Episode 1 Filthy Rotten Scoundrels


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Episode 1

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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Transcript


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Every day, a war is being waged across Britain to clean up our towns and countryside.

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It's where I walk and where I live, and I don't want it to look a mess.

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The people who's doing this should definitely be heavily fined.

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From the tons of cigarettes butts, dogs' mess and household rubbish

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to mountains of tyres and skip-loads of builders' waste...

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To clear this area would be a big job.

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When I see people fly-tipping or even just littering,

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throwing a crisp packet on the floor, it makes me angry that people have so little respect.

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..we're on the front line of the clear-up and the fight-back,

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with the dedicated teams tracking down the rogues

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and putting the Great back into Britain.

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It may harm your defence if you don't mention, when questioned,

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something which you later rely on in court.

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On today's programme, a story that will take your breath away -

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a fly-tip in a Welsh beauty spot that contained a killer weed

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which is so powerful it can even cut through cement.

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It spreads like wildfire, and it can cause real, real problems.

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And from the baddies to the goodies - the youth of today,

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rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty

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to clean up their local community.

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We've found an old fridge, an old freezer,

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-some tyres...

-A computer.

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-HE CHUCKLES

-A computer, an old vacuum cleaner.

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Welcome to the dirty world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.

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Brent in North London - an area plagued by graffiti.

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Luckily the council has its very own graffiti-buster,

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Simon Finney. And he's a man on a mission.

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In our last series, we followed him

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trying to catch some persistent railway taggers.

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That's graffiti vandals, to you and me.

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Some of the tags that have gone up there,

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I've seen those tags around for years and years and years now,

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and these guys have put a lot of graffiti vandalism up

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in and around Brent.

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Using some sophisticated kit, Simon went all 007 on us

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and hid cameras and surveillance equipment in buildings nearby.

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If all goes well,

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the taggers, the graffiti vandals,

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will actually be walking up and down in amongst these cameras,

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and not be able to see them.

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To make sure he caught the crims in the act,

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he even had a special sign made up, but this was no ordinary sign.

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It housed a secret camera.

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We are hoping this is going to look like...

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just a regular signpost that we've had to put in

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as railway workers, and not anything fishy or suspicious.

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But even Simon was aware it could all go - well, horribly wrong.

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This whole thing could fall flat on its face,

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or it could be a perfect success, but you give it a shot,

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see what comes out of it.

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But brilliant news. The undercover mission worked like clockwork,

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and Simon's team caught this tagger red-handed.

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The writing was literally on the wall for this cheeky vandal.

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Darryl Khazanchi was convicted of repeated graffiti offences,

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and held responsible for £1,800 worth of damage.

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He's now prohibited from being in possession of any paint,

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dye or permanent ink in a public place.

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He's also been banned from any railway property that's not open to the public,

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and has been issued with a three-year ASBO. What a result!

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This time around, our ex-policeman and graffiti expert

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is taking things one step further.

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He's bringing in the heavy artillery

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and taking on the whole tagging army.

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OK - no, he's not. But he is about to begin a military-style operation

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to track down one local vandal who calls himself Tank.

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He's a repeat offender who's plastered his name all over the borough for years.

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Tank has been around, we estimate, for about ten years now,

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and he's from a local estate. That's what we suspect.

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We need to confirm that. We need to be able to get some evidence on him,

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and from that hopefully we can identify him,

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and start a prosecution process which will eventually result

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in Tank, and hopefully his crew,

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being eliminated from the most prolific tagging crews in Brent.

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And for those of you who aren't quite convinced

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about the need to wipe out tagging,

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here's how much this one guy alone is costing us taxpayers.

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Historically, over the past ten years?

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Um, let's say, for example,

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he contributes to about - what, 30, 40 percent

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-of the tagging you've seen today.

-OK.

-Maybe ten grand a year,

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times ten years. He's probably got a track record of about £100,000,

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and that's probably an extremely conservative estimate.

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100 grand! There's only one word for that -

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obscene.

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And that's just one rotten vandal.

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Brent has one of the most severe graffiti problems in London,

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and a survey by Keep Britain Tidy

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showed an average of 15 to 20 percent

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of all areas in the borough were unacceptably covered in graffiti.

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It is a huge problem.

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Well, graffiti is intimidating. It angers people,

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and it just runs down the area.

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It leads to vandalism, petty crime,

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antisocial behaviour.

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All that is linked. I say zero tolerance.

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It can be very depressing to walk through an area

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with graffiti all around,

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and it almost becomes contagious.

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This particular wall,

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each tagger that wants to get as much coverage as possible in Brent

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has pretty much come along here and put his tag up.

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Something needs to be done,

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otherwise it's going to ruin the area.

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You're spot-on.

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We'll be back on the front line with Simon later,

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as he steps up his mission to track down the elusive tagger

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and his wall-writing friends.

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Final, push "record" button and lock up shop,

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and we wait for customers, really.

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Now, just take a look at this - beautiful countryside

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and rolling hills. But lurking in the woodlands

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are some of Britain's filthiest scoundrels,

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who are prepared to ruin it for us all,

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dumping their rubbish and putting the environment in danger.

