Episode 5 Filthy Rotten Scoundrels


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Episode 5

The series takes a look at the rubbish found hidden underwater in Britain's canals, and goes on patrol with the Westminster wardens trying to stop people urinating in the street.


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Transcript


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Every day, a never-ending war is being waged across Britain

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to clean up our towns and countryside.

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There's no excuse for it

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and that is what winds me up the most.

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They just have no regard for nature.

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From tons of cigarette butts, dogs' mess and household rubbish,

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

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We don't want to see it in our countryside

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and it also costs a lot of money to remove it.

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It's a shame, finding a fly-tip in this area

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because it's obviously an area of outstanding natural beauty.

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We're on the front line of the clear-up

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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 fail to mention something you later rely on in court.

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On today's programme - is it a bird? Is it a plane?

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Put it this way - it's a secret weapon to keep our streets clean.

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It's a pop-up urinal.

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These units stop hundreds and hundreds of litres of urine

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on the street every night.

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And the incredible images that brought to book

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these young and carefree fly-tippers.

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Unknown to them, we had CCTV in the car park

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capturing every single move they're doing there.

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Welcome to the world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.

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Now, this sounds more like something from a holiday programme

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but bear with me.

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Our green and pleasant land is crisscrossed by a network of canals

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that run for thousands of miles.

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These were designed as trade arteries

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to transport merchandise in the industrial revolution.

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Today, these picturesque man-made waterways are more likely to be filled

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with narrowboats that chug along at 4mph,

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carrying holidaymakers and houseboat owners alike on leisurely trips.

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On a sunny weekend,

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this place is heaving with onlookers

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who come to look at the boats, look at the scenery.

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It's very pleasant to walk along the banks

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and, of course, there's an excellent pub to go and have a drink in.

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Who could ask for anything more?

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What a lovely way to spend a day or even a week.

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But there's something terribly wrong with this idyllic picture.

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The water might look pleasant here

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but lurking underneath is that same old, same old problem.

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-Laptops.

-Car tyres.

-Television sets.

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-Chairs.

-Poopy-scoopy bags.

-Adult toys.

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-Guns.

-Baby car seats floating down.

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You're kind of wondering, "Where's the baby?"

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-A cow.

-Shopping trolleys.

-A coffin.

-Ladies' shoes.

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A massive, big long sari.

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They've even found an ice-cream van.

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It just beggars belief sometimes what you find and what you see.

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Oh, yes. You did hear correctly. Someone did say "a coffin".

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Needless to say, none of this goes down well with the people who want to enjoy the canals.

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I'm really passionate about what we do.

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It's a great lifestyle and it's a great heritage.

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It goes back for hundreds of years

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and when you think of what it took to build these things

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and the backbreaking work that went into them,

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it's such a shame to see it spoilt by modern society, you know.

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This is the Coventry Canal, a 38-mile stretch

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connecting the Trent and Mersey Canal just north of Lichfield

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to the city of Coventry.

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The problem is so bad here, that they have to mount a full-scale clean-up operation

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every single week, just to keep it clear and navigable.

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And this is the bunch of canal Wombles

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from an environmental charity, the Living Environment Trust,

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who regularly set sail on their litter boat

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to pick up the things that everyday folk leave behind.

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Or should I say selfish folk

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who couldn't give a monkey's about the canal

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or the people who use it?

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Raffy Tentindo is the Trust's manager.

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Victims of litter in the canals are obviously wildlife that lives on the canal

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in the first instance but, of course, also boat owners that try and navigate the canal.

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In addition to that,

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canals are a lovely environment to walk along and enjoy

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and obviously, if they are covered in litter,

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it's not as enjoyable as it could be.

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Also on board is Roland Matthew from Coventry Council,

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a man with 12 years' experience of cleaning up after the litter louts.

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A wheelie bin.

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Now, that's what I call dedication.

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-Try and get it in. Try and get it in.

-Yeah.

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I don't get it.

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Surely it's easier to get your bin picked up from your front door

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rather than drag it all the way down here?

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Thank God it wasn't full of water or else it would have sunk more.

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We'll use that to put a bit more rubbish in, I think.

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We get quite a few wheelie bins, lots of cans and bottles.

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The one thing it all has in common is it's never worth anything,

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unfortunately.

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The wombling booty may be worthless but it's not harmless,

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easily damaging the narrowboats.

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The canal is not very deep.

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It's about one, one and a half metres deep,

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so even if you have an item like a shopping trolley,

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your boat might hit it and it might get damaged,

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the hull might get damaged.

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And the most harmless-looking flotsam can be the worst.

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Rubbish like this, which is material of some kind,

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if that gets wrapped around a propeller like that,

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as your propeller twists, it will catch this and it will wrap round it

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and jar your propeller.

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And why that is a problem is, A, it's quite difficult to get off

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and B, with material like this, it's difficult to rip,

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so it makes it very hard to get your propeller clear.

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Which is exactly what happened to Christopher

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when he ploughed into someone's cast-off clobber.

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It is the very devil to get off.

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It took me two hours. We had to call in our...

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On the boats we've got the equivalent of the RAC

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or the Automobile Association, called the River and Canal Rescue.

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I had to get those guys out. I couldn't do it.

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So we were upside down through a weed hatch for about two hours,

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literally trying to cut this jacket off,

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inch by inch by inch, and it just took forever.

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Imagine if you had to do that before you could start your car in the mornings.

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You can see why these boat owners are fed up.

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When the water's icy cold, it's terrible.

