Episode 10 Filthy Rotten Scoundrels


Episode 10

Series highlighting the work of environment officers. In Preston, Lancashire, 100 officers storm an illegal car scrapping site, and bank statements are found dumped in London.


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Transcript


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'In the UK, there's a war being waged to clean up our streets.'

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We had to have masks on, and gloves to protect ourselves.

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When you get a successful verdict,

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that's what you're looking for.

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'From the 122 tonnes of cigarette ends

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'or 900 tonnes of dog poo that hit our streets daily,

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'to mountains of hazardous waste,

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'we're all affected by what's being dumped on our doorsteps.

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'Today, why would anybody dump 120 TVs on a Liverpool street?'

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If we don't get them shifted today, the kids will wreck the place.

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There'll be broken tellies all over the road.

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'Who dumped sensitive documents on a London pavement?'

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Bank statements, accounts... Look at this!

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This is heaven for credit card fraud.

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'What was going on in this illegal scrapyard

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'that needed 100 officers to storm it in search of the owner?'

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He very aggressively shouted at the local police officers and us.

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No... I'm expressing my feelings!

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'This is the fight against Britain's filthy rotten scoundrels.'

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'Enfield, north London.

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'This borough is hit by more than 6,000 illegal fly-tips every year.

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'The council's Environment Crime Officers are dedicated to catching criminals ruining their patch.'

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We will not tolerate fly-tipping in Enfield.

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There's absolutely no excuse. These are the people we want to stop.

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'Jeff's just picked up a case that urgently needs investigating.

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'40 bags of rubbish have been dumped on a pavement.'

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I'm pulling up to the location and I can see straightaway

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the problem we're dealing with today.

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'Jeff's passionate about his job

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'and making Enfield a greener, cleaner place to live.'

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We just want to keep it clean, not just anybody coming to dump things here. It's not right.

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They don't care. They get rid of it.

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People think they've got a right to do it.

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It's not the case. They ought to be taken to court and dealt with.

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'Jeff's not one to mess around.

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'This investigator can spot a clue from ten paces.'

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Already, walked straight up to it, I found a bit of evidence.

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We've got some packaging, which looks to be pretty old.

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I'll take a photograph.

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'This is a great start. He's got a name and an address.

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'But there's a lot more rubbish to go through.'

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This is what I consider a substantial fly-tip.

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Generally, most reported fly-tips are three, four, five bags.

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We're not getting as much of this type of fly-tipping as we used to.

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'Jeff needs to gather as much evidence as possible - safely.'

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We have to wear gloves.

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It doesn't protect you against sharps and needles.

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We have heavy duty gloves for that, but I'm not digging down.

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It's so I don't get rat urine over myself.

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'It's not long before he's got a grasp on the kind of fly-tip.'

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I think this is a house clearance. There's just clothes in that.

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This looks like it's got correspondence. I'll look in here.

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'The clues keep coming, thick and fast.'

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Ah, bingo! I have an address.

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It's the same address. It tallies in with the cardboard packaging.

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So it would suggest

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at least all the green bags have come from this address.

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'Jeff's now got enough evidence to get his investigation going.

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'He can now arrange for this mess to be cleaned up.'

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We've got a major fly-tip at the bottom of Palmerston Crescent, N13.

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There's probably 30, 40 bags here of household stuff.

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Thanks, Liz. Cheers. Bye.

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'He's seen this kind of dump many times.

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'To him, this could be a professional job.'

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In my opinion,

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there's somebody going around, door-knocking, "Do you want me to clear your rubbish? £60."

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Then you find... This is an address in Wanstead.

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I hazard a guess they don't have a waste-carrier's licence

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to be authorised to carry waste.

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These are the people we want to stop.

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'What Jeff finds next is everyone's worst nightmare.

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'Imagine all your personal details being thrown out onto the street.'

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Bank statements, accounts. Look at this!

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This is heaven for credit card fraud.

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All this information among all these bags.

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It's amazing the stuff people actually throw away.

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They wonder why you get the criminal aspect, people get their details

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and then they get a phone call saying, "You owe us £2,000."

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Or "You bought a car lately."

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People are victims of crime but they're not helping themselves

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by allowing their waste to escape their control,

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allowing a third party to take their waste and fly-tip.

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'You've been warned. Be careful with your rubbish.

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'It might just end up in the wrong hands.'

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I'm pretty certain they've driven down Palmerston Crescent.

