Series investigating Britain's waste dumpers. A truck-load of asbestos is tipped in Middlesbrough. Plus, a mobile phone app that reports fly-tipping and graffiti to the council.
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Every day, a war is being waged across Britain to clean up our towns and countryside.
I feel they're incredibly irresponsible and they don't stop to think.
It's absolutely, totally disgraceful.
From the tons of cigarette butts, dogs' mess and household rubbish
-to mountains of tyres and skiploads of builders' waste.
-People just don't care. They don't care at all.
The people who have thrown it here are idle members of the public.
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.
It may harm your defence if you fail to mention something which you later rely on in court.
On today's programme, an utterly outrageous dump of asbestos in the middle of a public playing field.
We can follow the tyre tracks from over there.
They come down here. We think he's just driven round in a circle.
You can see the skid marks on the grass, then he's gone up and round.
And tracking down the man who brought this style of decorating to the Welsh countryside.
The waste consisted of a full household clearance really, including a bath and a toilet.
Welcome to the dirty world of Filthy Rotten Scoundrels.
In a series about the constant problem of environmental crime,
foul fly-tipping, gaudy graffiti and lousy litter, wouldn't it be great to hear of a magic solution?
Well, your wish is my command. Ta-da!
Pretty impressive, eh? OK, I'll admit it, it's not exactly magic,
but all this is possible because of an inspired little program for mobile phones.
These environment cleaners in Lewisham in South London
aren't wasting time playing with smartphones at work.
They're uploading a "before and after" record of the graffiti and fly-tipping they're cleaning up
on to a specially designed phone application called Love Lewisham.
If you come across dumped rubbish or unsightly graffiti, you just take a photo of it on your phone.
It goes to the right people at the council and before you can say, "I'm on the phone,"
somebody clears it all up. Amazing and simple!
The graffiti was over on the wall of the building across the road.
I just opened the app, then you get a camera function. I put the camera up to the window, took a picture,
then followed the instructions on the screen and sent it off. It was that simple.
Within an hour, I got an email confirming that they'd received it, then the next day, the job was done.
If everyone in the borough had it and they used it,
any graffiti that's put up around the borough can be dealt with and it would be a nicer place to live.
Isn't that fantastic?
It's so successful that London Mayor Boris Johnson adopted it for the whole of London.
What we're publicising is Love Clean London, a brilliant new app that Lewisham came up with.
OK, we've got the picture.
-The location will be visible from the app, won't it?
-It captures the location.
-That is brilliant.
That is the key thing.
Now there's not just Love Lewisham, but Love Clean Streets and Love Clean London.
But there's a long way to go yet.
People just dumping stuff in the road, mattresses, chairs, beds.
People are so lazy.
I don't like graffiti because it defaces and...
It doesn't make the atmosphere and the environment look neat.
It's horrible. We should be proud of the area we live in.
And things used to be even worse before Lewisham Council introduced the phone app.
When you hear just how incredibly well it's worked, you'll understand why the magic has spread.
Back in 2006,
we removed 27,000 metres of graffiti in a year.
Last year, we only needed to remove 7,000 metres of graffiti,
so that's a drop of about 73%.
Yes, you heard it right - a whopping 73% reduction in graffiti,
the point being that if you keep removing it, eventually, the vandals will give up,
so it's more than just a quick fix.
We've reduced the amount of fly-tipping by half in Lewisham in terms of the tonnages we collect.
We think that's by getting to the problem quickly.
So keep the place tidy and everyone starts treating the area with more respect
and doing all that tidying up is an impressive army of 400 people,
all responding to the mobile phone application.
They clean the streets, collect the rubbish, look after the parks
and they're a happy team with a genuine appetite for cleaning up their borough.
-Hello, mate. Welcome to Lewisham.
We'll spend a couple of days out on the road with two of these lovely teams.
The first, Vic Worsfold and Julie Ball, are tackling graffiti.
They're passionate about what they do and how their work can stop the rot in the area.
I just like to see the place nice and clean. I don't like to see this rubbish.
If you're not going to keep it clean, who'd want to live here? Because I certainly wouldn't.
Vic and Julie are on their way to their first job of the day.
