Episode 13 Filthy Rotten Scoundrels


Episode 13

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Welcome to the fight to clean up our streets

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and put the "Great" back into Great Britain.

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Our stance is always to make sure the vehicle is crushed.

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Every 30 seconds, someone somewhere in the UK illegally dumps rubbish.

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From bags of dogs' mess to mountains of rubble,

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it's wrecking the streets where we live.

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On today's programme, can intrepid enviro-enforcers

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nip one of Britain's filthiest habits in the bud?

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I want to speak to you about the cigarette litter you dropped.

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In Middlesbrough, an industrial estate is plagued with fly-tipping.

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You might turn this over and there's an address on it.

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And in London, a community is maddened

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by graffiti taggers ruining their neighbourhood.

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Once we paint over them, they go back and tag again and again and again.

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

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Brent, north-west London,

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a borough where graffiti taggers are seemingly intent

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on covering every spare surface.

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Graffiti prevention and clean-up costs this one London borough

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a whopping £450,000 a year.

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It's clearly a massive problem

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and one Brent Council takes very seriously.

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They work closely with the community

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to put a stop to the tagging nightmare.

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And a pristine white wall on a north-west London housing estate

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is the latest front line.

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It looks innocent enough,

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but this wall has been the subject of a bitter battle

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between frustrated residents and cocky graffiti artists.

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For months, taggers repeatedly sprayed their tags.

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Brent council would paint over them,

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only for the underground artwork to appear again the next day.

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It was relentless.

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Life, for neighbour Brendan Malligan, became unbearable.

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I've lived in the area for 40 years, and I'm very proud of the area.

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When somebody can come along

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and start leaving their tag on people's walls,

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it's just not acceptable.

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I wouldn't do it to their property and don't want it done to mine.

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This is the famous wall.

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As you can see, originally it was brickwork,

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and then they started painting white paint to get rid of the tags.

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As you can see, it's all bubbling now

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from the amount of times they've painted and painted and painted.

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And the taggers didn't stop there.

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If you just turn around here again,

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there's another door here where there's more tagging which was done.

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I actually tried painting myself,

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and, erm, it's quite difficult to actually get it off.

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This one is "J" again.

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As you can see, it's ruined the gate,

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and there's some people down the road who've had tags on their houses.

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They've given up painting over them, because once they paint over them,

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they go back and tag again and again

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and this is what's been happening here.

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I don't know how much Brent council has spent keeping that wall clean,

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but if it was a private property,

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how much time and energy and paint do you have to go through

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to keep your properties clean?

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Brendan's right. The amount of money involved is no joke.

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This area was being hit on average twice a week,

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which cost Brent Council and locals £100 a time to clear up.

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But if you scale that up to the whole of London,

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the result is staggering.

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Graffiti costs the capital's economy a huge £100 million a year.

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The person responsible for tracking down

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and dealing with graffiti taggers in Brent Council

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is Simon Edbar - not an easy job when they can strike repeatedly

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at any time of the day or night.

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He worked hand-in-hand with Brendan Malligan

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to nail the rotters ruining the white wall.

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I think the general picture I got was most of the residents

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were disappointed that a gang of youths were, in a sense,

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taking ownership of where they lived, defacing the wall,

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feeling they were untouchable, feeling that nothing could be done.

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There were reports of the wall being hit 20 minutes after it had been cleaned,

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so it was quite clear to us that this gang of youths were watching us

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and were taunting us.

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The war of tagged words continued non-stop, and it soon became evident

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that specific taggers were mounting a personal vendetta

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with a special message aimed at the council.

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It says, "Focus,"

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and one of the perpetrators uses the tag Sour, so he's trying to tell

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the council or tell whoever's monitoring this

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that "I'm sour, you need to focus,

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"you're not focusing. You clean this off, it comes back on."

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"Oops I did it again"

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because this has obviously been cleaned a few times.

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They're of the impression that they're untouchable.

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It was a constant fight between the taggers and the council

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to keep the white wall clean,

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but then the conflict escalated even further.

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Yeah, I got up one morning,

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was going out to work.

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First thing I seen on the white wall was this particular tag -

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they were back again,

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and that was after four days of the council cleaning it off.

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As I walked past this wall, I then turned round

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and to my disgust actually found they had done a tag

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on the opposite side, as well, which was on my property.

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And that was like putting a red rag to a bull. I was furious.

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Brendan had had enough.

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He mobilised neighbours, and together, they lobbied the council

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to install CCTV surveillance.

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Brent Council and the police joined forces and installed covert cameras.

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I think we decided to go for CCTV once it was apparent

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that the site was persistently hit.

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It was something we felt we needed to do.

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So the surveillance went in roughly a year and a half ago,

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and we were quite fortunate and we got someone on camera within a week.

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The writing was on the wall for these graffitists.

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The night-time taggers were caught on camera.

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As you can see, most of the hits were in the night-time.

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There's clear images on the clothing of the individuals.

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I think the quality of the evidence was the success of the operation,

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because we were able to take that forward

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and engage the local police to actually apprehend these guys,

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and they were apprehended quite quickly.

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The offenders received a variety of punishments,

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from fines to community work,

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along with agreeing to acceptable behaviour agreements.

