Episode 7 Filthy Rotten Scoundrels


Episode 7

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.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 7. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Every day a never-ending war is being waged to clean up Britain.

0:00:020:00:07

People often chuck something down. It doesn't matter where they are. They just do it.

0:00:070:00:12

The punishment should be very strong fines.

0:00:120:00:16

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

0:00:160:00:21

to tyres and builders' waste...

0:00:210:00:23

It's costing the council thousands of pounds to clear this up.

0:00:230:00:28

If I can pick this stuff up and it's making the area a lot better to drive or walk round,

0:00:280:00:35

then I should take pride in that.

0:00:350:00:38

We're on the front line of the clear up and the fightback.

0:00:380:00:43

With the dedicated teams tracking down the rogues and putting the Great back into Britain.

0:00:430:00:50

..if you fail to mention something which you rely on in court.

0:00:500:00:54

On today's programme, scandalous fly tipping on a disused railway line.

0:00:550:01:00

We've got used nappies, drink cans, plastic bottles...

0:01:000:01:05

-And something much more threatening.

-It's a 9mm handgun.

0:01:050:01:10

And you've been framed - how one man thought he could make himself invisible to outwit the cameras.

0:01:100:01:17

A car pulled in, deposited a number of bags and boxes.

0:01:170:01:22

It took as long as it did for me to say it!

0:01:220:01:25

Welcome to the dirty world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.

0:01:250:01:29

This is Preston, in the heart of Lancashire. Once an industrial boom town,

0:01:460:01:51

reminders of its past still exist, like the disused Preston and Longridge Railway,

0:01:510:01:57

built in 1836 to transport quarried stone and coal. It closed in the late 1960s

0:01:570:02:03

and has since fallen into disrepair. But today there are big plans to bring it into the 21st century

0:02:030:02:11

and reinvent it as a modern tram line for Preston's 132,000 residents.

0:02:110:02:18

It will connect the city centre with the motorway junction at the M6.

0:02:180:02:23

This brings where people work and where they live and shop together.

0:02:230:02:27

But there's something festering here that could put pay to all that.

0:02:280:02:33

Piles and piles of rubbish and it's scattered everywhere.

0:02:340:02:40

This dumping's shocking. It's not right.

0:02:400:02:44

They wouldn't like it on their doorstep. I wish they'd stop it.

0:02:440:02:48

It's not like it used to be. It's got worse and worse over the years, since the trains stopped running.

0:02:480:02:55

That's 10 years ago or more now.

0:02:550:02:57

It's a filthy eyesore, but one man is determined to put a stop to this.

0:02:570:03:02

Preston City Council's Waste Enforcement Officer, Paul Cookson.

0:03:020:03:08

People who have thrown it here are lazy, idle members of the public.

0:03:080:03:12

They can't be bothered to put it in the bin or take it to their local tip.

0:03:120:03:18

The easiest thing is to throw it onto the railway line and hope it disappears. Sheer laziness.

0:03:180:03:24

Paul's on his way to join his gang, who have pitched up at the railway tracks to clear up the mess.

0:03:260:03:32

And, crucially, he'll sift through the rubbish to look for evidence about whoever might have dumped it.

0:03:320:03:39

This is the third time we've carried out this type of work in four years.

0:03:390:03:44

The last occasion was about six months ago

0:03:440:03:48

when we recovered something like 16 tonnes of rubbish.

0:03:480:03:54

The majority is coming from local householders who back onto the line.

0:03:540:03:58

The people dumping their rubbish here might think they're not doing anyone any harm,

0:03:580:04:04

but fly tipping has become such a problem that it's threatening Preston's tram line.

0:04:040:04:11

This plan is going to bring an awful lot to Preston and the people here.

0:04:110:04:15

Anything which is delaying that, which the situation with the rubbish on the track IS doing,

0:04:150:04:21

is going to frustrate people, delay this plan.

0:04:210:04:24

People want to get this thing moving. The quicker, the better.

0:04:240:04:29

Delays to the service is one thing, but it could be worse.

0:04:290:04:34

This level of rubbish has got to be stopped and dealt with,

0:04:340:04:39

or the tramway might not happen.

0:04:390:04:42

And guess what - it's a few bad apples spoiling everything.

0:04:420:04:47

The majority of the people treat the railway line with respect.

0:04:470:04:53

It's just that one or two houses are obviously in the habit of causing pollution.

0:04:530:04:59

As we can see, we've got used nappies, drinks cans,

0:05:020:05:07

plastic bottles, there's broken televisions,

0:05:070:05:12

all sorts of children's toys. Some of the nappies have been here for a considerable period.

0:05:120:05:17

They're very heavily degraded. Some are of newer origin.

0:05:170:05:22

Used nappies. That really takes the biscuit.

0:05:220:05:26

Just imagine if the tram line does go ahead and this carries on. It doesn't bear thinking about.

0:05:260:05:33

Local residents keep on throwing rubbish over the walls, dumping it.

0:05:330:05:38

This is going to become an operational railway line, so it'll be dangerous for the trams.

