Series investigating Britain's waste dumpers. An undercover investigation catches a man running an illegal car scrapyard in Wales, and an asbestos dump is discovered in Doncaster.
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Every day, a never-ending war is being waged across Britain
to clean up our towns and countryside.
It's where I walk and where I live. I don't want it to look a mess.
The people who's doing this should definitely be heavily-fined.
From the tonnes of cigarette butts, dogs' mess and household rubbish
to tyres and skip-loads of builders' waste...
Clearing this is a really big job.
When I see people fly-tipping or littering, throwing a crisp packet on the floor,
it makes me angry they have so little respect.
..we're on the front line of the clear up and the fight back
with dedicated teams tracking down the rogues and putting the "Great" back into Britain.
It may harm your defence if you fail to mention when questioned...
On today's programme, a dump of lethal asbestos spells danger
for our environmental crusaders.
They've been totally thoughtless. They couldn't care for anybody else.
Nobody wants to get asbestos on their lungs, do they?
And performing for the cameras. One man's brazen attempt
to get rid of an entire caravan.
He dismantled the caravan, piled it up and set fire to it!
Welcome to the dirty world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.
First, how many instances of fly-tipping do you think there were
in one year in Middlesbrough? 100?
Now, wait for it. There were, in fact,
3,000 instances of fly-tipping.
And the cost of clearing it all up will make your eyes water.
That's the average price of a house in the UK.
And the locals are up in arms.
I think it's disgusting. Anybody that leaves that kind of mess
Shooting? I think that might be a bit harsh, old chap.
But it does go to show just how much this kind of thing annoys people.
Why do we have to look at other people's mess?
It's a big problem. And now, environmental officers are hot on the heels
of the scoundrels who are ruining the neighbourhood.
To ensure they catch the crooks red-handed,
Middlesbrough Council have provided their officers with cameras
as a way of gathering evidence in all environmental cases.
Enforcement Officer Lee Hooker is equipped with a small camera attached to his head.
The head camera is of invaluable use to me
because it records exactly what's at the scene.
It does mean that in general people can't make untrue accusations
or mistaken truths. It's a brilliant bit of equipment.
Middlesbrough Council is known for embracing all sorts of high-tech equipment
to guarantee they're one step ahead of the criminals.
They've even installed talking CCTV cameras in the town centre
that tell people off if they're caught doing something they shouldn't.
To the young lad, would you mind picking the balloon up that you've just thrown away?
Now, that's what I call being on top of their game.
Lee's on his way to investigate his first case of the day.
A local resident has reported that a builder is dumping all sorts of building materials
in an alleyway that backs onto their house.
It's blocking all access to the dustbins so the residents can't throw their rubbish away properly.
And the bin men can't get in either to clear anything up.
Sounds right up Lee's street.
He's on a personal crusade to clear up Middlesbrough,
a town that's very close to his heart.
I am proud of what I do
because I do try to make an improvement for people I come across.
They more or less want me to help them, so I'm happy to help.
I'm a local lad, a Teessider,
so I enjoy the work here.
Lee puts on his camera and makes his way to the back alley
where the rubbish is reported to be.
He started using the head-cam in 2010, after hearing how successfully the police had used them.
One type of bin. Waste to the side.
Things aren't looking too bad so far.
But hang on. Take a look round this corner and there we have it.
Right, so what have we got here?
For starters, a lot of building rubbish. Cardboard, wood trim, polystyrene.
-Plastic bags full of rubbish.
-And some dog poo. Thanks for that, Lee!
The whole thing is absolutely disgusting. Who wants to open their back door onto this?
Most of the rubbish is outside one house
which clearly has building work going on.
Lee knocks on the door. The owner answers, but doesn't want to be on camera.
I work for Middlesbrough council. Because an offence may have been committed, I'll caution you.
You don't have to say anything,
but it may harm your defence if you fail to mention something you later rely on in court.
Lee obviously takes his job very seriously.
Something you do say may be given in evidence.
The owner calls his builder who is working on another property round the corner.
While they wait, Lee's camera is rolling.
Hello. Hiya. My name's Lee Hooker. I work for the Environmental Crime Unit.
The builder protests that some of the rubbish belongs to local residents and is not his.
Well, that's because they can't get to their bins, if you don't mind me saying.
