A former councillor turned detective this week after he caught a couple fly-tipping a mattress outside his home – and his quick thinking helped land them with a £300 fine.
Just watched this pair of jokers drag a mattress down Sussex Square and fly tip it in Eastern Road. To help @RecyclingRefuse find and fine these idiots I’ve photographed the registration number of their hire van, which has been parked in a disabled bay for all afternoon #scumbags pic.twitter.com/wJxsnme6Mb
— Geoffrey Bowden (@TheSussexSquare) June 20, 2018
Geoffrey Bowden, who now presents shows on both Latest TV and Radio Reverb, spotted the pair on Wednesday from his balcony in Sussex Square while he was watering the plants.
He watched them park a hire van in a disabled space, then go into one of the flats, carry out a mattress and then drag it along to the communal bins and dump it there.
By then, he was out on the street with his camera – and just a day later, the culprits had been tracked down by Cityclean and fined for fly-tipping.
Mr Bowden said: “I saw them making a big song and dance over parking the van. When they disappeared into their house, they gave a cheery wave and a cheer.
“I thought they were up to no good – and so it proved.
“I wasn’t quick enough to film them dumping the mattress but I did manage to get them on the way back.
“Hats off to recycling enforcement who actually tracked them down through the registration of the hire van and fined them.
“They managed to get tickets on the van for their sins too. They were parked there for nearly two days with the hazard lights on. I think they ran the battery down.
“They had a van. They could have taken it to the Wilson Avenue dump five minutes away.”
This isn’t the first time Mr Bowden has confronted people dumping rubbish, especially by communal bins. In 2014, we reported how he had taken two people dumping furniture by bins in Pelham Street to task, persuading them to take it away again.
He said: “Communal bins are magnets for fly-tippers and it’s not just residents, it’s commercial fly-typping as well – old toilets, sinks and detritus from builders.
“No one wants to live next to that. Cityclean will come and clear it up but unfortunately the more they do, it gives the message to people that it’s okay to dump there.”
A council spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on our city and we are grateful to Mr Bowden for bringing this incident to our attention.
“Thanks largely to his efforts, officers from our enforcement contractor 3GS have successfully investigated this incident and issued a £300 fixed penalty notice to the offender.
“We always investigate whenever evidence of fly-tipping is presented to us.”