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They've come to the cul-de-sac, can't get through.

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Maybe the residents might have seen a vehicle depositing waste on the highway.

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I'll give them a knock and find out if anybody did witness this.

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Hello. I'm from Enfield council environmental crime team...

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'We'll see if Jeff gets any leads from the locals later.

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'Still to come...

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'..as his investigation unfolds,

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'he tries to track down the woman whose address is on the envelope.

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'Could his investigation be over before it's even begun?'

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There's a bit of post on the floor.

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No-one home.

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'He's going to have to put in some leg work

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'to get to the bottom of this case and track her down.'

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Can you open the door, please?

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'Will he find the woman who, so far, has managed to elude him?

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'England's green and pleasant land, but all's not as it seems

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'in a beautiful Lancashire valley in 2008.

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'Strange goings-on on an isolated farm have been reported to the police.

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'Environment Enforcement Officer Leon Beard was called to investigate.'

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The police were getting complaints about noises at night and activity on the site.

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There were HGVs driving in and out.

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'A farm was getting more than its fair share of vehicles visiting.

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'Members of the public were getting the impression

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'that what was meant to be farmland was being used for other purposes.'

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The police got complaints about scrap cars being brought in. That's when they contacted us.

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'Leon and his team were immediately suspicious.

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'Reliable reports suggested that there was a scrapyard on the farm.

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'To operate as a car scrappage facility, you need to be registered, and this address wasn't.'

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From then, we worked with the police to try and deal with the site.

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'Leon didn't want to alert the scrap dealers to his investigation.

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'Surveillance was almost impossible

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'as he couldn't reach the site without being spotted.

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'Then, he hit upon a foolproof plan.

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'Leon called in Air Support,

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'an aerial photography unit from the Lancashire police force.

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'When Leon received the results, he couldn't believe his eyes.

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'The photographs revealed a scrap metal operation

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'spread over the size of two football pitches!

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'There were barns and yards full of cars, lorries and scrap.'

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You can see cars throughout the unit.

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You can see cars stored on the land as well.

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Any oil spills will go straight into the ground

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and into the local water courses.

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'Worried that the illegal site could cause damage to the environment,

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'it was time to act, and act fast.

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'Leon planned a daring raid on what could be a sophisticated operation.

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'The Environment Agency and the police coordinated a raid

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'involving a very large team

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'including 30 enviro-enforcers and 70 police.

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'With no idea who or what they were going to find,

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'they couldn't afford to take any chances.

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'The raid took place early in the morning and, at first, there seemed to be no-one around.'

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COCK CROWS

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'But there was certainly no shortage of evidence.

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'The farm was in a shocking state.'

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Car engines, oil on the floor. The unit is filled with waste.

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'Suddenly, Leon and his team found themselves face-to-face

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'with a very irate scrapyard scoundrel.'

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He came out of his caravan, shouting at the local police officers and us.

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Don't... BLEEP. No, listen... No, I'm expressing my feelings.

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'The scrapyard mastermind's shouting cut no ice with the team.

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'They decided to arrest the man, but had to get him out of his towel and into some clothes.

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'Once the mouthy man is under lock and key,

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'the work can get under way.

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'Leon and his team have a search warrant

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'and they intend to leave no stone unturned.'

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We've gone into the warehouses for a further inspection of the waste

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to try and trace that and to identify that it was waste.

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'There was a huge amount of scrap.

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'Everything, including the kitchen sink, was scattered over the site.

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'What they found came as a huge shock to Leon.'

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In my time with the crime team with the Environment Agency,

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this illegal waste site is one of the worst I've seen.

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There's wagons with scrap vehicles on top of it.

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'Scrapyards are normally on industrial estates

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'or premises built for the job, not on working farms,

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'with chickens laying eggs on car seats.'

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When you see that a working farm is being used for a business

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that involves waste such as hazardous oils

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and cars being broken up on site with no control measures,

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potential for environmental impact is alarming.

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That set the alarm bells ringing.

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'This was serious organised crime.

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'The illegal scrap metal yard had been set up to make these filthy rotten scoundrels rich.'

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To run a site properly,

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you're looking at around £20,000 to get the business up and running.

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That will include annual fees and cost of training staff

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and to get the site to where it should be.

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Any illegal business will, obviously, not pay that £20,000,

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or pay the annual subsistence fees.

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That gives them an opportunity to undercut legitimate businesses.

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'A criminal undercuts legitimate scrap dealers to make a fast buck.