0:05:380:05:44

It could easily cause a derailment or cause injuries to passengers.

0:05:440:05:49

In fact, Network Rail forks out an eye-watering £2 million a year to clear rubbish

0:05:490:05:55

dumped on railway land.

0:05:550:05:58

People round here would agree that there's got to be a culture change.

0:05:580:06:02

They don't want to see sofas here.

0:06:020:06:05

The people who live in Preston have got to respect these areas to get this investment.

0:06:050:06:11

For this selfish lot, it's out of sight, out of mind.

0:06:110:06:15

There's no thought for the people whose bedroom windows overlook it.

0:06:150:06:20

Talk about a room with a view, but that's not the worst of it

0:06:200:06:25

-as local residents have found out.

-I was stood at the kitchen sink

0:06:250:06:30

and I saw something move on my back wall. It was this rat.

0:06:300:06:34

It was enormous. I was very scared about it, so I didn't go out.

0:06:340:06:38

They're horrible to look at and they're not healthy, are they?

0:06:380:06:43

They come rummaging around for food.

0:06:430:06:45

Where else would they go? Without that rubbish, we wouldn't see them.

0:06:450:06:50

Just revolting.

0:06:500:06:53

And all these filthy scoundrels had to do was what these poor guys are doing - put it in a black bin bag!

0:06:530:07:01

Ah, but no. That's too difficult, so instead there's this massive clear-up operation

0:07:010:07:07

-which doesn't come cheap.

-We're looking in the region of £7,000, maybe even up to £10,000,

0:07:070:07:15

once we talk about the cost of getting rid of all this waste.

0:07:150:07:19

It all comes from taxpayers' money.

0:07:190:07:22

So it's you and me that end up paying for their selfish behaviour.

0:07:220:07:27

And Paul's hell-bent on catching the culprits.

0:07:270:07:32

These two addresses were served with warning letters telling them that inquiries were being made

0:07:320:07:38

and if they were connected to the rubbish, they'd face legal action.

0:07:380:07:43

One has completely ignored me, the other left an abusive message on the answer phone.

0:07:430:07:48

Clearly, these people have no respect, but catching them in the act is easier said than done.

0:07:480:07:56

We might stand here and say it's obvious where it's come from,

0:07:560:08:00

but as an Enforcement Officer I have to prove that a resident of that house chucked the rubbish here.

0:08:000:08:07

That's the big problem for us. With the littering we've got here,

0:08:070:08:12

there's no firm evidence to link it to that house, so we'll rely on interviewing the residents.

0:08:120:08:20

But Paul's got a bigger problem. It's not just these residents taking the right royal Michael.

0:08:200:08:26

With bridges all the way along, it's become a free for all.

0:08:260:08:31

As we're walking along, the first thing we can see is a double bed base.

0:08:310:08:37

Just further along, we've got a settee.

0:08:370:08:40

It's all very close proximity to the footbridge.

0:08:400:08:45

There's no other way it could have got here other than being dragged here and literally thrown over.

0:08:450:08:51

Now I've seen it all. This lot could furnish a new home.

0:08:510:08:57

Fancy just chucking it over a bridge! Outrageous!

0:08:570:09:01

It's disgusting, innit, really?

0:09:010:09:03

If you've got the energy and means to take it to a railway track,

0:09:030:09:08

and heave it over a wall, then why can't you take it to the tip anyway? It doesn't make sense.

0:09:080:09:16

Coming up: the massive clear-up takes a sinister turn.

0:09:160:09:20

This is one of the most unusual pieces of "litter" we've found.

0:09:230:09:28

Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats for a special performance from Middlesbrough,

0:09:340:09:39

birthplace of the one, the only, TV magician Paul Daniels, but watch out, Paul -

0:09:390:09:45

there's a new master of illusion in town. A fly tipper who only shows up in the dead of night.

0:09:450:09:51

And his biggest trick? Making a car full of rubbish disappear right before your eyes.

0:09:510:09:58

Did Middlesbrough Environmental Officers like it? Not a lot.

0:09:580:10:02

We noticed that a car pulled in, deposited a number of bags and boxes and was gone.

0:10:020:10:08

It literally took to do it as long as it took me to say it.

0:10:080:10:12

Now you see it, now you don't.

0:10:120:10:15

Members of the public initially reported it. They were pulling up to use the recycling facility

0:10:180:10:24

and the walkway in-between, one day it was knee-high in black bags and boxes.

0:10:240:10:29

Phil and the team were shocked at the cheek of this fly-tipping magician. Something had to be done.

0:10:320:10:38

We suspected for around a month that it was a business, due to the nature of the material.

0:10:380:10:45

Pizza waste, oil drums et cetera.

0:10:450:10:47

But whoever the crafty conjuror was, he'd carefully removed any clues

0:10:470:10:51

that would lead Enforcement Officers to his door.

0:10:510:10:55

We couldn't find any ID. I suspect the reason we couldn't was that he knew the law.

0:10:550:11:02

He was careful not to leave anything associated with his business.

0:11:020:11:07

So although Phil and team were on the case, they couldn't find any clues to identify the rogue.