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This serious case of fly-tipping occurred

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in this beautiful area of woodland in forest in Carmarthenshire.

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Just look at it!

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In just a few weeks, so much rubbish was dumped here,

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this beautiful place started to look like landfill.

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Environmental crime officer Lyn Richards led the investigation

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to catch the crook behind the scam, and he's not happy -

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not happy at all.

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It's not acceptable. It's criminality,

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and it's antisocial, and working together,

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we hope to try and stop this from occurring,

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stop these individuals blighting our countryside.

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It all came about when a passerby saw strange goings-on in the area,

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and alarm bells rang.

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A member of the public saw a vehicle loaded with waste

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come off the highway, come down into this area of land,

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and come back empty.

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This is a primary site. It's just off the main road.

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It's very secluded.

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It's... Well, it's a fly-tipping haven, to be honest.

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Now, Lyn is an experienced environmental-crime officer,

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but even he was shocked by what he saw.

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This fly-tipper meant business - dirty business.

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But while it might have been good business for him,

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it was bad news for innocent Steve Parker

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who owns the bit of private land where all this was dumped.

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He's devastated.

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It's going to be a big inconvenience for me,

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cos I've got to spend, obviously, a few days down here.

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The whole family will be here cleaning it up.

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I'll have to get somebody down here with a machine, loading skips,

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and it's just going to be a nightmare.

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And I'm left with the cost of that.

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But Lyn was determined to crack the case.

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He took extreme measures - undercover surveillance.

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I got one of the officers to scope the area out,

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and we identified that, yes, a lot of material was being fly-tipped.

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It was a prime location for us to deploy covert cameras.

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The game was on.

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Lyn and his team set up hidden cameras around the site,

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including a motion-sensor surveillance camera

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inside one of the piles of rubbish.

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Now all they had to do was wait.

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And they didn't have to wait long. The vans just kept coming.

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But what was even more amazing,

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they were always driven by just one man - David Castanho.

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Over a period of three weeks,

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we caught Mr Castanho coming in on seven separate occasions,

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basically fly-tipping.

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It was a veritable conveyor belt of household items -

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a large blue fishpond,

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perfect to show off your collection of goldfish,

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a sturdy black dustbin, the practical accompaniment

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for any household,

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and a deluxe green strimmer, ideal for keeping your edges trim.

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All that's missing is the cuddly toy.

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But this wasn't a family game show.

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It was a disgrace.

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Lyn discovered that David Castanho had been running a garden-waste disposal business.

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His customers were paying him in good faith

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to take away their rubbish and dispose of it properly.

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But - you guessed it - Castanho was just pocketing the cash

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and dumping the rubbish. Outrageous!

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And, as we'll find out later,

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Lyn was about to make a startling and sinister discovery.

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Now, how do you make a good-news story from a pile of old rubbish?

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Well, an imaginative environmental project

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in North Kesteven, Lincolnshire, has cracked it.

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Hill Holt Wood stretches for 34 acres,

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and it's where schemes are run to train young people

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who are struggling to find work or college places.

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We do a lot of woodland management, carry out a lot of eco-building.

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We have our own design team,

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and we have the whole process of felling trees

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right through to building buildings such as the ones you see around here.

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Now, I know what you're thinking - this all sounds lovely, Dom,

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but what's it got to do with Filthy Rotten Scoundrels?

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Well, one of the schemes they run at Hill Holt Wood

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is Watch NK, which recruits 16 to 18 year olds

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to train as woodland rangers. The youngsters get a qualification

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and a chance to improve their employment prospects,

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and here's the really good bit - as part of the course,

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they work with the council to pick up litter

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and deal with fly tips. Everyone's a winner.

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The learners are here to gain themselves more qualifications

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and life skills, so the litter picking,

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it's part of the BTEC qualification,

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and that certainly helps to get them out and about there

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looking after our countryside.

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Today, Watch NK senior ranger Ben Wilton

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is taking 18 year olds Matt and Kirsten out on his rubbish round.

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So, with Matt and Kirsten's help,

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we go out, we hunt around for all these fly tips and stuff,

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and really just put in a day's work.

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Right. We're going to go out around the North Kesteven district,

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checking a few of the roads and some of the lay-bys we have

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on the main roads in the area.

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Wouldn't we all love a team like this in our local area -

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enthusiastic young people keeping our communities tidy

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and getting something out of it themselves?

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I dropped out of college cos I didn't like it,

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cos it was horrible and not very fun either.

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So I just thought I'd come here, cos it's, like, better experience,

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and you get out and about and see the world a bit more,

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just get new experiences and qualifications

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that you wouldn't really get anywhere else.

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Normally I'd just sit at home just bored out of my brains.

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Just, like, there's nowt to do. When I got going to Hill Holt,

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I love coming now. I come every day and that.

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I really like going, cos there's something new every day.

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These guys are learning about the environment,

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learning about the environment's importance,

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and learning how to respect the environment,

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and the way the planet's going at the minute,

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you know, I mean, that can only be a very positive thing,

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and we need to start looking after our planet,

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because when it's gone, unfortunately so are all of we.