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'It's pure greed.

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'Geoff Bridges' family-run vehicle dismantling yard in West Sussex

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'is a model for how a scrap metal business should be run.'

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When a vehicle is received, it is hazardous waste.

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A process called depollution takes it into less harmful normal waste.

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'Amazingly, the company aims to recycle up to 85% of each car they receive.'

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The first part of depollution

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is in this shed, the wheels are taken off and batteries removed.

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'This really is the gold standard of facilities.

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'There's an ingenious method of removing all harmful fluids,

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'something the mouthy man on the farm should have looked at.'

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We have five depollution rigs. Basically, car milking machines.

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If you top your car up with antifreeze or with oil,

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you put it in the top of the system.

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We're draining it out the bottom of the system.

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Every bit of fluid

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is taken through piping to storage tanks.

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'Last, but not least, Geoff's favourite part of the process -

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'the crusher.'

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A vehicle has been through depollution, we've removed any parts we can for resale,

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the final process is for the vehicle to be crushed.

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That will then go away to a shredding plant,

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where it will be shredded, sent off for smelting and remanufactured.

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'Back in the Lancashire countryside, enviro-enforcer Leon Beard

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'prepared to throw the book at our scrapyard scoundrel, David Peters.'

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The investigation took two years.

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At no point did he come to us to ask for guidance

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to legitimise his business premises.

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We asked for various documents and information

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during the investigation, and he failed to produce those.

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'Leon had to trace everybody who unwittingly passed their vehicle to David Peters to be scrapped,

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'little knowing what a rogue they were dealing with.'

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We had to show to the public the seriousness of the offence.

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Once they realised they were helping

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the local community and the environment,

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they were happy to get involved.

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'The evidence that the Environment Agency collected was damning.

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'The site was not set up to deal with any of the hazardous fluids.

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'Cars were dumped where they could leak and cause serious environmental damage.

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'David Peters had made an unbelievable amount of money

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'by dodging all the rules.'

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The case showed that the operator had earned around £315,000

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by dealing with the environmental crime, dealing with scrap metal.

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Due to the investigation, he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

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'The judge decided the offences were so serious

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'that he ordered David Peters to be hit where it hurts, in his wallet.

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'He was ordered to pay back the proceeds of his crimes, the full £315,000.'

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The court ordered Mr Peters to pay within six months.

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If he doesn't pay £315,000 to the Environment Agency to help the environment, he will go to prison.

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'David Peters' operation was a serious risk to the environment,

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'costing local businesses a mint as legitimate work was undercut.

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'For Leon, the guilty verdict, massive fine and threat of prison

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'are just desserts for this filthy rotten scoundrel.'

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The site has now shut and he no longer poses a threat to the local environment and communities.

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'If anyone's considering a life of crime,

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'the enviro-enforcers have a message for you.'

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Environmental crime doesn't pay.

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We will be tackling other illegal waste sites.

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'Like everywhere in the country,

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'Liverpool has its fair share of problems with fly-tipping.

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'An average 40 incidents a day are reported by members of the public.

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'The sight greeting enviro-enforcers Steve Daley and Gary Southen

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'in April 2010, was visually arresting.

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We are finding more TVs getting dumped.

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But not 120! I've never had that one before!

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46-inch TVs or bigger! Somebody must have seen something.

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We'll see what happens with this one!

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'Steve and Gary were called out early by a colleague

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'who had already taken a butcher's hook, a look, at the wacky TV graveyard.'

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Somebody's been down just to have a look at it, then passed it to us.

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It needs further investigation. That's what we specialise in.

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If we don't get them shifted today, the kids will wreck the place,

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broken tellies all over the road.

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'120 massive TV monitors, all lined up like soldiers on parade.

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'Someone's got to be having a laugh.'

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It looks... It looks like something from a bookies'.

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'The TVs are covered in stickers from a local rental shop,

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'so it's not like there's a shortage of evidence to get started.'

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We're going to liaise with the gentleman who owns the company.

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We might look at seeing if we can get the company done for fly-tipping.

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'The TVs have been discarded right outside a business

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'that specialises in recycling old electronics - computers, DVDs

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'and old TVs!

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'Because these have been dumped on the roadside, it's a fly-tip.'

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Somebody who has a lock-up in here, late last night,

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had to remove the TVs before they could get in.

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'Despite the fact that the recycling company will lose out financially,

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'they decided to do the decent thing.'