0:11:070:11:13

Hence we had to use the thinking out of the box method with cameras.

0:11:130:11:18

We had one camera put on that lamppost there. It sends live images back

0:11:180:11:25

where we can recover them from a desktop computer.

0:11:250:11:29

Surely the fly tipper's days were numbered. Not even Houdini could get himself out of this one.

0:11:290:11:35

We noticed that a car pulled in round about 1.20 in the morning.

0:11:350:11:41

Turned his lights off,

0:11:430:11:46

deposited a number of bags and boxes,

0:11:470:11:52

lights on and gone.

0:11:520:11:55

The scoundrel seemed to know exactly what he was doing.

0:11:560:12:01

Like a magician, he appeared to have carefully rehearsed every move.

0:12:010:12:05

He knew precisely when to turn his headlights off

0:12:050:12:09

and, infuriatingly, the CCTV couldn't quite get his number plate.

0:12:090:12:13

Phil's team had no option but to keep running the cameras and hope he slipped up.

0:12:130:12:19

So who was he? The rotten rogue actually turned up six times in a fortnight,

0:12:190:12:25

pulling exactly the same stunt. Finally, on his sixth mission the camera picked up his plate.

0:12:250:12:32

-Bingo!

-We got a DVLA check on that registration.

0:12:320:12:36

I remembered the name from 18 months previously and as soon as it was mentioned I thought, "We've spoken."

0:12:360:12:43

The persistent litter bug was Imam Berati, a takeaway owner who'd been in trouble with them before.

0:12:440:12:51

Once they'd tracked him down, they had to persuade him to come in for an interview.

0:12:510:12:57

We showed the footage. In total, we caught him six times in two weeks.

0:12:570:13:02

-And he denied it was him.

-Come on! This isn't once or twice.

0:13:020:13:07

Caught on camera six times? Time to face the final curtain.

0:13:070:13:11

We asked whose car it was. He said, "It's my car." Has anyone else driven it? "No."

0:13:110:13:17

-Who's that driving? "It's not me."

-Time to hold your hands up, Mr Berati.

0:13:170:13:23

It's a fair cop and even you couldn't really expect to get out of this one.

0:13:230:13:29

He went on to say that he was actually recycling the stuff

0:13:290:13:33

and doing his bit for the community.

0:13:330:13:37

You must be joking! Unless recycling has become a new Olympic sport,

0:13:370:13:42

where you just hurl your rubbish in the general direction of the bin. The illusionist had lost his touch.

0:13:420:13:49

There was no chance he'd magic this crime away. He was fined £200

0:13:490:13:54

and asked to conjure up over £800 in costs. Safe to say he won't join the Magic Circle any time soon!

0:13:540:14:02

There's nothing magical about what's going on in the country lanes around Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

0:14:050:14:12

The council here operates a zero tolerance policy to fly tipping,

0:14:120:14:16

yet filthy louts are flouting their tough stance by sneaking their waste into isolated lanes and alleyways.

0:14:160:14:24

On the trail of these dirty rats are Enforcement Officers Rob and Elaine.

0:14:240:14:29

Today they're on their way to a real dumping hot spot

0:14:290:14:34

and the more rubbish they find, the more determined they are to turn the tables.

0:14:340:14:40

In Doncaster alone, we can actually check up to 30 hot spots per day

0:14:400:14:46

and generally find up to 10 fly tips, which is quite staggering.

0:14:460:14:50

We don't want to see it in our countryside. It also costs a lot to remove it.

0:14:500:14:55

-They've seen it all.

-We've been through asbestos...

0:14:550:15:00

animals that have been killed...

0:15:020:15:04

We've also been out to chemical waste, builder's waste...

0:15:060:15:11

But it's plain old household rubbish which causes the biggest headache.

0:15:130:15:18

64% of our fly tips are actually household waste.

0:15:180:15:23

People are taking waste off... off residents

0:15:230:15:28

and, generally, when they pick it up from a resident, they usually only go a mile down the road,

0:15:280:15:36

dump it and drive away.

0:15:360:15:38

At places like Cuckoo Lane, where Rob and Elaine are headed.

0:15:380:15:43

It's a picturesque rural byway on the outskirts of Doncaster,

0:15:430:15:47

but its geography makes it a magnet for dumpers.

0:15:470:15:51

This lane that we're actually on has got an in-way and an out-way so what the fly tippers do

0:15:510:15:57

is come on this side and get out that way, so nobody can see them fly tipping.

0:15:570:16:03

It's about two mile long and there's all little coves where they can reverse back in, lift up

0:16:030:16:09

and off they go. Nobody sees them enter or leave.

0:16:090:16:13

One person's profit is being extracted at the expense of locals who like to walk along the lane.

0:16:130:16:20

I mean, look.

0:16:200:16:22

That's because people don't want to pay to put tyres in the dumps.

0:16:220:16:27

It's easy to throw them down there.

0:16:270:16:30

-Now that's an eyesore.

-Bits of carpet, old window frames,

0:16:300:16:34

there's an old TV down there.