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Luckily enough, I don't have to do that. My husband does it.

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So I just get all the nice jobs.

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What's the boat equivalent for house proud?

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Raffy! Raffy!

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Back on the litter cruise, another serious hazard,

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this time, a DIY delinquent, no doubt,

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and if this is the haul in the countryside,

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wait until you see what it's like in the towns and cities.

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And that's why the Rochdale Canal, which runs through Manchester,

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needs an extreme clean-up operation.

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British Waterways is going to drain

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a 100-metre length of the Deansgate section of the canal

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but a deep clean after these antisocial dumpers comes at a price.

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The cost of littering and waste is something

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that is increasing year on year.

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Last year, we removed over 50 tonnes of waste from the canals,

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costing us over £30,000.

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Across British Waterways, the total cost

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of dealing with waste like this is about £300,000 a year,

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which is an enormous cost and is money that we can't then spend

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on repairing the lock gates or the towpaths.

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Did you hear that? £300,000 a year

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to clear up after the thoughtless rogues

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who treat the canals as their own personal dustbin.

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And these guys are fighting back.

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The idea today is to drain this section of the Rochdale Canal

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in the centre of Manchester.

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We've had to drop the water gradually

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so that we don't flood the area further down the canal.

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We've put our litter boat onto the bottom of the canal bed

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and that's operating, really, as a large skip.

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We'll put all the items in there.

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Then we can refill the section of canal and float that rubbish out.

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We've got an agreement with the city council to provide a skip.

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We can get the rubbish loaded into a skip

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and have this section cleared up.

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We'll be back with the clean-up teams later in the programme.

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Prepare to be amazed by the modern horrors lurking beneath these ancient waterways.

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Bright lights, big city - we're in London's West End,

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the centre of the capital's night life.

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You think there's a glamorous story coming, don't you?

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Something exciting to make a nice change from all the rubbish in those canals.

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Well, that couldn't be further from the truth.

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I'm afraid this is all about something even more disgusting -

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people who urinate in the street.

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I'm sorry.

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This bustling hub attracts over 200 million visitors every year

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and let's face it, at some point, most of them are going to want to spend a penny

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and for some filthy scoundrels, their convenience of choice

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is a pavement or doorway.

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But that's probably because they haven't yet encountered Ian and Martin,

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two of Westminster Council's crack squad of filth fighters.

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It's going to be a busy, busy night. Let's hit the road, Jack.

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Tonight, their beat will take in the alleyways and secluded squares of W1

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and they're going to have to be careful where they tread.

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Here in Westminster, the amount of urine that is deposited on the street

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is absolutely phenomenal,

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particularly on a Friday and Saturday night.

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It's a quality of life issue. It doesn't make the streets smell nice.

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I can imagine, Ian, and spare a thought for the people who live here.

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The worst thing, especially down this street, about someone peeing

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is one, it's vulgar and two, it smells down here.

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You can easily get a whiff as you're walking down here. It's disgusting.

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I completely agree. Peeing on the street is just not acceptable

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and I'd much rather there be a place where someone could pee if they needed to.

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So Westminster Council has introduced a natty idea

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to deter men - I'm sorry to say it, but it really is mostly men -

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from urinating in the street - a pop-up urinal.

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Ian and Martin are paying it a visit - you know, so to speak.

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This is one of the busiest streets in Westminster.

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This is a known spot for urination. They've put this urinal here.

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It will rise out of the ground.

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So come on - let's see it then. Drum roll, please.

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DRUM ROLL

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This Dutch invention is £7,500 worth of hi-tech toilet.

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Pretty impressive, eh?

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This is my first time to see one come out of the ground.

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Even more impressive, it saves the council tens of thousands of pounds

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in clean-up costs.

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These units stop hundreds and hundreds of litres

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of urine on the street every night,

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which costs Westminster Council thousands of pounds to clear up.

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Well, let's just hope nobody tries to use it when it's only halfway up.

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And there it is in all its glory. Brilliant!

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This calls for a rousing speech.

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Do we really want visitors coming to a world-class city

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and having to smell urine 24 hours a day?

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Do we really want young children having to walk through this stuff? No, we don't.

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We want people to come to Westminster to enjoy themselves,

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see the sights, have a bite to eat, go home, have a good night's sleep.

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Well said, Ian. We all agree, don't we?

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People urinating in the street is disgusting.

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You like to see London as a clean place

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and you don't want people urinating in the street or throwing litter,

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so you want to recommend places like this

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and say, "There's places you can go to.

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"You don't have to worry about it when you've got things like this."

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You never know when you need to go

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and when that's there, then there's no better option.

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So the night patrol begins in earnest

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and from an alleyway up the street, Martin's getting

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that same unmistakeable aroma.

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My nose isn't great but you can smell it from here.

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However many loos there are,

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a dark alleyway never seems to lose its appeal

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for those with a few pints inside them.

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This is a typical street that we will have to flush

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probably every morning of the week,

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certainly on a Saturday and Sunday morning.

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It might be due to people who have left their offices, gone out for a beer or two,

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heading towards the tube,

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decided they wanted to produce their pennies,

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along they come, do that and away they go.

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Revolting. I don't care how many drinks you've had,

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it's not an excuse for using the capital's streets as a toilet.

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More on this glamorous story later in the programme,

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when some dirty desperado gets the dreaded tap on the shoulder.

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When you've finished, we need to have a word with you.

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A world away from those grimy city streets now.

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This is the historic village of Steventon in Oxfordshire.