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60 or 70, they brought in off the road.

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He's got every right to say, "They're not mine!" And it's down to the council to clear them.

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'If you're a business who needs to get rid of old TVs, a centre like this will charge you £4 each.

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'If you have a rear projection TV like this, it will cost £65 each.

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'It would cost around £8,500 to recycle this lot!'

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There's about 60 there and about 70 outside, isn't there?

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They have to book it in.

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It has to be weighed properly and authorised.

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-This company's just dumped them.

-There has to be an agreed price.

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It has to be agreed as well. I know it's a recycling plant.

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And, yeah, we're trying to impose recycling.

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But just to throw it on the sidewalk overnight - it's a fly-tip.

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'Our intrepid enviro-enforcer needs a word in the ear with the company concerned.'

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If it comes out that there's been a mix-up in communications,

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which could happen, a genuine mix-up,

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then we'll speak to the company and give them some words of advice

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on what they can and they can't do.

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This guy's got every right to say, "It's not my property."

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Then we've got a major problem of getting rid of 100-odd televisions.

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'To add insult to injury, the TV tippers can't even read.'

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Where they've been dumped, there's a sign

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saying that dumping refuse is an offence.

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They don't take any notice, do they?

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'But there's a twist in the tale.

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'The TV rental company had already sold the TVs on to someone else.'

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Speaking with the company, they were as bemused about it as us.

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So they said they'd sort out their own investigation.

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'It's been found out that the company had sold them to a man

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'who was refurbishing them in his shop.

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'He then died,

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'and the landlord of his shop took it back when the rent was unpaid.

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'After that, the 120 TVs appeared at the recycling centre.

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'The officers are now investigating how they got there.'

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'In the London borough of Enfield,

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'Jeff Elliot is trying to track down a woman who owns a property

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'where 40 bags of rubbish were dumped from.'

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It's a total lack of respect for the environment.

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We can't tolerate persons doing this.

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'This could be a long investigation but he's determined

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'to find the woman and find out what's going on with her rubbish.'

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It's the council. Can you open the door, please?

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'Just when he thought he wasn't going to get a result,

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'could he finally get to meet her?'

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Environmental Crime Team, Jeff Elliot speaking.

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'The Leeds and Liverpool canal

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'was built at the turn of the 19th century and stretches 127 miles.

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'In its industrial heyday, it was used to carry stone, coal and wool.

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'A jewel in the crown of the North,

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'even this beautiful canal is a target for fly-tipping scoundrels.

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'Look at what people think it's all right to dump here!

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'Help is at hand, in the form of the British Waterways litter boat.

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'It's early Thursday morning.

0:23:190:23:21

'Every week, these men and this boat

0:23:210:23:23

'set off for a full day cleaning up what's been left behind.

0:23:230:23:28

'Firmly at the helm is supervisor Jimmy Swindells.

0:23:290:23:33

'He's been working the canal for 33 years

0:23:330:23:36

'and he hates what is happening to his pride and joy.'

0:23:360:23:40

This is British Waterways property, for the benefit of the nation.

0:23:400:23:44

A few small-minded people spoil it.

0:23:440:23:48

It does get me quite mad, actually, to see lovely areas spoiled

0:23:480:23:52

just for the want of a clean-up of rubbish other people's put in.

0:23:520:23:58

'It's not just the harm to the canal that annoys skipper Jimmy.

0:23:580:24:02

'It costs a fortune to clean it up as well.'

0:24:020:24:06

Fly-tipping costs the canals a fortune.

0:24:060:24:10

In our local section of canal in the North, the Leeds and Liverpool,

0:24:100:24:15

it is £50,000 worth of skips just in the Burnley yard.

0:24:150:24:20

So the full length of canal must be at least 150,000.

0:24:200:24:24

That's just for floating debris that we get out the canal.

0:24:240:24:28

'Jimmy is ably assisted by two Ians, Ian Johnstone and Ian Stanworth.

0:24:280:24:34

'You name it, these men have probably fished it out the canal.'

0:24:340:24:39

Loads and loads of pallets.

0:24:390:24:41

Paper bags. Plastic bottles.

0:24:410:24:44

Millions and millions of bottles.

0:24:440:24:46

Old canoes that people just leave.

0:24:460:24:49

Things you wouldn't think about. Dustbins, wheelie bins.

0:24:490:24:54

I feel sorry and I feel angry.

0:24:540:24:57

It's a lovely place. Swans, ducks.