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Well said, Ben. I don't know about you,

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but I'm quite attached to this big old planet of ours,

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and in North Kesteven, a district of 356 square miles,

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a whopping 94 percent of the land is classified as green space,

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so it's really obvious here that the countryside needs looking after.

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So thank the garbage gods that Watch NK are doing it for us.

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Guys, if you want to grab your gloves,

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if I get in, I'll start pulling everything out.

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-Just watch what you're picking up. That's the big thing.

-Yeah.

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There could be anything in here.

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It's quite pointless, to be honest.

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What compels people to do this?

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I mean, all right, it costs a bit of money to get rid of it,

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but it seems pretty pointless.

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The guys pile up the junk on the track,

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then they call in the council's crack team,

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who go through it for clues to try and track down who dumped it

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before taking it away. So, what on Earth have we got here?

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We've found an old fridge, an old freezer,

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-some tyres...

-A computer.

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-HE CHUCKLES

-A computer, an old vacuum cleaner.

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-A trampoline.

-Just household waste, like an old trampoline.

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Can I remind you, dear viewer, that all this has been dumped

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in a beautiful wood in the Lincolnshire countryside?

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It's shocking, isn't it?

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I know you have a bit of a problem getting rid of fridges

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because of the gas that's contained in the cylinders at the back,

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so you often find a lot of people dumping fridges,

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which is a shame,

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cos I'm pretty sure, like, the local scrap-recycling merchants

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will take it, and that sort of thing.

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So we're going to get some red-and-white tape

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and just mark it so that people can see that someone knows about it

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and knows that it's here, and when I get back to the office

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later on today, I'll report it to the district council,

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and then they'll come and grab it straight away,

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so it's not here too long. Kirsten, do you want to grab the sticker?

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That's it.

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Lets people know that we've been here, we know it's there,

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and that it's going to get cleared up.

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Find out later what else our fearless fly-tip heroes

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have to contend with in their North Kesteven woodland adventure.

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Sorted!

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From the rural to the city...

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the inner city, where this is taking over.

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In the London borough of Brent,

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Simon Finney is on a mission to wipe out graffiti.

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And he's after one prolific pen artist in particular.

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He's rounded up his troops, and part one of the operation has begun.

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They're cleaning up some disused toilets in Butlers Green in Sudbury.

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They're giving the place a fresh lick of paint,

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to see if the now-blank canvas will attract the local vandal and his crew.

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They tend to target sort of play areas, parks,

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open walls, council- or government-owned buildings.

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We still have an obligation to clean up regardless,

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so there's no more money that's being spent on this

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than we would normally spend on removing graffiti anyway.

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It's just that the graffiti will reoccur

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on these types of surfaces, so one could ask the question,

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"Why are you removing the graffiti?"

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And the answer to that is because it's an eyesore,

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and eventually, hopefully, our perseverance will win the day,

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where we'll keep on going until graffiti stops returning,

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and taggers will hopefully end up facing a judge or prosecution

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or a police officer, or move on with their lives

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and find something better to do.

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While some of the team are hard at work jet-washing graffiti off,

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the others begin to set their traps to catch the taggers at work.

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It's all about the positioning of the secret cameras.

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If you've got your camera sitting at an angle like that,

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to get your wire through there's going to be a problem.

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I'm sure we can get it up and through and out that hole.

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But if you put that where that hole is sitting like that...

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-That's all right.

-You can bring it down if you want to get it into the brick.

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Where we're going to put our night-vision cameras

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is in these roof sections here.

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We're hoping to be able to secure it to some of these beams,

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but if not, we've brought on some timber

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so we can make a rough little frame to screw it to.

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The next part of the operation is for Simon to plan

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some extra surveillance outside the toilet block.

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He's found a white van to use as a red herring,

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if that makes any sense.

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I've got a better idea of the kind of operation I want to put together,

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the kind of covert equipment I want to put together,

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and I've got an idea of how to actually catch these taggers,

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particularly in relation to the toilet site,

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and the aim of this will be to use this vehicle

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and to transmit signals to the vehicle,

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and also to have cameras in the vehicle,

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also recording conditions on site.

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To make the van look legit,

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Simon's come up with a false company name to stick on it,

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so he can park up outside the newly cleaned-up toilets

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and not draw attention. Hopefully our tagger might be caught short.

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It's almost like watching a new family member being born here!

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It's all coming out in one piece, as well.

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Brilliant!

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-G Rafferty at your service.

-Yes!

0:19:390:19:41

Brent Council removes almost 3,000 square metres of graffiti per year,

0:19:430:19:48

at a cost of £250,000.

0:19:480:19:51

These thoughtless taggers are just spraying our taxes up the wall,

0:19:510:19:56

quite literally.

0:19:560:19:58

Knowing that the council is seeing 30 percent cuts

0:19:580:20:00

over the next three years, it's money that could be better spent elsewhere.

0:20:000:20:05

That money can be used for children in the borough

0:20:050:20:08

or for the elderly or for the sick -

0:20:080:20:11

something a better cause than just removing graffiti

0:20:110:20:14

which has been put up by some silly boy or girl.