Because the phone app uses satellite navigation, there's no need for the A to Z map.
It's made our work like a hundred times better.
Before, they'd give us a street and you'd be looking... You'd have to go up and down trying to find it.
On some occasions, it's not even been in that same street,
but this is just absolutely perfect.
And it shows what's on the wall, then we can just go there and remove it.
Finding it may have been easy, but doing the job is much trickier.
This is a huge and hard-to-reach wall that is a favourite with the street vandals,
but can Julie and Vic get their ladder anywhere near it?
-Will they go through there?
-What about if you open them up?
You can tell one of us has got brains, can't you?
This is looking like a Laurel and Hardy film.
Oh, look at that! Ain't I clever?
OK, I withdraw my Laurel and Hardy comment. That was very professionally done.
Good job I'm here then.
Oh, lucky those railings are in the way, Vic!
Time to get down to serious business now and they've got quite a job ahead of them.
I'm sticking this on now, yeah?
This is probably going to take about ten minutes to go on.
This breaks down the spray paint.
Well, I'm hoping it's going to, but it looks like it's actual car spray,
so we might leave it on a little bit longer than ten minutes.
This might seem like mindless vandalism to you and me,
but Julie's got her own theories about why people do it.
It's like they're marking their territory where they are.
It means something to the kids that have done it,
but to other people, they just look at it, as I do, as just vandalism.
As Julie's anti-graffiti gel dries, let's hit the road with another of Lewisham's crack cleaning teams.
It's Paul Tyler and Leon Muxagata's job to hoover up after fly-tippers.
-We've got three settees, three sofas, two mattresses...
TVs, bed bases,
And lots of items.
That's just the list for their first stop.
It's a sizeable fly-tip in a back street and sadly, it's a familiar sight to the lads.
It's quite messy, this one.
This is what we get every day. Not as much as this, but sofas and stuff.
This is like a whole house-worth of furnishings. Why on earth would somebody have dragged this lot here?
But before the makeover starts, time for the "before" shot.
He'll take a picture of that. He'll send that straight back to Love Lewisham.
Unbelievable that someone sneaked in here to dump this load like a thief in the night!
It's a tiny little street and there's no cameras about,
so it's quite hidden and they've obviously just come in and tipped it off.
That's what we get quite a lot.
It shouldn't take us more than 20 minutes, to be honest.
20 minutes for this lot?! That's what I call positive thinking!
Right, Paul, I'm setting my watch and we'll be back later to see if you can beat the clock.
Bringing fly-tippers to justice takes a massive joint effort between the public,
police and intrepid council officers like Phil Armitage
of the Environmental Crimes Unit in Middlesbrough.
It's premeditated. "I'll dump this stuff here and we'll get away with it." But they slip up.
And that's when Phil pounces.
This northern town has a great industrial heritage,
but now there's evidence that people aren't feeling pride for the place
because Middlesbrough has an incredible 3,000 cases of fly-tipping a year.
But before you start thinking it's nothing to do with you,
remember that people like Phil aren't just after the fly-tipper.
All of us have a duty to make sure whoever is taking our rubbish away disposes of it responsibly,
otherwise we'll end up in the dock too.
When a report comes in, Phil has no idea who is going to land up bearing ultimate responsibility.
I've just received a call from my supervisor
to let me know that in the Easterside area of Middlesbrough,
someone has driven on to a playing field
and they've dumped a load of timber and asbestos sheeting.
Yes, you did hear that right. Someone has dumped asbestos on a playing field.
So, a dangerous and potentially cancer-causing material in a place
where children play and people walk their dogs - disgraceful!
I'm going to get some gloves for this one.
Dumping asbestos is utterly unforgivable.
When solid sheets like these are broken up, they can release fibres that cause a killer cancer.
Phil's colleague Mick Clugston is already at the scene of the crime
and all the clues point to this being a classic of its kind,
using the dumper's vehicle of choice - a flatbed truck.
-I think it's a tipper.
-A tipper truck?
-He's tipped and drove away, judging by the big, long line.
There's his tracks. I thought they were them, but these are 'em here.
We can follow his tyre tracks from the cut over there in the corner of the field where he's got on.
They come down here. We think he's driven round in a circle.