0:24:570:24:59

You won't be able to see them, but I've seen thousands of fish

0:24:590:25:04

that you don't usually see in urban areas, and more fishermen.

0:25:040:25:09

It's a great environment but some people spoil it.

0:25:090:25:13

They're being selfish to get rid of their rubbish.

0:25:130:25:16

'In any one year, they can expect to collect up to 40 tonnes of rubbish -

0:25:160:25:22

'35 fridges, cookers and washing machines,

0:25:220:25:25

'50 shopping trollies, 20 dog or cat carcasses and two or three cars.

0:25:250:25:29

'Where's the partridge in the pear tree?

0:25:290:25:32

'With a Christmas theme in mind,

0:25:350:25:37

'here's something a very naughty Santa's left behind.'

0:25:370:25:41

Christmas tree there.

0:25:410:25:44

It's annoying. The council has an amnesty on Christmas trees.

0:25:440:25:49

They'll collect them, but they'd rather throw them in canal.

0:25:490:25:53

'It's mid-morning and our team has stumbled across a common sight.

0:25:530:25:58

'They don't just clear rubbish from the water.

0:25:580:26:02

'There's always plenty stacked up along the banks as well.'

0:26:020:26:07

We're keeping on top of a site that's always fly-tipped on.

0:26:070:26:11

If you don't, it'll just accumulate and just be a rubbish dump.

0:26:110:26:16

We've just picked up a fire and a coffee table. There's no need.

0:26:160:26:21

People will take it away. Just to throw it on an island...

0:26:210:26:26

We can't readily access it. If we don't have the boat it builds up.

0:26:260:26:31

'It's not just what you can see.

0:26:310:26:33

'Years of people dumping in the canal is creating a time bomb beneath the surface.'

0:26:330:26:40

It changes the depth. The floor is coming to the top.

0:26:400:26:43

When the canals were dug out, they would have been four to ten foot deep in the middle.

0:26:430:26:50

They're two and three foot, there's that much rubbish in the bottom,

0:26:500:26:55

you know, of walls, plastic, tyres, stone - everything.

0:26:550:27:00

Sunken wood. Some of that moves, so when you go over with a boat,

0:27:000:27:05

it can catch the propeller and actually break the boat.

0:27:050:27:09

'It's not just these three wise men that care about the rubbish.'

0:27:090:27:14

We get people that really are concerned about canals in their community. They do take ownership.

0:27:140:27:21

Without people like that, there's no point.

0:27:210:27:25

We might as well fill the canal in and walk away.

0:27:250:27:30

'Mike Clarke has had enough of people ruining these waterways.'

0:27:300:27:35

It's such a wonderful area.

0:27:350:27:38

It's like a lung for this industrial area.

0:27:380:27:42

When I see fly-tipping, people chucking stuff in, it does upset me.

0:27:420:27:48

If there's things like plastic bags, ducks can get caught up in them.

0:27:480:27:54

Sometimes, you get cars pushed into the canal.

0:27:540:27:57

The oil and petrol out of there can pollute the water.

0:27:570:28:02

The worst sort is the rubbish that gets into the bottom and disappears.

0:28:020:28:08

Metal pieces are worst.

0:28:080:28:10

If you fall into the canal, you can get caught on the metal

0:28:100:28:15

and you could drown.

0:28:150:28:17

'Back with our dedicated cleaning team,

0:28:180:28:22

'the afternoon starts with them calling on their secret weapon,

0:28:220:28:26

'their mechanical grabber.'

0:28:260:28:28

Manual handing, we can get up to a pallet size.

0:28:370:28:41

Anything above that we use a mechanical grab, which does the job.

0:28:410:28:46

In winter, when the water levels are up,

0:28:470:28:51

it draws rubbish to the front of the overflow and sinks.

0:28:510:28:54

So John's taking the rubbish out,

0:28:540:28:57

instead of it going over the overflow and polluting the rivers.

0:28:570:29:01

Some of it inevitably does - plastic, cans, all sorts.

0:29:010:29:06

We try and stop that by cleaning the front,

0:29:060:29:09

putting it on the boat and taking it away.

0:29:090:29:13

'The team is always on the lookout

0:29:130:29:16

'for clues as to who's dumped the rubbish.

0:29:160:29:19

'They work with Burnley's enviro-enforcers

0:29:190:29:22

'to investigate illegal dumping.'

0:29:220:29:25

Bin bag. Bring that to the side, see if we've got anything in it.