But here's the beauty of Lee's camera.
While he was waiting for the builder to arrive,
the homeowner willingly admitted the building waste has come from his house
and has been put there by his builder.
Lee has the whole thing on film.
Explain to me in detail why it's here.
That waste is not ours. The only waste is this one.
Who gave you authority to deposit rubbish here?
All week, every week, we put separate stuff here and we take it every weekend.
We take them away. Now, these people have been dumping here. That's not ours. It's household rubbish.
-Not all of this is mine.
-I'll stop you there.
Instead of clearing up as he goes along, this cheeky builder is leaving his rubbish here
then at weekends transporting it to a skip outside another of his properties a street away.
Not good enough.
-When did this rubbish begin to be deposited?
-On the weekend I took it out.
On Tuesday this pile...
Lee wants answers, but even he doesn't want this many!
-At the weekend, I took so much away from here.
-It's unacceptable and it's unsightly.
The bin men couldn't do their job to remove the domestic waste
because of rubbish from your household.
It's not ours. That's the problem. I get the blame.
I don't understand how a householder could come out of their back yard
and think, "I'm going to pop my refuse sack in the communal bins"
when there's a load of wood, uPVC, cardboard trim,
flatboard and household items blocking their way.
On top of everything, this is now turning into a health hazard.
The accumulation of household waste can cause all sorts of problems,
most worryingly vermin.
Families with children live on this street. Nobody wants rats on their doorstep.
-How soon can this be cleaned?
-I can clean it by tonight.
-It's no problem.
So the clean-up's agreed. But will the builder be as good as his word?
We'll be back with Lee later, when he returns for inspection.
It's a risk to public health.
The hills and valleys of the wonderful Welsh countryside.
It may look perfect now, but once upon a time,
a very bad man used to live here,
who had no regard for his beautiful environment.
For tucked away in this gorgeous green landscape,
this man ran a filthy, rotten, pollution-spewing oil slick of an illegal scrap yard.
Piles of tyres,
mountains of alloy wheels, and cars were stacked up everywhere.
Then along came knights in shining jackets -
Environment Agency Wales,
who made sure this tale had a very happy ending.
The Environment Agency are more involved now in what we call the big, bad and nasty.
It involves the higher spectrum of criminality,
the large-scale illegal disposal of waste.
The big bad wolf in this case was Dan Power
who ran his illegal business at his farm in Penllergaer, South Wales.
Set in the middle of nowhere, his criminal activities went unnoticed until September 2006
when the Environment Agency got an inkling all was not well.
One of our officers followed Mr Power carrying scrap vehicles back to his land.
We knew that the land didn't benefit from any environmental permits
And that's where this story begins.
Because as soon as the suspicious investigator got close to Power's farm,
it became blatantly obvious he wasn't rearing sheep.
The place looked like an environmental disaster
with car parts strewn all over the place.
Lyn Richards headed up the investigation
and is back near the scene of the crime
to tell us how his knight brought down this filthy, rotten dragon.
As you can see, just over the valley there,
Dan Power's property is at the top of the hill.
He was using that to illegally store and treat scrap motor vehicles.
There are tough regulations to make sure metal scrap yards
are environmentally friendly and work within the law, like this one.
Dealers need an environmental permit and to register as waste carriers
and hazardous waste producers.
On top of that, their land needs to have a sealed drainage system
to stop toxic oils from seeping into the ground.
This all costs money. Funnily enough, our big bad wolf chose to ignore the rules.
All together, now, "Boo!"
Mr Power's operations gave no consideration to the environment.
He was breaking vehicles, there were spillages of oil,
brake fluid, et cetera, seeping down into the ground.
So obviously you've got the risk of ground contamination
and pollution of nearby water courses.
And because he wasn't doing things by the book,
because he wasn't having to pay to get everything done properly,
Dan Power was raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds in illegal profits.
Dan Power would make his money by collecting cars for as little as £10.
When he brought scrap cars back, he'd break them up.
He'd take the oil, the engines out,
the catalytic converters.
He'd also strip the tyres, the alloy wheels, et cetera, to sell separately.
He'd then store the shells up to two, three cars deep.
He'd then take them to a scrap metal dealer to get the scrap value from those vehicles.
OK. Let's do the maths.
