Series highlighting the work of environment officers. The Environment Agency uncovers a gang responsible for illegally dumping hundreds of thousands of tyres all over the country.
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Welcome to the fight to clean up our streets and put the "great" back into Britain.
There's absolutely no excuse for this behaviour.
Every 30 seconds, rubbish is illegally dumped across the UK.
It's filthy, it's hazardous and it's wrecking our cities and countryside.
Coming up on today's programme...
In Liverpool, locals are up in arms about an enormous illegal fly tip in the middle of their neighbourhood.
I'd just like to get my hands on them.
And would they do it on their own doorstep? No.
But will CCTV catch the criminals red-handed?
This one is so blatantly ridiculous.
He's either very, very daft or he's got absolutely no care in the world.
An ex copper's gone really, really bad in one of the largest ever cases of its kind in the UK.
It's the worst case of illegal tyre disposal that I've ever come across.
In Middlesbrough, a sting operation is underway to stop thieves stealing metal from people's homes.
Anything you do say may be used in evidence.
-Do you understand the caution?
This is the fight against Britain's filthy, rotten, scoundrels.
Early morning in Middlesbrough, and enforcement officers Lee and Phil
have teamed up with police on a stop-and-search operation.
I'm only interested in the person driving the vehicle.
You don't actually need to be here if you don't want.
If you can't produce that licence, you will receive a fixed penalty.
They're on a mission to nail scoundrels who are illegally making money out of rubbish,
especially stolen scrap metal.
If you're transporting waste and making money out of it, you must be registered to show you're legit.
A three-year licence will only cost you £154
but if you're caught without one,
you could land yourself a £300 fine, which can go up to a maximum of £5,000.
The fines, though, just don't deter some people and Phil's job is to enforce the law.
He's just pulled this van in and these guys seem cagey about what they've got in the back.
Have you got any waste in the back of here? Waste.
Can you open the back up?
Can you open the back up, mate?
-have a look? I haven't had a look.
I'm from Middlesbrough Council.
Bingo. Could this be the first haul of the day?
I thought you said you'd no waste.
We've got a joint operation with the VOSA who are the vehicle inspectorate, Cleveland Police,
Middlesbrough Council and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
The police bring the vehicles in, VOSA checks the vehicles - make sure they're roadworthy -
and we're doing licensing checks to make sure the people who are transporting waste have got licences.
Those that haven't get due processed.
It's a big issue that needs tough measures. These officers mean business.
They do these sting operations nearly every week and there's a special theme for today.
The purpose of today's exercise is to try and reduce thefts from
buildings and dwellings of coppers and expensive scrap metals.
The police are going out finding the vehicles
who are trying to weigh it in just down the road at a scrap yard.
Back to the van that Phil's just pulled over and he's getting down to business.
It's scrap-metal then, isn't it?
Well, it looks like metal.
-It is metal. So what's to say it's scrap metal?
Because you say so?
Well, in my opinion, I'd say it's scrap metal.
What's it getting used for?
I don't know. I'm not interested in what it's getting used for.
Are you in charge of this vehicle?
-It's the driver I need to speak to.
Tell you what. I'll come round here.
Something tells me these guys aren't going to roll over easily and guess what -
he recognises one of them.
The gentleman we've pulled in is known to ourselves for fly-tipping. He's been prosecuted once before.
We had another case against him but not enough evidence to prosecute,
so today, if he's got any waste on him,
we can reopen an investigation and prosecute him
if he hasn't got a licence to carry that waste.
Phil's not messing around but these guys aren't making it easy for him.
I'm only interested in the person who's driving the vehicle.
You don't actually need to be here if you don't want.
Before I speak to you, mate, I want to verify your identity.
I'm allowed to do that. Before I speak to you, is that the telephone number?
-No, but I'll give you a phone number.
-Before I say anything to you, I want to verify your identity.
This could get even messier.
As the tension mounts, Phil decides to take charge of the situation.
Find out later what happens
when they get the man into the back of a police van.
You don't have to say anything but it may harm your defence
if you do not mention when questioned
something which you later rely on in court.
