Series investigating Britain's waste dumpers. Network Rail mounts a massive operation to clear an old railway line, and incriminating evidence is found in a pile of rubbish.
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Every day a never-ending war is being waged to clean up Britain.
People often chuck something down. It doesn't matter where they are. They just do it.
The punishment should be very strong fines.
From the tons of cigarette butts, dogs' mess and household rubbish
to tyres and builders' waste...
It's costing the council thousands of pounds to clear this up.
If I can pick this stuff up and it's making the area a lot better to drive or walk round,
then I should take pride in that.
We're on the front line of the clear up and the fightback.
With the dedicated teams tracking down the rogues and putting the Great back into Britain.
..if you fail to mention something which you rely on in court.
On today's programme, scandalous fly tipping on a disused railway line.
We've got used nappies, drink cans, plastic bottles...
-And something much more threatening.
-It's a 9mm handgun.
And you've been framed - how one man thought he could make himself invisible to outwit the cameras.
A car pulled in, deposited a number of bags and boxes.
It took as long as it did for me to say it!
Welcome to the dirty world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.
This is Preston, in the heart of Lancashire. Once an industrial boom town,
reminders of its past still exist, like the disused Preston and Longridge Railway,
built in 1836 to transport quarried stone and coal. It closed in the late 1960s
and has since fallen into disrepair. But today there are big plans to bring it into the 21st century
and reinvent it as a modern tram line for Preston's 132,000 residents.
It will connect the city centre with the motorway junction at the M6.
This brings where people work and where they live and shop together.
But there's something festering here that could put pay to all that.
Piles and piles of rubbish and it's scattered everywhere.
This dumping's shocking. It's not right.
They wouldn't like it on their doorstep. I wish they'd stop it.
It's not like it used to be. It's got worse and worse over the years, since the trains stopped running.
That's 10 years ago or more now.
It's a filthy eyesore, but one man is determined to put a stop to this.
Preston City Council's Waste Enforcement Officer, Paul Cookson.
People who have thrown it here are lazy, idle members of the public.
They can't be bothered to put it in the bin or take it to their local tip.
The easiest thing is to throw it onto the railway line and hope it disappears. Sheer laziness.
Paul's on his way to join his gang, who have pitched up at the railway tracks to clear up the mess.
And, crucially, he'll sift through the rubbish to look for evidence about whoever might have dumped it.
This is the third time we've carried out this type of work in four years.
The last occasion was about six months ago
when we recovered something like 16 tonnes of rubbish.
The majority is coming from local householders who back onto the line.
The people dumping their rubbish here might think they're not doing anyone any harm,
but fly tipping has become such a problem that it's threatening Preston's tram line.
This plan is going to bring an awful lot to Preston and the people here.
Anything which is delaying that, which the situation with the rubbish on the track IS doing,
is going to frustrate people, delay this plan.
People want to get this thing moving. The quicker, the better.
Delays to the service is one thing, but it could be worse.
This level of rubbish has got to be stopped and dealt with,
or the tramway might not happen.
And guess what - it's a few bad apples spoiling everything.
The majority of the people treat the railway line with respect.
It's just that one or two houses are obviously in the habit of causing pollution.
As we can see, we've got used nappies, drinks cans,
plastic bottles, there's broken televisions,
all sorts of children's toys. Some of the nappies have been here for a considerable period.
They're very heavily degraded. Some are of newer origin.
Used nappies. That really takes the biscuit.
Just imagine if the tram line does go ahead and this carries on. It doesn't bear thinking about.
Local residents keep on throwing rubbish over the walls, dumping it.
This is going to become an operational railway line, so it'll be dangerous for the trams.
It could easily cause a derailment or cause injuries to passengers.
In fact, Network Rail forks out an eye-watering £2 million a year to clear rubbish
dumped on railway land.
People round here would agree that there's got to be a culture change.
They don't want to see sofas here.
The people who live in Preston have got to respect these areas to get this investment.
For this selfish lot, it's out of sight, out of mind.
There's no thought for the people whose bedroom windows overlook it.