0:20:140:20:18

It is very important to catch these individuals

0:20:180:20:21

and get them off the streets, because it is extremely expensive.

0:20:210:20:25

Hear, hear!

0:20:250:20:27

Simon knows the people of Brent are relying on him,

0:20:300:20:32

and he's taking his mission seriously.

0:20:320:20:35

He and his colleague Tony meet in the dead of night

0:20:350:20:38

to plan their attack with military precision.

0:20:380:20:40

We've got the two sites, indicated by...

0:20:400:20:43

This, shall we call the north-building one?

0:20:430:20:45

The position of cameras, cables and recording devices are all crucial.

0:20:450:20:50

This is the largest camera we'll be using.

0:20:500:20:52

Um, slightly more difficult to conceal,

0:20:520:20:55

so for this one, we'll be mounting this in the loft space of the block.

0:20:550:21:01

Now, slightly more easy to conceal is our small bullet cams,

0:21:020:21:07

which give a really nice sharp picture.

0:21:070:21:10

On this operation we'll be concealing those

0:21:100:21:12

in fake light fittings attached to the outside of the block.

0:21:120:21:16

That should provide us with a much closer shot

0:21:180:21:21

of anyone who puts any graffiti up on the walls there.

0:21:210:21:24

And finally we have our smallest camera,

0:21:240:21:27

nice and easy to conceal. When this is in place,

0:21:270:21:31

it just looks like the head of a screw.

0:21:310:21:33

No-one's going to notice this even if it's right out in the open.

0:21:330:21:37

And you can see that it gives us a very nice sharp colour image.

0:21:370:21:41

This one actually works at night-time, as well,

0:21:410:21:44

gives a good night-vision picture in black and white,

0:21:440:21:47

all from a tiny little camera like that.

0:21:470:21:50

Good luck, lads.

0:21:500:21:53

It's 2:00 AM, and the guys have arrived at the old toilet block

0:22:010:22:05

in Butlers Green, Sudbury. They know the tagger and his friends

0:22:050:22:08

live nearby, so they think it's only a matter of time

0:22:080:22:11

before the freshly painted walls get defaced again.

0:22:110:22:14

What we did the last time here was,

0:22:140:22:16

when we came through we sort of drilled holes,

0:22:160:22:19

and we made sure there was access points for the various bits of cable

0:22:190:22:23

that we now need to feed through from our cameras to our recorders.

0:22:230:22:27

We got a hole there going through to that light fitting.

0:22:270:22:30

We got a hole down there which leads to the drainpipe outside

0:22:300:22:33

where another camera's going to go, and Tony will be fitting a camera

0:22:330:22:37

on the other side, on the roof.

0:22:370:22:38

Having planned their covert operation so carefully,

0:22:410:22:44

it's vital that Simon's cameras are positioned

0:22:440:22:46

in exactly the right spots.

0:22:460:22:49

How have you actually settled it?

0:22:490:22:52

I'm facing you at the toilet block now.

0:22:520:22:54

OK, that's fine. We've got to it fairly easy.

0:22:540:22:58

Let's have a look at this picture.

0:22:580:23:00

Ah, yeah. That's pretty good.

0:23:040:23:07

Do me a favour. Just take a stroll around by the actual doors there.

0:23:070:23:13

I can get a sense of the actual focus of someone in shot.

0:23:130:23:18

Excellent!

0:23:210:23:23

-We can almost identify from that shot alone.

-Oh, that's good.

0:23:240:23:28

What we've managed to achieve so far is,

0:23:280:23:31

we've got one roof camera up,

0:23:310:23:33

we're on a second roof camera, we've put an external camera outside here

0:23:330:23:37

and down the one flank wall.

0:23:370:23:39

I'm busy putting the second external camera down the other flank wall.

0:23:390:23:43

I feel that the site is fairly well installed

0:23:430:23:47

in terms of the sort of individuals that we're hoping to catch here,

0:23:470:23:51

and anyone else, for that matter, not being able to make out

0:23:510:23:54

that we've actually got any cameras in here.

0:23:540:23:57

But before they can all head home,

0:23:570:23:59

Simon needs to move his secret weapon,

0:23:590:24:02

his surveillance van, into the correct position.

0:24:020:24:05

It's been a hard night's graft, but Simon's happy,

0:24:080:24:11

and his tagger trap is finally ready.

0:24:110:24:14

The machines are already recording now,

0:24:140:24:16

and we're satisfied with all the views and the angles we've got,

0:24:160:24:19

so it's pretty much set. Um, just tweak that one last camera,

0:24:190:24:24

and then, final, push "record" button and lock up shop,

0:24:240:24:28

and we wait for customers, really.

0:24:280:24:31

It's edge-of-the-seat time, folks.

0:24:330:24:35

Will the cameras catch the terrible taggers in the act?

0:24:350:24:38

Well, we'll be back to find out later in the programme.

0:24:380:24:41

In Carmarthenshire, environmental- crime officer Lyn Richards

0:24:450:24:49

is investigating a serial fly-tipper

0:24:490:24:51

who's littered the beautiful Welsh countryside with this.