Liverpool - famous for its docks,
the Mersey and, of course, the Beatles.
But there's something this city isn't so proud of.
Parts of the city are drowning in piles of dumped rubbish.
Mattresses, bedroom furniture - anything at all.
They come down and dump it there.
It's costing money to sort it out. It's just a waste of money.
People can go to the dump and dump it for basically nothing.
All they've got to do is go and get it there.
But the council has teams of enforcement officers
hell bent on nailing the criminals ruining their city.
On duty today is former dustman Bill Burke.
It's an illegal dumping of waste and it's not nice at all.
It's an environmental crime that needs dealing with severely.
Bills partner in grime is Gary Southern.
They think they've got away with it but this time, they've not.
The days of the city's prolific fly tippers are numbered.
Bill, Gary and their fellow officers have a secret weapon up their sleeves to catch the culprits.
Live 24-hour closed-circuit television.
Cameras are being put up in hot spots across the city and an enforcement team
has just been informed about another one that's in desperate need of the CCTV treatment.
And it's a shocker.
People have been illegally dumping at this derelict social club.
Residents have had enough and there's no question how one of them feels about what's going on.
It's a lovely neighbourhood - really is nice.
Nice, friendly folk and people.
Unfortunately, this is letting it all down.
The club's been closed six years
but the fire happened last March, 12 months ago,
and no barricade up so, of course, they just start dumping.
Infuriating, absolutely. And then, of course, we've seen the rats around so that's another thing.
I'd just like to get my hands on them.
Would they do it on their own doorstep? No.
The wife has seen it - that's why... That started the complaints.
It was upsetting her.
They used to come in vans
and, of course, she wanted to go and do this, do that. I had to calm her down.
We finished up having a row.
Now, we don't talk about it...
All round, the houses... The people themselves keep the property nice.
You've got shops and pubs in Penny Lane and it's all nice.
We've done our bit and there's nothing more we can do.
We just hope that it's going to get sorted.
Bill and Gary are on their way to the derelict social club to crack the case of who's been dumping here.
It's their top priority.
It's a nice quiet area, actually.
Very few problems with fly-tipping or littering in this area.
Apart from this, which has come to light now which, er,
is an area that used to be a Conservative Club and then the Conservative was closed down
and it was taken over as a snooker hall, which has now closed down.
And due to the fact that it's an enclosed area
and it's one of the few empty areas around this area,
people have decided to start fly-tipping in there.
But Bill and Gary have got a secret weapon up their sleeves.
This is the main road. There's a little cut-off here,
so we've fitted a camera on the lamp standard outside
and Gary's now monitored the area through the camera.
The camera has been covering their new hot spot for two weeks
and now they're hoping to nail the criminals who have been dumping here.
The CCTV cameras are proving to be very successful in Liverpool's fight against fly-tipping.
Enforcement officer Steve is in charge of the cameras
and has caught countless people dumping on his patch.
Across the city, one secluded back road was a nasty hot spot and a nightmare for local businesses.
We were continually plagued by people just dumping their rubbish outside in the yard,
particularly of a weekend.
There was everything - builders' skips, household things, rubbish,
asbestos, everything. Bin bags all over the road and everything.
What can you say about them? They don't give a monkey, do they? They don't care at all.
They're only interested in trying to save a few bob dumping the stuff as cheaply as possible.
It's the last resort, the camera.
It's only for areas that are really getting hammered for fly-tipping,
and this area we're going to now has been one of them.
It's a regular two to three times a week that rubbish is being put there.
This is an isolated back street, but Steve and his kit have got the area covered.
And there are countless numbers of rogues that have been caught in the act.
Steve installed the camera 12 months ago and it's doing him proud.
Mainly what it is is just people just coming down here and they're
just throwing their rubbish out - building material.
One in particular was literally just here in front of us.
A guy pulls up in a little van, passenger gets out
and just throws a load of toys and clothing
in the middle of the road, and then they just drove off.