0:29:250:29:31

We can't open it. We have to get the Enforcement Officers to do it.

0:29:310:29:37

It verifies who's done it and it starts to be documented. They take photographs of it.

0:29:370:29:43

This is very common.

0:29:430:29:45

They've took the trouble to bin it up, then they throw it in the canal!

0:29:450:29:50

'It makes no sense to me, but could this be a treasure chest of clues?'

0:29:500:29:56

If there's papers in there,

0:29:560:29:59

no doubt there'll be envelopes or an address.

0:29:590:30:02

Hopefully, we'll catch them and just have a word about it.

0:30:020:30:07

'We're nearing the end of their weekly trawl.

0:30:090:30:12

'There's one last place to check.

0:30:120:30:15

'That's a surveillance operation to catch the fly-tipping scoundrels in the act.'

0:30:150:30:21

Round the corner, we've got a mill and a road at the side of it.

0:30:210:30:26

Unfortunately, we've had repeat fly-tipping there.

0:30:260:30:29

They come along in vehicles, instead of taking rubbish to the tip,

0:30:290:30:34

they've thrown it in the canal from there.

0:30:340:30:37

With the Enforcement Office of Burnley Council,

0:30:370:30:40

we're going to mount a camera

0:30:400:30:42

and start getting registrations and hard evidence we need to prosecute.

0:30:420:30:48

This is one of the worst spots in Burnley for fly-tipping,

0:30:480:30:52

and this is the source of it.

0:30:520:30:55

The section we're sailing on now is the Burnley Mile.

0:30:550:30:59

It's a straight mile through the heart of Burnley.

0:30:590:31:04

On the left, you can see the new shops and the town hall.

0:31:040:31:08

On the right, the famous Burnley football ground.

0:31:080:31:13

'It's time to wrap up the day.

0:31:130:31:16

'Today's weekly fly-tip trawl is over.

0:31:160:31:19

'Their mucky haul's included a coffee table, footballs, a heater

0:31:190:31:24

'and that Christmas tree.

0:31:240:31:26

'With the litter boat drowning with all that filthy rubbish,

0:31:260:31:30

'it's time to unload.'

0:31:300:31:33

We get that every day.

0:31:360:31:38

We fill two or three skips every week.

0:31:380:31:42

Four skips, five skips.

0:31:420:31:44

It's not fair on the environment.

0:31:460:31:49

They still carry on doing it. I wish they'd stop.

0:31:490:31:53

'An hour later, and the litter boat is litter-free, ready to start again next week.

0:31:530:32:00

'After 33 years on the canals, skipper Jimmy

0:32:000:32:04

'is determined to keep doing his bit

0:32:040:32:07

'for anyone wanting to enjoy this jewel of the North.'

0:32:070:32:10

It's a belting asset, a national asset, 200 years of history.

0:32:100:32:15

It can be so nice for them and where they live.

0:32:150:32:19

'The black bag was handed to Burnley's enviro crime team

0:32:190:32:25

'but it didn't contain enough evidence to pursue the case.

0:32:250:32:29

'That case is now closed.

0:32:290:32:31

'Back in Enfield, Jeff Elliot is investigating

0:32:330:32:37

'an illegal fly-tip of 40 bags of rubbish.

0:32:370:32:42

'Despite no locals seeing anyone dump it,

0:32:420:32:45

'he does have a name and address for a woman he found on an envelope.

0:32:450:32:50

'He also found bank statements and personal documents, so his next step is to track her down.

0:32:500:32:57

'Before he does that,

0:32:570:32:59

'Jeff stumbles across another fly-tip that needs his attention.

0:32:590:33:03

'It's an all too common sight, one that frustrates him incredibly.'

0:33:030:33:08

All people want is their rubbish

0:33:080:33:11

not to be in their back garden, and put it somewhere away from them.

0:33:110:33:16

They don't look at the bigger picture,

0:33:160:33:20

what it's going to do for vermin - the mice, the rats, the foxes, the environment.

0:33:200:33:26

These people have kids, they play around here.

0:33:260:33:30

They don't care. They see all this rubbish material on the highway.

0:33:300:33:34

It's part of life. "I'll throw my rubbish out cos somebody else does."

0:33:340:33:40

I could drive you three miles to an area that doesn't have this,

0:33:400:33:45

because the mind-set of people is different.

0:33:450:33:48

It's all about getting your message across.