The going rate for scrap metal is about £60 a tonne,
which is about the weight of your average car.
So if Power was buying cars for a tenner and selling them for scrap for £60,
he stood to make 50 quid on each vehicle.
That means he could have been making a staggering 500% profit.
And, by failing to abide by the law,
Power avoided paying more than 36 grand in set-up costs alone.
This conniving villain was making a mint.
By Mr Power operating the way he did,
without having to invest in the various infrastructures
that would allow him to operate legally,
he saved a significant amount of money which allowed him to undercut legitimate operators.
People like Tim Swain, who runs a legitimate scrap yard
and has had his fill of rogues like Dan Power.
If somebody is working without permits and without licences,
it means they don't have to pay a lot of money.
They don't have to pay anything to the Environmental. We have to pay a big sum of money
for the licence for us to operate.
So it means they're having more money than we are out of it.
Times have changed, and the good guys like Tim
have spent time and money bringing yards like this up to scratch.
40 years ago, when we had this yard,
there was no concrete, nothing.
And the oil went in the ground.
That has changed dramatically over the last 20 years.
As soon as the Environment Agency Wales worked out exactly what Dan Power was up to,
they issued a warning notice
asking him to clean up his act and work within the law.
But Power was having none of it.
More letters were sent and ignored.
So by January 2007,
the Enviro-knights decided enough was enough.
They mustered all their forces
to bring down that filthy rotten scoundrel.
The surveillance we undertook was from this location.
As you can see, it was quite a long-range surveillance operation.
There was no risk to our officers
and little chance of compromise from Mr Power himself.
And the surveillance makes for some pretty grim viewing.
Captured on a long-lens camera,
you can see Dan Power had the full set-up.
Recovery vehicles to bring in the cars.
Fork-lift trucks to shift them around.
And a trusty side-kick to do all the hard graft.
It's like watching a vulture stripping a carcass,
from stripping cars down to the bone for the scrap metal
to whipping off hub-caps and wheels.
Everything has got a value.
But just look at the state of the place.
You'd definitely need a magic wand to transform it back to how it once was.
It's plain criminal.
The Environment Agency was building a strong case against Power and he was none the wiser.
Even when they took to their motor and followed the selfish rogue in his recovery truck,
he didn't have a clue.
Coo-ee! Here we are! No, still not registering.
Now, I'm no expert, but those stacked cars don't look very safe to me.
It's no surprise the investigators kept their distance.
What a mess!
For three months, the Environment Agency secretly trailed Power
and finally, in March 2007, with enough evidence behind them,
they raided his farm.
For the first time, the investigators weren't relying on a telescopic lens.
They could see close up what this rotten rogue had done to the beautiful Welsh countryside.
And it was heartbreaking.
Power had successfully transformed his farm
into a monstrously filthy rubbish tip.
On August 11, 2008, 29-year-old Daniel Power pleaded guilty
to keeping and treating illegal waste on his farm
and was sentenced to 180 hours community service.
Now, you might not think that's much of a penalty for this heinous environmental crime.
But for Power, worse was to come
thanks to a clever piece of legislation,
the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Basically, it allows us to take the profit out of crime.
So if anybody has made a significant amount of money
by operating illegally like Dan Power did,
the courts will now allow us to be able to recoup that money.
And boy, oh boy, did he have some money to pay back!
These investigations established that Power had made approximately £360,000 from his illegal activity.
From that, further investigations also established
that Power had approximately £188,000-worth of realisable assets.
For example, land that he owned, vehicles that he owned.
He even owned a lordship!
Hang on a second - he even owned what?
He even owned a lordship.
Knock me down with a feather!
This man had a hoity-toity title!
He had a Lordship of Goldington title, valued at just under £4,500,
that he had to sell.
Lord Goldington? Lord Muck, more like!
All of these materials he could sell to pay back some of the money he'd made through criminal activity.
And the biggest asset he had to flog must have really hurt.
Dan Power's land, that we can see there, that's been in his family for a number of years,
he's had to sell. He's sold that recently for £142,000.
The Environment Agency Wales got their fairytale ending
and Power lost absolutely everything.
The message we're trying to get out to environmental criminals
is that crime doesn't pay.