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What's an important point is not only have we identified these guys,

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but we also looked at the history of offending, and we were able to

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have different and proportionate measures for individuals concerned.

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The help and support of communities to tackle issues like graffiti

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is worth its weight in gold for enviro-enforcers.

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For Simon, working with people like Brendan can only be a good thing.

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I think Brendan is the type of resident that we like to work with.

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He was happy to give us intel on the ground.

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He lived a few doors away from the site.

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He was able to focus us as to when these guys were graffiting the site

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and how frequently it was happening.

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I think Brendan actually played an important part in the operation.

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Between the council and myself and my neighbours, we've tackled it

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and we've got rid of what was a problem. It's no longer a problem.

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I think it's important that everybody looks after their areas

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and take pride in their areas and if they see tags like this, report it.

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I'd say that's a great case of community spirit,

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and now that the word's got around,

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there's been no more writing on the white wall.

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But as they say, watch this space.

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And I really do hope it's going to be clear,

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because I don't feel like getting any more frustration.

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I've got to watch my blood pressure!

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It costs £370 million a year

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for councils to clear the litter we drop on our streets,

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and more than 70% of that is cigarette butts.

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It's estimated that 122 tonnes of ciggies -

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the equivalent to more than 15 double-decker buses -

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are stubbed out on our streets every day.

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So it's no surprise that councils across the country

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are doing something about it.

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Many have enforcement officers out on the streets,

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just like here, in Islington, North London.

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It's not the most popular job in the world,

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but officers like Denzel here are seeing a change.

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This is one of the areas that has a problem with cigarette litter.

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There are bins provided on the walls,

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signage has been put in place as well,

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and we just normally check it just to see if it's clean.

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And as you can see, it's quite clean.

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But there are always a few people that have yet to learn the error of their ways.

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Excuse me, gentlemen?

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-Excuse me, gents?

-Hello.

-Excuse me?

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Can I have a word, please? My name is Denzel.

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I'm an enforcement officer for Islington Council.

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I wanted to speak to you about the cigarette litter you dropped.

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-Fair enough.

-OK, then.

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It's a criminal offence for anyone to drop or deposit litter and leave it.

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-Fair enough.

-In Islington, it carries a fixed-penalty notice charge for that offence.

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Which will be given to you today.

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Have you got any identification on you, sir?

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-And yourself, sir.

-That's all I've got.

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Denzel has to be careful, because, would you believe it,

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some people even give him a false name and address!

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Is there any other way you can verify this address?

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I can give you some documentation about this address.

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Have you got that documentation on you?

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But it seems these guys have taken the rap.

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-In future, please...

-I ain't going to do it again.

-All right.

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MAN LAUGHS

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-I ain't going to do it again!

-All right.

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Denzel is keen that he's not just there to apprehend the culprits.

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I think you have to continue that education.

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You have to make people aware that littering is not acceptable

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and they need to use the bins. They are provided.

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I could understand if there weren't any bins around,

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but there are bins around, and a bit of responsibility

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from people who are not just smoking but eating fast food,

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just take care of the litter, make sure you put it in a bin.

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Fines for dropping cigarette butts range from £50 to £80,

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depending on where you live.

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The system is working right across the country, including Liverpool,

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which is enforcement officer Sean's home patch.

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If you were in the city 18 months to two years ago,

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the streets were absolutely disgusting.

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People just didn't think to use the bins that were provided,

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and they would just throw litter anywhere and everywhere

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and wouldn't care about it.

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For Sean, the drive to clean up the city

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and get people to take responsibility for their rubbish,

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even something as small as a cigarette butt, is personal.

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I suppose you get the sense of satisfaction from the work that we carry out.

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I live within this city as well as work within the city,

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so to sort of be a part of what it is that we do

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that makes it a clean, safer place for people to live within and visit,

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you do get a sense of satisfaction.

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It seems that Liverpool is beginning to benefit from the work

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that he and fellow enviro-enforcers are doing.

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I think within the city centre, our impact has been huge.

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And obviously, from walking round the city centre, it's spotless

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in comparison to what it was, and you will see people

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actively seeking to find a bin in which to put their cigarette or their piece of litter.

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Coming up on Filthy Rotten Scoundrels: in Liverpool,

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our determined enviro-enforcers are back on the streets

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on the trail of their own careless litter bugs.

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She's walking along with her friend,

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chatting and she's just thrown it on the floor. She's not realised

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she's committed an offence. That's what we're there to do.

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And some of the offenders' actions have to be seen to be believed.

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Clearly, no excuse. As I pointed out to them,

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there's a bin just here and a bin behind the tree just here.

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It's a little bit of ignorance. It's laziness, really.

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It's a cold and windy day in the district of Tendring

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on the East Essex coast.

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But that hasn't deterred the council's enviro-enforcer Darren Weaver.

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He's on the hunt for fly-tippers desecrating this rolling, green countryside.

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Fly-tipping in countryside locations is notoriously hard to investigate,

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because there are usually no witnesses.

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But this 30-year-old former police detective

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has been specially recruited.

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Tendring Council is hoping his skills can help resolve some of them.

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He's just had a report of another fly-tip. This one's on farmland.

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Apparently, someone's dumped fridge doors in Colchester.

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It's unusual to have a fridge door without a fridge attached.

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Who would dump fridge doors?

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Darren's reached his destination.