Obviously, we went in to investigate that
and we found the guy. He was interviewed,
fully admitted it and he went to court and he was found guilty.
This evidence meant the man got stung
with a £50 fine and £250 in court costs.
Another guy, again, he drove up here, parked where the blue gate is
and just unloaded a load of builder's rubble - wood, from what looked like a kitchen, I think it was.
Again, we investigated that. We found out who he was,
interviewed him, admitted the offence and, again, found guilty at court.
This man had the gall to dump his builder's rubbish in broad daylight,
but the CCTV evidence meant he had to put his hands up to it
and pay a total of £290.
Since the council have put the camera up, it's been 100% better.
We were also plagued by burglaries and it seems to have stopped that as well.
Obviously, people can see the camera, know it's monitored and then go somewhere else.
So it's been very, very good for us. Really pleased with it.
As far as we're concerned, it's been fantastic.
Back at the derelict social club,
officers Bill and Gary are assessing the damage.
They're hoping the CCTV camera has caught the rogues
who've been dumping in this pleasant residential area.
After seven years as a bin man on the streets of Liverpool,
Bill's knowledge of all things rubbish reveals just how shocking this mess is.
Personally, I could count the fly-tips.
I would say there's one there off a small van.
That one there is two off two three-and-a-half ton vans, tippers.
That one there is a three-and-a-half-ton tipper.
That one there, that's a three-and-a-half tonner.
Again, a three-and-a-half tonner where the bags of rubble are.
Three-and-a-half tonner, the weight in the bricks there.
That's a small van that's just dumped everything out the back.
So all in all, 11/12 fly-tippings in this little area.
It's a blight on the people who live here.
They're all council tax payers, so they don't deserve to be looking at this.
And this lot isn't going to be cheap to clear up.
Just the tips alone...
20,000 plus...because of what it is. Some of the stuff's got to be separated.
Any chemical containers would have to be taken out.
So there's a lot of work to be done just to clear it up. A lot of work.
20 grand - that's an unbelievable amount.
The officers are looking for any fresh dumps that could have been caught on CCTV.
And then, it looks like Gary's come up trumps.
This might seem like a big white box to you and me, but to him,
it's another opportunity to catch the culprits.
I think that's new, what Bill's at there.
Like I say, I'll go back to work and I'll search the CCTV evidence.
Gary, Bill, and, of course, the local residents are hoping
the cameras have caught the scoundrels who've been ruining their area.
Find out later, as the story unravels.
As officers trawl through CCTV footage, could they have struck gold?
We've just got him coming in now, you can just see the back of his car.
Can you see, the white box is there?
But as they track the driver of a car caught on camera, could there be a surprising result to this case?
How stupid can you get?!
In Middlesbrough, officers Phil and Lee
are soon to interview a man about illegally carrying scrap metal.
I'm only interested in the person who was driving the vehicle.
So you don't need to be here, if you don't want.
But then, the severity of what's going on comes to light.
The owner of the vehicle has been prosecuted before for fly-tipping.
He's on a suspended sentence
and if he gets caught again, he could go to prison.
But first, one of the largest ever cases of its kind seen in the UK.
Now, as stories of illegal dumping go, they don't get much bigger than this.
The UK produces around 450,000 tons of used tyres each year.
It's illegal to put them into landfill sites,
so they've got to be recycled or re-used for other purposes.
Reputable companies will charge garages between £1 and £1.50 to dispose of the tyres,
but in 2006, one company was charging 70p a tyre to take them off people's hands.
It seemed too good to be true...
and it was.
In fact, it was so serious that the Environment Agency was called in to investigate.
This is the worst case of illegal tyre disposal that I've ever come cross.
We first got alerted back in August 2006
that a company up in Hirwaun was accepting tyres into the site.
Um, we weren't aware of a site that could do it legally,
so we came up to have a look and that's how we came across this unit.
This warehouse in Wales was being used by a gang of criminals
who were taking the cash to recycle the tyres but were dumping them.
The first time we came in, there was a bit of a shock of the actual volume of tyres that were in there.