0:16:340:16:37

It's... It's not necessary.

0:16:390:16:41

I bet there's rats in there an' all.

0:16:440:16:46

Rob and Elaine are determined to catch the real rats in this situation.

0:16:460:16:52

Sometimes in a trail of rubbish they can sniff out a villain.

0:16:520:16:56

Today they're on the lookout for new dumps. The first tip is one they've seen before.

0:16:560:17:02

That's been burned, that lot. We got evidence out of that.

0:17:020:17:07

-You've already got it?

-Yeah. We got evidence last week.

0:17:070:17:11

It was on Rob's list to clear, but the culprits have tried to outwit the council by burning the waste.

0:17:110:17:17

-But Rob is one step ahead of them.

-The fly tippers don't realise we've already been to it

0:17:170:17:23

and found evidence, so there is an investigation underway now with that, which is good news.

0:17:230:17:30

One-nil to Rob.

0:17:300:17:33

Coming up to another one here now which has been fly tipped.

0:17:340:17:39

-We actually removed some of it.

-Illegal tip number two.

0:17:390:17:44

An abandoned soft toy, a discarded garden gnome and an empty stick of grouting.

0:17:440:17:50

Who lives in a house that would dump rubbish like this? Well, Elaine's got a theory.

0:17:500:17:56

Maybe this person didn't have any transport. They've paid even a next door neighbour to get rid of it,

0:17:560:18:03

maybe ten quid, twenty quid. And because it then becomes trade waste, they dump it.

0:18:030:18:09

Trade waste costs money to dump properly, so guess what? They haven't bothered. No clue here.

0:18:090:18:16

-Just a clean-up team to order in.

-Is there any chance you could come up to Cuckoo Lane

0:18:160:18:22

and clear some rubbish for me? There isn't any evidence, but it needs clearing.

0:18:220:18:27

-Come on. I need a favour off you.

-It's frustrating, but sometimes when the chips are down...

0:18:270:18:33

-Right, get me some.

-..the only solution is fish and chips.

0:18:330:18:38

-Yeah, mushy peas, please.

-Well, none of us can work on an empty stomach.

0:18:380:18:43

They've come across a third fly tip on Cuckoo Lane

0:18:470:18:51

-and this one's likely to put them off their lunch.

-We've seen a bit of a fly tip down here.

0:18:510:18:58

-We've got a code here.

-Yeah. It's got like a DM number.

0:18:580:19:04

-Lurking in the undergrowth is something far more sinister than domestic waste.

-Is that asbestos?

0:19:040:19:10

-That bit is, yeah.

-We've just literally come another 100 yards down this lane

0:19:100:19:17

and come across yet another fly tip. This is plastic. It looks like it's from some building contractor.

0:19:170:19:24

-It generally looks like asbestos.

-It gives out toxins.

0:19:240:19:28

You die of it, you get lung cancer. It's got to be cleared.

0:19:280:19:33

There is no known safe level of exposure to this deadly substance.

0:19:330:19:38

If fibres from broken asbestos are inhaled, they can fatally damage the lungs.

0:19:380:19:44

Kids could come up here and it's giving off toxins. It needs clearing.

0:19:440:19:49

It's an expensive clean up job and no lead to the culprit.

0:19:490:19:54

But later in the programme, the adrenaline starts pumping as our duo find a vital clue.

0:19:540:20:01

Hang on. There we go. Get your bag.

0:20:010:20:05

Back across the Pennines now to Preston where a disused railway track is being cleared of rubbish

0:20:100:20:16

to make way for a much-needed tram line. But not everything dumped here has come from people's bins.

0:20:160:20:23

This spot has become a regular drug haunt and let's just say the users haven't bothered to clean up after.

0:20:230:20:31

So far today, we've found, I estimate,

0:20:350:20:38

14-17 needles. And if you look down here,

0:20:380:20:42

we have three that I've just found again.

0:20:420:20:47

As you can see, these ones have been used and still have residue in them.

0:20:470:20:52

If we don't remove them, if kids come down,

0:20:520:20:55

they can be hurt coming down the bankings. That's where we find them.

0:20:550:20:59

The drug addicts use places like this for taking their drugs.

0:20:590:21:05

This is serious. These dirty needles need to be disposed of safely.

0:21:050:21:11

Accidentally prick yourself with one and you risk contracting life-threatening diseases.

0:21:110:21:17

More evidence of heroin use. What we have is used needles, replacement needles.

0:21:170:21:23

Also we've got the spoon they use for heating up the heroin. It's a bit of nasty work, really.

0:21:230:21:30

Nasty work indeed and hats off to these guys for getting stuck in

0:21:300:21:35

and doing other people's dirty work, but Paul's had more than enough.

0:21:350:21:41

The annoying part about this is that the majority of this stuff,

0:21:410:21:45

when I've looked in the bags, is cans and other recyclable material,

0:21:450:21:50

so whoever dumped it there had absolutely no excuse.

0:21:500:21:54

They could've put this in recycling boxes or normal refuse bins.

0:21:540:21:58

All they've done is put it in black bags and lobbed it over on to the railway land.