You can see the skid marks here on the grass,
then he's gone up and round again.
They usually put the tipper up and then just drive off as it's still falling out,
so they're as quick as possible and they're gone.
All the residents hear is the clattering of the stuff falling off.
By the time they've seen what's happened, they're at the other end of the field.
It's a quick and slick operation and the rogues think they're getting away unnoticed,
but they reckon without Phil and Mick.
It's a dirty and dangerous job, but the guys are rooting through the rubble for clues.
I'm not too sure, but there's tons of mail.
-This is April the 11th.
-April the 11th?
-Here's a list of jobs to do.
What does it say? "Dump rubbish"?!
Nothing like a well-organised fly-tipper, eh, Phil?
So they've found an address of where this asbestos probably came from.
Phil and Mick know of some repeat fly-tippers who've worked that patch before. Could this be one of theirs?
We've got a case just up the road from this address.
That was another white van man that dumped waste in another part of Middlesbrough.
There may be a connection. We don't know.
Armed with a big pile of paperwork linking the rubble to one address,
Phil decides the best route to the culprit will be to find the owner
of the property this appalling pile has come from.
We're going to go to the location where we think it may be from.
They might still be working there.
If not, if it looks like it's had loads of new work done to it,
then that's an indication as well.
If they've got a brand-new garage there and that's their old one,
what we'll do is a council tax search on the property,
find out who the owner is, ask them who was employed to take the waste away...
Because this is the key to the case.
It may well be that the home owner thought their building waste was being disposed of properly.
It could be someone that's driven past, seen the waste and said, "I'll take that away for you."
The owner of the property gives over the money, thinking it's going to go to the tip
and it ends up at this tip instead of the proper tip.
It must be someone with local knowledge.
You wouldn't know to dump it behind the trees if you were chancing it.
There's no time to waste to find this environmental criminal.
Phil's on the road to check out the house and he's not a happy chappy.
I just think it's despicable what they've done there.
They could have taken that asbestos to the tip and disposed of it for free there.
And the rest of the stuff is just like wood and building rubble.
That could have been bagged up. The council could have taken that.
So I just want to do my best to try and get somebody into court for it.
You can see how much this winds Phil up and quite right.
It's an outrageous crime and Phil's instincts were spot-on.
That's the house there and as you can see round the back,
it would appear to have a double garage under construction, I would say.
Photographing the evidence is essential because the aim is to make a watertight case.
Right, we'll just do our council tax checks now and see what comes back on their systems
and who owns the property.
We'll be back with Phil and the clean-up team later.
Back to Lewisham where the council has gone for a radical approach to solving environmental crime -
the Love Lewisham phone app.
I put the camera up to the window, took a picture, then sent that off. That was it. It was that simple.
It's an inspired little gizmo that means if you see dumped rubbish or graffiti,
you just take a photo of it on your mobile phone and the council sends out a nice person to clean it up.
Genius! And so much easier all round than an old-fashioned phone call.
To use the technology we've got today is a great advantage. We can take pictures instantly.
When you get a call to report a fly-tip, you need to send someone to check the work out,
particularly if there's been an exaggeration. You think, "We'll need five blokes to clear this."
When you show up, it's a mattress that could have been collected by a caged vehicle. Getting a photo
with Love Clean Streets enables us to send the right people to deal with it, so that saves us money.
It saves money and time. Because the council had a photo of this lot,
they knew it didn't need a five-man crew and a massive truck.
All it needed was Paul, Leon
and a 20-minute time limit.
Nine and a half minutes in and they're almost done.
These guys are on fire. No wonder they get through over 40 jobs a day.
It does wear you out.
Because you're picking up rubble and all that, you know?
That's got to be a personal best.
Time now for the "after" shot.
I think we'll go straight to the tip with that.
Great work. See you at the next job.
Back with Vic and Julie - it's time to see if the chemical gel has dissolved the spray paint.
Vic's ready for the next line of attack.
This is just to protect your face and eyes.
When you're blasting, sometimes the brick can come back in your face.
And also it makes me look prettier.
I'm just going to warm it up now.
Is it just me or does Vic remind you of someone? Rambo perhaps?