The actual unit was completely full of tyres, stacked up as high as the rafters.
It's very difficult to estimate the exact number of tyres due to the volume,
but we estimated that there was in the region of 100,000 individual tyres in the unit.
100,000 tyres, and the owner didn't even know they were there!
If the Environment Agency were surprised at the scale of this operation,
imagine how Robert Isler - the owner of the warehouse -
felt when he first came across the mountains of tyres.
I was just speechless. I mean, I went walking along a 20,000sq ft unit
and there was, like, mountains of the stuff. I mean, it was just...
I couldn't believe someone can be so low, basically, to do that to somebody else's stuff.
Um, it was just frustrating, upsetting, annoying.
There were three people in on the operation - a woman and two men -
but unbelievably, one of them was an ex-police inspector!
We knew he was somebody we could trust,
he seemed like a very upstanding businessman,
he seemed to have it all sorted out, and we didn't get too worried about it.
The Environment Agency investigation revealed exactly what had been going on.
Their main source of business was, um,
having companies bring tyres into the site.
They had three or four main people who were bringing in large loads of between 300 and 500 tyres at a time,
sometimes two to three times a week.
Also, they actually arranged to go out and collect tyres from local garages and service centres.
And as if that wasn't bad enough,
the gang was also dumping tyres in Manchester, Warrington and Colchester.
It was the same story at all the sites.
We got stung, we'd been left with this hundred-and-something-thousand tyres.
For Robert Isler, things got even worse when the criminal investigation got underway.
I couldn't move anything because the police said, can't touch anything.
So we were left with two years, longer than that, without any rent.
Then we were told afterwards that we had to clean... get rid of all the tyres.
Um, they just got from bad to worse.
With Robert worrying about what he was going to do,
the Environment Agency's legal team was full steam ahead, determined to nail the gang responsible.
They were aware that a waste-management licence was needed,
but never in fact got one.
I think they were so money-driven in trying to make a quick buck that I think they oversaw everything else.
Desperate to clear his warehouse, Robert Isler was already looking into ways
of getting rid of the tyres, but it wasn't going to be cheap.
We managed to find some people to remove it,
but the money they wanted was like 100 and something, over £100,000.
We've a loss of rent for three years, then we're talking about the actual cost of moving the tyres, the bills
and the transport...to about £250,000. And that's a lot of money.
You're not kidding, Robert.
A quarter of a million pounds out of pocket is huge!
I think I can safely say that we're all feeling for you.
As far as the owners of the warehouses are concerned,
one could have some sympathy with them and, in fact, the Environment Agency had sympathy with them,
because they're lumbered with a problem and they didn't physically deposit the waste.
The Environment Agency's legal team had their work cut out trying to get to the bottom of this case.
They had a number of companies which changed name, closed down,
re-opened again, so that was the most difficult thing to unravel, to see where the tyres were going.
And once that's been done, then the case became much more easier to deal with.
The whole investigation relied on the Environmental Crime Team
to come in and map out where things were happening.
So once we did that, then it was just a matter of discovering how many tyres were deposited.
And on the transfer notes, when we worked that out, then obviously,
we could quite easily work out how much actually they'd made from it.
In this case, I think, um, they made in excess of £100,000-£115,000.
In 2009, the three gang members pleaded guilty
to 11 counts of fly-tipping tyres across the four different sites in England and Wales.
The two men were sent to prison for 12 months and 8 months,
and the woman was given 240 hours' community service.
However, the Environment Agency's legal team wasn't going to stop there.
They wanted to recover any ill-gotten gains for the threesome's scandalous crimes.
If there is any money which is identified in which the defendants have benefited from their crime,
we will make sure...we will do our best to ask the court
to take that money away from them, because why should they benefit from the crime that they committed?
It's going to be a long, tiring process, but the Environment Agency
continues its quest to retrieve the illegal proceeds of crime from the tyre-tipping scoundrels.
Back in Middlesbrough,
Phil and Lee's operation has kicked off with a bang.
They're on the hunt for people that are illegally trying to make money out of scrap metal.
