North Wales campaigners save dog walker from malicious fine

The group North Wales Axed Kingdom Security has helped a dog walker wrongly fined for having her dog off lead on a beach. The fine was issued recently, but it concerns an incident that occurred more than two years ago. The lady described what happened: It was December 2019 and I was on the grass by the theatre in Rhyl. My dog’s ball rolled from the grass across the path and onto the beach. I was on my way to get it then go back on to the grass. My dog was off lead but not out of control, she just wanted…

Private security guards removed from Thames riverside

In September 2020, the Environment Agency (EA) appointed the company District Enforcement (DE) to enforce visitor moorings on the Thames. The private security company was contracted to police moorings, and issue penalties to anyone without the correct documentation. District Enforcement also made a request for boaters to register with it when using temporary mooring sites, invoking a fine for those who had failed to register. The company drafted signs, which a series of boating organisations complained were ‘aggressive and unwelcoming’ and ‘exceeds (available) powers significantly’. These signs read: District Enforcement has the right to exercise a general lien upon any vessel and/or…

Defra cracks down on corrupt litter police

For several years, the Manifesto Club has campaigned against the practice of private companies being paid on commission to issue fines on behalf of public authorities. Normally, the arrangement is that the company receives 50-100% of the fines income. Unsurprisingly, private litter wardens have engaged in corrupt practices, including fining people for non-offences or trivial acts, fining people for litter dropped by accident, and tailing or following people. Our report ‘The Corruption of Punishment‘ – in association with Panorama – found that fines by the private litter police had topped 140,000 a year. Still worse, private companies were moving into the policing…

Councils duck the questions raised about Kingdom Security

On 15 May, Panorama’s programme Inside the Litter Police exposed the shady and dubious dealings of the private litter police, who are paid per fine issued. These included: evidence that these wardens are paid a bonus according to volume of fines, and this bonus can reach £1000 a month; evidence that wardens pretend to call the police; images of wardens saying they will hand out fines ‘like Smarties’. These practices have been suspected for some years, but this is the first definitive video evidence, and so is very significant. One might have thought that councils would be shocked by the programme and reconsider their contracts with the…

Petitions against the private litter police!

There are several long-standing and recent campaigns against the private litter police exposed on Panorama on 15 May. Here are some petitions below, highlighting the abusive practices in different areas. Read and share, or start your own.   ‘Stop the partnership between Kingdom and Ealing Council now‘ – a new petition to Ealing Council by Ealing Litter Prevention Team: In light of the BBC Panorama programme aired Monday 15th May 2017, which has illustrated the clear failings of Kingdom and their questionable working practices, we are calling on Ealing Council to drop their partnership with the company. Whilst we agree that action must…

The Corruption of Punishment (2017)

For several years, the Manifesto Club has raised the alarm about the practice of private companies being paid on commission to issue litter fines for local authorities. It is our view that punishment should never be associated with a financial incentive; private companies should never be paid per fine. When this happens, it is inevitable that miscarriages of justice will occur. It is inevitable that these wardens will not seek to punish the worst offences, in the public interest; instead they seek to issue as many tickets as possible. Even if there are no offences, they still must issue tickets, without which they will not get paid. The result…

Another council calls in the litter police

Another council – Gravesham Borough Council, in Kent – will contract a private company for the issuing of litter fines. The Manifesto Club argues that the issuing of fines by private companies on commission can gravely distort the operations of justice and law enforcement (see our report The Corruption of Punishment). There are several salient points in Gravesham Borough Council’s report about the contract: – There have only been 9 litter fines issued by council and police officers in 2014. This is likely to go up to two or three thousand once the company is contracted. – These private officers being employed…