VIDEO: Doncaster man who dropped cigarette claims he was '˜grabbed' byÂ Kingdom litterÂ officer as he stepped into taxiÂ
A Doncaster man who dropped a cigarette butt claimedÂ he was '˜grabbed' by a litter enforcement officer as he stepped into a taxi outside the train station.Â
Andrew DaviesÂ from BentleyÂ called private firm Kingdom '˜vultures' who '˜hangÂ around' known smoking spots '˜waiting in the shadows'.Â
A Doncaster Council spokesman said they had reviewed CCTV footage and refuted Mr Davies' allegation.Â
The 45-year-old said he'd just arrived back from Torquay in Devon and sparked up outside the train station with a group of people.Â
He said due to the building work outside the station, he put his cigarette end in the gutter before stepping into the taxi.Â
But Mr Davies said he was '˜grabbed' by a litter enforcement officer and sat inside the vehicle until he got out.Â
Speaking to the Free Press, Mr Davies said: 'This guy came from nowhere '“Â he'd clearly been watching me very closely.Â
'I think it's disgusting how they operate really '“Â they wear plain black clothing and you wouldn't know they were litter enforcement.Â
'They're like vultures really who hangÂ around waiting in the shadows to get you '“Â they must be on commission or something.
'As I stepped into the taxi, a man grabbed hold of my arm and said he wanted a word about me littering.
'I didn't think these people could touch you or that they could grab hold of you. They told me I wasn't allowed to leave.
'I asked if he was a police officer and if he was detaining me and he said no to both.'
The 45-year-old was fined Â£150 after his appeal was rejected.Â
Kingdom litter enforcement has come under fire across the country and the firm has been dumped by several councils such as Liverpool and Welsh councils in Gwynedd andÂ Anglesey.Â
A BBC Panorama investigation in 2017 found while whistleblowers have said each employee is set a target of at least six fines a day.Â
Mr Davies added: 'With the building work that's going on, there should be some leniency towards this '“Â there's no clear signage the bins aren't where they used to be.'
'People who aren't from the town are going to get stung every time when they get off the train. They got one guy from London and he said to me he was never coming back to Doncaster ever again.'
Coun Chris McGuinness, cabinet member for the environment, said: 'It is not acceptable to drop any kind of litter on the floor or down a drain. Discarded cigarette butts are not biodegradable. When they go down drains they enter our rivers and water courses and ultimately end up in the sea. This creates significant environmental pollution and harms wildlife.
'Gutters and drains are not bins. There are plenty of bins provided across Doncaster which includes dedicated smoking facilities and bins outside the train station.Â There is no conceivable reason why litter should be dropped on the floor.
'Everyone has a responsibility, including residents and visitors, to ensure Doncaster remains clean and tidy.
'We have a dedicated team who work hard to help keep the borough litter free and we will take action against those who drop litter and do not take pride in our town.'