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But there's not a fridge door in sight,

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although, amongst other things, there's a washing machine.

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Looks like something might have been lost in translation here.

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Either way, it's a mess that needs investigating.

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At first sight, though,

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this looks like the many hundreds of fly-tips Darren is confronted with,

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a fly-tip with no clues.

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But Darren's not one to give up that easily.

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This is what you call a typical fly-tip.

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Typical it might be, and I'd say a pretty dangerous one, as well.

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This wire, that's razor sharp.

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That is razor sharp.

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That'll go through clothes, that'll go through an animal's leg.

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They're like little needles.

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It's really sharp where it's been cut and pulled apart.

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This wire is what's left of the innards of the washing machine.

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It would have been surrounded by copper casing

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that's been stripped off and, no doubt, sold on.

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The value of scrap copper is so high

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that people are stealing copper from wherever they can,

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in order to sell it in the scrap yards and metal dealers and things like that.

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It might not be the case with this one, but it looks like it from here.

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This razor-sharp wire isn't the only hazard here.

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There's a lot that could damage the environment, too.

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You've got the plastic that gets blown around

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and goes into trees and on birds' nests and things.

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It's quite inconsiderate, really.

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Sadly, it's an all-too-familiar scene to Darren,

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especially in quiet country lanes,

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where there's no CCTV

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and no-one to see the perpetrators commit their dirty deeds.

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When I turn up at things like this,

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it is normally a great big mish-mash of stuff,

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but it's probably the back of someone's van,

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and it's stuff that's accumulated. They do a job,

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or they've nicked loads of copper or done some electrical work,

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and they've got leftover plastic and wires.

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Darren's already got his own suspicions about how this lot has ended up here.

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They've done their mate a favour round the corner

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or done someone a favour for a tenner,

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got rid of their old washing machine.

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And then you've got things like...

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That's builder's rubble in there.

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His CID training and experience comes in handy

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when he faces this type of difficult investigation.

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He's always determined to find something to move things forward,

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and it usually comes from sifting through the piles of junk.

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When I arrive on a site, I try to find anything I can

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to link it to anything, to a shop, a particular person,

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an address, something that gives me a lead to follow.

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He's looking for a letter with a name or address on it

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or a piece of documentation that will allow him to put a trace in action.

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Sometimes on this sort of stuff,

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there might be a stripping label on it or something.

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Darren's tenacity has paid off.

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He's found a possible lead to the owner of the washing machine.

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A lot of times when you buy an appliance, you get a manufacturer's guarantee,

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and if I contact the manufacturers and give them some of these numbers,

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they might be able to tell me who owned it.

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I can go round the person's house and go,

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"What happened to your washing machine?"

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And they go, "Jack round the corner got rid of it for me."

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I go to Jack and he'll go, "I dumped it." Simple as that.

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You can trace people that way.

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But that's quite a good little bit of evidence there.

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It's a long shot, but there might just be a way

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of tracing the former owner of the washing machine from that.

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No wonder Tendring Council snapped up this keen law enforcer.

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But it's not just the scoundrel that Darren's concerned about.

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There's the owner of the land to think about, too.

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This is a way that this farmer comes on and off his land.

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You can see the whole point of this,

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the whole reason why this is a turn off the road.

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And you can see all these tractor marks.

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This is how he gets on and off, and that -

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I'm not sure how big his tractor is -

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that might even block him getting on.

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It's over the track, so I'm guessing it probably will.

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So I'll get that cleared later on today.

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Tomorrow morning, that'll be gone,

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so it won't be an inconvenience to the farmer, just to the council.

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And again - and I keep saying it -

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it's another cost to the council-tax payers,

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cos this money for clearing it comes out of their budget, their money.

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It costs the council £40,000 a year to clear fly-tipping,

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and that's set to rise dramatically

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if action isn't taken to deal with the filthy rotten scoundrels.

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So now Darren's been through the site with a fine-toothed comb,

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he heads back to HQ to carry on with his investigation.

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Still to come on Filthy Rotten Scoundrels:

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will the washing-machine warranty lead

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bring Darren closer to the fly-tipper?

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Basically, it's a bit of countryside and they've dumped

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loads of stuff there, including this washing machine.

0:19:140:19:18

Yeah, but they shouldn't dump it in a field!

0:19:200:19:24

And can Darren's actions preserve the Tendring countryside

0:19:240:19:27

from environmental yobs?

0:19:270:19:29

We don't want people dumping things on the side of the road,

0:19:290:19:32

and I hope people can see that we are really, really looking

0:19:320:19:35

into every single line we can.

0:19:350:19:38

Middlesbrough, sat on the south bank of the River Tees

0:19:460:19:49

in the heart of England's north-east.

0:19:490:19:51

This is a city with a strong industrial heritage,

0:19:570:20:00

but in some areas, economic deprivation

0:20:000:20:03

has seen businesses fold and drift away.

0:20:030:20:06

The residents and companies that are left

0:20:060:20:09

face becoming the victims of serial fly-tippers,

0:20:090:20:12

as unscrupulous dumpers take advantage to secretly offload their waste.

0:20:120:20:17

Enviro-enforcer Phil Armitage is dealing with just such an incident.