And he's taking no prisoners.
But even Rambo's not tough enough for some of this.
There's a couple of bits there that don't seem to be budging.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to re-do 'em up with the liquid and gel and then we'll spray 'em off again.
One that got away, Vic.
I think they may be here for some time.
Normally, if it was ordinary stuff that we take off every day,
we probably would have done this by half an hour, 45 minutes.
Unfortunately, these type of bricks are more porous.
This is certainly a two-man job.
I said this is a two-man job, Vic!
I've just had a text from one of my girlfriends.
Yeah, pull the other one, Vic!
If we can't get this off now, today,
what we'll do is we'll come back probably tomorrow
and we'll just touch up the bits that are not coming off with a little bit of paint.
Vic's managed to annihilate one stubborn section, but they're stuck on the porous wall.
We've probably been here three, four hours, so that's a lot of time out of our day,
being here for that amount of time, trying to get rid of this actual piece of graffiti.
Despite the time and money it takes, Julie knows that it's worth the effort.
It brings the whole community down because if you see stuff like this on the wall,
people just think it's a run-down area and people don't want to come here.
As you can see, it's not having it, so we'll probably come back tomorrow once the wall's dry
and we'll touch up those little bits at the top.
I am gutted about that.
I just love Julie's passion. She cares so much about her local community.
There's more of that Lewisham passion from Leon and Paul.
They're now correctly dumping their first truckload of the day, all two tonnes of it.
The thing I enjoy about the job is just getting the rubbish and the fly-tips off of the street.
Good man! And there's no stopping these guys. They're whipping through their list.
Here is another cast-off from someone's lounge just dumped on the grass verge.
-That's them there, innit?
-Yeah. It looks like heavy ones.
-We'll be all right.
David Bailey here gets the photo, then it's straight in the back of the lorry.
They've got a new one or...
That's probably why. They've got a new one.
But yeah, it ain't too bad.
I've seen a lot worse.
No sooner finished and they get another job through.
This one's from a Love Lewisham app. It came over the radio.
We just pulled up. We're just going to do the same thing again, take the photo - before and after.
So within hours of a fly-tip being reported, our guys are clearing it up.
What a brilliant service! It makes such a difference to the people living here.
I paid to get my bulk items disposed of,
so to know that people are just fly-tipping and leaving it there is very annoying.
They're doing a great job and... Just keep up the good work, basically!
More from Lewisham later as our team continue their battle against the stubborn graffiti vandals.
If we get rid of it, as soon as it appears,
the younger kids coming up are not seeing it, so they don't do it.
High on the rolling hills above Swansea Bay in south Wales,
there's a patchwork of farmland fields, forest, country lanes, grazing animals and fabulous views.
The locals adore their surroundings.
As you can see, we live in a beautiful place.
People think of Port Talbot, "Oh, no!", but if you come to Neath Port Talbot county as a whole,
it's an absolutely gorgeous place.
But this gorgeous place has had the worst sort of town overspill - dumped rubbish.
Time and time again.
And sadly the landscape is offering unscrupulous tippers a clear run in
as local farmer's wife Marion Lewis knows only too well.
Because of the tree felling, the Forestry put decent roads in for the lorries.
These unscrupulous people have taken advantage of this. They come when the fog is down, drive up and tip.
They're beneath contempt. I've got no time for them at all.
They don't care for the environment they live in or what goes on in the community.
But little did the scoundrels reckon on our man on the ground, Leighton Case, an Enforcement Officer
placed in Neath, who is unafraid to get out on the trail of tippers and protect this natural beauty.
We live in a beautiful part of the world. And to see these people illegally depositing their waste
without thought, that in itself keeps me going, really.
What a nice guy. Another one of our tireless enforcers keeping Britain great.
In a small town like Neath, Leighton knows the local rogues.
And one man, Steven Llewellyn, emerged as someone he should keep an eye on.
He's actually been on my radar for five or six years now.
I think it was 2005 when I first came across him.
On that occasion he actually dumped on a road and blocked the road.
So we were sent for and we managed to find some evidence in the waste
and, subsequently, I seized his vehicle,
interviewed him and that was the first occasion when I had dealings with him. He's been a good client,
A good client? That's one way of putting it.