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It lies within the Vale of the White Horse,

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a stunning area that is popular with walkers, close to the Cotswolds.

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In recent years, locals have created a new beauty spot

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by the main route into the village.

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The woodland stretches over 25 acres and was the brainchild

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of a family of Steventon farmers.

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This area used to be,

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on the farm, an area of meadowland

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and now we've got it planted up with

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a whole variety of hardwood trees.

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But Becci and her family don't keep this beautiful spot to themselves.

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They have created a community woodland.

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We thought that it would be a benefit to open it up to the public as well,

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so that they could also enjoy it for walking, taking dogs around

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and enjoying the wildlife.

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Judith and the aptly named Bracken have been walking here since 2004.

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It's just a lovely area. There's not many places like it.

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It's free from cyclists and joggers and you can let the dogs go

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and you can see all the different trees and shrubs

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at different times of the year.

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Hang on a minute! This isn't Countryfile, you know.

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You've guessed it.

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If you go down to the woods today, you could be in for a big surprise.

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Well, a big pile of fly-tipped rubbish, anyway.

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Some of those attracted to the woodland seem to have no respect for mother nature.

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This is the car-parking area to the community woodland

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and we've suffered enormously over the past few years,

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particularly with fly-tipping sort of around this area.

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We do get an awful lot of household type rubbish

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being tipped here on a regular basis.

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Becci's been finding waste on her land almost every week.

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Can't these people read?

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I just don't like seeing my area - because I consider it...

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not my land but, you know, it's where I walk

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and where I live and I don't want it to look a mess.

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And nor would I, Judith.

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This is the English countryside at its best.

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It's a haven for butterflies and nesting birds.

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Surely locals should be able to enjoy it without being faced

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by loads of old builders' waste and piles of gravel?

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And wait till you here what else has ended up here.

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We've had things like entire kitchens that have been ripped out

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either by builders or perhaps DIY enthusiasts.

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Kitchens in a country car park? Disgusting.

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What kind of person would cook up trouble in Becci's beautiful woodlands?

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A filthy rotten scoundrel, that's who.

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These fly-tips aren't just unsightly.

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They can pose a serious hazard.

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Well, tin cans and bottles, if the bottles are broken...

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I mean, he goes off after anything that smells good.

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If there's food left in a container, he will go and investigate it

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and so will my friends' dogs.

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They come out licking their lips and you wonder what they've eaten.

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Judith's got a point here. This woodland is popular with dog walkers

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and Bracken should be able to run freely

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without having to worry about cutting his paws on a broken bottle.

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But it gets worse.

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It's just probably half a mile, if that,

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from the Oxfordshire County Council tip in Drayton...

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What? Did you say half a mile up the road?

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It's just probably half a mile, if that,

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from the Oxfordshire County Council tip in Drayton,

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so I think a lot of the problems stem

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from where people perhaps either miss the opening times

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or perhaps there's a big queue.

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That's rubbish, that is. There's a tip just two minutes away

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yet people are too lazy to dump their junk in the right place.

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People drive past it and throw it in a nice area like this

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that someone's been kind enough to donate to the community.

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It's just not right

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and it makes you wonder what their own places are like, quite honestly.

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Exactly. If they treat a beauty spot like this,

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how do they live themselves?

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Surprise, surprise. Becci's found yet more fly-tipped waste in the car park this morning.

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It's not a huge amount today but it's still unsightly and harmful.

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But there's a guy she knows to call in a situation like this.

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Council worker Colin Marshall used to be a police officer.

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Yes, I know -

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even former police officers are looking younger these days.

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For the past four years, Colin's dedicated his super-sleuthing skills

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-to tracking down fly-tippers.

-Everybody's got to live in

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this environment and we try and keep it clean and tidy

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and the last thing people want to see is people fly-tipping in the area.

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If we keep it clean and tidy, it's just a better way to live, isn't it?

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And in his quest for a better life,

0:18:390:18:41

Colin's become a frequent visitor to the community woodland.

0:18:410:18:45

He's determined to put a stop to the rubbish.

0:18:450:18:49

Right, Colin, you strike me as the kind of guy

0:18:490:18:52

who has a van full of gizmos and gadgets.

0:18:520:18:54

Go on - reveal your secret weapon.

0:18:540:18:56

A pair of gloves? Is that it?

0:18:580:19:00

Right, OK, then.

0:19:000:19:03

Ideally, what I'm looking for is names, addresses on letters,

0:19:030:19:07

any receipts or anything that can identify for me

0:19:070:19:13

as to who may have caused this fly-tip.

0:19:130:19:15

Colin gets a report of at least one fly-tip each day on his patch.

0:19:150:19:20

Before the rubbish is disposed of, he investigates every single one

0:19:200:19:23

to see if he can find evidence to bring the culprits to justice.

0:19:230:19:27

I do enjoy my job, particularly when I can get a link

0:19:270:19:30

to the person who may have done this fly-tip

0:19:300:19:33

in the first place, and if we get a prosecution, even better.

0:19:330:19:36

But our knight in shining vest hasn't found his holy grail today.

0:19:360:19:41

The scoundrel who did this lot didn't leave any clues.

0:19:410:19:45

This location counts as private land,

0:19:450:19:48

even though the car park is open to the public.

0:19:480:19:51

Just wait till you hear what this means for Becci.

0:19:510:19:54

When people dump household rubbish down here,

0:19:540:19:57

as a landowner it's then entirely my responsibility to clear that up.