0:21:580:22:04

Paul's gang is clearing half a mile of railway tracks today and it looks like everyone is at it.

0:22:040:22:09

I've seen three-piece suites thrown on there,

0:22:090:22:13

which you can see from my window. Other people can see it when they're driving past.

0:22:130:22:18

Why they can't get the council to remove it, I don't know, but it's not very pleasant.

0:22:180:22:24

Mattresses, old wood.

0:22:240:22:27

People that have been clearing their houses out throw things like that over.

0:22:270:22:32

It beggars belief, doesn't it? Suddenly, the clear-up takes a dramatic turn.

0:22:320:22:39

In the middle of all this mess, Paul has turned up something particularly nasty.

0:22:390:22:45

This is one of the most unusual pieces of litter, shall I say, that we've found.

0:22:450:22:50

It's a 9-millimetre hand gun.

0:22:500:22:52

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.

0:22:520:22:58

We've made a call to the local police. They're on the way to pick it up now.

0:22:580:23:03

They'll carry out checks regarding the legality of this weapon.

0:23:030:23:07

This is outrageous. It's not unusual for kids to come down and play on this strip of land.

0:23:070:23:13

Imagine if they came across this! It doesn't bear thinking about.

0:23:130:23:18

While Paul waits for the police, he comes across another filthy haul.

0:23:180:23:23

That household waste we saw is starting to look like small fry.

0:23:230:23:27

This is industrial-scale fly-tipping that's a real, serious problem for British Rail.

0:23:270:23:34

We're looking at a lot of tyres strewn all the way down the bank.

0:23:340:23:39

From an examination of those, you can see that this has been going on for years.

0:23:390:23:44

They're firmly embedded within the soil.

0:23:440:23:47

And at the top of the pile, you can see they're quite new tyres.

0:23:470:23:51

We know from doing a few local enquiries there is an MOT station on the other side of that wall.

0:23:510:23:57

And we'll make contact with the owner of the business.

0:23:570:24:01

We'll be serving him notice which will require him to produce quite a lot of documentation,

0:24:010:24:07

especially when we're talking tyres.

0:24:070:24:09

If he can't produce that documentation, he may be prosecuted for breach of duty of care.

0:24:090:24:15

Someone's got a lot of explaining to do and too right!

0:24:150:24:19

Not only is this lot offensive, but if a vandal sets fire to it,

0:24:190:24:23

it will produce toxic smoke and a fire that's notoriously hard to put out.

0:24:230:24:28

Meanwhile, the police have arrived and cordoned off the area where the gun was found,

0:24:280:24:34

so their officers can get to work and they've got some alarming news.

0:24:340:24:38

This is a live weapon, capable of being discharged.

0:24:380:24:42

They want us to preserve this scene and they'll do a full crime scene investigation of the area,

0:24:420:24:48

just in case there's any evidence relating to any offences connected to the weapon.

0:24:480:24:53

So that's brought the operation to an early end.

0:24:530:24:57

CSI Preston! It's all got rather dramatic and Paul has collected plenty of evidence of his own.

0:24:570:25:04

It's been a very successful operation. We've taken away 14 tonnes of various rubbish.

0:25:040:25:10

85% of the area has been now cleared and restored to an acceptable level,

0:25:100:25:15

so we can all go home now and wait for the next escapade.

0:25:150:25:19

Coming up - four months on and we're back to see whether Paul's spring clean has had lasting effects.

0:25:200:25:27

Street after street of terraced houses with alleyways at the back

0:25:340:25:38

make up the Gresham area of Middlesbrough.

0:25:380:25:42

For eight years, to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, these alleys have been secured by gates.

0:25:420:25:49

Residents have a key to their own alleyway and the police, fire brigade and council hold master keys

0:25:490:25:55

which will open the gates to all the alleyways in the area.

0:25:550:25:59

Having the gates has helped transform parts of Gresham like this alleyway.

0:25:590:26:05

It's gorgeous, like a miniature Chelsea Flower Show.

0:26:050:26:09

I saw the alley in a different light. My family all grew up here.

0:26:090:26:13

I thought we could have that back.

0:26:130:26:16

What a great idea!

0:26:160:26:18

About four neighbours were very interested in planting and tidying it all up.

0:26:180:26:24

Over the years, it's added and added and now it's very well used and very enjoyed.

0:26:240:26:30

Nice work, Mavis. So a space which once attracted rubbish and bad behaviour

0:26:300:26:35

is now a beautiful oasis,

0:26:350:26:37

but somehow a number of the master alley gate keys have found their way into the wrong hands.

0:26:370:26:42

There's been an increase in burglaries and a problem with scroungers after scrap metal

0:26:420:26:49

letting themselves into people's back yards.

0:26:490:26:52

Fresh from his Paul Daniels wannabe fly-tipping case is Phil Armitage.

0:26:520:26:57

Today, he's part of a sting operation working with the police to catch any crooks red-handed.

0:26:570:27:03

Phil will be checking that anyone stopped carrying waste is licensed to do so.