Looking at this, I'd call him more of a scoundrel.
So vehicle seized, a good grilling from Leighton - did he mend his ways? Not a bit of it.
That very same year he did it again. Look at this.
A washing basket, garden chairs, a TV. If it wasn't for the bin bags,
it could be the prize draw in a raffle. It didn't stop there.
Mr Llewellyn was prosecuted four times over a four-year period.
He admitted charging to remove the rubbish, but blamed an employee.
He was found guilty of breach of duty of care and fined over £2,000.
But nothing seemed to deter this serial dumper.
It was late November, 2009. A complaint came from a local farmer.
A huge pile of waste here blocked the gateway completely. This was the only point of access.
Just look at this lot - wood, tyres, palettes. That's serious rubbish!
He contacted us, we came up straight away. I've got a fantastic team of officers.
Weather conditions were awful
and we all looked through the waste for evidence. We eventually found a lot from an address in Swansea.
-Hang on! I think I know what's coming.
-I went to that address, found out who owned the property,
spoke to the owner. In September just gone he had employed Steven Llewellyn to clean out the house
and he offered to clean some carpets and things for him. Apparently, he offers a good service.
A good service?! Now I've heard it all. Surprise, surprise - his "good service" doesn't come cheap.
And he was able to give us a receipt. I can't remember. It was £600 or £700 worth.
Money that Mr Llewellyn could just pocket as he wasn't paying to dispose of this lot properly.
Within days, Leighton and his team were called to yet another case of fly tipping. Unbelievable!
Once again, a very remote location. If you didn't know of it, you wouldn't go there.
Materials I found were a household clearance with correspondence from a Swansea address.
Everything smacked of Steven Llewellyn again and, you know, indeed it was.
He's a strange guy in the sense that he goes back and seems to dump in the same location over and over,
which I find strange. And having been prosecuted for an offence.
As you can see, the location is quite beautiful.
-Fantastic views of the valley and the coastline.
-We know what's coming next.
-The first dump consisted of several drums of oil.
-Look at this filthy and contaminating pile.
Generally speaking, there'd be no evidence among that sort of waste,
but on this occasion Mr Llewellyn made a mistake. He actually left one number plate amongst the waste
and it was this that allowed us to track down where the oil came from.
We made inquiries with the present and previous owner.
And this led Leighton to link the oil back to a garage in Swansea. A breakthrough!
His detective work uncovered another deadly substance across the road.
The garage where it had come from, they operate an MOT centre.
They have anti-freeze solution that they wanted to get rid of and some of the barrels contained that.
We took witness statements and they told us it was indeed Steven Llewellyn
who actually took the waste away for them and they'd paid him £300 for his services.
What a surprise(!) Steven Llewellyn strikes again.
He was clearly making a pretty penny from running his "good service".
To dispose of this stuff legally, he would have to be licensed to carry hazardous waste
and take it to a registered dump, which would add a minimum of £350 to his costs.
Not only was his filthy work leaving a blot on the landscape,
dumping oil and anti-freeze can be a real danger to wildlife.
Where were their brains? They could kill the animals, not just the cows, but the horses.
They have no consideration at all.
Leighton was convinced Mr Llewellyn was responsible, but there were no witnesses to the actual dumping,
so he couldn't prove it. Then, in October, 2010, as Leighton still struggled to build a case,
-a new report came through of a dump in the same location.
-The second dump was here.
No more than about 10 or 15 yards from the first dump. Strewn here,
and the waste consisted of virtually a full household clearance, including a bath and toilet.
Everything but the kitchen sink, eh? Look at this - wardrobes, mattresses, curtains, an armchair.
What kind of person thinks this belongs in the Welsh countryside?
And sure enough, the trail led back to the rogue Steven Llewellyn and this time he admitted his guilt.
So the dirty dumper could finally be taken off the streets.
The case was heard at the local Magistrates Court. He was sentenced to eight months in custody.
We were thrilled with the result.
It sends a really strong message.
Another scoundrel behind bars. And the last word goes to Marion, who has a clear message
to anyone thinking about hiring a man with a van to dispose of unwanted household goods.
Ask them if they've got a licence.