0:24:510:24:55

Garden waste, household goods, mattresses, concrete and chemicals -

0:24:570:25:02

the list is endless.

0:25:020:25:04

But worst of all, Lyn's found something

0:25:070:25:09

that's threatening the entire local area.

0:25:090:25:12

Castanho was responsible for tipping a lot of different types of material

0:25:120:25:16

at this location, but more worryingly,

0:25:160:25:19

Castanho brought in a lot of soil

0:25:190:25:22

contaminated with Japanese knotweed.

0:25:220:25:25

Japanese knotweed is very difficult to get rid of.

0:25:250:25:29

It spreads like wildfire,

0:25:290:25:32

and it can cause real, real problems,

0:25:320:25:36

and as you can see here, now the Japanese knotweed is springing up.

0:25:360:25:41

Give it another couple of months,

0:25:410:25:44

this'll be a lot worse than what it is at the moment.

0:25:440:25:48

Japanese knotweed is the nearest thing to Godzilla

0:25:480:25:52

in the plant world, and can grow more than a metre

0:25:520:25:55

in just one month.

0:25:550:25:58

Under the Environmental Protection Act,

0:25:580:26:01

it's classified as controlled waste,

0:26:010:26:03

and must be properly disposed of at licensed landfill sites.

0:26:030:26:07

These shocking images demonstrate just how aggressive it is.

0:26:080:26:13

It can penetrate through almost anything, including concrete.

0:26:140:26:19

Roots can grow three metres deep,

0:26:190:26:22

and it can lie dormant for years.

0:26:220:26:24

It's even known to invade people's homes,

0:26:250:26:28

costing a fortune to get rid of.

0:26:280:26:30

And it's so bad that people have been refused mortgages

0:26:310:26:35

simply because the dreaded weed is growing in the garden.

0:26:350:26:38

It's become a countrywide problem.

0:26:420:26:44

Initially brought to the UK by the Victorians

0:26:440:26:47

as an ornamental plant, it quickly turned into a menace,

0:26:470:26:50

ruining everything and anything in its path,

0:26:500:26:54

as this community garden in West Horsley in Surrey knows

0:26:540:26:57

only too well. Before the members took it over,

0:26:570:27:01

the area had regularly been used for fly-tipping,

0:27:010:27:03

and Japanese knotweed had taken hold.

0:27:030:27:06

We first discovered we had Japanese knotweed

0:27:080:27:12

when a friend of mine came into the garden

0:27:120:27:14

and spotted it, and told me what it was.

0:27:140:27:17

It meant nothing to me, and then gradually over the weeks and months

0:27:170:27:21

I realised what a problem it was going to be.

0:27:210:27:24

We can't use it, grow in it or plant in it.

0:27:240:27:26

We have to cordon it off. There's also the problem it could cause -

0:27:260:27:30

we have all sorts of different members coming in and out,

0:27:300:27:33

and to run the risk that one of them could get some of it on their foot,

0:27:330:27:37

take it home and it start to spread through their own garden and house

0:27:370:27:41

is a real worry.

0:27:410:27:43

Su's called upon knotweed exterminator Nic Seal.

0:27:430:27:48

He's the man who can and is about to take on the deadly knotweed.

0:27:480:27:52

This is a pile of concrete demolition rubble

0:27:520:27:57

that's unfortunately infested with Japanese knotweed.

0:27:570:28:01

I suspect this has been illegally dumped here,

0:28:010:28:03

probably by an unscrupulous operator

0:28:030:28:07

who's probably got one to two lorry loads of infested soil,

0:28:070:28:10

and rather than doing the right thing and taking it to a registered landfill site,

0:28:100:28:15

he's dumped it here, because it will have cost him a couple of grand

0:28:150:28:18

to dump this legally.

0:28:180:28:21

The problem with the weed is that just a tiny piece

0:28:220:28:25

can infiltrate a huge area, killing other plants

0:28:250:28:28

and destroying the land.

0:28:280:28:30

Something like that in the original fly tip

0:28:300:28:33

would have been enough to get this infestation started,

0:28:330:28:37

so obviously it takes a few years for it to start to spread,

0:28:370:28:41

but this particular fly tip, everything's been here

0:28:410:28:44

for quite a few years.

0:28:440:28:46

We can tell that by the age of this root material.

0:28:460:28:49

But, yeah, something as big as that

0:28:490:28:53

or even literally a piece like that will actually grow,

0:28:530:28:57

so if left for long enough, we'll end up with a big infestation,

0:28:570:29:01

ultimately as large as this.

0:29:010:29:04

The cost of clearing a site is huge.

0:29:070:29:10

Su's estimated that removing the knotweed

0:29:100:29:13

will cost £1,000 a lorry load.

0:29:130:29:16

And get this - it'll take not one lorry,

0:29:160:29:19

not even ten lorries, but - wait for it - 60 lorries to get rid of it!

0:29:190:29:24

That is a whopping £60,000.

0:29:240:29:26

Ouch!