0:19:570:20:02

We have to use our time, our vehicles to take that rubbish down to the tip

0:20:020:20:08

and if you have a van, as we do, you need to pay to do that.

0:20:080:20:13

So it's incredibly unfair.

0:20:130:20:15

Unfair? Becci, you are a very polite lady.

0:20:150:20:20

So, a whole lot of hassle and a great big bill is the thanks you get

0:20:200:20:24

for opening up your woodland to the great British public.

0:20:240:20:27

Charming.

0:20:270:20:28

But just because the council doesn't pick up the tab for clearing Becci's woodland

0:20:280:20:32

that doesn't mean sites like this are safe for fly-tippers.

0:20:320:20:36

Colin's determined to catch the crooks wherever they operate.

0:20:360:20:40

He's recently pulled out all the stops to tackle fly-tipping

0:20:400:20:44

on this site.

0:20:440:20:46

What we did, we came down here, we put in some covert cameras.

0:20:460:20:49

We put one camera just in the tree just over there

0:20:490:20:53

and also the second camera just over there

0:20:530:20:56

and that covered the entrance to the car park.

0:20:560:21:00

With the two cameras set up, Colin waited.

0:21:000:21:03

Now, these aren't your ordinary CCTV cameras.

0:21:030:21:06

They're programmed to alert Colin by text

0:21:060:21:09

when somebody pulls into the car park.

0:21:090:21:11

I knew he'd have a handy gadget somewhere in that van of his.

0:21:110:21:15

For weeks, nothing unusual happened

0:21:150:21:17

and Colin went about his business.

0:21:170:21:19

But then he got lucky.

0:21:190:21:22

Early one Saturday evening, the special camera sent a message

0:21:220:21:25

to his mobile phone.

0:21:250:21:27

The text alerted him

0:21:290:21:30

to some dodgy behaviour in the woodland car park.

0:21:300:21:33

The blue Alfa Romeo car turns up into the car park.

0:21:330:21:37

He's turning the car round.

0:21:370:21:38

Oh, no. You're not going to see anything from there, Colin.

0:21:380:21:42

What's great about this is my camera's pointing in this direction at the moment

0:21:420:21:47

and you think, if they stop there I'm not going to get a great view

0:21:470:21:52

but as you can see, they turn the car round,

0:21:520:21:55

perfectly for my camera point of view.

0:21:550:21:57

The driver's getting out the vehicle now and the passenger's

0:21:570:22:00

getting out as well.

0:22:000:22:02

They go to the back of the car.

0:22:020:22:05

And what a sight.

0:22:050:22:07

Out it comes.

0:22:070:22:09

If there were a fly-tippers Olympics

0:22:090:22:11

these guys would be in contention for a medal.

0:22:110:22:13

They're just chucking it out,

0:22:130:22:15

not having any regard to the environment at all.

0:22:150:22:17

So this is their idea of a fun Saturday night out.

0:22:170:22:21

Do these two jokers have no shame?

0:22:210:22:24

They're having a bit of a laugh about it at the same time.

0:22:240:22:26

But they'll be laughing on the other side of their faces soon.

0:22:260:22:30

Unknown to them, there's CCTV in the car park

0:22:300:22:34

capturing every single move they're doing there.

0:22:340:22:36

You can see quite clearly the registration number of the vehicle,

0:22:360:22:39

plus you've got great shots of the people involved as well.

0:22:390:22:43

You've got the driver identified, you've got the passenger as well.

0:22:430:22:47

With the details there, I can trace the owner of that vehicle

0:22:470:22:50

and find out who those two guys are in that car at that time.

0:22:500:22:54

They're only there a couple of minutes, so after they've chucked out the desk top, off they go.

0:22:540:23:00

But those couple of minutes were to cost them dear.

0:23:030:23:05

When Colin tracked down the culprits,

0:23:050:23:08

they admitted dumping office furniture in the car park.

0:23:080:23:11

They said they'd taken it there when they couldn't get into the tip.

0:23:110:23:16

The driver was sentenced to 80 hours' unpaid work

0:23:170:23:20

and his passenger was given a four-week curfew.

0:23:200:23:23

They each had to pay £100 costs.

0:23:230:23:25

I don't think they stopped to think about their actions,

0:23:270:23:29

about when they drive off and they leave all of their rubbish somewhere,

0:23:290:23:33

exactly who's going to clear that up for them,

0:23:330:23:35

in whose time, at whose cost.

0:23:350:23:38

It's just completely selfish.

0:23:380:23:41

Well said, Becci. It's a disgrace.

0:23:410:23:44

But thanks to Colin and his trusty texting cameras,

0:23:440:23:47

the fly-tippers had better be on their guard.

0:23:470:23:50

It has died down quite a lot in this area.

0:23:510:23:54

We get, every now and again, the odd fly-tip in this area

0:23:540:23:56

and of course we come out, we investigate it,

0:23:560:23:59

try and find out further evidence

0:23:590:24:01

and if we can, we try and take that to court if need be.

0:24:010:24:04

Bright lights, big city...

0:24:170:24:20

No, I'm not fooling you this time, am I? We're back on wee patrol

0:24:200:24:23

in London's West End

0:24:230:24:25

and next stop on Ian and Martin's tour of the capital's urinating hotspots

0:24:250:24:30

is Craig's Court, just off Whitehall,

0:24:300:24:32

where residents have complained to Westminster Council

0:24:320:24:36

that thoughtless louts are turning it into a sewer.

0:24:360:24:39

It's quite a well-to-do little cul-de-sac.