I thought you said you'd no waste in.
Phil's pulled in a van that looks like it's got scrap metal in the back.
The people in the van don't have a licence to carry it
and one of them has also been done for fly-tipping before.
Before I to speak to you, mate, I want to verify your identity.
-I know I'm allowed to do that.
But because the man who has been prosecuted before isn't driving the van,
he isn't legally responsible for the load of metal.
Phil takes charge of this heated situation
and takes the driver somewhere a little quieter to carry out an interview under caution.
You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence
if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court.
Anything that you do say may be used in evidence.
So what kind of waste are you carrying?
Where has the waste come from?
And what do you intend to do with it?
So are you a registered waste carrier?
Do you have a waste-carrier's licence?
Are you aware that it's an offence
under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989, section 5(5)(b),
failure to produce authority to transport waste?
Are you aware it's an offence not to have a waste-carrier's licence?
It's not long before it's over.
These boys didn't look like they were playing ball, and there could be a very good reason for that.
Basically, the owner of the vehicle has been prosecuted before for fly-tipping.
He's on a suspended sentence and if he gets caught again, he could go to prison.
So now he's operating the vehicle under someone else's name,
and he's getting other people to drive it so he doesn't have to carry the can.
But obviously, it's the driver of the vehicle who is responsible for it,
and the contents, so it'll be his, er...
driver who gets prosecuted now.
Phil and his fellow officers don't mess around when dealing with these kind of guys.
He's going to get a producer, so if he has got a licence, he'll have seven days to produce it.
If he doesn't,
then he will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice, which will be about £300.
And if he fails to pay that, he could go to court, which is up to a maximum of £5,000.
All these men would need to do is pay £154
for a three-year waste-carrier's licence, and they'd be fine.
Now, there's no reason to think there's anything wrong with this load of scrap metal,
but it's a good example of where there's legal money to be made from it.
The sort of stuff we've got on here is...this is aluminium.
I think that's about £2,500 a tonne.
You've got non-ferrous metals.
That's £500 - £600 a tonne.
Lead, I think, is up in the £3,000 - £4,000 a tonne.
Er, and the rest is just basic non-ferrous stuff, which is worth not a lot,
but he might get 150 quid for this load.
If he does three, four loads a day, it's quite a lot of money.
So making money from scrap metal can be a lucrative business,
but it's unbelievable what some villains will do to get their hands on the metal illegally
to earn themselves a quick buck.
We've all heard stories of lead being ripped off homes and houses to sell as scrap,
but what kind of crook would do it to a church?
St Barnabas Church in Ealing, London, is a focal point for the local community.
Alongside family worship, it runs Brownies and Scout groups for children,
two choirs, and even holds weekly concerts.
Reverend David Deboys and his parishioners were shocked when they were targeted by thieving criminals.
The lead thefts at St Barnabas happened over a four-month period,
starting in October last year
and going right through to January of this year.
They used a window ledge to climb up.
They began removing the easiest lead first, anything that was only battened down,
and then they began to roll down to the road at the side, where they had a vehicle waiting.
If we ignore the costs in time of installing security cameras
and CCTV cameras,
the global cost to the church is of the order of £30,000.
That is the extraordinary cost to re-roof what is not a vast area.
It has created heartache, it has caused shock,
because we never thought we'd be targeted.
No-one was ever caught for the damage done to St Barnabas Church in Ealing.
Back in Middlesbrough, officers Phil and Lee are determined to stop
anyone trying to do anything similar to buildings in their area.
Their busy day is about to get even busier, as another van is pulled in.
While there's no proof that anything has been stolen,
Phil and Lee are in for a big surprise by what they find in the back.
It's off a tank. See all them?
-You know what I mean?
-Yeah. As in a battle tank?
Back in Liverpool, officers are investigating a serious fly-tip site
in a nice residential area, and they're hoping that a CCTV camera
will catch the culprit in the act.
Early morning at the Enviro-Crime headquarters,
and officers Steve and Gary are now searching through the CCTV footage.
It's time to see if the cameras have got them a result.
