Spotted in the Daily Mail yesterday:
“A businessman, who accidentally dropped a receipt as he pulled out his phone was surrounded by litter officers within seconds – demanding he paid a £75 fine. The shopper is said to have lifted his phone from his pocket, which resulted in the piece of paper fluttering out as well – without him realising – outside St Anne’s Shopping Centre in Harrow, London.”
You can read the full story here.
This is exactly what we warned about when the Council announced the introduction of what some residents have named ‘litter thugs’ in the borough. Especially since more than half of each £75 fine gets handed over to the outfit performing this ‘service’ for councils up and down the country.
Kingdom Security, who won the contract in 2015, have a history of facing allegations of bullying. At the time, the council’s Labour administration said: “…this is not all about enforcement; our priority is to educate and work with the community…” – if the story that the Daily Mail is accurate, then clearly the council has been caught, again, telling porkies, as there doesn’t seem to be a jot of ‘work with the community’ – just barely-veiled intimidation and bullying.
Of course littering is awful: but if perhaps the council should concentrate on the real issues, like fly-tipping in the many side-roads around South Harrow (and, probably, right across the borough) rather than picking on individuals. But I suppose it’s easy money, right?