0:20:180:20:23

He's heading to the centre of the city

0:20:230:20:25

following a tip-off that a load of rubbish has been dumped

0:20:250:20:28

on some wasteland next to an industrial estate.

0:20:280:20:30

This area's largely industrial,

0:20:320:20:35

so pretty much, on an evening, it's deserted,

0:20:350:20:39

and this is why the fly-tippers tend to use this area.

0:20:390:20:43

It's out of sight, out of mind.

0:20:430:20:45

A lot of these buildings have back alleys to them,

0:20:450:20:47

and they can just drive from one end to the other

0:20:470:20:50

virtually unseen,

0:20:500:20:51

so hence we get a lot of waste dumped behind these kind of places.

0:20:510:20:57

And there's not that many CCTV cameras in the area either,

0:20:570:21:01

unlike the town centre.

0:21:010:21:04

So with all that, it makes detection that bit harder.

0:21:040:21:07

Towns and cities all over Britain face similar problems

0:21:100:21:14

with depressed areas that are incredibly difficult to police.

0:21:140:21:18

It comes down to Phil and fellow enviro-enforcer Lee Hooker

0:21:180:21:22

to react to tip-offs from alert members of the public.

0:21:220:21:25

They aim to investigate fly-tips as thoroughly as possible for any clues

0:21:280:21:33

that might lead them to the perpetrator.

0:21:330:21:35

As enforcers, we're looking for evidence,

0:21:360:21:39

nearby businesses, nearby witnesses, anything that can help us.

0:21:390:21:45

It's a painstaking and, frankly, unpleasant job

0:21:460:21:49

sifting through piles of other people's rubbish,

0:21:490:21:52

but it's the only way these guys can hope to find evidence

0:21:520:21:55

to catch the fly-tippers.

0:21:550:21:57

Quite often, you'll get delivery addresses on boxes and packaging.

0:21:570:22:00

So it's probably someone...

0:22:020:22:04

There's a bag of cement there, a bag of plaster,

0:22:040:22:06

so I suspect it's someone having work done at a property

0:22:060:22:09

and this is what's left, or they're doing a property up.

0:22:090:22:13

Once the lads have combed the site for clues,

0:22:130:22:16

the waste will have to be removed

0:22:160:22:18

before some other idiot gets the same idea and adds to the pile.

0:22:180:22:21

And because it's council land,

0:22:230:22:26

then we'll end up having to clear it up, or the council'll have to

0:22:260:22:31

employ someone to clear it up at the council's cost.

0:22:310:22:35

Lee's hit the nail on the head.

0:22:370:22:38

It costs Middlesbrough Council alone over £200,000 a year

0:22:380:22:42

to clear up fly-tips.

0:22:420:22:44

Countrywide, that figure escalates

0:22:440:22:46

to an astonishing £74 million of taxpayers' money.

0:22:460:22:51

Filthy rotten scoundrels are costing us all a packet.

0:22:510:22:55

As the search for evidence continues,

0:22:560:22:58

it seems that Phil and Lee are actually standing on the largest clue.

0:22:580:23:03

These are, like, industrial-unit sliding doors, I think.

0:23:030:23:08

You've got a letterbox there.

0:23:080:23:10

So they've probably come off a commercial premises.

0:23:100:23:13

The plot thickens. This is an industrial estate.

0:23:150:23:18

Perhaps the doors belong to a local business.

0:23:180:23:21

Has someone been dumping on their own doorstep?

0:23:210:23:24

We're looking for minute evidence first, but you might turn this over

0:23:250:23:29

and there's an address on it. You know?

0:23:290:23:32

-Letting go, yeah?

-Yeah.

0:23:340:23:36

So now we're looking for somewhere that's had gates took off.

0:23:360:23:39

Phil and Lee carry on searching in the hope of finding more clues,

0:23:390:23:44

and their determination is soon rewarded.

0:23:440:23:47

With a bit of luck, there might be a number on here, Lee.

0:23:470:23:49

What does that say? RSS?

0:23:510:23:53

It says on there the initials RSS,

0:23:530:23:56

which could be the name of a business.

0:23:560:23:59

Obviously, when we get back to the office,

0:23:590:24:02

we'll probably Google that or check our own databases,

0:24:030:24:08

and it may be somebody's initials,

0:24:080:24:11

or it probably just stands for a company name.

0:24:110:24:13

For Phil, it's just another example of a familiar old story.

0:24:160:24:20

From the weight of those doors,

0:24:200:24:22

I would suspect they haven't come very far.

0:24:220:24:25

And to get them on a truck, you'd need a biggish truck,

0:24:250:24:27

cos they'd be overhanging the sides.

0:24:270:24:30

So they've probably thought,

0:24:300:24:32

"Well, who's going to know? Who's going to bother checking round here?"

0:24:320:24:36

But we do.

0:24:360:24:38

Phil and Lee really need some witnesses to the fly-tip

0:24:390:24:42

to back up their theory, but this place is deserted.

0:24:420:24:45

Even Boro's oldest pub has long since called time on last orders.

0:24:450:24:50

It's very frustrating.

0:24:500:24:52

If only they were still serving pints at the Middlehaven,

0:24:520:24:55

a punter might have seen something and given them a break.

0:24:550:24:59

Phil and Lee decide to search the surrounding streets

0:25:020:25:05

for any clues - or indeed anyone - that might have seen anything.