0:29:260:29:28

But Nic's something of a knight in shining armour.

0:29:290:29:33

His specialist machine cleverly extracts the weed from the soil.

0:29:330:29:36

It all means the soil can go back into the garden,

0:29:360:29:40

and Su will only have to pay to get the actual knotweed taken away.

0:29:400:29:44

And how many lorry loads will that be?

0:29:440:29:46

Just one.

0:29:460:29:48

What we have is the excavator loading the infested soil

0:29:480:29:52

being dug out from here into the hopper of the extract machine.

0:29:520:29:56

The extract machine is then separating those soils

0:29:560:30:00

into two fractions of the topsoil that's coming off

0:30:000:30:04

on the far conveyor there, so that topsoil is free of knotweed

0:30:040:30:07

and is ready for use on any patch you want to use this afternoon,

0:30:070:30:12

if you really want to.

0:30:120:30:14

It's the start of a four-day process to fully clear the land.

0:30:140:30:18

It's not going to be easy,

0:30:180:30:20

but finally there's light at the end of the tunnel.

0:30:200:30:22

The knotweed in that corner of the garden

0:30:220:30:25

has felt like a set of brakes,

0:30:250:30:27

that in that area we've not been able to do anything. Now that it's gone,

0:30:270:30:30

we're off scot-free, and we'll be able to get going,

0:30:300:30:34

doing in there what we've done everywhere else. It'll be brilliant.

0:30:340:30:37

Back in Wales, after four weeks of surveillance,

0:30:400:30:43

the environmental-crime team were confident

0:30:430:30:45

that they had enough footage to bring David Castanho down.

0:30:450:30:48

We interviewed Mr Castanho,

0:30:500:30:52

and on seeing the evidence, Mr Castanho pleaded guilty

0:30:520:30:56

to knowingly depositing controlled waste,

0:30:560:30:59

and subsequently the court imposed a 28-day prison sentence on Mr Castanho.

0:30:590:31:05

28 days behind bars! But that wasn't all.

0:31:050:31:09

Lyn Richards had another cunning plan up his sleeve,

0:31:090:31:12

guaranteed to teach Castanho that crime really doesn't pay.

0:31:120:31:17

We did request the court

0:31:180:31:21

if they could confiscate the vehicle,

0:31:210:31:23

because we had evidence that it was used in the commission of a crime,

0:31:230:31:27

so we subsequently had the vehicle crushed.

0:31:270:31:30

Look at that! And, just for all the filthy fly-tippers out there,

0:31:320:31:36

let's savour that one more time.

0:31:360:31:39

Incredible!

0:31:480:31:50

Back at the scene of the crime, Lyn Richards' next priority

0:31:560:31:59

was to speak to landowner Steve about security,

0:31:590:32:03

so he'd never have to pay for someone else's dirty work again.

0:32:030:32:06

And Steve doesn't mince his words.

0:32:060:32:09

I think it's disgusting, to be honest, the people would tip

0:32:090:32:13

in their local area, which... Now we're going to have to think of

0:32:130:32:18

some security measures or whatever, get some new gates up

0:32:180:32:22

on the entrance, and I'm going to have to try and visit the land

0:32:220:32:26

at least every other day, every day if I can, to keep an eye

0:32:260:32:29

and make sure nobody's fly-tipping down here.

0:32:290:32:32

Poor old Steve!

0:32:320:32:35

Castanho had committed a serious crime,

0:32:350:32:37

and got a strong punishment for it.

0:32:370:32:40

So anyone out there thinking of dumping their rubbish, beware.

0:32:430:32:47

But it's not just the fly-tippers who can face prosecution.

0:32:470:32:51

One thing that members of the public need to do

0:32:510:32:54

is to find out who is actually going to take their waste away,

0:32:540:32:58

who are they going to give their money to.

0:32:580:33:00

One check they need to do, they've got to be a registered waste carrier.

0:33:000:33:04

That's very important. If we find out

0:33:040:33:07

that you have not taken the necessary actions

0:33:070:33:11

to find out that you were going to dispose of it properly,

0:33:110:33:14

ultimately you could be taken to court.

0:33:140:33:17

So, a lesson for us all.

0:33:180:33:20

Poor old Steve still hasn't got round to clearing the rubbish,

0:33:200:33:23

but the great news is that, thanks to Lyn's hard work,

0:33:230:33:26

the real crook here got what he deserved - time behind bars.

0:33:260:33:31

From the horrors of Japanese knotweed

0:33:400:33:43

to the youngsters working hard to keep our land a green and pleasant one.

0:33:430:33:47

Environmental scheme Watch NK

0:33:470:33:50

is training 18 year olds Matt and Kirsten to do a great job -

0:33:500:33:53

tidying up the mess some rotten scoundrels have left

0:33:530:33:56

in the middle of the North Kesteven countryside.

0:33:560:33:59

But what do they really think of the fly-tippers?

0:33:590:34:02

If I had some rubbish like that, I'd want to get rid of it,

0:34:020:34:05

but I wouldn't waste fuel going out to woods in the middle of nowhere

0:34:050:34:09

just to drop it, and all the effort of that.