All the money that the criminal has gleaned through his illegal activity
we can now confiscate,
whether that be their house, their vehicles,
their yacht, and, in Mr Dan Power's case, his lordship!
If you think you can cheat the system and ignore the rules,
think again! The good guys will track you down and make you pay.
Then everyone can live happily ever after!
From the Welsh valleys to the cutting edge of technology now.
We're back in Middlesbrough with Lee Hooker and his trusty head-cam.
He's been called in to sort out an alleyway at the back of some houses
where a builder's waste turned it into a rubbish tip.
As far as I'm concerned, it's unacceptable and unsightly.
The builder's agreed to shift this lot straight away.
His lads have arrived to move all the rubbish into a van and drive it to a skip up the road.
But hold your horses, lads. Lee's got his rule book out.
-Have you got a waste carrier's licence?
-A waste carrier's licence.
The builder can't produce the right paperwork to transport this rubbish in his van.
-Take the rubbish out of there and move it to the skip.
-That's where we're going.
He is allowed to drive it over if he can convince Lee
that it's lovely new building materials and not rubbish.
-That's a plastic back board.
-It's rubbish. It's waste.
-From next door.
-OK, you've taken it. You've taken it.
-I'm taking it to the skip.
Ten out of ten for trying, pal, but it's Shanks's pony for you, me old mucker!
He's got a long way to walk with all that rubbish!
A waste carrier's licence costs around £150
but without it, the waste must be taken to the skip by foot.
So every last bit of wood trim, polystyrene, plastic, cardboard,
but not the dog poo, has to be carried around to the skip.
It's going to be back-breaking work. Rather them than me!
-The lads are bringing it round on foot now.
-It's not like it's dangerous waste or anything.
No, you can bring it round on foot.
It's the next day, and Lee's keen to see the mammoth clean-up operation.
We're going to go back to the alleyway now
and just check that he's removed the waste
and everything's tickety-boo.
It's not fair on the residents
because the residents who share that alleyway
might have children who want to go into the alleyway.
Want to kick a ball about. I can only take him by his word.
He said he's going to move it.
Lee's hoping the alleyway is going to be spick and span.
Alleyway locked. Open now.
Wow! That is some transformation. I could eat my dinner off of that!
What a difference doing a job properly makes.
The builder has stuck to his word,
clearing the unsightly mess.
It's a great result, so Lee decides not to take things further this time.
The man whose house was being renovated is in the clear, too.
Lee's checked out the builder and found he usually operates with all the right permits.
Unfortunately, this time he slipped up.
It's a lesson learned, and hats off to him as he's done a sterling job clearing up.
Coming up: Lee's on the trail of a sinister crime.
ID fraudsters who've been going through bin bags
stealing personal information.
If there's a bag-slasher back, we need to nip it in the bud early.
Every year, Doncaster Council deals with hundreds of tonnes of hazardous dumped asbestos.
You shift that without the proper kit on, it's a massive danger to your health.
What was once considered to be a wonder material,
we now know can be deadly and it must be disposed of with great care.
Not an easy job.
I don't think for a minute it'll be cheap.
Some unscrupulous people are playing a dangerous DIY game
by taking a sledge-hammer to buildings like garden sheds or garages
and just fly-tipping the toxic waste!
Environmental Enforcement Officer Bob Allen is under no illusions about their motives.
People are fly-tipping this waste because, in my view, it makes them money.
They can either make money or they save money.
If they're doing a job themselves, maybe taking an old building down,
found out it's expensive to get rid of asbestos properly,
so if they fly-tip it, they're saving money.
Or it might be the guy with the van, the pick-up,
notices somebody's got an old garage that wants to come down,
"If you give me 40 quid, I'll get rid of that asbestos for you."
And it's us who foot the clear-up bill.
For Doncaster Council, it's become an expensive headache.
In the last six months, I think we've had something like 44 individual fly-tipped asbestos jobs.
We've removed something like 14 tonnes of asbestos.
It's cost the council around £9,000.
So we're spending a fair bit of money on the problem.
If Bob includes the time the council spend on this, the cost is far more.
Unfortunately for him, a new dump has just been reported.
What we're dealing with today is broken-up asbestos.
Once it's broken up, that's when the fibres are released
and where you can breathe them into your lungs.
At the tip location, the clean-up is underway. The team are taking no risks.