0:27:060:27:11

Soon he gets his first call from the police.

0:27:110:27:14

Yeah, thanks, Michelle. Bye. Got one. The police are with one now, stopped.

0:27:140:27:20

They've caught him there in the alley, taking the scrap metal.

0:27:200:27:24

At the scene, the police explain that the scrap man is picking this stuff up for a family member,

0:27:240:27:29

so hasn't illegally entered the alleyway.

0:27:290:27:32

Phil still has to check his licence.

0:27:360:27:38

I'll just make a quick phone call.

0:27:380:27:40

We've just stopped a gentleman with the police. Can you check his details on our systems?

0:27:400:27:46

Operating without a waste carrier's licence incurs a £300 fine

0:27:460:27:50

or prosecution if you've been fined in the past.

0:27:500:27:53

Thanks very much, Anya. Goodbye. I've spoken to our solicitor at work. It's on the system.

0:27:530:27:59

Your licence runs out on the 20th of March,

0:27:590:28:03

so apologies for stopping you, but we have to check.

0:28:030:28:07

All above board, but the scrap man has given him the nod about someone who might not be.

0:28:070:28:12

He did happen to mention that he knows people who have the master gate keys

0:28:120:28:18

and we have now got a description of a vehicle.

0:28:180:28:21

He'd heard on the street that they're swapping hands for as much as £120 a key.

0:28:210:28:26

120 quid for a key to give you access to all these back alleys?

0:28:260:28:30

Sounds like a lot of dough to me,

0:28:300:28:33

but if I tell you that you can get up to £150 for a vanload of metal at a recycling centre,

0:28:330:28:38

it's not hard to see why these keys are worth their weight in gold.

0:28:380:28:42

This is the kind of thing they're doing. This TV has been left out for collection. It's just smashed open.

0:28:420:28:49

On the back of there, there is about a pound in weight of copper wire.

0:28:490:28:53

Take that - £3 a go.

0:28:530:28:55

It depends on the price of scrap metal as well,

0:28:550:28:58

so some weeks, for the general scrap like steel, it probably isn't worth doing,

0:28:580:29:03

then other weeks, when the price has gone back up, everybody's at it.

0:29:030:29:08

It's not long before the police are back on the phone.

0:29:090:29:13

See you shortly... The police have stopped another one. They said he has a waste carrier's licence.

0:29:130:29:19

They're just about to search his vehicle for an alley gate key.

0:29:190:29:23

I'm from Middlesbrough Council.

0:29:230:29:26

Do you have your waste carrier's licence on you?

0:29:260:29:29

So the guy they've stopped is licensed to transport metal,

0:29:300:29:34

but how did he get into the alley in the first place?

0:29:340:29:39

The police have caught these guys in the alley with the gate open and asked how they got into the alley.

0:29:390:29:45

Is it a master key?

0:29:490:29:51

Yeah, it is. The master key. It is.

0:29:510:29:54

These chancers have somehow got hold of a master key

0:29:540:29:58

which should only be held by the council and the emergency services.

0:29:580:30:02

They tried to hide the evidence by dropping it into a nearby bin. At least they didn't try to swallow it!

0:30:020:30:08

They said they bought it for £150 from Grangetown.

0:30:080:30:13

They've been invited to attend the police station.

0:30:130:30:16

That's one less key in circulation and a good morning's work for Phil.

0:30:160:30:21

To catch one in an alley with a key, excellent result.

0:30:210:30:24

Back to the country lanes of South Yorkshire now

0:30:250:30:29

with council enforcement officers Rob and Elaine. They're on a daily round of fly-tipping hotspots,

0:30:290:30:35

searching for clues to track down those responsible.

0:30:350:30:38

It really frustrates us if we can't actually find any evidence within the waste.

0:30:380:30:44

But Rob is ever the optimist.

0:30:440:30:47

You know, we will scrap through it for any little bit of evidence that we can find

0:30:470:30:54

to start an investigation

0:30:540:30:56

and there is a real sense of achievement once we do find evidence within it.

0:30:560:31:01

This has been burnt as well, hasn't it? Has it?

0:31:010:31:05

Yeah.

0:31:050:31:07

Yeah, this wasn't here the other day.

0:31:080:31:11

Fly-tip number four and again it's been torched.

0:31:110:31:16

The big question is - will it reveal any leads?

0:31:160:31:19

Here we've got some sort of aluminium piping...

0:31:220:31:28

which has burnt out.

0:31:280:31:30

The vast majority of the stuff what's been dumped here could have been recycled.

0:31:300:31:36

Glass bottles there.

0:31:360:31:38

Cans...

0:31:400:31:41

You know, there's paper.

0:31:410:31:43

There's obviously chemicals within this stuff which has been burnt.

0:31:440:31:49

It's left a massive scar on the landscape here, burnt the trees.

0:31:490:31:53

That's going to take some time to come back now.

0:31:530:31:56

Whatever wildlife was living in there has now had to move on.

0:31:560:32:01

And so the hunt for the evidence begins.

0:32:010:32:05

Have you got anything there, Rob?