It's a painstaking process. But finally, it looks like they might have a breakthrough with the case.
We've got him coming in. You can just see the back of his car.
Can you see the white boxes there? So he's obviously got something in the vehicle. We've got him going in.
That area, obviously, we've got the area clear beforehand and we can see where he's backed up.
It tallies up. The evidence is there to suggest he's done it.
And we've got him coming out on the other one.
Let's see if we, er... if they'll accept what they've done.
9 out of 10 times, the ones that we've had in the past,
we've always had a positive reaction from them by saying, "Yes, I did it."
Because when we show them the evidence, they've not really got a choice on that matter!
Steve might have the car's registration number,
but will he manage to track down the driver and get them in for a taped interview under caution?
While he waits, Steve wants to check the box himself.
Are there any other clues that could help with this case?
-It's just general rubbish.
They've cleared the room out. Can't be bothered taking it to the tip and dumped it.
Local resident Dot has popped along to see how the boys are getting on.
I said to my husband, "Get some of it in the car and throw it on their doorstep!"
And then he says to me, "Well, you're as bad as them, then!"
No, I agree with you, because it's annoying, isn't it?
It's a lovely area, this, and it's a shame that it's going down so bad.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a big wagon coming in.
Obviously, they were going to dump.
But see, it was pitch black at night.
I've been over a few times and they've just drove out.
My husband goes mad. He says, "They could attack you."
-Just get us the registration number.
But you haven't been able to get anybody on camera dumping yet? No?
-Er...can't really tell you.
-Oh, you can't say?
-Oh, well, right.
It's ongoing at the moment. We'll just leave it at that, yeah?
-Yeah, OK. I know there's only so much you can say.
-OK, I'll leave you to it.
-All right, thank you very much.
-I'll give you that card.
-Thanks very much anyway.
She's happy to see Steve and Gary on the case, which might be even closer to being solved than anyone thought.
Have Steve and Gary stumbled upon a surprise result?
If you look sort of between our shoulders down across the road,
you can see the same vehicle,
it matches the registration that we've got.
And it looks like more fly-tipping scoundrels
have been caught red-handed.
I mean, this one is just so...
Not only have we got the registration,
we've got the name of the company and a phone number.
Back in Middlesbrough, officers Phil and Lee are halfway through
their sting operation to stop people illegally making money out of waste and scrap metal.
And Phil has already had to deal with one rotter.
You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence...
Another van's just turned up with a very surprising load.
-As in a battle tank?
But before he gets stuck into that, he's been called over to deal with another truck.
It looks like it's carrying scrap metal, but does the driver have a licence for it?
I have applied for it. I'm waiting for it to come back, you see.
Right, I'm going to have to speak to you about that,
because you're not supposed to carry scrap without a licence now,
so I'll have to go through the procedure with you.
We're possibly looking at an industrial clearance on one of the local units,
because it looks as though it's come from one source.
So, it's just to check that he's got his waste-carrier's licence.
You know, he may just be transporting it
from one industrial spot to another, it all looks in good condition.
That's the purpose of an interview and a caution, it gives the person
the opportunity to disclose what he's doing with it, if it is waste.
What kind of waste are you carrying?
-What do you intend to do with the waste?
-So are you a registered waste carrier?
-Not at the minute, no.
I'm waiting, pending.
So do you have a waste-carrier's licence?
It's not long before it's over and Phil's got everything he needs from the driver.
What I will do is, I will check the database with the Environment Agency
to see if he has actually applied for one.
If he hasn't, like I explained to him, it's like having a driving licence -
you've either got one or you haven't.
If it's in the application stage, you're still technically breaking the law.
So I'll check the database, see if he produces one.
If he doesn't, then unfortunately, he'll be getting a £300 Fixed Penalty Notice.
If he pays it within 10 days, it's reduced to 180.
So he's fully aware of what to do, so we'll see.
Over with the van that has the military parts in the back of it,
and while there's no evidence that the men have done anything wrong,
officer Lee still has to follow protocol.