They're in full safety kit, including breathing apparatus.
-All right, guys?
What have we got, then?
We'll try and separate as much asbestos as we can, yeah?
-Excellent. Crack on. I'll stand well back from you!
-Do you want me to put that sign somewhere?
If the fibres from broken asbestos are inhaled, they can fatally damage the lungs.
Asbestos-related diseases kill over 4,000 people each year.
So Bob's observing from a safe distance.
Prior to them disturbing anything, they spray a fibre suppressant
which keeps the fibres down.
It minimises the risk of somebody breathing in the fibres.
What the guys are doing, you can see they're picking it out by hand.
They're trying to separate the asbestos from the other waste.
We'll pay for asbestos disposal by the weight.
So if we send all that, the whole job lot,
as asbestos waste, mixed hazardous waste,
then it will be a hefty payment.
All this for one domestic garage.
And there's even more protocol to follow.
Strict hygiene rules are applied. When dealing with this, there's no smoking, no drinking, no eating
while you're on site.
When you're finished, the disposable equipment, the suits you see here,
is all put in the disposable bags and got rid of in the same way as the asbestos.
And like so much of the waste we create,
there's no easy way to get rid of asbestos.
Currently, the disposal solution is just to bury it far beneath the ground.
This toxic dump is also a problem for the locals
who enjoy using the country lanes.
Morning, sir. How are you?
-Bob Allen, Doncaster Council. We're shifting some asbestos off here.
Somebody's fly-tipped some asbestos in breeze blocks. We're removing it.
To human beings, and to the dogs, it's a major concern.
Nobody wants to get asbestos on their lungs, do they?
They're making easy money.
But to me, obviously, I'm a rate payer and we have to fork out to have it removed.
And it's not just dog walkers who use this lane.
Chillingly, it's a popular place for kids to hang out.
The biggest problem we've got is kids.
Children. If they find waste, they don't always see the dangers.
They don't know what asbestos is.
So if it was in full sheets - here, it isn't -
but if it was in full sheets and they move the sheets about,
using it for a den, a gang hole, the dangers are there.
If you've got somebody at your door who says, "I'll take your asbestos garage away for you for 40 quid",
you've got to think what you're doing.
You said it. If environmental officers link an asbestos tip to your address,
even if you didn't do the dumping,
you could be liable. It's a lesson to us all.
Before offloading this hazardous waste onto any man with a van,
check their licence and get a proper receipt for the work.
Our priority is to try and stop this. Not carry on removing it.
We want to stop it. To prevent it.
Bob's mission is to take these kinds of hazardous dumpers to court,
where they could face up to five years in prison and an unlimited fine.
It may be an ongoing battle, but it's one Bob is determined to win.
The deterrent is there,
but it doesn't stop everybody because they're making money out of this.
But we will carry on, we will try and prosecute where possible.
Coming up: Brace yourself. I'm going to introduce you to the neighbour from hell!
Even though he's aware the camera's there, he continues blatantly
to just burn it.
Earlier, we met Lee Hooker, our crusading Enforcement Officer
on a one-man mission to clean up the streets of Middlesbrough.
Who gave you authority to deposit rubbish here?
I am proud of what I do because I try to make an improvement.
Local lad Lee loves keeping his manor clean.
The community are right behind him.
It's a risk to public health.
-I'm sure it is. It's going to introduce rodents into the area.
-I'll leave it with you.
Next call for our filth-fighting crusader is a block of flats
where a growing pile of rubbish is getting up the nose of the locals.
Disgusted. Absolutely disgusted.
Especially when you see nappies
and you think that's a mother or a parent allowing that to happen.
If they're doing that, what message are they sending to their children?
Lee puts his trusty head camera on and gets ready to investigate.
Waste deposited next to the bins. A carpet,
deposited rubbish outside of the bins.
Mattress times one.
Most of the flats aren't owner-occupied, and some locals
think this could be at the heart of the problem.
I think that people that are in rented accommodation, they - not all, not all -
but a lot of them probably don't have the pride in their home
as maybe a homeowner
because they're going to move on and probably just don't think
the impact it has on other people.
It's very sad. It upsets me. But it's widespread. It's everywhere.
This type of rubbish is very unsightly. Not nice for the residents at all.