Talk about a room with a view, but that's not the worst of it
-as local residents have found out.
-I was stood at the kitchen sink
and I saw something move on my back wall. It was this rat.
It was enormous. I was very scared about it, so I didn't go out.
They're horrible to look at and they're not healthy, are they?
They come rummaging around for food.
Where else would they go? Without that rubbish, we wouldn't see them.
And all these filthy scoundrels had to do was what these poor guys are doing - put it in a black bin bag!
Ah, but no. That's too difficult, so instead there's this massive clear-up operation
-which doesn't come cheap.
-We're looking in the region of £7,000, maybe even up to £10,000,
once we talk about the cost of getting rid of all this waste.
It all comes from taxpayers' money.
So it's you and me that end up paying for their selfish behaviour.
And Paul's hell-bent on catching the culprits.
These two addresses were served with warning letters telling them that inquiries were being made
and if they were connected to the rubbish, they'd face legal action.
One has completely ignored me, the other left an abusive message on the answer phone.
Clearly, these people have no respect, but catching them in the act is easier said than done.
We might stand here and say it's obvious where it's come from,
but as an Enforcement Officer I have to prove that a resident of that house chucked the rubbish here.
That's the big problem for us. With the littering we've got here,
there's no firm evidence to link it to that house, so we'll rely on interviewing the residents.
But Paul's got a bigger problem. It's not just these residents taking the right royal Michael.
With bridges all the way along, it's become a free for all.
As we're walking along, the first thing we can see is a double bed base.
Just further along, we've got a settee.
It's all very close proximity to the footbridge.
There's no other way it could have got here other than being dragged here and literally thrown over.
Now I've seen it all. This lot could furnish a new home.
Fancy just chucking it over a bridge! Outrageous!
It's disgusting, innit, really?
If you've got the energy and means to take it to a railway track,
and heave it over a wall, then why can't you take it to the tip anyway? It doesn't make sense.
Coming up: the massive clear-up takes a sinister turn.
This is one of the most unusual pieces of "litter" we've found.
Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats for a special performance from Middlesbrough,
birthplace of the one, the only, TV magician Paul Daniels, but watch out, Paul -
there's a new master of illusion in town. A fly tipper who only shows up in the dead of night.
And his biggest trick? Making a car full of rubbish disappear right before your eyes.
Did Middlesbrough Environmental Officers like it? Not a lot.
We noticed that a car pulled in, deposited a number of bags and boxes and was gone.
It literally took to do it as long as it took me to say it.
Now you see it, now you don't.
Members of the public initially reported it. They were pulling up to use the recycling facility
and the walkway in-between, one day it was knee-high in black bags and boxes.
Phil and the team were shocked at the cheek of this fly-tipping magician. Something had to be done.
We suspected for around a month that it was a business, due to the nature of the material.
Pizza waste, oil drums et cetera.
But whoever the crafty conjuror was, he'd carefully removed any clues
that would lead Enforcement Officers to his door.
We couldn't find any ID. I suspect the reason we couldn't was that he knew the law.
He was careful not to leave anything associated with his business.
So although Phil and team were on the case, they couldn't find any clues to identify the rogue.
Hence we had to use the thinking out of the box method with cameras.
We had one camera put on that lamppost there. It sends live images back
where we can recover them from a desktop computer.
Surely the fly tipper's days were numbered. Not even Houdini could get himself out of this one.
We noticed that a car pulled in round about 1.20 in the morning.
Turned his lights off,
deposited a number of bags and boxes,
lights on and gone.
The scoundrel seemed to know exactly what he was doing.
Like a magician, he appeared to have carefully rehearsed every move.
He knew precisely when to turn his headlights off
and, infuriatingly, the CCTV couldn't quite get his number plate.
Phil's team had no option but to keep running the cameras and hope he slipped up.
So who was he? The rotten rogue actually turned up six times in a fortnight,
pulling exactly the same stunt. Finally, on his sixth mission the camera picked up his plate.
-We got a DVLA check on that registration.