You don't have to say anything, but it may harm your defence
if you fail to mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court.
Anything you do say may be used in evidence. Do you understand the caution?
Yes, yes. Yes, I do.
The officers now need to find out what else is in the van.
-Will you show me?
-Just, like, an engine out of the yard.
A bit of an engine. Oh, that's...
That's his old washing machine out of his house, out of his backyard, that.
He sent that this morning, he's got another one.
That's out of his garage.
Well, there's a lot of mixed scrap here.
Oh, yeah, because out of the back, what we got was moving out of his street...
Right, that leads to my next question, where's the waste come from?
Just up the Leighton Road.
Just out of houses and gardens.
Out of houses, out of other people's gardens, did you say?
No, no. This is from his boss, but that from next door cos they moved.
All of these bits are just out the, like...
Next door, when they moved, I picked the scrap up and threw...
-So you picked up waste from next door...
-Yeah, cos he asked us to.
..with the intention of doing what with it?
Just taking the scrap ends out of the road.
So you're going to make money out of it?
Yeah. Is that your intention? OK.
For officer Lee, it's crystal clear what's going on here.
They're carrying other people's waste, and they need a licence to carry other people's waste,
I explained that to them.
Their intention is to weigh it in, to make a profit from it.
So they've been given a Producer, which gives them seven days now.
Within seven days, they may well come up with a waste-carrier's licence.
If they can't produce that licence, they will receive a fixed penalty.
If that fixed penalty is paid, there'll be no further action against themselves.
But they'll soon get a waste-carrier's licence
because they'll keep getting stopped and searched, and keep getting producers
and they'll keep getting fixed penalties.
It's the end of the day for officers Phil and Lee.
Half of the vehicles they pulled in didn't have waste licences, but their quest to keep fly-tipping
and illegal waste carrying under control is working.
The majority of the scrap men, if you like, in Middlesbrough are now licensed.
But, like we've seen today, we've had people from out of the area
that come into Middlesbrough and think it won't matter,
but we catch them.
Find out later what will happen to the people they've pulled over today.
Back in Liverpool, officers are using CCTV footage to catch fly-tipping rotters.
A derelict social club in a residential area has been targeted by people illegally dumping.
They've caught a car in the act on camera
and now need to track down the owner to interview them under caution.
But suddenly, it looks like finding them might be a little bit easier than they anticipated.
Do you know the CCTV footage we showed you of the vehicle coming out this morning?
Well, if you look sort of between our shoulders, down across the road,
you can see the same vehicle, it matches the registration that we've got.
So obviously, if this guy lives local, over the road, he's just dumped his rubbish.
And when you look at the rubbish, he could really break that up and put it in his bin.
I mean, that's just a joke, as far as I can see -
you've got the cheek to dump it 30 yards from your house.
That's if he lives there. Turn up for the books, isn't it?
That doesn't happen often! HE LAUGHS
Pure gold! But Steve still needs confirmation that the owner does indeed live over the road.
Here's the phone call now. Hello, Steve Daley speaking.
Hello, Paul. How you doing, mate?
Fantastic, mate! So we were just double-checking it.
Can you just e-mail them details through as normal, please, yeah?
Fantastic, mate. Thanks very much for that.
Lovely, cheers. Ta-ra.
Right, that phone call was off the guy who we gets the vehicle checks done
and it comes back to the vehicle... That's the address over the road from us!
So, how stupid can you get?
The day has arrived for the owner to come in for their interview under caution.
It's registered to a man, but his wife was driving it at the time.
She'll be facing Steve, and these situations are familiar territory for the former police officer.
There's no difference in how we interview people in this room than the police do.
The only difference is that they tend to be in custody,
whereas here, they come in voluntarily and they're free to leave.
She's not sure of what evidence we have cos we never tell people that.
So what we will do is, obviously, I'll ask her her side of the story
and if she says to me, "I put that rubbish there,"
fine, we can just clarify a few items of how it got there and why she put it there.
If she denies it, then obviously, we then have to start working round it.
I'll then present the evidence that I've received,
which is the CCTV footage, and we'll get to the bottom of how she came about putting this rubbish there.
Was she the owner of the vehicle at the time?
For all we know, it could have been somebody else in the family, or a friend who's done this.
But we just need to ascertain how that rubbish got there and who put it there.
The woman declined to be filmed while the interview took place.
It's not long before Steve and Gary's work is done.
She was shocked, particularly when we told her
that the camera was four or five doors away from her own house,
she was just speechless, really. So we got full admission out of her.
So we'll just put a file together,
it goes to Trading Standards, let them decide what happens next.
She's just obviously thought she's got too much rubbish in her house,
or in her yard, and she wanted to get shot of it.
That was the easy option for her.
But people like this woman aren't Steve's biggest concern.
It's only a minor amount of rubbish that we've found
and we'd prefer it if we got more people...
We're after the bigger loads and the professional fly-tippers, they're the ones we're after.
So hopefully, we can start getting the message across.
And back at the office, there's some positive news on those bigger loads and the professional fly-tippers.
This is the first one that we came across,
this was a Ford van that went in.
Now, we believe this guy's been in before. This guy's come in now.
He's backed it up and they're just deliberately emptying the van out.
-This was a sofa and two chairs, or two sofas.
So he's probably done a house clearance for somebody.
Probably paid him £100, £50, whatever to get rid of it
and he just knows where he can go and he's just tipped it.
And there's the sofa just come out there then.
We actually just missed his face because of the tinted screen.
He wasn't the only scoundrel to be caught on camera and this is totally brazen.
This guy clearly doesn't have a care in the world.
Here he is. 20 past one in the afternoon. Unbelievable!
It looks like he may have done an office - there's some office shelving, there's some plasterboard.
But there's a couple of bags with some evidence in
what me and Steve found and that's hopefully going to...
tally up with the vehicle.
But the next dump they've caught on camera absolutely takes the biscuit.
I mean, this one is just so...
blatantly ridiculous. We've got everything.
Not only have we got the registration, we've got the name of the company and phone number.
He's either very daft or he's got no care in the world, to go and dump rubbish down there.
Because it's half-past eight Saturday morning, there are people about.
So the CCTV has come up trumps again for the Liverpool officers.
And there's some even better news -
the owner of the premises has agreed to clear the fly-tipped mess up.
It's all made a huge difference to the local residents.
Oh, 10 times better than it was.
Anybody walking past seeing the grot there, they'd say, "Ooh, I'm glad I don't live up this road."
Now it's all gone, you're happy to say where you live.
Happy again, yes.
In the Middlesbrough sting operation,
the three men with tank parts in their van were given verbal advice on the disposal of waste,
the man with a truckload of metal was issued with a £300 Fixed Penalty Notice,
and no further action was taken against the driver that Phil interviewed in a van.
In the Liverpool case, the lady driver of a car was conditionally discharged
and ordered to pay £50 compensation to Liverpool Council.
Investigations into the other fly-tips are ongoing and one of them is soon going to court.
Join us next time, when we'll be hot on the heels of more Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Filthy Rotten Scoundrels is the series that highlights the work of environment officers across the UK, as they tackle astonishing and flagrant cases of fly-tipping!
The Environment Agency uncovers a gang, including an ex-policeman, responsible for illegally dumping hundreds of thousands of tyres at sites all over the country.
In Liverpool, residents are up in arms over an enormous illegal waste tip in the middle of their neighbourhood. As officers install a covert CCTV camera, fly-tipping scoundrels are caught red-handed. One was even seen dumping on her own doorstep!
Plus, Middlesbrough officers launch a stop-and-search operation to target thieves who rip lead and metal off churches and homes, to sell for scrap.
The hard-working and tenacious officers often go undercover to track down criminals who dump thousands of tons of rubbish on our city streets and country lanes. Investigators call on police back-up for elaborate sting operations, and scan through hours of surveillance footage. More than 3,000 fly-tipping incidents happen each day, costing tax payers £55 million a year to clear up. The series is voiced by Dominic Littlewood.