0:24:390:24:42

A very well-to-do cul-de-sac.

0:24:420:24:44

This is where the allegations of urinating was going on,

0:24:440:24:48

so we'll just have a look and see if there's anything so far.

0:24:480:24:51

At night, it might look like a secluded spot for the desperate

0:24:510:24:55

but these poor residents are regularly waking up to wet doorsteps.

0:24:550:24:59

It's pretty disgusting.

0:24:590:25:00

-There's no wet spots that I can see. Can you see any, Martin?

-No.

0:25:000:25:04

It's all very quiet.

0:25:040:25:05

With no-one to catch in the act, there's not much our boys can do.

0:25:050:25:09

Westminster's rogue urinators are proving rather elusive.

0:25:090:25:12

It's probably a little early yet.

0:25:120:25:15

The pubs haven't closed yet, so what we'll have to do is come back later,

0:25:150:25:20

because there's no evidence of any peeing going on at the moment.

0:25:200:25:25

No wet spots, no nothing.

0:25:250:25:27

Perhaps they'll have more luck at chucking out time.

0:25:270:25:30

Urinating in a public place causes such a problem for Westminster Council

0:25:310:25:37

that it costs them over £100,000 every year

0:25:370:25:39

to regularly flush the streets.

0:25:390:25:41

-Martin, look.

-Unbelievable.

-Yeah.

0:25:430:25:46

Directly opposite the police station over there.

0:25:460:25:50

Police station just there, pile of urine there.

0:25:500:25:53

Look what's behind you. The urinal.

0:25:530:25:55

Unbelievable. There really is no excuse for this mess.

0:25:580:26:03

If you can find that corner to pee in, you can find that urinal.

0:26:030:26:06

That stinking is already annoying my nostrils.

0:26:060:26:09

I think we're all rather glad this isn't smelly vision, here.

0:26:100:26:13

These guys are on a mission to educate rogue pee-ers to think twice

0:26:130:26:17

before they unzip and instead find a urinal.

0:26:170:26:20

The tricky thing is catching the culprits in the act.

0:26:200:26:25

I think we just missed somebody doing something that you're not supposed to

0:26:250:26:29

because there's clearly...

0:26:290:26:32

This looks like almost fresh urine, if that's the right term.

0:26:320:26:36

It looks very, very recent.

0:26:370:26:39

It looks very, very fresh.

0:26:410:26:43

So, yeah, it's starting.

0:26:460:26:50

Never mind starting - the floodgates have well and truly opened.

0:26:500:26:54

There's evidence of urination here and there's a smell from that.

0:27:000:27:04

It absolutely reeks. It absolutely smells disgusting.

0:27:040:27:08

-I feel pretty nauseous at the moment.

-That's disgusting.

0:27:080:27:11

-My stomach is churning somewhat.

-Don't want to stand here for too long.

-No.

0:27:110:27:16

I don't blame them.

0:27:160:27:17

All this public urination is enough to make you sick

0:27:170:27:21

but cleaning it up now would be a waste of time.

0:27:210:27:23

There's no point getting the flushing crew down now

0:27:230:27:26

because in another hour it will be the same again,

0:27:260:27:29

so basically, it will be the end of the night,

0:27:290:27:32

come first thing tomorrow morning, 6am, this will get flushed

0:27:320:27:35

and get cleaned

0:27:350:27:37

and good for the people that use London during the day

0:27:370:27:40

and it won't smell like this.

0:27:400:27:42

I'm glad I'm not in your shoes tonight, lads, but at least you're wearing them.

0:27:420:27:47

We'll get it swept up.

0:27:470:27:49

A lot of females in the West End,

0:27:510:27:53

for reasons best known to themselves,

0:27:530:27:55

walk around with bare feet.

0:27:550:27:58

So we don't want any of them walking on that and cutting themselves.

0:27:580:28:02

I know it's a very, very strange habit but they do.

0:28:020:28:05

I'm sure they wouldn't do it if they knew what was on these pavements.

0:28:050:28:10

The number of them that we see carrying their shoes in their hands, walking in bare feet

0:28:100:28:14

along the streets of the West End, it's quite phenomenal.

0:28:140:28:17

I'm no expert but I think it's got something to do with wearing high heels, Ian.

0:28:170:28:20

Now, here's an alleyway where the council have thoughtfully provided a urinal,

0:28:280:28:33

so this should be a sweet-smelling paradise, right?

0:28:330:28:36

It's more than one person. It's a pond, really,

0:28:360:28:41

and the urinal is just behind them.

0:28:410:28:43

It's there - why not use it?

0:28:430:28:46

Again, unfortunately, it looks like we've just missed them.

0:28:460:28:49

Just as well for the thoughtless culprits.

0:28:490:28:52

If you're caught with your pants down, you face an £80 fixed penalty

0:28:520:28:56

or an appearance in front of a magistrate.

0:28:560:28:58

Pretty humiliating.

0:29:000:29:02

And so far, Westminster have a 100% success record

0:29:020:29:04

when they prosecute.

0:29:040:29:06

Wait a second.

0:29:070:29:09

And what's this? They've caught someone in the act.

0:29:090:29:13

When you've finished, we need to have a word with you, yeah?

0:29:130:29:16

-Right, have you finished?

-Yeah.

0:29:160:29:18

-My name's Ian, I'm from Westminster City Council.

-Hi, Ian.

0:29:180:29:21

-I'm his colleague, Martin.

-This is Martin.

-How are you doing?

