Bucko over at Fuel Injected Moose submitted a Freedom of Information request.
He was interested in the activities in Blackburn and Darwen Council area. Apparently the litter police are handing out fines left right and centre, and there have been complaints from the public that the fines were not only for trivial “offences” but seemed to be targeted in particular at smokers.
So Bucko asked for a breakdown of fines by category.
Litter – black bag = 2
Litter – cigarette = 4113
Litter – food = 16
Dog fouling = 26
Litter – other = 110
Litter – printed material = 9
Smoke free = 151
Okay, we can make some assumptions from this. We could construe that there are 200 smokers for every dog in the area? We can also assume that the locals are extremely tidy with their take-away wrappers and coffee cups? Or maybe – just maybe – there is some truth in the rumour that the company involved [Kingdom Environmental Services ] is actually targeting smokers.
So they make little “bonuses” for every ticket issued and can make up to a grand a week extra. Now they could just pick someone at random and follow them in the hope that they’ll drop something like a bit of orange peel? Or they could follow someone walking a dog in the hope that the dog will have a dump? Or maybe it is just easier to follow a smoker who is advertising his presence by a whisp of smoke and do him for dropping a bit of ash or a fag end?
When all else fails, screw the smoker.
Easy money, eh?
Bucko has his full take on this little gem on his site.