I remembered the name from 18 months previously and as soon as it was mentioned I thought, "We've spoken."
The persistent litter bug was Imam Berati, a takeaway owner who'd been in trouble with them before.
Once they'd tracked him down, they had to persuade him to come in for an interview.
We showed the footage. In total, we caught him six times in two weeks.
-And he denied it was him.
-Come on! This isn't once or twice.
Caught on camera six times? Time to face the final curtain.
We asked whose car it was. He said, "It's my car." Has anyone else driven it? "No."
-Who's that driving? "It's not me."
-Time to hold your hands up, Mr Berati.
It's a fair cop and even you couldn't really expect to get out of this one.
He went on to say that he was actually recycling the stuff
and doing his bit for the community.
You must be joking! Unless recycling has become a new Olympic sport,
where you just hurl your rubbish in the general direction of the bin. The illusionist had lost his touch.
There was no chance he'd magic this crime away. He was fined £200
and asked to conjure up over £800 in costs. Safe to say he won't join the Magic Circle any time soon!
There's nothing magical about what's going on in the country lanes around Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
The council here operates a zero tolerance policy to fly tipping,
yet filthy louts are flouting their tough stance by sneaking their waste into isolated lanes and alleyways.
On the trail of these dirty rats are Enforcement Officers Rob and Elaine.
Today they're on their way to a real dumping hot spot
and the more rubbish they find, the more determined they are to turn the tables.
In Doncaster alone, we can actually check up to 30 hot spots per day
and generally find up to 10 fly tips, which is quite staggering.
We don't want to see it in our countryside. It also costs a lot to remove it.
-They've seen it all.
-We've been through asbestos...
animals that have been killed...
We've also been out to chemical waste, builder's waste...
But it's plain old household rubbish which causes the biggest headache.
64% of our fly tips are actually household waste.
People are taking waste off... off residents
and, generally, when they pick it up from a resident, they usually only go a mile down the road,
dump it and drive away.
At places like Cuckoo Lane, where Rob and Elaine are headed.
It's a picturesque rural byway on the outskirts of Doncaster,
but its geography makes it a magnet for dumpers.
This lane that we're actually on has got an in-way and an out-way so what the fly tippers do
is come on this side and get out that way, so nobody can see them fly tipping.
It's about two mile long and there's all little coves where they can reverse back in, lift up
and off they go. Nobody sees them enter or leave.
One person's profit is being extracted at the expense of locals who like to walk along the lane.
I mean, look.
That's because people don't want to pay to put tyres in the dumps.
It's easy to throw them down there.
-Now that's an eyesore.
-Bits of carpet, old window frames,
there's an old TV down there.
It's... It's not necessary.
I bet there's rats in there an' all.
Rob and Elaine are determined to catch the real rats in this situation.
Sometimes in a trail of rubbish they can sniff out a villain.
Today they're on the lookout for new dumps. The first tip is one they've seen before.
That's been burned, that lot. We got evidence out of that.
-You've already got it?
-Yeah. We got evidence last week.
It was on Rob's list to clear, but the culprits have tried to outwit the council by burning the waste.
-But Rob is one step ahead of them.
-The fly tippers don't realise we've already been to it
and found evidence, so there is an investigation underway now with that, which is good news.
One-nil to Rob.
Coming up to another one here now which has been fly tipped.
-We actually removed some of it.
-Illegal tip number two.
An abandoned soft toy, a discarded garden gnome and an empty stick of grouting.
Who lives in a house that would dump rubbish like this? Well, Elaine's got a theory.
Maybe this person didn't have any transport. They've paid even a next door neighbour to get rid of it,
maybe ten quid, twenty quid. And because it then becomes trade waste, they dump it.
Trade waste costs money to dump properly, so guess what? They haven't bothered. No clue here.
-Just a clean-up team to order in.
-Is there any chance you could come up to Cuckoo Lane
and clear some rubbish for me? There isn't any evidence, but it needs clearing.
-Come on. I need a favour off you.
-It's frustrating, but sometimes when the chips are down...
-Right, get me some.