0:25:050:25:09

And it's quickly becoming clear that the whole area is littered with waste.

0:25:090:25:14

Fly-tippers have been taking full advantage

0:25:140:25:17

of the deserted night-time streets.

0:25:170:25:19

It's a classic case of rubbish breeding rubbish.

0:25:190:25:22

Nah, it's full of rubble, mate.

0:25:240:25:26

I think what's probably happened is the pub's shut down,

0:25:400:25:44

somebody's probably just come along, seen their commercial waste bin

0:25:440:25:48

and just thought, "Oh, we'll fill it full of whatever,"

0:25:480:25:51

cos you can't lift that up, it's full of rubble, again -

0:25:510:25:55

cement and building-type waste,

0:25:550:25:59

which is synonymous with the stuff round the front.

0:25:590:26:02

What started as one fly-tip has engulfed the area.

0:26:020:26:06

The guys need to get some serious help here

0:26:060:26:09

if they're to stop this rubbish mountain escalating any further.

0:26:090:26:12

Technology might be the answer.

0:26:150:26:18

Just a few streets away,

0:26:180:26:19

a colleague of theirs has been using it to tackle a similar problem.

0:26:190:26:24

Fed up with the huge amounts of waste being fly-tipped

0:26:240:26:28

in an area earmarked for regeneration,

0:26:280:26:29

enviro-enforcer Laura Mowbray installed CCTV,

0:26:290:26:33

with startling results.

0:26:330:26:35

CCTV allows us to catch people red-handed.

0:26:350:26:40

Obviously, we have to identify those people and we have to go through ways

0:26:400:26:43

and means to get their identities,

0:26:430:26:45

but when we can get registration plate numbers and that type of thing,

0:26:450:26:51

it all helps us.

0:26:510:26:52

Lo and behold, as soon as the CCTV camera was put up,

0:26:520:26:56

it started paying dividends.

0:26:560:26:59

It had caught two fly-tippers blatantly chucking their rubbish

0:26:590:27:02

on the street in broad daylight.

0:27:020:27:04

The vehicle pulled up here, turned around, two males got out,

0:27:090:27:13

opened up the vehicle and started to deposit waste.

0:27:130:27:16

One deposited it in that direction...

0:27:190:27:21

..and another in this direction here.

0:27:230:27:26

These two emptied a van full of building and commercial waste

0:27:260:27:30

and scattered it left, right and centre across a broad area.

0:27:300:27:33

Laura is still finding evidence, despite a clean-up by the council.

0:27:330:27:38

There is actually some waste still present,

0:27:400:27:43

some breeze blocks in that direction,

0:27:430:27:45

and broken-up bricks in that direction,

0:27:450:27:48

and I think that's just because of the way that they dumped the waste.

0:27:480:27:51

They just threw it anywhere. It wasn't in any organised fashion,

0:27:510:27:55

it was just literally deposited wherever they wanted to leave it.

0:27:550:27:59

The CCTV camera has proved invaluable to Laura and her team

0:28:000:28:05

and made a real difference for local residents.

0:28:050:28:09

The CCTV camera's just over there on the lamppost.

0:28:090:28:12

We did find there was an improvement in fly-tipping in this area.

0:28:120:28:16

It's acted as a deterrent. We haven't seen many people fly-tip recently.

0:28:160:28:20

That might be because people don't want to be caught.

0:28:200:28:23

When the two men -

0:28:250:28:26

Craig Blackburn and Peter McGuinness - were questioned,

0:28:260:28:29

their excuse for fly-tipping had to be heard to be believed.

0:28:290:28:33

The reason they gave for dumping the waste in that manner

0:28:330:28:36

was that it was outside of the front of Mr Blackburn's father's house

0:28:360:28:41

and he was having difficulty getting his car out,

0:28:410:28:44

so they decided to move it from that location to this location, or so they said.

0:28:440:28:49

So instead of calling the council and getting the fly-tip removed

0:28:500:28:53

from in front of their house,

0:28:530:28:55

they just went and dumped it in front of someone else's instead.

0:28:550:28:58

Charming(!)

0:28:580:29:00

They both said in the interview that two wrongs don't make a right

0:29:000:29:04

and they shouldn't have been dumping the waste

0:29:040:29:07

in that manner or in this location. It is illegal,

0:29:070:29:09

and they do not have permission to deposit waste in that manner.

0:29:090:29:12

Craig Blackburn and Peter McGuinness were prosecuted for fly-tipping

0:29:120:29:17

and pleaded guilty.

0:29:170:29:18

They were each fined nearly £1,000,

0:29:180:29:20

including the cost of cleaning up the filthy mess they'd left behind.

0:29:200:29:24

They've been fined in court, got quite a hefty fine,

0:29:240:29:27

and hopefully that will prevent them from doing that again.

0:29:270:29:30

Laura feels passionately that although the fly-tipped area

0:29:330:29:36

was quite neglected, the council should still take a zero-tolerance approach.

0:29:360:29:42

This is quite a run-down area,

0:29:430:29:46

but when you add fly-tipping into the mix as well,

0:29:460:29:48

it just makes it really unsightly.