If they haven't, you know they're illegal tippers.
And anyway, people should be proud of where they live and look after it.
Well said, Marion.
Remember this shocking asbestos dump on a playing field in Middlesbrough?
Thankfully, the clean up team has arrived.
Phil has arranged for specialist contractors to pick up the rubbish,
and not before time because arsonists have already started.
Before we start, obviously someone's had a go at setting fire to this last night.
This is why we want it shifting as soon as possible before the weekend when the lot will go up.
The contractors wear face masks to make sure they don't breathe in the deadly fibres of asbestos.
They're licensed to take this carcinogenic cargo to a registered dump,
where it will be buried underground. Phil thinks the fly tippers need to be given a stronger message.
I wish they'd get bigger fines, to be honest with you.
If we get one or two in the paper with a £20,000 fine,
then I think the message would certainly get out amongst people that it's not worth doing.
Not only that. It would make this a safer, cleaner and cheaper place to live.
The locals have been left with a hefty bill for this lot.
It's cost Middlesbrough council taxpayers £600 for this one job.
This adds to the grand total of about £250,000 a year,
which is what we spend on cleaning up after these fly tippers.
I'm of the opinion that the money would be better spent on other things, other projects.
You could put a kids' playground in for that money somewhere.
And obviously it's the taxpayer of Middlesbrough that bears the cost.
This is why your council tax goes up, because of, you know, these kind of problems.
After an hour's hard labour, the specialists have finished,
but look how much stuff is in their van. It just goes to show you how much rubbish
a filthy, rotten scoundrel thought was OK to dump on a community playing field. Unbelievable.
Give me a couple of minutes to get down to the gate.
-Luckily, these guys are brimming over with community spirit.
There's a hole in the fence where vans are getting through, so they pull boulders across the gap.
This is what I call dedication. Just look at what they're prepared to do to stop people fly tipping.
-Good on you, lads!
-Yeah. Thanks very much.
A temporary fix, but Phil's already on the case to close down the fields as a dump once and for all.
I'll put a call in to our Highways Division now and notify them that the side of that property
has a gap onto the field and what's happening. I want to just get it secured.
And an update on the case itself - the home owners say they had no idea their waste would be dumped.
They're in the clear for now, but if Phil can't track down the people who took it away,
they'll be held responsible. It's a lesson to us all -
don't think your duty ends when you hand over your rubbish. Make sure they have a waste carrier's licence.
And if it's asbestos, they need a special licence to remove it, so demand to see it.
Finally today, we finish our shift in Lewisham, south London,
where their mobile phone app to report fly tipping and graffiti has helped transform the area.
Send in a photo on your phone and the clean up job is automatically assigned.
No automated switchboards, no pressing 1 to speak to someone.
Without any emails, without any interaction with the council,
you can use your device to track the progress of the work. Fantastic.
It IS fantastic, but what's even more impressive is the dedication of the people responding,
rolling up their sleeves and getting the mess cleaned up.
If you're going to do a job, you've got to love to do that job.
It's like footballers love playing football, I like to see the place looking nice.
That's what makes me get up every morning and come to work.
It's just small-minded people that do this sort of stuff
and it ruins it for everybody else.
-But lucky enough, we're there to clean it up.
-What a lovely woman!
Every borough needs one. Next job - more horrible graffiti.
My trusty stuff, as always.
I'll probably irritate around the black and see how it is first, see if it starts running or not.
And then Vic will just blast it off.
I think if we get rid of it as soon as it appears,
the younger kids coming up are not seeing it and don't want to do it.
Gel painted on. Hit it, Rambo!
It's come out rather well.
Rather well? It looks like brand-new, Vic. Take that, graffiti vandals!
Meanwhile, Paul and Leon have a change from furniture removals.
We have a load of tree cuttings. Quite a lot.
Someone's cut their fir tree down and left it here.
It looks like that archway there.
It was probably overgrowing and they've chopped it down so they can walk through.
And left it there.
Great that someone's got a taste for topiary, but you wouldn't catch Alan Titchmarsh leaving this mess
after a spot of gardening. Whoever did this doesn't like hard graft.
They'd have had to chop it up, bag it up and take it away.