0:29:210:29:25

Right, any idea why we want to talk to you?

0:29:250:29:28

Yes, because I just did something I probably shouldn't have done

0:29:280:29:31

that I would like to have not done

0:29:310:29:33

but there you go - I'm busted.

0:29:330:29:36

You were "busting", more like.

0:29:360:29:38

I'm going to report you for the offence to Westminster City Council.

0:29:380:29:42

I tried as hard as I could not to

0:29:420:29:45

but there is just such a lack of toilets.

0:29:450:29:51

Can you believe it? He's clearly taking the Michael.

0:29:510:29:54

-There are public toilets...

-I'm really sorry. I'm really sorry.

0:29:540:29:58

-..dotted around the area.

-I know there are, I know there are.

0:29:580:30:01

-There's one just round the corner.

-It's just round the corner?

0:30:010:30:05

To be honest, like, I didn't see that and I'm really sorry

0:30:050:30:11

that I didn't see that. I looked for it.

0:30:110:30:13

Not good enough, mate, even if you've clearly had one too many.

0:30:130:30:16

Look behind you, son. Look behind you - that's someone's front door.

0:30:160:30:20

It's a good reality check.

0:30:200:30:21

People actually live and work around here.

0:30:210:30:24

These alleys are not public urinals.

0:30:240:30:26

Right, I'm going to ask you for your name, address and date of birth, please.

0:30:260:30:31

And finally, no matter where you've been urinating,

0:30:310:30:34

Ian still expects you to wash your hands. You've been told.

0:30:340:30:38

Oh, thanks!

0:30:380:30:40

HE LAUGHS

0:30:410:30:43

This is brilliant. Excellent.

0:30:430:30:46

We're off to Doncaster now,

0:30:490:30:51

where the landscape is being regularly blighted

0:30:510:30:54

by mountains of dumped used tyres.

0:30:540:30:56

Doncaster Council is on a mission to deal with the tons of tyres

0:30:560:31:00

which are dumped in their area.

0:31:000:31:02

Last year, there were a staggering 6,500 of them

0:31:020:31:08

off-loaded in 450 separate fly-tips.

0:31:080:31:11

This is now costing the taxpayer millions of pounds.

0:31:120:31:16

Doncaster alone shelled out £3.5 million worth of tax payers' money

0:31:160:31:21

to remove fly-tipping.

0:31:210:31:23

Dumping of tyres is a big part of that

0:31:230:31:27

and we need to do something about it.

0:31:270:31:30

Environment enforcement officer Rob will do whatever it takes

0:31:300:31:34

to stop this polluting practice.

0:31:340:31:36

We want to prevent the fly-tipping happening with the tyres.

0:31:360:31:40

What we've been looking at is signage put up

0:31:400:31:43

and regular patrols in the area.

0:31:430:31:45

Today Rob is checking out a dump reported by local residents.

0:31:460:31:51

We've got a serious issue with the burning of tyres, here.

0:31:580:32:02

A couple of weeks ago we had up to 70 tyres in this ditch here.

0:32:020:32:07

Since then, they've been burnt.

0:32:070:32:11

This is a serious issue because what's happened now

0:32:110:32:14

is that the chemicals will have gone into the soil and damaged the soil.

0:32:140:32:18

Any water what's running through here will pick up the chemicals.

0:32:180:32:23

The trees have been damaged, as you can see - burnt - and we're left with

0:32:230:32:26

some huge charred areas of metal. Metal is spread all over.

0:32:260:32:30

This is quite a serious issue, environmentally.

0:32:300:32:32

You're telling me.

0:32:320:32:35

You can't get much more filthy and rotten than this.

0:32:350:32:37

Tyre fires are notoriously difficult to extinguish

0:32:370:32:41

and the oil and heavy metals they contain

0:32:410:32:44

create whopping air and ground pollution

0:32:440:32:46

and this mounting toxic problem is very difficult to link to a culprit.

0:32:460:32:51

I mean, it's not like your average tyre carries any ID.

0:32:510:32:54

Ideally, we'd like to be able to find evidence within this waste.

0:32:540:32:58

Unfortunately, we can't investigate it unless we've got proof

0:32:580:33:02

of where it's come from, so it's just a case of clear-up

0:33:020:33:05

and clear-ups are very expensive.

0:33:050:33:08

But don't despair. The fight-back has begun.

0:33:100:33:13

Some brilliant brains have come up with a way of giving tyres the equivalent of a fingerprint.

0:33:130:33:17

It's a liquid that even Harry Potter would be proud of.

0:33:170:33:20

This enables us to imprint these tyres with a special code.

0:33:220:33:28

The code then, basically, can track these tyres back to where they came from,

0:33:280:33:33

which is a really good piece of our armour to try and stop fly-tipping.

0:33:330:33:36

Sounds ingenious, doesn't it? And the best bit is how simple it is.

0:33:360:33:41

Rob's on his way to a regular inspection at a tyre garage,

0:33:410:33:45

where he'll mark all of their used tyres.

0:33:450:33:47

What this does is it harbours a specific identification code within it.

0:33:510:33:57

Each bottle leaves an invisible unique code on the tyre,

0:33:570:34:00

which means it can be traced back to a particular garage.

0:34:000:34:03

Amazing, but there's nothing hi-tech about the process.

0:34:060:34:09

Go on - get stuck in, Rob.

0:34:090:34:11

I'm just going to drop some of this on. Very simple procedure.

0:34:130:34:17

It just goes straight on and it marks it straightaway.