0:29:480:29:51

This area's been targeted for regeneration,

0:29:510:29:53

and if there's issues such as fly-tipping,

0:29:530:29:56

then it's going to be quite hard

0:29:560:29:58

to build new houses and bring new people into the area.

0:29:580:30:01

Phil and Lee follow Laura's example

0:30:050:30:08

and call on the assistance of the surveillance cameras.

0:30:080:30:11

We're going to check the CCTV system.

0:30:110:30:13

It went up just before the bank holiday,

0:30:130:30:15

specifically for fly-tipping.

0:30:150:30:17

But will it help trace the people that dumped this lot,

0:30:170:30:21

and will it reduce fly-tipping in the area full stop?

0:30:210:30:24

In Liverpool, a devoted-team of enviro-enforcers

0:30:290:30:32

are on the streets five days a week, 52 weeks a year

0:30:320:30:35

to try and bring a halt to some of the less savoury habits

0:30:350:30:39

we British indulge in.

0:30:390:30:41

Today, Sean Tully and his colleague Brian

0:30:410:30:45

are following Islington's footsteps

0:30:450:30:47

and cracking down on smokers who carelessly drop butts on the street.

0:30:470:30:51

And Brian has spotted something.

0:30:510:30:54

There's a woman just put a cigarette onto the floor

0:30:580:31:00

and stood on it before entering a shop.

0:31:000:31:03

I'll have a word with her when she leaves the building.

0:31:030:31:05

These boys have to have patience.

0:31:050:31:08

They wait...

0:31:080:31:11

and wait...

0:31:110:31:12

..and wait.

0:31:120:31:15

-Is that her, white blouse, coming out now?

-Yeah, that's her.

0:31:150:31:18

The guys make their move.

0:31:190:31:21

Excuse me? Hiya. You all right?

0:31:260:31:28

Just have a little word with you across the way here?

0:31:280:31:31

What have I done?

0:31:310:31:33

I'll just explain it to you. As you were going into Superdrug,

0:31:330:31:36

a few minutes before you came back out,

0:31:360:31:39

-you dropped a cigarette on the floor.

-When?

0:31:390:31:41

As you were entering. A white cigarette.

0:31:410:31:43

-Are you aware that was an offence?

-No.

-You wasn't?

-No.

0:31:430:31:46

Unfortunately, it is an offence.

0:31:460:31:48

She's walking along with her friend, she's chatting

0:31:480:31:51

and just thrown it onto the floor.

0:31:510:31:53

She's not realised she's committed an offence. That's what we're there for,

0:31:530:31:57

to tell her it is an offence, and enforce a fixed-penalty notice.

0:31:570:32:01

So I've taken her details, and she will be reported for that offence.

0:32:010:32:05

Believe it or not, it comes as a surprise to some people

0:32:050:32:07

that dropping cigarette ends is an offence

0:32:070:32:10

and that it carries a hefty fine of £75 here in Liverpool.

0:32:100:32:14

Within the area that you're in at the moment,

0:32:140:32:17

you'll see that there's bins dotted every 10-to-15 paces,

0:32:170:32:20

and every one of them has an ashtray on top.

0:32:200:32:23

All we ask is that you take that extra second to have a look.

0:32:230:32:26

OK? Thanks for your time. Bye-bye.

0:32:260:32:29

I don't think there is an excuse any more for people

0:32:290:32:31

who throw litter on the floor or allow their dogs to foul.

0:32:310:32:34

The campaigns that we run are high-impact campaigns,

0:32:340:32:38

and people are aware of them.

0:32:380:32:40

But it looks like there's one man

0:32:400:32:42

who hasn't seen any of those campaigns.

0:32:420:32:45

A gentleman over the road here, outside the property.

0:32:450:32:49

Not sure whether he's the owner or not,

0:32:490:32:52

but I've just seen him flick his cigarette into the road.

0:32:520:32:56

We're going to go and have a word

0:32:560:32:58

and see what, er, his reasons are for it.

0:32:580:33:02

Sean and Brian are certainly eagle-eyed.

0:33:040:33:06

There's a very busy dual carriageway between them and the culprit.

0:33:060:33:11

The male who Brian's witnessed throwing a cigarette onto the floor

0:33:110:33:15

has now gone back inside the property,

0:33:150:33:17

so we're just going to give him a knock

0:33:170:33:19

and we'll speak with him about the offence.

0:33:190:33:22

It's the second catch of the day, and, although shocked,

0:33:260:33:29

the man admits what he did and is issued with a fixed-penalty notice.

0:33:290:33:33

This can lead to a formal caution or a £75 fine.

0:33:330:33:37

That's one very expensive habit.

0:33:370:33:39

And Sean and Brian haven't finished yet.

0:33:420:33:44

Next on their hit-list is a local park, and it doesn't take them long

0:33:440:33:48

before careful surveillance throws up another offender.

0:33:480:33:51

I suspect that he's probably going to

0:33:510:33:53

throw the cigarette onto the floor or the grass.

0:33:530:33:56

I mean, he's just been stood next to...

0:33:560:34:00

He has actually dropped the cigarette onto the floor.

0:34:000:34:03

He's just done it, so we'll get out

0:34:030:34:06

and go and engage with him and see what he says.

0:34:060:34:08

This bloke's just stubbed his cigarette out on the floor

0:34:120:34:15

despite being right next to a bin.