0:33:480:33:51

'There are no clues for Jeff, so it'll have to be cleared away -

0:33:510:33:55

'at the expense of us, the tax payer.

0:33:550:33:59

'With the case of the green bags, Jeff is now back at his office.

0:33:590:34:04

'When he rummaged through, he found an address where it came from.

0:34:040:34:08

'He's already visited that house but there was no sign of the woman that owns it, just some builders.'

0:34:080:34:14

At the property, I spoke to several builders.

0:34:140:34:18

All I found out was they gave the rubbish to a man with a van.

0:34:180:34:23

If that's true or not, I don't know.

0:34:230:34:26

Ultimately, the responsibility is with the land-owner,

0:34:260:34:32

the property owner in this case,

0:34:320:34:35

to dispose of their waste responsibly.

0:34:350:34:39

It clearly hasn't happened.

0:34:390:34:41

'Jeff's found out that the woman doesn't live there any more.

0:34:410:34:46

'He's used resources at the council to find out where she does live.'

0:34:460:34:51

I checked with the council tax team and found who owns this property,

0:34:510:34:56

and cross-referenced that with a Land Registry search.

0:34:560:35:00

I've established a forwarding address in Tottenham.

0:35:000:35:04

Hopefully, the lady can tell me who she commissioned to do the work.

0:35:040:35:08

We should get to the bottom of this because that's just not on.

0:35:080:35:13

'It's amazing what a day can achieve.

0:35:130:35:17

'He's now got an address and he's heading there.

0:35:170:35:20

'He wants to invite her to his office to formally interview her

0:35:200:35:25

'about the fly-tipped rubbish.

0:35:250:35:27

'The question is, will she be in?'

0:35:270:35:30

There's post on the floor.

0:35:460:35:49

'It's not looking good for Jeff.

0:35:490:35:52

'His investigation can't be on the rocks already.'

0:35:520:35:56

It is a familiar problem, trying to track down the persons responsible.

0:35:560:36:01

Once we're confident we've got the right person, we take further action.

0:36:010:36:07

The fly-tip in question was a substantial fly-tip.

0:36:070:36:11

It's a total lack of respect for the environment.

0:36:110:36:15

We can't tolerate persons doing this.

0:36:150:36:18

'Before he leaves, he decides to post the interview invitation,

0:36:190:36:24

'in the hope that the woman will be in touch.'

0:36:240:36:28

No-one home. No-one home.

0:36:320:36:35

'Not long after, the woman did get in touch with Jeff

0:36:350:36:39

'and agreed to be interviewed about her other property.

0:36:390:36:43

'As she doesn't live there,

0:36:430:36:45

'he's decided to see if the builders or anyone else has information

0:36:450:36:49

'about what happened to the rubbish.'

0:36:490:36:53

They inherited a property and, I believe, and somebody acting on their behalf.

0:36:530:36:59

If I keep an eye on the property I might catch somebody I can speak to,

0:36:590:37:03

I can maybe get some sense out of.

0:37:030:37:06

KNOCKS ON DOOR

0:37:080:37:10

'It doesn't look like there's any sign of those builders.

0:37:100:37:14

'Will anyone be in that can help?'

0:37:140:37:18

It's the council. Can you open the door, please?

0:37:180:37:21

'It's not looking too promising for Jeff.'

0:37:230:37:27

Looks like they're a bit shy coming forward.

0:37:270:37:30

There's a window open so...

0:37:300:37:33

I imagine someone's around but they don't want to open the door to me.

0:37:330:37:38

'Jeff's not giving up. He suspects someone is inside.'

0:37:380:37:42

I saw a finger at the curtain, so there is somebody there.

0:37:420:37:48

There's someone looking through the gap.

0:37:480:37:53

I've got the landlord coming in to see me next week, anyway. I should get some questions answered.

0:37:530:38:00

'Nearly a month later, the woman who owns the property is now coming in

0:38:040:38:09

'for her formal interview with Jeff.

0:38:090:38:12

'He'll be assisted by fellow Enforcement Officer, Lee Ryder.'

0:38:120:38:18

Lee Ryder is also an Environmental Crime Officer.

0:38:180:38:22

I've asked Lee to attend the meeting because, to do an interview meeting,

0:38:220:38:27

we have to have two officers present.

0:38:270:38:30

One will take verbatim notes. The other leads on the questioning.

0:38:300:38:35

Lee will be given an opportunity to ask questions which I've missed.