0:34:090:34:12

Obviously people don't think like that.

0:34:120:34:14

They just think of the fastest way to get rid of it.

0:34:140:34:17

They even come to your door and ask if they can buy stuff off you

0:34:170:34:20

-so they can make more off it.

-Yeah, I know.

0:34:200:34:22

You sell it to them cos they get rid of it properly.

0:34:220:34:26

Clearly this lot have the right attitude.

0:34:260:34:28

But sadly, coming across fly-tipping is an everyday part

0:34:280:34:32

of the Watch NK operation. Ever the planet-saver,

0:34:320:34:35

Ben has to be vigilant at the sight of every bag that's been dumped.

0:34:350:34:39

Anything that could lead to a rubbish rogue being caught

0:34:390:34:43

is a vital piece of evidence for a future prosecution.

0:34:430:34:46

So, we're just coming along here, and...

0:34:460:34:49

and I've just noticed, just up here on the right,

0:34:490:34:54

just as it starts to rain, which is lovely,

0:34:540:34:56

there's just a few bags of rubbish which have been dumped.

0:34:560:35:00

How disgusting!

0:35:000:35:02

Someone has just dumped three bin-bags at the side of the road.

0:35:020:35:06

The council like us to mark them up and leave them.

0:35:060:35:09

-You got the tape?

-Yeah. If you just put them together, Matt.

0:35:110:35:14

'Sometimes black bin-bags might contain rubbish

0:35:150:35:18

'like letters and stuff like that,

0:35:180:35:21

'so we might be able to find some information

0:35:210:35:24

'on the people that maybe dumped it,

0:35:240:35:27

'and if we can find that sort of information, or the council can,

0:35:270:35:31

'then, they can maybe work at prosecuting some people,

0:35:310:35:36

'and we have had some successes in the past.'

0:35:360:35:39

But what do the young helpers think

0:35:390:35:41

of clearing up other people's rotten rubbish?

0:35:410:35:43

Could they do it full-time?

0:35:430:35:46

Since I've been going to Hill Holt Wood,

0:35:460:35:48

it's actually opened my eyes on stuff

0:35:480:35:50

that you would normally turn your nose at,

0:35:500:35:53

but actually it's not that bad, and it really is quite interesting,

0:35:530:35:57

some of the stuff that you do. Now, if someone said to me...

0:35:570:36:00

If someone asked me and said, "Do you want to do this litter-picking job or this fly-tipping job,

0:36:000:36:06

just go out and clean it up and that?"

0:36:060:36:09

I'd say yeah. I wouldn't mind doing it,

0:36:090:36:12

because it's a job, and they're really hard to come by

0:36:120:36:15

when you're about 18, 19.

0:36:150:36:17

Good on you, Matt.

0:36:170:36:19

But there's no time for him to sit and ponder his future.

0:36:190:36:22

It's straight on to the next site for the trusty team of three.

0:36:220:36:26

If we sweep up as a team, then, guys,

0:36:260:36:28

work our way along, just picking up any litter we see.

0:36:280:36:31

This doesn't look like fly-tipping, so the council doesn't need to be informed,

0:36:310:36:36

and the guys are OK to pick up the litter and get rid of it.

0:36:360:36:39

I can't see why people have to do this.

0:36:390:36:41

They come to the woods to look at the trees,

0:36:410:36:43

have a walk or walk the dog,

0:36:430:36:46

but they feel compelled to drop fag packets.

0:36:460:36:48

It's taught me that people should probably take more care,

0:36:480:36:52

cos, like...if they leave rubbish, then, it'll just get rotten,

0:36:520:36:56

and then someone else will have to pick it up.

0:36:560:36:58

Since I've been coming to Hill Holt, I just don't drop litter.

0:36:580:37:01

Keep walking up with me, guys. Keep heading this way.

0:37:010:37:05

This guys are good kids. They work hard,

0:37:050:37:08

and by doing this, it shows them that it's not always a good thing

0:37:080:37:11

to drop litter. And by coming out and helping us,

0:37:110:37:15

they're helping the environment. You see we're in a real situation,

0:37:150:37:19

and the amount we've picked up - we've filled three bags

0:37:190:37:22

on one little road out in the middle of nowhere,

0:37:220:37:25

so by doing this, it's helping the environment,

0:37:250:37:29

and it's helping these guys to gain some vital life skills

0:37:290:37:32

that they might use in later life.

0:37:320:37:35

It's the end of a very fruitful day for the team,

0:37:370:37:41

and young helper Matt has arrived back at base

0:37:410:37:43

with ranger Ben.

0:37:430:37:45

I think today was a big success with the guys,

0:37:450:37:48

and they seemed to get something out of today,

0:37:480:37:50

and they managed to see some of the damage that can be done

0:37:500:37:54

from fly-tipping and littering,

0:37:540:37:56

and obviously we were working together as part of a team, as well,

0:37:560:38:01

so I think that was definitely, like, a bonus for them.