0:34:150:34:17

All right, sir? You OK?

0:34:170:34:19

Just a quick word, please.

0:34:190:34:21

Just been sat in me vehicle and observed you were smoking a cigarette

0:34:220:34:28

and you've thrown your cigarette down onto the grass,

0:34:280:34:30

even though there was a bin literally just five feet behind

0:34:300:34:34

-where you were stood just here.

-I didn't realise.

0:34:340:34:37

It is actually an offence.

0:34:370:34:39

I'm required to take some details from you to report you for it.

0:34:390:34:43

-Do you have any identification on you at all?

-No.

-You don't.

0:34:430:34:47

Was you aware that it's an offence?

0:34:470:34:49

Well, I wasn't aware I was doing it.

0:34:490:34:52

You was aware that you were having a cigarette, though?

0:34:520:34:55

-Yeah.

-All right, OK.

0:34:550:34:56

I'll produce a statement, which I'll send to Liverpool City Council's legal services department,

0:34:560:35:02

and they'll do one of two things - either send you a fixed-penalty notice

0:35:020:35:05

-or they'll send you a letter of caution, OK?

-OK.

0:35:050:35:08

what I would ask is that when you are obviously in the city centre

0:35:080:35:11

or in the parks, that you use the bins.

0:35:110:35:13

-Well, I normally put it in my pocket.

-Right, OK.

0:35:130:35:16

But on this occasion,

0:35:160:35:17

you were literally stood five feet away from the bin,

0:35:170:35:20

to which you could have deposited it and disposed of it.

0:35:200:35:24

OK? So just be a bit more cautious of the fact that you are in a park.

0:35:240:35:27

-OK.

-OK? Thanks for your time.

0:35:270:35:29

Pleased with the day's work, Sean is nonetheless determined

0:35:300:35:34

to keep on educating the public and nipping their bad habits in the bud.

0:35:340:35:38

Clearly no excuse. As I pointed out to him,

0:35:380:35:40

there's a bin just here, and a bin again behind the tree just here.

0:35:400:35:43

It's a little bit of ignorance. It's laziness, really.

0:35:430:35:47

In coastal Essex, Tendring Council has been struggling

0:35:510:35:55

with an upsurge in illegal fly-tipping,

0:35:550:35:57

so they've appointed former police detective Darren Weaver

0:35:570:36:01

to improve the situation and prosecute these filthy rotten scoundrels.

0:36:010:36:05

With an average of 75 illegal dumps reported every fortnight,

0:36:060:36:11

he's certainly got his work cut out.

0:36:110:36:13

His latest case is a tough one.

0:36:130:36:15

A washing machine, together with other rubbish, has been dumped at the entrance to a farmer's field.

0:36:150:36:20

Now back at his office, Darren is trying to track down the owner of

0:36:230:36:26

that dumped washing machine, and he doesn't accept any excuses for this kind of behaviour.

0:36:260:36:32

We're all responsible for what happens to our waste.

0:36:320:36:36

If you have your waste collected, you need to know that the person who's collecting it is licensed

0:36:360:36:41

and you need to have proof on paperwork.

0:36:410:36:44

A duty of care certificate should be given to you

0:36:440:36:46

saying that your waste has been taken away by a proper company and a description of the waste.

0:36:460:36:51

If people make out, "It ain't my fault, they took it and they dumped it," well,

0:36:510:36:55

it kind of is, really.

0:36:550:36:57

My sentiments exactly, Darren.

0:36:570:37:00

Whilst at the fly-tip, Darren had a stroke of luck.

0:37:000:37:04

He managed to prise a service label with a serial number from the washing machine, and he's hoping

0:37:040:37:10

the manufacturer might have a record of the owner's details.

0:37:100:37:13

Right, "Contact us by phone".

0:37:170:37:21

084... Hello. I've got the sticker right in front of me.

0:37:210:37:27

Right, it's a rectangular sticker.

0:37:270:37:29

It's got "Service" on the top left-hand corner, and it's got a barcode with a number above it.

0:37:290:37:33

I don't know. If I tell you the numbers, you might be able to tell me what they relate to.

0:37:330:37:38

Right, it says "Service," and then the first number's 8592.

0:37:380:37:42

OK, and the number underneath it?

0:37:420:37:45

Sadly, it looks like it might be a dead end for Darren.

0:37:450:37:48

The serial number means nothing at all to the call-centre operator.

0:37:480:37:52

OK, what about there's a sticker that says "Factory use", the 9483 number?

0:37:520:37:57

Still no go. But Darren's not giving up that easily.

0:37:590:38:02

Is there any way to trace these washing machines back, then? Do you need a full postcode,

0:38:020:38:06

or could you search on an area and give a list of different washing machines in that area?

0:38:060:38:10

Oh, no...

0:38:100:38:11

Have you got their number?

0:38:110:38:13

I am.

0:38:130:38:16

OK. Thank you very much.

0:38:160:38:19

Bye. Bye.

0:38:190:38:20

Right, that's not good.

0:38:200:38:23

They've said whoever had this washing machine has never registered it for a warranty.

0:38:230:38:27

What I'm going to do anyway, I've now got the number direct for

0:38:270:38:30

who the washing machine was made by, and they might be able to find another way of helping me.