0:34:170:34:21

Bish, bash, bosh. I told you it wasn't exactly hi-tech.

0:34:210:34:24

Every splash that goes on here has the unique code for this bottle

0:34:240:34:28

and then if these are found fly-tipped, we'll be able to identify it.

0:34:280:34:33

An unscrupulous tyre-disposal company would not be able to see the markings.

0:34:330:34:38

They're only visible using a special hand-held device.

0:34:380:34:42

Can you see how it's glowing? So if we came across these tyres,

0:34:420:34:46

we'd have to take a sample of the area

0:34:460:34:49

and that would go along to be identified to the lab.

0:34:490:34:51

You can see the identification number what's gone onto these tyres here.

0:34:510:34:56

But for Rob, that will just be the beginning of his investigation.

0:34:560:35:00

He could be looking at a rogue disposal company,

0:35:000:35:03

who will take a garage's money but just fly-tip the tyres,

0:35:030:35:06

or a dodgy garage who want to avoid legitimate disposal costs.

0:35:060:35:10

Like I say, we try to do it right by getting people to take them away,

0:35:100:35:14

which costs probably between £12-15,000 a year

0:35:140:35:17

which actually comes out the profits of the company

0:35:170:35:20

Other companies who are doing the fly-tipping,

0:35:200:35:23

if they're not paying for them to be taken away,

0:35:230:35:26

they're £12-15,000 a year better off than what we are.

0:35:260:35:30

That's a lot of money to any company.

0:35:300:35:33

For a crime where it's almost impossible to collar a culprit

0:35:340:35:38

unless they're caught red-handed, this liquid is a real leap forward.

0:35:380:35:42

We think it's a really good tool for identifying the fly-tipping of tyres

0:35:420:35:46

and it's a good way forward.

0:35:460:35:48

'It gives us an avenue of investigation.'

0:35:480:35:51

Tyres are one of the most difficult forms of waste to dispose of

0:35:510:35:56

and a mind-blowing 50 million of the things are discarded every year in Britain.

0:35:560:36:01

Under EU law, chucking used tyres into landfill has been banned

0:36:010:36:05

since 2003. A significant proportion are now recycled, retreaded

0:36:050:36:10

or safely burnt for energy. But for all the rogues out there

0:36:100:36:13

who are thinking of just dumping them, beware.

0:36:130:36:16

This magic liquid is coming to find you.

0:36:160:36:19

All aboard again now for a cruise along Britain's beautiful canals.

0:36:220:36:27

Narrowboating should be a joyful glide through unspoilt countryside

0:36:270:36:31

but there's a constant blot on the horizon.

0:36:310:36:35

Some idiots will come and throw rubbish in

0:36:410:36:43

because they can't be bothered to deal with it.

0:36:430:36:45

They probably look at the canals as a convenient dumping ground,

0:36:470:36:51

throw it and forget it.

0:36:510:36:53

It's disgusting. We don't like messes on our bankside,

0:36:540:37:00

nor in the canal.

0:37:000:37:02

Is that clear enough for you, litter louts?

0:37:020:37:06

At least the rubbish left canalside

0:37:060:37:09

or floating on the water is easy to reach,

0:37:090:37:12

but when it sinks, there's only one way to find it -

0:37:120:37:14

pull out the plug.

0:37:140:37:16

This stretch of canal through Manchester city centre

0:37:180:37:22

is so polluted, it's having to be drained

0:37:220:37:25

so a team of intrepid deep cleaners can go in to root out the rubbish.

0:37:250:37:29

They've got waders on. They're at least thigh waders if not chest waders.

0:37:290:37:33

They've got waterproof coats, lifejackets.

0:37:330:37:35

We've got hard hats because we don't want anything falling on them.

0:37:350:37:40

Obviously, protective gloves.

0:37:400:37:42

They have to be vigilant in there.

0:37:420:37:44

We do sometimes in certain locations find syringes,

0:37:440:37:48

so they need to be aware of that and know how to deal with that.

0:37:480:37:52

There's a layer of silt in the bottom of the canal,

0:37:520:37:54

so wading through is a difficult process,

0:37:540:37:57

never mind carrying the junk we're taking out.

0:37:570:37:59

Some of that's quite heavy, quite bulky,

0:37:590:38:02

so, yeah, it isn't easy.

0:38:020:38:06

That's the understatement of the year, Mark. It's dangerous and disgusting work.

0:38:060:38:10

Oops! Steady on.

0:38:100:38:12

What have you got there? It looks like half a bus stop.

0:38:120:38:16

And there's more, much more.

0:38:170:38:20

Road cones. Is that a pub sign?

0:38:200:38:23

A table and chairs? More road cones.

0:38:230:38:25

A bike. Lost party shoe.

0:38:250:38:28

A cigarette bin. And more chairs?

0:38:280:38:31

You can hardly believe that Manchester folk have a seat to sit on.

0:38:310:38:35

A planter and a shrub

0:38:350:38:38

and a veritable sea of glasses and plastic cups.

0:38:380:38:41

There's even a three-metre long cast-iron girder.

0:38:420:38:46

It's just extraordinary to think

0:38:460:38:47

that people deliberately choose to dump here.

0:38:470:38:50

People have actually physically thought to themselves,

0:38:500:38:54

"Yes, I'm going to take this to the canal

0:38:540:38:56

"and I'm going to throw it in there," and they do.

0:38:560:38:59

And it's not just the narrowboat people who suffer.

0:38:590:39:02

There's consequences for us landlubbers, too.