-..the only solution is fish and chips.
-Yeah, mushy peas, please.
-Well, none of us can work on an empty stomach.
They've come across a third fly tip on Cuckoo Lane
-and this one's likely to put them off their lunch.
-We've seen a bit of a fly tip down here.
-We've got a code here.
-Yeah. It's got like a DM number.
-Lurking in the undergrowth is something far more sinister than domestic waste.
-Is that asbestos?
-That bit is, yeah.
-We've just literally come another 100 yards down this lane
and come across yet another fly tip. This is plastic. It looks like it's from some building contractor.
-It generally looks like asbestos.
-It gives out toxins.
You die of it, you get lung cancer. It's got to be cleared.
There is no known safe level of exposure to this deadly substance.
If fibres from broken asbestos are inhaled, they can fatally damage the lungs.
Kids could come up here and it's giving off toxins. It needs clearing.
It's an expensive clean up job and no lead to the culprit.
But later in the programme, the adrenaline starts pumping as our duo find a vital clue.
Hang on. There we go. Get your bag.
Back across the Pennines now to Preston where a disused railway track is being cleared of rubbish
to make way for a much-needed tram line. But not everything dumped here has come from people's bins.
This spot has become a regular drug haunt and let's just say the users haven't bothered to clean up after.
So far today, we've found, I estimate,
14-17 needles. And if you look down here,
we have three that I've just found again.
As you can see, these ones have been used and still have residue in them.
If we don't remove them, if kids come down,
they can be hurt coming down the bankings. That's where we find them.
The drug addicts use places like this for taking their drugs.
This is serious. These dirty needles need to be disposed of safely.
Accidentally prick yourself with one and you risk contracting life-threatening diseases.
More evidence of heroin use. What we have is used needles, replacement needles.
Also we've got the spoon they use for heating up the heroin. It's a bit of nasty work, really.
Nasty work indeed and hats off to these guys for getting stuck in
and doing other people's dirty work, but Paul's had more than enough.
The annoying part about this is that the majority of this stuff,
when I've looked in the bags, is cans and other recyclable material,
so whoever dumped it there had absolutely no excuse.
They could've put this in recycling boxes or normal refuse bins.
All they've done is put it in black bags and lobbed it over on to the railway land.
Paul's gang is clearing half a mile of railway tracks today and it looks like everyone is at it.
I've seen three-piece suites thrown on there,
which you can see from my window. Other people can see it when they're driving past.
Why they can't get the council to remove it, I don't know, but it's not very pleasant.
Mattresses, old wood.
People that have been clearing their houses out throw things like that over.
It beggars belief, doesn't it? Suddenly, the clear-up takes a dramatic turn.
In the middle of all this mess, Paul has turned up something particularly nasty.
This is one of the most unusual pieces of litter, shall I say, that we've found.
It's a 9-millimetre hand gun.
We're not quite sure whether it's live or it's got bullets, so we've just put it in a box to preserve it.
We've made a call to the local police. They're on the way to pick it up now.
They'll carry out checks regarding the legality of this weapon.
This is outrageous. It's not unusual for kids to come down and play on this strip of land.
Imagine if they came across this! It doesn't bear thinking about.
While Paul waits for the police, he comes across another filthy haul.
That household waste we saw is starting to look like small fry.
This is industrial-scale fly-tipping that's a real, serious problem for British Rail.
We're looking at a lot of tyres strewn all the way down the bank.
From an examination of those, you can see that this has been going on for years.
They're firmly embedded within the soil.
And at the top of the pile, you can see they're quite new tyres.
We know from doing a few local enquiries there is an MOT station on the other side of that wall.
And we'll make contact with the owner of the business.
We'll be serving him notice which will require him to produce quite a lot of documentation,
especially when we're talking tyres.
If he can't produce that documentation, he may be prosecuted for breach of duty of care.
Someone's got a lot of explaining to do and too right!
Not only is this lot offensive, but if a vandal sets fire to it,
it will produce toxic smoke and a fire that's notoriously hard to put out.
Meanwhile, the police have arrived and cordoned off the area where the gun was found,
so their officers can get to work and they've got some alarming news.
This is a live weapon, capable of being discharged.
They want us to preserve this scene and they'll do a full crime scene investigation of the area,
just in case there's any evidence relating to any offences connected to the weapon.
So that's brought the operation to an early end.
CSI Preston! It's all got rather dramatic and Paul has collected plenty of evidence of his own.
It's been a very successful operation. We've taken away 14 tonnes of various rubbish.
85% of the area has been now cleared and restored to an acceptable level,
so we can all go home now and wait for the next escapade.
Coming up - four months on and we're back to see whether Paul's spring clean has had lasting effects.
Street after street of terraced houses with alleyways at the back
make up the Gresham area of Middlesbrough.
For eight years, to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, these alleys have been secured by gates.
Residents have a key to their own alleyway and the police, fire brigade and council hold master keys
which will open the gates to all the alleyways in the area.
Having the gates has helped transform parts of Gresham like this alleyway.
It's gorgeous, like a miniature Chelsea Flower Show.
I saw the alley in a different light. My family all grew up here.
I thought we could have that back.
What a great idea!
About four neighbours were very interested in planting and tidying it all up.
Over the years, it's added and added and now it's very well used and very enjoyed.
Nice work, Mavis. So a space which once attracted rubbish and bad behaviour
is now a beautiful oasis,
but somehow a number of the master alley gate keys have found their way into the wrong hands.
There's been an increase in burglaries and a problem with scroungers after scrap metal
letting themselves into people's back yards.
Fresh from his Paul Daniels wannabe fly-tipping case is Phil Armitage.
Today, he's part of a sting operation working with the police to catch any crooks red-handed.
Phil will be checking that anyone stopped carrying waste is licensed to do so.
Soon he gets his first call from the police.
Yeah, thanks, Michelle. Bye. Got one. The police are with one now, stopped.
They've caught him there in the alley, taking the scrap metal.
At the scene, the police explain that the scrap man is picking this stuff up for a family member,
so hasn't illegally entered the alleyway.
Phil still has to check his licence.
I'll just make a quick phone call.
We've just stopped a gentleman with the police. Can you check his details on our systems?
Operating without a waste carrier's licence incurs a £300 fine
or prosecution if you've been fined in the past.
Thanks very much, Anya. Goodbye. I've spoken to our solicitor at work. It's on the system.
Your licence runs out on the 20th of March,
so apologies for stopping you, but we have to check.
All above board, but the scrap man has given him the nod about someone who might not be.
He did happen to mention that he knows people who have the master gate keys
and we have now got a description of a vehicle.
He'd heard on the street that they're swapping hands for as much as £120 a key.
120 quid for a key to give you access to all these back alleys?
Sounds like a lot of dough to me,
but if I tell you that you can get up to £150 for a vanload of metal at a recycling centre,
it's not hard to see why these keys are worth their weight in gold.
This is the kind of thing they're doing. This TV has been left out for collection. It's just smashed open.
On the back of there, there is about a pound in weight of copper wire.
Take that - £3 a go.
It depends on the price of scrap metal as well,
so some weeks, for the general scrap like steel, it probably isn't worth doing,
then other weeks, when the price has gone back up, everybody's at it.
It's not long before the police are back on the phone.
See you shortly... The police have stopped another one. They said he has a waste carrier's licence.
They're just about to search his vehicle for an alley gate key.
I'm from Middlesbrough Council.
Do you have your waste carrier's licence on you?
So the guy they've stopped is licensed to transport metal,
but how did he get into the alley in the first place?
The police have caught these guys in the alley with the gate open and asked how they got into the alley.
Is it a master key?
Yeah, it is. The master key. It is.
These chancers have somehow got hold of a master key
which should only be held by the council and the emergency services.
They tried to hide the evidence by dropping it into a nearby bin. At least they didn't try to swallow it!
They said they bought it for £150 from Grangetown.
They've been invited to attend the police station.
That's one less key in circulation and a good morning's work for Phil.
To catch one in an alley with a key, excellent result.
Back to the country lanes of South Yorkshire now
with council enforcement officers Rob and Elaine. They're on a daily round of fly-tipping hotspots,
searching for clues to track down those responsible.
It really frustrates us if we can't actually find any evidence within the waste.
But Rob is ever the optimist.
You know, we will scrap through it for any little bit of evidence that we can find
to start an investigation
and there is a real sense of achievement once we do find evidence within it.
This has been burnt as well, hasn't it? Has it?
Yeah, this wasn't here the other day.
Fly-tip number four and again it's been torched.
The big question is - will it reveal any leads?
Here we've got some sort of aluminium piping...
which has burnt out.
The vast majority of the stuff what's been dumped here could have been recycled.
Glass bottles there.
You know, there's paper.
There's obviously chemicals within this stuff which has been burnt.
It's left a massive scar on the landscape here, burnt the trees.
That's going to take some time to come back now.
Whatever wildlife was living in there has now had to move on.
And so the hunt for the evidence begins.
Have you got anything there, Rob?
That could have come from anywhere, really.
Maybe they need to consult a psychic for clues.
What we'll have to do now is call our fly-tipping removal team to come and get it removed.
Unfortunately, there's not a great deal we can do unless we've got some clear evidence within it.
That means it's looking as though it's going to be another case of taxpayers footing the bill
for the rotten scoundrels who don't care about the mess and expense they create.
It's very frustrating.
Hang on. There we go.
Here we go.
He's got something.
-Just get your bag.
-What have you got?
We've got an address.
We've got an address which is absolutely fantastic. There you go.
Bingo! It seems the dumpers are even slap-dash when it comes to covering their tracks.
This name and address could nail them.
So even though they've burnt it, we've still managed to get some evidence out of it -
where it's come from or potentially where it's come from.
Just like any other major crime scene, Rob and Elaine meticulously collate the evidence available.
I'm just going to put that into this bag as well.
So that's that.
Right, what I'm planning on doing now is I'll be ringing the office
to get a council tax check for the address we've just found.
Hopefully, she still lives at that property.
They need to establish if the address is still valid.
'Ey up, can you do me a council tax check, please?
That's great. Thank you.
The lady still lives at that address, so we're going round now to see if she's in and interview her.
Is the woman on the letterhead the fly-tipper?
Did she pay someone else to take her rubbish away and did she have any idea where it would end up?
So we're here now to see if we can get some sort of idea of how this has happened.
They've arrived at the address.
The woman is out, but they get her mobile number from the person
who answers the back door and Elaine calls her.
She wasn't going to come back, but when I mentioned personal details,
she's more interested to find out what I've found.
She's coming back in the next ten minutes, so we'll hang on and wait for her to come back.
Rob and Elaine are determined to hold the person who made this mess to account.
That's the lady.
KNOCK AT DOOR
-Come round the back.
The woman returns home and they go inside to question her.
Her story is all too familiar.
A really positive interview, that.
She was absolutely shocked that this waste had been dumped.
What she said to us is that she'd had a garage and a shed cleared.
We know that the person who she gave the waste to, his name is John.
Unfortunately, she has no other details other than that.
We need to speak to her boyfriend who was there when the waste was removed. He gave the money over.
It's just her boyfriend now that needs to cover the same story
and it's up to us to see which one is telling the truth or telling lies.
It's a tangled web. If they find the boyfriend and he corroborates his girlfriend's story,
he then has to come up with enough information to lead Rob and Elaine to John the fly-tipper.
It's actually John we want. He's the fly-tipper, the person who we want to give the fine to.
If he hasn't got those details, then all of the problems will then land on the boyfriend.
He'll get done for household duty of care.
He's not taken reasonable steps to stop it from being fly-tipped.
There's a lesson here for us all.
The onus is on us to make sure anyone taking away our rubbish gets rid of it properly.
I'm phoning the lady's boyfriend to see if I can make an appointment with him.
Unfortunately, it's turned off at the moment, so I'll keep trying till the end of the shift,
then we'll just do a door knock on Monday.