0:32:050:32:07

"Spiritualists'...National Union."

0:32:090:32:13

That could have come from anywhere, really.

0:32:160:32:19

Maybe they need to consult a psychic for clues.

0:32:190:32:23

What we'll have to do now is call our fly-tipping removal team to come and get it removed.

0:32:230:32:29

Unfortunately, there's not a great deal we can do unless we've got some clear evidence within it.

0:32:290:32:36

That means it's looking as though it's going to be another case of taxpayers footing the bill

0:32:360:32:42

for the rotten scoundrels who don't care about the mess and expense they create.

0:32:420:32:47

It's very frustrating.

0:32:470:32:49

Hang on. There we go.

0:32:490:32:52

Here we go.

0:32:540:32:56

He's got something.

0:32:560:32:58

-Just get your bag.

-What have you got?

0:32:580:33:01

We've got an address.

0:33:010:33:03

We've got an address which is absolutely fantastic. There you go.

0:33:040:33:09

Bingo! It seems the dumpers are even slap-dash when it comes to covering their tracks.

0:33:090:33:15

This name and address could nail them.

0:33:150:33:17

So even though they've burnt it, we've still managed to get some evidence out of it -

0:33:170:33:23

where it's come from or potentially where it's come from.

0:33:230:33:27

Just like any other major crime scene, Rob and Elaine meticulously collate the evidence available.

0:33:320:33:39

I'm just going to put that into this bag as well.

0:33:390:33:42

So that's that.

0:33:420:33:44

Right, what I'm planning on doing now is I'll be ringing the office

0:33:440:33:48

to get a council tax check for the address we've just found.

0:33:480:33:53

Hopefully, she still lives at that property.

0:33:530:33:56

They need to establish if the address is still valid.

0:33:560:34:00

'Ey up, can you do me a council tax check, please?

0:34:000:34:04

That's great. Thank you.

0:34:050:34:07

Bye.

0:34:070:34:09

The lady still lives at that address, so we're going round now to see if she's in and interview her.

0:34:090:34:15

Is the woman on the letterhead the fly-tipper?

0:34:150:34:19

Did she pay someone else to take her rubbish away and did she have any idea where it would end up?

0:34:190:34:24

So we're here now to see if we can get some sort of idea of how this has happened.

0:34:260:34:32

They've arrived at the address.

0:34:320:34:34

The woman is out, but they get her mobile number from the person

0:34:340:34:38

who answers the back door and Elaine calls her.

0:34:380:34:42

She wasn't going to come back, but when I mentioned personal details,

0:34:420:34:47

she's more interested to find out what I've found.

0:34:470:34:50

She's coming back in the next ten minutes, so we'll hang on and wait for her to come back.

0:34:500:34:56

Rob and Elaine are determined to hold the person who made this mess to account.

0:34:560:35:02

That's the lady.

0:35:060:35:08

KNOCK AT DOOR

0:35:130:35:15

-Come round the back.

-All right.

0:35:160:35:19

The woman returns home and they go inside to question her.

0:35:200:35:24

Her story is all too familiar.

0:35:280:35:30

A really positive interview, that.

0:35:300:35:33

She was absolutely shocked that this waste had been dumped.

0:35:330:35:38

What she said to us is that she'd had a garage and a shed cleared.

0:35:380:35:43

We know that the person who she gave the waste to, his name is John.

0:35:440:35:49

Unfortunately, she has no other details other than that.

0:35:490:35:53

We need to speak to her boyfriend who was there when the waste was removed. He gave the money over.

0:35:530:36:00

It's just her boyfriend now that needs to cover the same story

0:36:000:36:06

and it's up to us to see which one is telling the truth or telling lies.

0:36:060:36:12

It's a tangled web. If they find the boyfriend and he corroborates his girlfriend's story,

0:36:130:36:19

he then has to come up with enough information to lead Rob and Elaine to John the fly-tipper.

0:36:190:36:25

It's actually John we want. He's the fly-tipper, the person who we want to give the fine to.

0:36:250:36:31

If he hasn't got those details, then all of the problems will then land on the boyfriend.

0:36:320:36:38

He'll get done for household duty of care.

0:36:380:36:41

He's not taken reasonable steps to stop it from being fly-tipped.

0:36:410:36:45

There's a lesson here for us all.

0:36:450:36:48

The onus is on us to make sure anyone taking away our rubbish gets rid of it properly.

0:36:480:36:54

I'm phoning the lady's boyfriend to see if I can make an appointment with him.

0:36:540:37:00

Unfortunately, it's turned off at the moment, so I'll keep trying till the end of the shift,

0:37:000:37:06

then we'll just do a door knock on Monday.

0:37:060:37:10

The stupid thing is the council would have disposed of the rubbish for £5,

0:37:100:37:16

a £15 saving for the lady's boyfriend.

0:37:160:37:20

But the saving to the council, the taxpayer, nearby residents and the environment is priceless.

0:37:200:37:25

A hop, skip and a jump from east to west and we're back at the site

0:37:280:37:33

of the disused railway line in Preston.