0:38:010:38:04

It gets them ready, really, for life outside of Hill Holt,

0:38:040:38:08

because they can't be here forever, unfortunately,

0:38:080:38:11

so they have got to get themselves ready to go out,

0:38:110:38:14

and if they can leave here slightly better people

0:38:140:38:17

because of days like today, then, that can only be a positive thing.

0:38:170:38:21

-Just from my part, Matt, well done for today.

-Cheers.

0:38:210:38:24

You helped me out a lot.

0:38:240:38:27

I think Hill Holt Wood will have a positive effect on my life,

0:38:270:38:30

for the simple reason, basically,

0:38:300:38:32

it's given me a better outlook on life and that.

0:38:320:38:36

It's given me... It's shown me that there's more out there

0:38:360:38:40

than just sitting in a room,

0:38:400:38:43

drinking, smoking and playing Xbox.

0:38:430:38:46

That's the spirit! And Ben's clearly pleased with the day's work.

0:38:460:38:49

You've done really well. I'm really impressed with the way you've worked,

0:38:490:38:53

so, er, keep up the good work, and I'll see you tomorrow.

0:38:530:38:57

-Nice one. Cheers, mate.

-Cheers.

0:38:570:39:00

I'm going to take this opportunity, cos it's make-or-break, really.

0:39:000:39:03

I really need to do this, so I'm just going to...

0:39:030:39:06

put all my effort into Hill Holt at the minute

0:39:060:39:09

and hopefully go on to bigger and better things in the future.

0:39:090:39:12

We're sure you will, Matt,

0:39:120:39:14

but saving the environment is a pretty good job for now.

0:39:140:39:17

The people of Planet Earth salute you.

0:39:170:39:20

Simon Finney is on a one-man mission

0:39:260:39:29

to wipe graffiti off the face of Brent in London.

0:39:290:39:32

He's after one prolific tagger

0:39:340:39:36

who's been blighting the borough with his name for the last decade.

0:39:360:39:40

All these "Tank"s along here, which have been put along the top,

0:39:420:39:45

they all look fairly fresh,

0:39:450:39:47

in addition to this very blurry, patchy silver stuff

0:39:470:39:50

along that bottom. I can't recall that being here last time we were.

0:39:500:39:53

And this big white piece over here, that also looks fairly new to me.

0:39:530:39:58

So he's definitely been along this bridge in the last week or so,

0:39:580:40:02

and put some fresh graffiti on it.

0:40:020:40:05

It's an encouraging sign.

0:40:050:40:07

Simon thinks he's close to nabbing his man.

0:40:070:40:10

What we've got over here is what looks like another fresh one.

0:40:100:40:13

Same silver can. He's been through here quite recently.

0:40:130:40:18

I can't remember this being here the last time either.

0:40:180:40:21

Simon's team rigged secret cameras in a disused toilet block

0:40:230:40:27

that was a magnet for the graffiti crowd,

0:40:270:40:29

and set their trap to catch the cheeky vandal.

0:40:290:40:32

But did it work?

0:40:320:40:34

Well, actually, something rather extraordinary happened.

0:40:340:40:38

Their covert operation stopped the graffiti altogether.

0:40:380:40:42

This wall in particular, and these doors,

0:40:440:40:46

had quite a lot of graffiti on it.

0:40:460:40:49

You can see by the bleached look of the bricks

0:40:490:40:51

where we've repeatedly removed the graffiti.

0:40:510:40:53

So we removed the graffiti, and on our regular visits we've come back.

0:40:530:40:58

The tag that we were looking for, trying to catch that offender, Tank,

0:40:580:41:03

it hasn't come back, and the graffiti by and large hasn't come back,

0:41:030:41:08

which in itself is a success story, as well.

0:41:080:41:11

People are taking us seriously. The taggers are scared of us,

0:41:120:41:16

and the graffiti hasn't come back, as you can see.

0:41:160:41:18

It's encouraging to hear that such a covert operation

0:41:180:41:23

is giving some sort of positive impact.

0:41:230:41:26

I think cameras are a good way of stopping graffiti.

0:41:260:41:29

It's a good deterrent, and the images of the offenders can be used,

0:41:290:41:32

and shown to the community so they can be identified.

0:41:320:41:36

If it's the only way to catch them, if that is the last resort,

0:41:360:41:39

I'm all in favour of it. We're very grateful for Simon and his team

0:41:390:41:43

for doing the very best that they can for the local people.

0:41:430:41:47

So, this operation might not have turned out exactly as expected,

0:41:480:41:53

but what Simon and his team have done

0:41:530:41:55

is stop the taggers completely,

0:41:550:41:57

in what used to be a graffiti hot spot.

0:41:570:42:00

Ah, all sparkly and clean. Nice work, lads!

0:42:130:42:17

From builders' rubble and household waste

0:42:190:42:21

and everything in between, there's a great British army

0:42:210:42:25

of enforcers out there, working to keep our country tidy.

0:42:250:42:28

Join us next time,

0:42:280:42:30

when we'll be chasing down more filthy rotten scoundrels.

0:42:300:42:33

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:330:42:37

E-mail [email protected]

0:42:370:42:41

.

0:42:410:42:41

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.