0:39:020:39:05

The problem that we find with the rubbish on the canal bed

0:39:050:39:08

is that it can block up our by-washes,

0:39:080:39:11

which is our mechanism for excess water to get round

0:39:110:39:14

that lock. If we have that being blocked up,

0:39:140:39:17

then we're quite likely to have flooding issues,

0:39:170:39:20

whether that might be flooding the towpath or a bigger effect,

0:39:200:39:23

depending on the location - it could flood wider areas.

0:39:230:39:26

So we all benefit from a clean-up, not just the narrowboaters,

0:39:260:39:31

who can sail through without fear of dangerous floaters

0:39:310:39:34

jamming up their propellers.

0:39:340:39:37

We're supposed to be coming down these locks tomorrow, so hopefully,

0:39:370:39:41

British Waterways will have finished here,

0:39:410:39:43

and it's a good job because we might have caught a lot of this stuff they've got in here,

0:39:430:39:47

got that caught on our prop.

0:39:470:39:48

So at least this is one area where we know we're not going to have any problems.

0:39:480:39:52

By the end of the operation, nearly three tons

0:39:520:39:54

of canal rubbish has been collected.

0:39:540:39:57

Unbelievable! Well done, guys.

0:39:570:39:59

That's a brilliant job you've done for the community, so they can enjoy this amenity.

0:39:590:40:03

People love to come down here,

0:40:030:40:06

they cycle, they walk and jog, just enjoy themselves

0:40:060:40:08

by the waterside. It's where people want to be.

0:40:080:40:11

And when people tip stuff in the canal,

0:40:110:40:13

that spoils it for those people

0:40:130:40:15

and ruins something which is a wonderful leisure facility

0:40:150:40:18

that we have in this country.

0:40:180:40:19

Well said, sir.

0:40:210:40:22

So, how's it going along the waterways in Coventry?

0:40:220:40:25

The volunteers are doing their valiant best

0:40:250:40:28

with their low-tech if effective equipment - litter tongs.

0:40:280:40:32

But they have a secret weapon -

0:40:320:40:35

Roland, a man who knows all the dumping hotspots.

0:40:350:40:39

There's usually a spot up here on the side

0:40:390:40:42

where they all have a party.

0:40:420:40:44

-And you've...

-The most I've got is 400 cans from one spot.

0:40:440:40:48

Nice.

0:40:480:40:51

You find that at bridges, especially where there's a pavement on them,

0:40:510:40:55

that's where a lot of the rubbish is.

0:40:550:40:57

People just throw it over. We've just litter-picked here.

0:40:570:41:00

But also with the bigger rubbish, the fly-tipped stuff,

0:41:000:41:03

in the bridge hole here, there'll be like bin bags, trolleys,

0:41:030:41:06

where people have thrown it over and it's out of sight, out of mind.

0:41:060:41:10

It's got so bad that boaters have had to change the way they drive.

0:41:100:41:15

I mean, a common thing for boaters to do now, sailing under bridges,

0:41:150:41:19

is to just knock the gearbox into neutral, stop the prop from spinning

0:41:190:41:22

and you sail under the bridge. You go up and over a push-bike.

0:41:220:41:26

You can tell they're there because the boat makes a graunching noise

0:41:260:41:30

as you go over the obstruction. Put it back into gear and sail on.

0:41:300:41:34

Want to know what a graunching noise sounds like?

0:41:340:41:38

SCRAPING AND BANGING

0:41:380:41:41

What is this one?

0:41:410:41:43

SCRAPING

0:41:430:41:45

We've just hit something.

0:41:450:41:48

That there, from past experience, is builders' rubble.

0:41:480:41:51

But it's a lump of concrete. You can't get a hook on it to remove it,

0:41:510:41:55

so I would say that builders' waste and random concrete

0:41:550:42:01

and sometimes bricks and stones is the hardest thing for us to get out and causes...

0:42:010:42:06

BANGING

0:42:060:42:07

As you can see, we're hitting the bottom now.

0:42:070:42:09

It can damage the boats.

0:42:090:42:12

Even if the litter tongs can't get at builders' rubble,

0:42:120:42:15

the team has still collected

0:42:150:42:17

an alarming amount of rubbish from the canal.

0:42:170:42:20

A builder's sackful like this one

0:42:200:42:22

is the equivalent of three wheelie bins,

0:42:220:42:24

and let's not forget that this is after just one week of littering.

0:42:240:42:28

If you think that the guys had been out last week

0:42:280:42:31

and today we've collected that much rubbish,

0:42:310:42:34

you can have an idea of how much, how quickly,

0:42:340:42:39

the canal gets filled with rubbish.

0:42:390:42:40

It doesn't take much to just take the rubbish somewhere else.

0:42:400:42:44

Well said, Raffy. Let's enjoy our canals.

0:42:440:42:48

They're a fantastic resource in the countryside and the cities.

0:42:480:42:52

It's a rotten job, but luckily there's a whole army of people

0:42:540:42:58

working tirelessly to keep our streets clean

0:42:580:43:01

and our countryside green and pleasant.

0:43:010:43:03

Join us next time

0:43:030:43:05

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

0:43:050:43:08

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:260:43:29

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:290:43:31

This episode takes a look at the incredible amount of rubbish found hidden underwater in Britain's canals, and goes on patrol with the Westminster wardens trying to stop people urinating in the street after a night out. Plus the hidden cameras that caught two flagrant fly-tippers in the Oxfordshire countryside.