0:37:330:37:36

It's four months since Paul Cookson and his team were last here doing a mammoth spring clean,

0:37:360:37:41

clearing what locals hope will be the route of a 21st century tram service.

0:37:410:37:47

That was then and this is now.

0:37:470:37:50

You probably remember that the entire area around these trees was...

0:37:540:38:00

The tracks were just littered completely with used nappies, other bits of household waste.

0:38:000:38:07

Unfortunately, we just couldn't get enough evidence to prove which houses were responsible for it,

0:38:070:38:14

so we couldn't form a prosecution case against anybody,

0:38:140:38:18

but we did serve warning letters on the houses saying we were monitoring the area

0:38:180:38:23

and if they continued to throw rubbish on to the lines, they would be prosecuted.

0:38:230:38:29

It seems to have worked because the area is quite clear of that problem we were faced with.

0:38:290:38:34

It's astonishing what the threat of prosecution can achieve.

0:38:340:38:38

When we were here four months ago, in the middle of the railway line, we found a clump of black bags.

0:38:380:38:45

At the moment, it's looking fairly clear.

0:38:450:38:48

The council came a few months ago, did a little bit and you thought, "We're getting there."

0:38:480:38:53

It has been a lot, lot better.

0:38:530:38:55

It used to be filthy altogether.

0:38:550:38:58

So far, so good, but remember, a lot of stuff was being thrown from the bridges over the railway line

0:38:580:39:04

and that hasn't changed much.

0:39:040:39:07

We've got quite a big piece of carpet

0:39:150:39:17

that's been thrown on to the railway here.

0:39:170:39:22

Then as we go a little bit further, we've got two settees.

0:39:220:39:27

And what in the world is this? It looks like a scene out of Indiana Jones!

0:39:270:39:33

We've obviously had copper thieves active in the area here.

0:39:340:39:38

They've been digging up the original cabling from the signalling wire

0:39:380:39:44

that runs along the railway line, and using the cover of the bridge,

0:39:440:39:48

they've been stripping all the wire out of the cabling. That will be turned in for scrap.

0:39:480:39:54

It's an extremely lucrative business.

0:39:550:39:59

The price of copper has doubled in the last year and is currently worth around £6,000 a tonne,

0:39:590:40:05

so these thieves saw a golden opportunity and took it.

0:40:050:40:09

They'll just turn it in for scrap and they've got a few quid and we've got the mess to clear up.

0:40:090:40:16

You said it, Paul. Let's move on up the railway

0:40:160:40:19

and time for some good news. Remember this?

0:40:190:40:22

Well, this is now a tyre-free zone.

0:40:240:40:27

We had a big deposit of tyres which were littering the embankment.

0:40:290:40:34

When we carried out some enquiries with the industrial units at the top of the embankment,

0:40:340:40:40

we found that it was currently being rented by one of our local recycling companies.

0:40:400:40:47

He recycles tyres. He shreds them down and makes them into useful products.

0:40:470:40:52

When we approached him, he was unaware that any of his tyres had fallen on to the embankment.

0:40:520:40:58

What he said to us was that he makes money out of tyres. He wouldn't dump them because he was losing money.

0:40:580:41:04

He acted very promptly. He sent some of his team down here.

0:41:040:41:08

They recovered all of the tyres and took them back on top,

0:41:080:41:12

so we didn't take any legal action against him and just let him off with a warning.

0:41:120:41:17

Good on you, Paul, and it only gets better.

0:41:170:41:21

I think the locals have wised up to the fact

0:41:210:41:24

that the land is scheduled for a tram line to be put in place

0:41:240:41:28

and hopefully, it is convincing the people that dumping waste is inappropriate.

0:41:280:41:34

Hear, hear! But there is a lot at stake here in Preston.

0:41:340:41:37

We can only hope that the filthy rogues clean up their act,

0:41:370:41:42

so the citizens of this rejuvenated town can finally get their much-needed tram line.

0:41:420:41:47

Finally, an update on the fly-tip in Doncaster.

0:41:510:41:54

-We've got an address.

-This led Rob and Elaine to the woman who the rubbish belonged to.

0:41:550:42:00

We know that the person who she gave the waste to, his name is John.

0:42:000:42:05

We need to speak to her boyfriend who was there when the waste was removed. He gave the money over.

0:42:050:42:12

It's just a case of trying to track down her boyfriend.

0:42:120:42:15

Well, the good news is they did track down the boyfriend,

0:42:150:42:19

but he couldn't or wouldn't give them more information about John,

0:42:190:42:23

so now Rob and Elaine are taking him to court for not taking proper steps

0:42:230:42:28

to ensure the waste was responsibly disposed of.

0:42:280:42:31

If found guilty, he could receive a £300 fine.

0:42:310:42:34

Right across Britain, our environment enforcers are working tirelessly

0:42:370:42:42

to make our country a cleaner and greener place to live.

0:42:420:42:45

Join us next time when we'll be chasing down more filthy, rotten scoundrels.

0:42:450:42:51

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2011

0:43:070:43:11

Email [email protected]

0:43:110:43:14

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.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS