0:38:500:38:51

where these lazy bin bag bandits could have got rid of their household rubbish

0:38:510:38:55

safely and for free, is less than half a mile away.

0:38:550:39:00

This is the real hot spot at the moment.

0:39:000:39:02

But further down the road,

0:39:020:39:03

it is easy to see why they might not have been able to get to the council's tip.

0:39:030:39:08

Yeah, so you would have difficulty getting any vehicle through there at the moment.

0:39:080:39:12

Only the smallest vehicle, as you can see.

0:39:120:39:14

It is a through route,

0:39:140:39:15

and it actually leads to the London Borough of Havering waste and recycling centre,

0:39:150:39:19

where residents can take their waste legally and dispose of it.

0:39:190:39:23

Still, the excuse of a blocked road will not stop you getting a fine

0:39:230:39:26

for dumping your bin bags if you are caught.

0:39:260:39:28

It is a mess, isn't it?

0:39:280:39:29

But it is the industrial waste that is a serious

0:39:290:39:32

criminal offence and could spell jail time.

0:39:320:39:35

This is the criminal stuff here.

0:39:350:39:38

As soon as you get it clear, they are coming back and fly-tipping.

0:39:380:39:41

The main issue with this type of waste is, as you can probably see,

0:39:410:39:43

it is really construction waste.

0:39:430:39:46

It has probably come out of a construction site.

0:39:460:39:49

It is brick, so the potential to find any evidence in there is extremely limited.

0:39:490:39:54

But we will have a look,

0:39:540:39:56

and if we can find something then we will follow up on it.

0:39:560:39:59

In the meantime, this sorry pile has got to be cleared.

0:40:000:40:04

We'll have to get a grab lorry down here to get this removed,

0:40:040:40:07

so it'll probably take us a day to dispose of this one.

0:40:070:40:10

And a day to dispose of the other one.

0:40:100:40:12

You're talking ?3,000 to ?4,000 just for the landfill costs.

0:40:120:40:17

I am a ratepayer of Havering, I have to end up paying for this as well.

0:40:170:40:21

It is very sad, but,

0:40:210:40:24

you know, somebody has to pay.

0:40:240:40:27

What we would like to do is get the people who are doing it to pay,

0:40:270:40:30

but... We will get them.

0:40:300:40:31

We will get there.

0:40:310:40:33

This clearly is not an isolated problem.

0:40:330:40:35

This used to be a regular spot for fly-tipping.

0:40:350:40:38

You can see the measures they have taken here.

0:40:380:40:41

Elsewhere on their patch,

0:40:410:40:42

Jim and Rod have found another pile of builders' waste.

0:40:420:40:46

I don't know how long it has been there. As you can see

0:40:460:40:48

it has been investigated, because there is tape,

0:40:480:40:50

but it is a fridge freezer, so there won't be any evidence as to who has dumped it there.

0:40:500:40:55

And it has not gone unnoticed by the locals.

0:40:550:40:58

You can't blame them, really.

0:40:580:41:00

Hi, there. Yes.

0:41:000:41:01

Yeah, we have cleared it up recently, but we can't stop them.

0:41:020:41:05

They are dumping it quicker than we can clear it at the moment.

0:41:050:41:08

INDISTINCT

0:41:080:41:11

Let us know.

0:41:110:41:12

MAN: Local resident?

0:41:120:41:15

He said if he sees them he will grass them up.

0:41:150:41:17

Good for you, mate. More citizens take note.

0:41:180:41:22

Right, on to the next pile.

0:41:220:41:24

Will it ever stop?

0:41:240:41:25

Yeah, it's a new one.

0:41:250:41:27

The search continues.

0:41:280:41:29

This... Plasterboard.

0:41:310:41:33

But this time it is a bagged up load of old plasterboard.

0:41:330:41:37

I can't believe they will find any evidence in that lot.

0:41:370:41:40

We've got a receipt here. Yeah, it's got the address on it.

0:41:400:41:43

It is quite local.

0:41:430:41:46

Hang on, wait a minute.

0:41:460:41:47

So, let's take a look at the evidence.

0:41:470:41:49

Bagged up loads of builders' waste, dumped by the road.

0:41:500:41:55

Containing a written address.

0:41:550:41:58

So what we'll do, we will call them in for a police interview.

0:41:580:42:01

Investigations are ongoing, but if Jim and Rod do trace the address,

0:42:010:42:06

they will call the suspect in for an interview under caution.

0:42:060:42:09

At that interview, we will ask them and put it to them how waste from

0:42:090:42:12

their address has ended up in a lane in the London Borough of Havering.

0:42:120:42:17

And obviously it is for them to explain how that might have happened.

0:42:170:42:20

And we'll see what the outcome of that is.

0:42:200:42:23

If it goes to court,

0:42:230:42:25

this dodgy dumper could be looking at some serious jail time.

0:42:250:42:29

Whatever happens, we have to clear it up.

0:42:300:42:32

If we find evidence, great, we can follow those enquiries, we clear it up.

0:42:320:42:37

If there is no evidence, we still clear it up.

0:42:370:42:40

So whatever happens, we have the costs of clearing it up.

0:42:400:42:43

Sadly, I have got a feeling that Jim and Rod's work isn't going to be over any time soon.

0:42:430:42:49

Enforcement officers really do have their work cut out,

0:42:510:42:54

but someone has got to do it, or there would be anarchy.

0:42:540:42:58

Join us again for more Dom On The Spot.

0:42:580:43:00

Happy New Year!

0:43:350:43:36

TV: She'll be safe and snug.

0:43:370:43:39

Dom is in Cardiff, where Steph and Lauren are out to catch and fine litter droppers. In Sidmouth in Devon, the council is clamping down on visitors feeding the gulls by way of an £80 on-the-spot fine.