Televisions, sometimes computer stuff.
Pants?! Let's hope not. Lee might be used to picking through rubbish,
but even a superhero round these parts should only handle their own smalls!
And wear them inside their trousers!
It's fairly gross, but it's not life-threatening! It's just rubbish.
What a man! Go on, Lee! Get stuck in!
To the benefit of the head camera, large amount of plastic coffee cups.
Whoever's making all this mess, I doubt they're getting a lot of sleep
judging by the amount of coffee they're drinking!
Possible commercial use. No particular identity on the cups except all of the same genre.
Can you send them an email to telephone me, please, Anya.
Our daring king of debris gets on the case to find out who owns the flats.
I'll get something done about the rubbish and get them to move it.
That should do the trick. If the landlords know what's going on, they can warn tenants to shape up
or ship out.
Hopefully, people will think about dumping stuff on the floor. Who knows?
Never one to rest on his laurels,
Lee's straight on to the next call about a very 21st-century crime!
We're going to an area of properties that put refuse sacks out for collection.
What happened last week is that a bag-slasher had gone through
looking for possible identification.
What I'll do now is a bit of door-knocking
and give them some warning that there's undesirables in the area.
Bag-slashing is part of the nasty trend of identity theft.
These refuse rascals sift through your rubbish for any paperwork that can get them access to your money.
It can be tricky to catch these scoundrels
but when they are nabbed, they can be fined up to £500.
It's just rubbish.
Sometimes get flies and maggots in it, but it's no big deal.
You can't complain if you've got work.
Lee's making sure there's no rubbish here to identify people and put them at risk.
If there's a bag-slasher back, we need to nip it in the bud early
and get people to put their rubbish out at the correct time.
It's a crime Lee's seen before. He thinks the only real way to protect people
is to get them to shred any sensitive paperwork, put it in the bin
and put their rubbish out just before the dustcart does its rounds.
If only he could find somebody to tell!
-'Who is it?'
-It's the council!
-I'm Lee, from the council. Do you know when your bin day is?
-No, it's people putting bags out, at the back...
-Mine are in the yard.
I'm advising you because last week, somebody slashed the bags.
Someone in the flats saw them actually slash the bags.
-And walk away with...
-I've spoken to that lady.
-Your rubbish bags, what day do you put them out?
-About six o'clock.
-Do you put them out before you go out?
-We'll put them out tonight.
Put them out last thing at night.
-Do you know when your collection is?
-When will you put it out?
-Could you put it out in the morning, before they come?
-We put it out at 11 o'clock at night.
-That's not too bad.
-Not at seven o'clock. It's usually just before we go to bed. 11 to half past.
But before Lee heads home,
he's got a whiff of something really dodgy in the air.
Can you believe it?
Someone's left a whole bag of dog poo on the pavement.
Whoever's responsible for this pongy pile,
deserves more than a night in the dog house! Yuk!
This type of waste, a big bag of dog poo, I don't want to leave it on the street.
Because if anybody touches it, especially young kids and stuff...
It's a health risk. I'll phone up our area care lads.
They'll come round and get it.
Our man Lee knows that leaving dog-do on the street
is a big dog-do! It's a health and safety nightmare.
The area care lads have come to pick it up now.
They'll cleanse that. The remaining bags get collected tomorrow on the normal bin day.
We'll check there's no personal details in there to cause a problem.
We've a description of the bag slasher which we'll follow up. It's being investigated.
Job well done. It's the end of another busy day for Lee.
Our clean-up crusader takes his trusty camera off and heads home
for some much-needed rest.
But the fight against environmental crime in Middlesbrough never stops.
Across town, investigators can celebrate a job well done
after getting one over on one particularly nasty scoundrel.
In its industrial heyday,
this town was covered in black, soot-filled skies. But no more.
Middlesbrough has been revived, refreshed and rejuvenated.
Though not every citizen is taking pride in their city's new look.
Just take a butcher's at this!
This bare-faced scoundrel gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "trailer trash"
when he was caught on CCTV ripping apart a caravan piece by piece
in broad daylight. And the fella conveniently forgot to hire a skip
to take the debris away.
Just imagine living next door to that.
Cue Middlesbrough council's secret weapon.
Environment Improvement Officer Phil Armitage,
the man who stopped this neighbour from hell once and for all.