0:38:300:38:34

Cases like this are notoriously difficult to investigate and resolve,

0:38:340:38:38

but Darren is like a dog with a bone.

0:38:380:38:41

He's straight onto the phone again.

0:38:410:38:43

Could this finally throw up a lead to the elusive washing-machine owner?

0:38:430:38:47

Basically, it's like a bit of countryside, and they've dumped

0:38:470:38:51

loads of stuff there, including this washing machine, so...

0:38:510:38:54

Yeah, but they shouldn't dump it in a field!

0:38:570:38:59

Despite all Darren's best efforts, he just can't get any further with this investigation.

0:39:020:39:06

-It looks like this one's hit the buffers.

-What they've said is this one's now a dead end, really.

0:39:060:39:12

It does grate with me a little bit, but I know I can say I've done everything I can.

0:39:120:39:18

We don't want people dumping their things on the side of the road,

0:39:180:39:21

and I hope people can see that we are really, really looking into every single line we can.

0:39:210:39:27

And unlucky enough on this one.

0:39:270:39:28

It grates with me that we ain't found it, but I can say I tried my best.

0:39:280:39:32

Well, you can't win 'em all, Darren.

0:39:320:39:35

But anyone considering illegally fly-tipping in Tendring in the future, beware,

0:39:350:39:39

because this enviro-enforcer doesn't give up without a fight.

0:39:390:39:43

In Middlesbrough, enviro-enforcers are battling against

0:39:490:39:51

a surge of illegal fly-tips that are blighting a deprived industrial area in the heart of the city.

0:39:510:39:58

Filthy rotten scoundrels have been taking advantage of empty streets and dumping their

0:39:580:40:02

household and commercial rubbish wherever they please.

0:40:020:40:05

Middlesbrough council's Phil Armitage and Lee Hooker

0:40:050:40:09

are concentrating on one case of fly-tipping including two very large doors.

0:40:090:40:13

But this area is so deserted that the chances of finding anyone

0:40:130:40:17

who can help with their investigation seem very slim.

0:40:170:40:21

Lee bumped into one man who claims he saw it being dumped.

0:40:240:40:28

It's a very positive lead, but they'll need more than one man's statement to build a credible case.

0:40:280:40:34

Yeah, yeah. When did you see those gates last on that...

0:40:340:40:38

Two, three week.

0:40:380:40:40

-So two or three weeks ago, did you see him...

-Yeah.

0:40:400:40:43

Were you in the street here?

0:40:430:40:44

-Did you see him take those gates physically, cross here...

-Yeah.

-..and put them there?

-Yeah, I see it.

0:40:440:40:50

And what were you doing? Where were you stood?

0:40:500:40:52

Yeah, I'm here, but the guy wasn't watching.

0:40:520:40:57

Righto.

0:40:570:40:58

What's your date of birth, sir?

0:40:580:41:01

OK. Thanks for your time.

0:41:010:41:03

It's something to follow up on, but the officers aren't convinced

0:41:030:41:06

it will get them any closer to finding the people that dumped this lot.

0:41:060:41:11

So they've decided to take the lead from their colleagues

0:41:110:41:14

who have had such a positive result from CCTV just around the corner.

0:41:140:41:18

The cameras will monitor the spot where the doors were dumped.

0:41:180:41:22

It's a long shot, but the people who dumped the doors might just fly-tip here again.

0:41:220:41:27

And it may just give us an idea of what time this person or persons comes and uses the unit.

0:41:280:41:35

Could be six o'clock in the morning.

0:41:350:41:36

If that's the case, we'll come back at six in the morning, see if we can catch them.

0:41:360:41:40

Or ten o'clock at night. And if that's the only way of doing it, then that's what we'll do.

0:41:400:41:45

It's all in a day's work for our enviro crusaders.

0:41:450:41:48

There's no such thing as an easy case for them.

0:41:480:41:51

It usually takes months of leg work to nail fly-tipping scoundrels.

0:41:510:41:55

With some investigations, it can take months and months just to get

0:41:550:42:00

all the facts and evidence together, do all the background checks.

0:42:000:42:03

By the time you get a court date, it could be six months later.

0:42:030:42:06

And they may not even turn up for the first hearing, second hearing,

0:42:060:42:10

and you could be talking a year after the actual event before you actually get

0:42:100:42:16

a guilty or not guilty plea in court.

0:42:160:42:18

Phil and Lee haven't got a result with this case yet, but the CCTV has proven successful.

0:42:200:42:27

Since the camera was put up on the industrial estate, there hasn't been one single fly-tip.

0:42:270:42:33

Our enviro-enforcers' work, combined with a little technological helping hand,

0:42:340:42:40

has made an immense difference to an area that, fingers crossed, will continue to improve.

0:42:400:42:45

Right across the UK, enviro-enforcers are working hard

0:42:460:42:50

to make our country a greener, cleaner place to live.

0:42:500:42:53

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

0:42:530:43:00

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:000:43:03

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:030:43:06

Filthy Rotten Scoundrels is the 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.

London residents work together with the authorities to catch graffiti vandals wrecking their neighbourhood.

In Middlesbrough, two fly-tippers are caught bang to rights when they dump their waste on an industrial estate.

And 122 tons of cigarettes are dumped on our streets every day, enforcement officers in Liverpool and London get to grips with the issue.


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