The stupid thing is the council would have disposed of the rubbish for £5,
a £15 saving for the lady's boyfriend.
But the saving to the council, the taxpayer, nearby residents and the environment is priceless.
A hop, skip and a jump from east to west and we're back at the site
of the disused railway line in Preston.
It's four months since Paul Cookson and his team were last here doing a mammoth spring clean,
clearing what locals hope will be the route of a 21st century tram service.
That was then and this is now.
You probably remember that the entire area around these trees was...
The tracks were just littered completely with used nappies, other bits of household waste.
Unfortunately, we just couldn't get enough evidence to prove which houses were responsible for it,
so we couldn't form a prosecution case against anybody,
but we did serve warning letters on the houses saying we were monitoring the area
and if they continued to throw rubbish on to the lines, they would be prosecuted.
It seems to have worked because the area is quite clear of that problem we were faced with.
It's astonishing what the threat of prosecution can achieve.
When we were here four months ago, in the middle of the railway line, we found a clump of black bags.
At the moment, it's looking fairly clear.
The council came a few months ago, did a little bit and you thought, "We're getting there."
It has been a lot, lot better.
It used to be filthy altogether.
So far, so good, but remember, a lot of stuff was being thrown from the bridges over the railway line
and that hasn't changed much.
We've got quite a big piece of carpet
that's been thrown on to the railway here.
Then as we go a little bit further, we've got two settees.
And what in the world is this? It looks like a scene out of Indiana Jones!
We've obviously had copper thieves active in the area here.
They've been digging up the original cabling from the signalling wire
that runs along the railway line, and using the cover of the bridge,
they've been stripping all the wire out of the cabling. That will be turned in for scrap.
It's an extremely lucrative business.
The price of copper has doubled in the last year and is currently worth around £6,000 a tonne,
so these thieves saw a golden opportunity and took it.
They'll just turn it in for scrap and they've got a few quid and we've got the mess to clear up.
You said it, Paul. Let's move on up the railway
and time for some good news. Remember this?
Well, this is now a tyre-free zone.
We had a big deposit of tyres which were littering the embankment.
When we carried out some enquiries with the industrial units at the top of the embankment,
we found that it was currently being rented by one of our local recycling companies.
He recycles tyres. He shreds them down and makes them into useful products.
When we approached him, he was unaware that any of his tyres had fallen on to the embankment.
What he said to us was that he makes money out of tyres. He wouldn't dump them because he was losing money.
He acted very promptly. He sent some of his team down here.
They recovered all of the tyres and took them back on top,
so we didn't take any legal action against him and just let him off with a warning.
Good on you, Paul, and it only gets better.
I think the locals have wised up to the fact
that the land is scheduled for a tram line to be put in place
and hopefully, it is convincing the people that dumping waste is inappropriate.
Hear, hear! But there is a lot at stake here in Preston.
We can only hope that the filthy rogues clean up their act,
so the citizens of this rejuvenated town can finally get their much-needed tram line.
Finally, an update on the fly-tip in Doncaster.
-We've got an address.
-This led Rob and Elaine to the woman who the rubbish belonged to.
We know that the person who she gave the waste to, his name is John.
We need to speak to her boyfriend who was there when the waste was removed. He gave the money over.
It's just a case of trying to track down her boyfriend.
Well, the good news is they did track down the boyfriend,
but he couldn't or wouldn't give them more information about John,
so now Rob and Elaine are taking him to court for not taking proper steps
to ensure the waste was responsibly disposed of.
If found guilty, he could receive a £300 fine.
Right across Britain, our environment enforcers are working tirelessly
to make our country a cleaner and greener place to live.
Join us next time when we'll be chasing down more filthy, rotten scoundrels.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2011
Email [email protected]
Network Rail mounts a massive operation to remove tons of rubbish from an old railway line, but can they keep it clear long enough for a modern tram-line to be given the go-ahead? Plus, the incriminating evidence found in a pile of rubbish that leads investigators straight back to where it came from.