And this is why Phil had to be called in.
Chunks of concrete, strips of tarpaulin, remains of a bed frame,
bits of fencing, chucked all over the place.
As you can see here, materials discarded in the property.
I've seen these items on the fence at one point
now they're broken up and abandoned here.
Same with the contents of the house. Just dumped. Obviously he's been evicted,
but he's made no attempt to clean up the house.
Now that's what I call antisocial misbehaviour!
This is the man responsible for this awful mess.
And this mess isn't even his worst crime.
Not only did he smash his caravan apart,
he waited until it was dark to carry the pieces onto a strip of council land
just next to his house.
Shockingly, he went one unbelievable step further.
He put a match to it!
Filthy scoundrels like this need to be stopped.
It was up to Phil to collect evidence of the rubbish tips and damage
to build a case and prosecute this man.
Let's see the scene of the crime.
This is the driveway where he stored the caravan.
He had to take the fencing out to get it in here, I believe.
Most of the fencing went on the fire at some point.
Obviously at this point he just dismantled the caravan, piled it up
and used an accelerant to set fire to it.
Despite the camera being virtually on his doorstep,
he just continued to conduct these activities.
In fact, this man was caught twice on CCTV.
In August and September 2010, burning the rubbish.
When Phil reviewed the footage at Middlesbrough council HQ,
he was astounded by what he saw.
Even though he's aware that the camera's there,
he just continues blatantly around one o'clock in the morning
to set fire to parts of the caravan and just burn it.
You can see him putting plastic items on, wooden items, laminates.
Some of those type of products contain carcinogenic material.
Obviously it produces a lot of thick black smoke.
That's dangerous toxic fumes.
Had this scoundrel no common sense?
He also cost his fellow citizens a pretty penny
because the council had to clean up his mess.
With nearly 60 fly tips springing up every week in Middlesbrough,
clear-up costs are setting the council back
a whopping quarter of a million pounds a year.
That's money that could be much better spent elsewhere.
But it's not just the cost. Spare a thought for the poor people living next door
to the fiend while he was torching his caravan in the early hours of the morning.
The last thing they want is foul and maybe toxic smoke
coming in to their properties on a night.
Then you've got fire engines coming out to put out the fires, you wake people up.
Blue lights flashing everywhere.
So in general, it's a very anti-social thing to do.
And it's against the law.
But this fire-starter wasn't just content with burning his own trash.
After giving, literally, an Oscar-winning performance
for the CCTV operators,
he became - how can I put this? - a little camera shy.
And he tried to burn down the spy-cam!
You can see from the camera here.
There is evidence of fire damage. It's right outside his house.
The reason this camera was installed was to try and prevent that damage.
The flames must have been ten feet.
The councils have learned from this and they put them on five-metre poles and higher.
As high as they can get them so they can't be tampered with or damaged. Preserve the footage.
While Big Brother saw everything this rotten scoundrel was up to,
he knew full well he was in the wrong.
And the coward legged it as soon as the fire brigade turned up.
But there was absolutely no excuse
for his dangerous and anti-social behaviour.
The easiest thing for this individual was to take the whole caravan into a scrap yard.
They would have taken it off his hands and broken it up.
Or he could have broken it up himself, put it into small amounts
and the council may have collected it as excess waste.
While this joker took the easy way out,
his arrogance in performing in front of the camera
meant Phil had an easier job of it too.
From our point of view, it's been a good case
because he just doesn't care. He does everything so blatantly.
He would know, he suspects he's being watched when he starts these activities,
but he carries on regardless!
It was incredible. Phil had irrefutable evidence of this man tearing his caravan apart
and then burning its remains on council land.
On June 28, 2011, he appeared before magistrates charged with fly-tipping and illegally burning waste.
He pleaded guilty to the charges. Bang to rights.
Every week of the year, dedicated teams are working hard
across our villages, towns and cities
determined to clean up the streets of Britain.
Join us next time when we'll be chasing down more filthy rotten scoundrels!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
An undercover investigation catches a man running an illegal and polluting car scrapyard in the Welsh countryside, and a dangerous dump of asbestos is discovered in Doncaster. Plus, the work of one dedicated environment enforcer on a personal crusade to clean up his home town of Middlesbrough.