And go and tip it. So they've just left it there.
Luckily, hard graft doesn't faze Paul and Leon. Another brilliant job.
Around a third of reports come directly from members of the public.
The rest come from councillors or the guys out on the streets snapping and sorting out the mess.
We're doing one job they gave us to actually do on a sheet.
If we find any small stuff, we'll do all the small stuff all at the same time.
-Vic is gonna...
-Take a picture.
That makes everybody's life, anybody who works manually in the council,
like the dustbin men, the fly tippers, the estate sweepers,
anyone like that, take a picture of that and they find it straight away.
This is a lovely piece of application.
Well done, whoever done it.
Oh, I think it was Lewisham Council, wasn't it?
Someone's glowing with pride, aren't they? And quite right, too.
Next job - it's relentless, this, isn't it?
Unfortunately, big black doors to an electricity substation are a perfect canvas
for the graffiti brigade. It's a war of attrition between Julie and the vandal.
What I've found over the years is that if you keep going back and cleaning it
every time it's done in the same places, eventually they give up.
It's costing them too much money. They'll sit and think it looks great,
and then the next day it's not there any more. So they think, "Oh, flippin' heck!"
They go and do it again, in exactly the same place, and then eventually when they see it just gets cleaned,
-they don't bother doing it there any more.
-Something tells me
this is a war Julie's going to win. And the locals are behind her.
If you don't remove graffiti, it just encourages people to do more.
And it blights the whole landscape.
The landscape and sometimes your own property.
I just had some graffiti put on my front garden wall,
which is the first time it's ever happened to me. I'm not in the hanging and flogging brigade,
but I don't think they'll get punished enough. I won't say they ought to be shot,
-but it wouldn't bother me if they were.
I don't think I'd be too happy if I woke up to graffiti on my wall.
The doors are restored to their former glory. Another for the album.
And Vic and Julie are off to be good neighbours. It's the work of the same rotter from the substation.
I've got one of those sprays, but yours is stronger than mine.
Otherwise, I'd have painted over it, I suppose, which would mean painting the whole wall, probably.
Yeah, I'm glad I ran into you! I couldn't have done that myself, I don't think.
I'm very grateful. I think they're doing a good job.
-Call that number if it ever comes again and we'll come straight out and do it.
-Thanks very much.
-Ah! I don't know about you, but I've got a lovely warm feeling inside.
And it shows that those without a smartphone or internet needn't worry
because traditional methods like phoning the council or stumbling across the team still work.
Back on the fly tip patrol, Paul and Leon haven't been slacking either. They're collecting.
One medium-sized tree and, hold on, is that a plaid sofa I see there, nestling in debris?
So how many is that now? Four? Five?
A shopping trolley full of things way past their sell-by date.
Contents of a bedroom - divan, base and carpet.
And builder's rubble.
-But it's the old favourite keeping them busy.
-What is it?
-I think a sofa and a table.
Another sofa? Has anyone in Lewisham got one in their front room?!
It's off the street, into the van and another bit of pavement left spick and span. Lovely jubbly.
It may be a relentless battle for our guys, but the Love Lewisham phone app is making a difference.
Love Lewisham has had a really positive impact on the borough. It's raised residents' satisfaction,
it's saved money for the taxpayer and made it a more pleasant place.
The borough are pretty good at tidying up the mess left by certain individuals.
I don't notice much graffiti around here. Maybe the phone apps, those sorts of things, are working.
It does seem that with this app that the graffiti is being kept down a lot more.
We've had a good day today, made a customer really happy that the graffiti's gone off his wall
and now we're going home. So we'll see you whenever. Ciao!
Julie and all the clean up teams in Lewisham, you bring sunshine and make it a brighter place to live.
Hello, mate. Welcome to Lewisham!
-We thank you.
-# Bring me sunshine... #
It's a rotten job,
but luckily there's a whole army of people working tirelessly to keep our streets clean and country green.
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]
The brazen fly-tipping of a truck-load of asbestos on a public playing field in Middlesbrough, the amazing mobile phone app that means people in South London can report fly-tipping and graffiti to the council at the touch of a button, and how part of a number plate found in a rubbish dump in Neath led investigators to their culprit.