The series investigating the criminals making a mess of Britain's streets returns, as hidden cameras and night-time surveillance are used to try to catch graffiti vandals in Brent.
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Every day, a war is being waged across Britain to clean up our towns and countryside.
It's where I walk and where I live, and I don't want it to look a mess.
The people who's doing this should definitely be heavily fined.
From the tons of cigarettes butts, dogs' mess and household rubbish
to mountains of tyres and skip-loads of builders' waste...
To clear this area would be a big job.
When I see people fly-tipping or even just littering,
throwing a crisp packet on the floor, it makes me angry that people have so little respect.
..we're on the front line of the clear-up and the fight-back,
with the dedicated teams tracking down the rogues
and putting the Great back into Britain.
It may harm your defence if you don't mention, when questioned,
something which you later rely on in court.
On today's programme, a story that will take your breath away -
a fly-tip in a Welsh beauty spot that contained a killer weed
which is so powerful it can even cut through cement.
It spreads like wildfire, and it can cause real, real problems.
And from the baddies to the goodies - the youth of today,
rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty
to clean up their local community.
We've found an old fridge, an old freezer,
-A computer, an old vacuum cleaner.
Welcome to the dirty world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.
Brent in North London - an area plagued by graffiti.
Luckily the council has its very own graffiti-buster,
Simon Finney. And he's a man on a mission.
In our last series, we followed him
trying to catch some persistent railway taggers.
That's graffiti vandals, to you and me.
Some of the tags that have gone up there,
I've seen those tags around for years and years and years now,
and these guys have put a lot of graffiti vandalism up
in and around Brent.
Using some sophisticated kit, Simon went all 007 on us
and hid cameras and surveillance equipment in buildings nearby.
If all goes well,
the taggers, the graffiti vandals,
will actually be walking up and down in amongst these cameras,
and not be able to see them.
To make sure he caught the crims in the act,
he even had a special sign made up, but this was no ordinary sign.
It housed a secret camera.
We are hoping this is going to look like...
just a regular signpost that we've had to put in
as railway workers, and not anything fishy or suspicious.
But even Simon was aware it could all go - well, horribly wrong.
This whole thing could fall flat on its face,
or it could be a perfect success, but you give it a shot,
see what comes out of it.
But brilliant news. The undercover mission worked like clockwork,
and Simon's team caught this tagger red-handed.
The writing was literally on the wall for this cheeky vandal.
Darryl Khazanchi was convicted of repeated graffiti offences,
and held responsible for £1,800 worth of damage.
He's now prohibited from being in possession of any paint,
dye or permanent ink in a public place.
He's also been banned from any railway property that's not open to the public,
and has been issued with a three-year ASBO. What a result!
This time around, our ex-policeman and graffiti expert
is taking things one step further.
He's bringing in the heavy artillery
and taking on the whole tagging army.
OK - no, he's not. But he is about to begin a military-style operation
to track down one local vandal who calls himself Tank.
He's a repeat offender who's plastered his name all over the borough for years.
Tank has been around, we estimate, for about ten years now,
and he's from a local estate. That's what we suspect.
We need to confirm that. We need to be able to get some evidence on him,
and from that hopefully we can identify him,
and start a prosecution process which will eventually result
in Tank, and hopefully his crew,
being eliminated from the most prolific tagging crews in Brent.
And for those of you who aren't quite convinced
about the need to wipe out tagging,
here's how much this one guy alone is costing us taxpayers.
Historically, over the past ten years?
Um, let's say, for example,
he contributes to about - what, 30, 40 percent
-of the tagging you've seen today.
-Maybe ten grand a year,
times ten years. He's probably got a track record of about £100,000,
and that's probably an extremely conservative estimate.
100 grand! There's only one word for that -
And that's just one rotten vandal.
Brent has one of the most severe graffiti problems in London,
and a survey by Keep Britain Tidy
showed an average of 15 to 20 percent
of all areas in the borough were unacceptably covered in graffiti.
It is a huge problem.
Well, graffiti is intimidating. It angers people,
and it just runs down the area.
It leads to vandalism, petty crime,
All that is linked. I say zero tolerance.
It can be very depressing to walk through an area
with graffiti all around,
and it almost becomes contagious.
This particular wall,
each tagger that wants to get as much coverage as possible in Brent
has pretty much come along here and put his tag up.
Something needs to be done,
otherwise it's going to ruin the area.
We'll be back on the front line with Simon later,
as he steps up his mission to track down the elusive tagger
and his wall-writing friends.
Final, push "record" button and lock up shop,
and we wait for customers, really.
Now, just take a look at this - beautiful countryside
and rolling hills. But lurking in the woodlands
are some of Britain's filthiest scoundrels,
who are prepared to ruin it for us all,
dumping their rubbish and putting the environment in danger.
This serious case of fly-tipping occurred
in this beautiful area of woodland in forest in Carmarthenshire.
Just look at it!
In just a few weeks, so much rubbish was dumped here,
this beautiful place started to look like landfill.
Environmental crime officer Lyn Richards led the investigation
to catch the crook behind the scam, and he's not happy -
not happy at all.
It's not acceptable. It's criminality,
and it's antisocial, and working together,
we hope to try and stop this from occurring,
stop these individuals blighting our countryside.
It all came about when a passerby saw strange goings-on in the area,
and alarm bells rang.
A member of the public saw a vehicle loaded with waste
come off the highway, come down into this area of land,
and come back empty.
This is a primary site. It's just off the main road.
It's very secluded.
It's... Well, it's a fly-tipping haven, to be honest.
Now, Lyn is an experienced environmental-crime officer,
but even he was shocked by what he saw.
This fly-tipper meant business - dirty business.
But while it might have been good business for him,
it was bad news for innocent Steve Parker
who owns the bit of private land where all this was dumped.
It's going to be a big inconvenience for me,
cos I've got to spend, obviously, a few days down here.
The whole family will be here cleaning it up.
I'll have to get somebody down here with a machine, loading skips,
and it's just going to be a nightmare.
And I'm left with the cost of that.
But Lyn was determined to crack the case.
He took extreme measures - undercover surveillance.
I got one of the officers to scope the area out,
and we identified that, yes, a lot of material was being fly-tipped.
It was a prime location for us to deploy covert cameras.
The game was on.
Lyn and his team set up hidden cameras around the site,
including a motion-sensor surveillance camera
inside one of the piles of rubbish.
Now all they had to do was wait.
And they didn't have to wait long. The vans just kept coming.
But what was even more amazing,
they were always driven by just one man - David Castanho.
Over a period of three weeks,
we caught Mr Castanho coming in on seven separate occasions,
It was a veritable conveyor belt of household items -
a large blue fishpond,
perfect to show off your collection of goldfish,
a sturdy black dustbin, the practical accompaniment
for any household,
and a deluxe green strimmer, ideal for keeping your edges trim.
All that's missing is the cuddly toy.
But this wasn't a family game show.
It was a disgrace.
Lyn discovered that David Castanho had been running a garden-waste disposal business.
His customers were paying him in good faith
to take away their rubbish and dispose of it properly.
But - you guessed it - Castanho was just pocketing the cash
and dumping the rubbish. Outrageous!
And, as we'll find out later,
Lyn was about to make a startling and sinister discovery.
Now, how do you make a good-news story from a pile of old rubbish?
Well, an imaginative environmental project
in North Kesteven, Lincolnshire, has cracked it.
Hill Holt Wood stretches for 34 acres,
and it's where schemes are run to train young people
who are struggling to find work or college places.
We do a lot of woodland management, carry out a lot of eco-building.
We have our own design team,
and we have the whole process of felling trees
right through to building buildings such as the ones you see around here.
Now, I know what you're thinking - this all sounds lovely, Dom,
but what's it got to do with Filthy Rotten Scoundrels?
Well, one of the schemes they run at Hill Holt Wood
is Watch NK, which recruits 16 to 18 year olds
to train as woodland rangers. The youngsters get a qualification
and a chance to improve their employment prospects,
and here's the really good bit - as part of the course,
they work with the council to pick up litter
and deal with fly tips. Everyone's a winner.
The learners are here to gain themselves more qualifications
and life skills, so the litter picking,
it's part of the BTEC qualification,
and that certainly helps to get them out and about there
looking after our countryside.
Today, Watch NK senior ranger Ben Wilton
is taking 18 year olds Matt and Kirsten out on his rubbish round.
So, with Matt and Kirsten's help,
we go out, we hunt around for all these fly tips and stuff,
and really just put in a day's work.
Right. We're going to go out around the North Kesteven district,
checking a few of the roads and some of the lay-bys we have
on the main roads in the area.
Wouldn't we all love a team like this in our local area -
enthusiastic young people keeping our communities tidy
and getting something out of it themselves?
I dropped out of college cos I didn't like it,
cos it was horrible and not very fun either.
So I just thought I'd come here, cos it's, like, better experience,
and you get out and about and see the world a bit more,
just get new experiences and qualifications
that you wouldn't really get anywhere else.
Normally I'd just sit at home just bored out of my brains.
Just, like, there's nowt to do. When I got going to Hill Holt,
I love coming now. I come every day and that.
I really like going, cos there's something new every day.
These guys are learning about the environment,
learning about the environment's importance,
and learning how to respect the environment,
and the way the planet's going at the minute,
you know, I mean, that can only be a very positive thing,
and we need to start looking after our planet,
because when it's gone, unfortunately so are all of we.
Well said, Ben. I don't know about you,
but I'm quite attached to this big old planet of ours,
and in North Kesteven, a district of 356 square miles,
a whopping 94 percent of the land is classified as green space,
so it's really obvious here that the countryside needs looking after.
So thank the garbage gods that Watch NK are doing it for us.
Guys, if you want to grab your gloves,
if I get in, I'll start pulling everything out.
-Just watch what you're picking up. That's the big thing.
There could be anything in here.
It's quite pointless, to be honest.
What compels people to do this?
I mean, all right, it costs a bit of money to get rid of it,
but it seems pretty pointless.
The guys pile up the junk on the track,
then they call in the council's crack team,
who go through it for clues to try and track down who dumped it
before taking it away. So, what on Earth have we got here?
We've found an old fridge, an old freezer,
-A computer, an old vacuum cleaner.
-Just household waste, like an old trampoline.
Can I remind you, dear viewer, that all this has been dumped
in a beautiful wood in the Lincolnshire countryside?
It's shocking, isn't it?
I know you have a bit of a problem getting rid of fridges
because of the gas that's contained in the cylinders at the back,
so you often find a lot of people dumping fridges,
which is a shame,
cos I'm pretty sure, like, the local scrap-recycling merchants
will take it, and that sort of thing.
So we're going to get some red-and-white tape
and just mark it so that people can see that someone knows about it
and knows that it's here, and when I get back to the office
later on today, I'll report it to the district council,
and then they'll come and grab it straight away,
so it's not here too long. Kirsten, do you want to grab the sticker?
Lets people know that we've been here, we know it's there,
and that it's going to get cleared up.
Find out later what else our fearless fly-tip heroes
have to contend with in their North Kesteven woodland adventure.
From the rural to the city...
the inner city, where this is taking over.
In the London borough of Brent,
Simon Finney is on a mission to wipe out graffiti.
And he's after one prolific pen artist in particular.
He's rounded up his troops, and part one of the operation has begun.
They're cleaning up some disused toilets in Butlers Green in Sudbury.
They're giving the place a fresh lick of paint,
to see if the now-blank canvas will attract the local vandal and his crew.
They tend to target sort of play areas, parks,
open walls, council- or government-owned buildings.
We still have an obligation to clean up regardless,
so there's no more money that's being spent on this
than we would normally spend on removing graffiti anyway.
It's just that the graffiti will reoccur
on these types of surfaces, so one could ask the question,
"Why are you removing the graffiti?"
And the answer to that is because it's an eyesore,
and eventually, hopefully, our perseverance will win the day,
where we'll keep on going until graffiti stops returning,
and taggers will hopefully end up facing a judge or prosecution
or a police officer, or move on with their lives
and find something better to do.
While some of the team are hard at work jet-washing graffiti off,
the others begin to set their traps to catch the taggers at work.
It's all about the positioning of the secret cameras.
If you've got your camera sitting at an angle like that,
to get your wire through there's going to be a problem.
I'm sure we can get it up and through and out that hole.
But if you put that where that hole is sitting like that...
-That's all right.
-You can bring it down if you want to get it into the brick.
Where we're going to put our night-vision cameras
is in these roof sections here.
We're hoping to be able to secure it to some of these beams,
but if not, we've brought on some timber
so we can make a rough little frame to screw it to.
The next part of the operation is for Simon to plan
some extra surveillance outside the toilet block.
He's found a white van to use as a red herring,
if that makes any sense.
I've got a better idea of the kind of operation I want to put together,
the kind of covert equipment I want to put together,
and I've got an idea of how to actually catch these taggers,
particularly in relation to the toilet site,
and the aim of this will be to use this vehicle
and to transmit signals to the vehicle,
and also to have cameras in the vehicle,
also recording conditions on site.
To make the van look legit,
Simon's come up with a false company name to stick on it,
so he can park up outside the newly cleaned-up toilets
and not draw attention. Hopefully our tagger might be caught short.
It's almost like watching a new family member being born here!
It's all coming out in one piece, as well.
-G Rafferty at your service.
Brent Council removes almost 3,000 square metres of graffiti per year,
at a cost of £250,000.
These thoughtless taggers are just spraying our taxes up the wall,
Knowing that the council is seeing 30 percent cuts
over the next three years, it's money that could be better spent elsewhere.
That money can be used for children in the borough
or for the elderly or for the sick -
something a better cause than just removing graffiti
which has been put up by some silly boy or girl.
It is very important to catch these individuals
and get them off the streets, because it is extremely expensive.
Simon knows the people of Brent are relying on him,
and he's taking his mission seriously.
He and his colleague Tony meet in the dead of night
to plan their attack with military precision.
We've got the two sites, indicated by...
This, shall we call the north-building one?
The position of cameras, cables and recording devices are all crucial.
This is the largest camera we'll be using.
Um, slightly more difficult to conceal,
so for this one, we'll be mounting this in the loft space of the block.
Now, slightly more easy to conceal is our small bullet cams,
which give a really nice sharp picture.
On this operation we'll be concealing those
in fake light fittings attached to the outside of the block.
That should provide us with a much closer shot
of anyone who puts any graffiti up on the walls there.
And finally we have our smallest camera,
nice and easy to conceal. When this is in place,
it just looks like the head of a screw.
No-one's going to notice this even if it's right out in the open.
And you can see that it gives us a very nice sharp colour image.
This one actually works at night-time, as well,
gives a good night-vision picture in black and white,
all from a tiny little camera like that.
Good luck, lads.
It's 2:00 AM, and the guys have arrived at the old toilet block
in Butlers Green, Sudbury. They know the tagger and his friends
live nearby, so they think it's only a matter of time
before the freshly painted walls get defaced again.
What we did the last time here was,
when we came through we sort of drilled holes,
and we made sure there was access points for the various bits of cable
that we now need to feed through from our cameras to our recorders.
We got a hole there going through to that light fitting.
We got a hole down there which leads to the drainpipe outside
where another camera's going to go, and Tony will be fitting a camera
on the other side, on the roof.
Having planned their covert operation so carefully,
it's vital that Simon's cameras are positioned
in exactly the right spots.
How have you actually settled it?
I'm facing you at the toilet block now.
OK, that's fine. We've got to it fairly easy.
Let's have a look at this picture.
Ah, yeah. That's pretty good.
Do me a favour. Just take a stroll around by the actual doors there.
I can get a sense of the actual focus of someone in shot.
-We can almost identify from that shot alone.
-Oh, that's good.
What we've managed to achieve so far is,
we've got one roof camera up,
we're on a second roof camera, we've put an external camera outside here
and down the one flank wall.
I'm busy putting the second external camera down the other flank wall.
I feel that the site is fairly well installed
in terms of the sort of individuals that we're hoping to catch here,
and anyone else, for that matter, not being able to make out
that we've actually got any cameras in here.
But before they can all head home,
Simon needs to move his secret weapon,
his surveillance van, into the correct position.
It's been a hard night's graft, but Simon's happy,
and his tagger trap is finally ready.
The machines are already recording now,
and we're satisfied with all the views and the angles we've got,
so it's pretty much set. Um, just tweak that one last camera,
and then, final, push "record" button and lock up shop,
and we wait for customers, really.
It's edge-of-the-seat time, folks.
Will the cameras catch the terrible taggers in the act?
Well, we'll be back to find out later in the programme.
In Carmarthenshire, environmental- crime officer Lyn Richards
is investigating a serial fly-tipper
who's littered the beautiful Welsh countryside with this.
Garden waste, household goods, mattresses, concrete and chemicals -
the list is endless.
But worst of all, Lyn's found something
that's threatening the entire local area.
Castanho was responsible for tipping a lot of different types of material
at this location, but more worryingly,
Castanho brought in a lot of soil
contaminated with Japanese knotweed.
Japanese knotweed is very difficult to get rid of.
It spreads like wildfire,
and it can cause real, real problems,
and as you can see here, now the Japanese knotweed is springing up.
Give it another couple of months,
this'll be a lot worse than what it is at the moment.
Japanese knotweed is the nearest thing to Godzilla
in the plant world, and can grow more than a metre
in just one month.
Under the Environmental Protection Act,
it's classified as controlled waste,
and must be properly disposed of at licensed landfill sites.
These shocking images demonstrate just how aggressive it is.
It can penetrate through almost anything, including concrete.
Roots can grow three metres deep,
and it can lie dormant for years.
It's even known to invade people's homes,
costing a fortune to get rid of.
And it's so bad that people have been refused mortgages
simply because the dreaded weed is growing in the garden.
It's become a countrywide problem.
Initially brought to the UK by the Victorians
as an ornamental plant, it quickly turned into a menace,
ruining everything and anything in its path,
as this community garden in West Horsley in Surrey knows
only too well. Before the members took it over,
the area had regularly been used for fly-tipping,
and Japanese knotweed had taken hold.
We first discovered we had Japanese knotweed
when a friend of mine came into the garden
and spotted it, and told me what it was.
It meant nothing to me, and then gradually over the weeks and months
I realised what a problem it was going to be.
We can't use it, grow in it or plant in it.
We have to cordon it off. There's also the problem it could cause -
we have all sorts of different members coming in and out,
and to run the risk that one of them could get some of it on their foot,
take it home and it start to spread through their own garden and house
is a real worry.
Su's called upon knotweed exterminator Nic Seal.
He's the man who can and is about to take on the deadly knotweed.
This is a pile of concrete demolition rubble
that's unfortunately infested with Japanese knotweed.
I suspect this has been illegally dumped here,
probably by an unscrupulous operator
who's probably got one to two lorry loads of infested soil,
and rather than doing the right thing and taking it to a registered landfill site,
he's dumped it here, because it will have cost him a couple of grand
to dump this legally.
The problem with the weed is that just a tiny piece
can infiltrate a huge area, killing other plants
and destroying the land.
Something like that in the original fly tip
would have been enough to get this infestation started,
so obviously it takes a few years for it to start to spread,
but this particular fly tip, everything's been here
for quite a few years.
We can tell that by the age of this root material.
But, yeah, something as big as that
or even literally a piece like that will actually grow,
so if left for long enough, we'll end up with a big infestation,
ultimately as large as this.
The cost of clearing a site is huge.
Su's estimated that removing the knotweed
will cost £1,000 a lorry load.
And get this - it'll take not one lorry,
not even ten lorries, but - wait for it - 60 lorries to get rid of it!
That is a whopping £60,000.
But Nic's something of a knight in shining armour.
His specialist machine cleverly extracts the weed from the soil.
It all means the soil can go back into the garden,
and Su will only have to pay to get the actual knotweed taken away.
And how many lorry loads will that be?
What we have is the excavator loading the infested soil
being dug out from here into the hopper of the extract machine.
The extract machine is then separating those soils
into two fractions of the topsoil that's coming off
on the far conveyor there, so that topsoil is free of knotweed
and is ready for use on any patch you want to use this afternoon,
if you really want to.
It's the start of a four-day process to fully clear the land.
It's not going to be easy,
but finally there's light at the end of the tunnel.
The knotweed in that corner of the garden
has felt like a set of brakes,
that in that area we've not been able to do anything. Now that it's gone,
we're off scot-free, and we'll be able to get going,
doing in there what we've done everywhere else. It'll be brilliant.
Back in Wales, after four weeks of surveillance,
the environmental-crime team were confident
that they had enough footage to bring David Castanho down.
We interviewed Mr Castanho,
and on seeing the evidence, Mr Castanho pleaded guilty
to knowingly depositing controlled waste,
and subsequently the court imposed a 28-day prison sentence on Mr Castanho.
28 days behind bars! But that wasn't all.
Lyn Richards had another cunning plan up his sleeve,
guaranteed to teach Castanho that crime really doesn't pay.
We did request the court
if they could confiscate the vehicle,
because we had evidence that it was used in the commission of a crime,
so we subsequently had the vehicle crushed.
Look at that! And, just for all the filthy fly-tippers out there,
let's savour that one more time.
Back at the scene of the crime, Lyn Richards' next priority
was to speak to landowner Steve about security,
so he'd never have to pay for someone else's dirty work again.
And Steve doesn't mince his words.
I think it's disgusting, to be honest, the people would tip
in their local area, which... Now we're going to have to think of
some security measures or whatever, get some new gates up
on the entrance, and I'm going to have to try and visit the land
at least every other day, every day if I can, to keep an eye
and make sure nobody's fly-tipping down here.
Poor old Steve!
Castanho had committed a serious crime,
and got a strong punishment for it.
So anyone out there thinking of dumping their rubbish, beware.
But it's not just the fly-tippers who can face prosecution.
One thing that members of the public need to do
is to find out who is actually going to take their waste away,
who are they going to give their money to.
One check they need to do, they've got to be a registered waste carrier.
That's very important. If we find out
that you have not taken the necessary actions
to find out that you were going to dispose of it properly,
ultimately you could be taken to court.
So, a lesson for us all.
Poor old Steve still hasn't got round to clearing the rubbish,
but the great news is that, thanks to Lyn's hard work,
the real crook here got what he deserved - time behind bars.
From the horrors of Japanese knotweed
to the youngsters working hard to keep our land a green and pleasant one.
Environmental scheme Watch NK
is training 18 year olds Matt and Kirsten to do a great job -
tidying up the mess some rotten scoundrels have left
in the middle of the North Kesteven countryside.
But what do they really think of the fly-tippers?
If I had some rubbish like that, I'd want to get rid of it,
but I wouldn't waste fuel going out to woods in the middle of nowhere
just to drop it, and all the effort of that.
Obviously people don't think like that.
They just think of the fastest way to get rid of it.
They even come to your door and ask if they can buy stuff off you
-so they can make more off it.
-Yeah, I know.
You sell it to them cos they get rid of it properly.
Clearly this lot have the right attitude.
But sadly, coming across fly-tipping is an everyday part
of the Watch NK operation. Ever the planet-saver,
Ben has to be vigilant at the sight of every bag that's been dumped.
Anything that could lead to a rubbish rogue being caught
is a vital piece of evidence for a future prosecution.
So, we're just coming along here, and...
and I've just noticed, just up here on the right,
just as it starts to rain, which is lovely,
there's just a few bags of rubbish which have been dumped.
Someone has just dumped three bin-bags at the side of the road.
The council like us to mark them up and leave them.
-You got the tape?
-Yeah. If you just put them together, Matt.
'Sometimes black bin-bags might contain rubbish
'like letters and stuff like that,
'so we might be able to find some information
'on the people that maybe dumped it,
'and if we can find that sort of information, or the council can,
'then, they can maybe work at prosecuting some people,
'and we have had some successes in the past.'
But what do the young helpers think
of clearing up other people's rotten rubbish?
Could they do it full-time?
Since I've been going to Hill Holt Wood,
it's actually opened my eyes on stuff
that you would normally turn your nose at,
but actually it's not that bad, and it really is quite interesting,
some of the stuff that you do. Now, if someone said to me...
If someone asked me and said, "Do you want to do this litter-picking job or this fly-tipping job,
just go out and clean it up and that?"
I'd say yeah. I wouldn't mind doing it,
because it's a job, and they're really hard to come by
when you're about 18, 19.
Good on you, Matt.
But there's no time for him to sit and ponder his future.
It's straight on to the next site for the trusty team of three.
If we sweep up as a team, then, guys,
work our way along, just picking up any litter we see.
This doesn't look like fly-tipping, so the council doesn't need to be informed,
and the guys are OK to pick up the litter and get rid of it.
I can't see why people have to do this.
They come to the woods to look at the trees,
have a walk or walk the dog,
but they feel compelled to drop fag packets.
It's taught me that people should probably take more care,
cos, like...if they leave rubbish, then, it'll just get rotten,
and then someone else will have to pick it up.
Since I've been coming to Hill Holt, I just don't drop litter.
Keep walking up with me, guys. Keep heading this way.
This guys are good kids. They work hard,
and by doing this, it shows them that it's not always a good thing
to drop litter. And by coming out and helping us,
they're helping the environment. You see we're in a real situation,
and the amount we've picked up - we've filled three bags
on one little road out in the middle of nowhere,
so by doing this, it's helping the environment,
and it's helping these guys to gain some vital life skills
that they might use in later life.
It's the end of a very fruitful day for the team,
and young helper Matt has arrived back at base
with ranger Ben.
I think today was a big success with the guys,
and they seemed to get something out of today,
and they managed to see some of the damage that can be done
from fly-tipping and littering,
and obviously we were working together as part of a team, as well,
so I think that was definitely, like, a bonus for them.
It gets them ready, really, for life outside of Hill Holt,
because they can't be here forever, unfortunately,
so they have got to get themselves ready to go out,
and if they can leave here slightly better people
because of days like today, then, that can only be a positive thing.
-Just from my part, Matt, well done for today.
You helped me out a lot.
I think Hill Holt Wood will have a positive effect on my life,
for the simple reason, basically,
it's given me a better outlook on life and that.
It's given me... It's shown me that there's more out there
than just sitting in a room,
drinking, smoking and playing Xbox.
That's the spirit! And Ben's clearly pleased with the day's work.
You've done really well. I'm really impressed with the way you've worked,
so, er, keep up the good work, and I'll see you tomorrow.
-Nice one. Cheers, mate.
I'm going to take this opportunity, cos it's make-or-break, really.
I really need to do this, so I'm just going to...
put all my effort into Hill Holt at the minute
and hopefully go on to bigger and better things in the future.
We're sure you will, Matt,
but saving the environment is a pretty good job for now.
The people of Planet Earth salute you.
Simon Finney is on a one-man mission
to wipe graffiti off the face of Brent in London.
He's after one prolific tagger
who's been blighting the borough with his name for the last decade.
All these "Tank"s along here, which have been put along the top,
they all look fairly fresh,
in addition to this very blurry, patchy silver stuff
along that bottom. I can't recall that being here last time we were.
And this big white piece over here, that also looks fairly new to me.
So he's definitely been along this bridge in the last week or so,
and put some fresh graffiti on it.
It's an encouraging sign.
Simon thinks he's close to nabbing his man.
What we've got over here is what looks like another fresh one.
Same silver can. He's been through here quite recently.
I can't remember this being here the last time either.
Simon's team rigged secret cameras in a disused toilet block
that was a magnet for the graffiti crowd,
and set their trap to catch the cheeky vandal.
But did it work?
Well, actually, something rather extraordinary happened.
Their covert operation stopped the graffiti altogether.
This wall in particular, and these doors,
had quite a lot of graffiti on it.
You can see by the bleached look of the bricks
where we've repeatedly removed the graffiti.
So we removed the graffiti, and on our regular visits we've come back.
The tag that we were looking for, trying to catch that offender, Tank,
it hasn't come back, and the graffiti by and large hasn't come back,
which in itself is a success story, as well.
People are taking us seriously. The taggers are scared of us,
and the graffiti hasn't come back, as you can see.
It's encouraging to hear that such a covert operation
is giving some sort of positive impact.
I think cameras are a good way of stopping graffiti.
It's a good deterrent, and the images of the offenders can be used,
and shown to the community so they can be identified.
If it's the only way to catch them, if that is the last resort,
I'm all in favour of it. We're very grateful for Simon and his team
for doing the very best that they can for the local people.
So, this operation might not have turned out exactly as expected,
but what Simon and his team have done
is stop the taggers completely,
in what used to be a graffiti hot spot.
Ah, all sparkly and clean. Nice work, lads!
From builders' rubble and household waste
and everything in between, there's a great British army
of enforcers out there, working to keep our country tidy.
Join us next time,
when we'll be chasing down more filthy rotten scoundrels.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Filthy Rotten Scoundrels returns to investigate the criminals who are dumping thousands of tons of rubbish on Britain's streets. More than 3,000 fly-tipping incidents happen each day, costing tax payers £55 million a year to clear up. Voiced by people's champion Dominic Littlewood, the series joins the Environment Agency and councils across Britain as they use sting operations and 24-hour surveillance to expose Britain's Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.
In this episode, hidden cameras and night-time surveillance are used to try to catch graffiti vandals in Brent. Plus the amazing story of a landscape gardener caught on CCTV seven times dumping truck-loads of rubbish in a remote country lane; and the litter-picking project in Lincolnshire giving young people a new direction.