0:38:350:38:41

I need to brief Lee why we're interviewing this person, so he knows what questions I'll ask.

0:38:410:38:47

I hope he can get his head around it.

0:38:470:38:51

It's not one of his cases. He knows nothing about it at the moment.

0:38:510:38:56

I suspect we should do well today to find out exactly what's going on,

0:38:560:39:01

what arrangements were made

0:39:010:39:03

between the owner and the people they had in.

0:39:030:39:06

We need to work out who these people are.

0:39:060:39:10

I suspect they're our next port of call.

0:39:100:39:14

'It's not long before the woman arrives.'

0:39:140:39:17

Environmental Crime Team, Jeff Elliot speaking.

0:39:200:39:23

Yeah. Good stuff. I'll be out in a moment. Thank you.

0:39:230:39:29

Bye.

0:39:290:39:31

'The woman's on her way up.

0:39:320:39:36

'She doesn't want the interview to be filmed but there's clearly a lot of information to get through.

0:39:400:39:48

'More than an hour passes before Jeff has the full picture.

0:39:570:40:02

'There's a lot more to this story than first meets the eye.'

0:40:020:40:07

She came with her son, who had more information for me

0:40:070:40:12

which has now helped with my enquiries.

0:40:120:40:15

At this stage, after the meeting,

0:40:150:40:18

I believe there's probably nowhere further to go with this case.

0:40:180:40:23

Her and her son have had enough of having ownership of this property.

0:40:230:40:29

Ever since she's had it, there's just been one problem after another.

0:40:290:40:33

She lived there for 22 years as a carer for the previous owner.

0:40:330:40:39

I believe that they left it in their will to her.

0:40:390:40:42

'The woman hadn't maintained the property and let it deteriorate.

0:40:420:40:47

'Everything is starting to fall into place,

0:40:470:40:50

'regarding to who dumped all those bags of rubbish.'

0:40:500:40:54

The property's got squatters in.

0:40:540:40:56

The stuff that had been fly-tipped,

0:40:560:41:00

the son actually recognised as being his waste.

0:41:000:41:04

He left the rubbish to the side of the property in the garden.

0:41:040:41:08

The squatters came in

0:41:080:41:10

and cleared out the rubbish the son had put there.

0:41:100:41:14

I did establish that a person, a "man in a van"

0:41:140:41:18

took the rubbish away.

0:41:180:41:22

I've got no registration details, no description of the person.

0:41:220:41:26

There's no way I'll be able to track this person.

0:41:260:41:30

'With no details of the person that took the green bags, it leaves Jeff frustrated with the case.

0:41:300:41:36

'But action needs to be taken with the property.'

0:41:360:41:39

This lady's got clear issues with how to deal with the squatters.

0:41:390:41:45

I can give her some sound advice on how to deal with the situation.

0:41:450:41:50

She's fully at ease that she's not going to be in trouble.

0:41:500:41:55

And she's more knowledgeable about what she can and can't do about the squatters. We're here to help.

0:41:550:42:02

We're not always here to nail people to the floor.

0:42:020:42:06

We really want to try and help.

0:42:060:42:09

The residents of Enfield pay their council tax.

0:42:090:42:13

If we do more than we're supposed to, it's a better service.

0:42:130:42:18

'When enviro-enforcers start an investigation,

0:42:180:42:22

'they never know where it's going to finish.

0:42:220:42:25

'This ended with the house being sold and the squatters evicted,

0:42:250:42:30

'so it can be renovated by the new owner.

0:42:300:42:33

'Next time you see some tyres, bin bags or rubble dumped,

0:42:350:42:39

'spare a thought for the officers bringing the villains to justice.

0:42:390:42:44

'Join us next time, hot on the heels of more filthy rotten scoundrels.'

0:42:440:42:49

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:060:43:10

Series that goes undercover to investigate the criminals who are dumping hundreds of thousands of tons of rubbish on our streets. More than 3,000 fly tipping incidents happen each day, costing tax payers 55 million pounds a year to clear up. This action-packed and shocking series is voiced by Dominic Littlewood. We join the Environment Agency and councils across the UK as they use sting operations and 24 hour surveillance to expose Britain's filthy rotten scoundrels.

In Preston, Lancashire, 100 officers storm an illegal car scrapping site. This high-octane operation resulted in the owner paying more than 300,000 pounds in fines. Plus, bank statements and personal documents have been dumped on a street in north London and officers want to know how they got there.


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