Yes, that's how Richard Eccles, Secretary of the North Wales Police Federation says his officers feel by being ordered out on litter patrols to boost the numbers of fixed penalties issued (Daily Post 16th May). Police Officers are concerned that when they catch someone littering they have to wait for a Community Support Officer to arrive to issue the ticket because Police Officers don't have the powers to issue Council penalty notices. But of course Police Officers can issues Police Fixed Penalty tickets but of course the monies from them don't accrue to the local Council, a point made in this blog previously. Since our original blog and article in the Daily Post myself and Carrie Harper have had reassurances from all directions telling us that littering is not a priority for North Wales Police, but the Police Federation seems to agree with us and that it takes priority over far more serious crimes. If its not a priority why would North Wales Police see the need to allocate the crime car and 2 plain clothes officers to sit outside McDonald's in Wrecsam with orders to get penalty notices for littering. More worrying still is the fact that 2 Police Officers have been paid, 'double time' to go on littering patrols in the Eastern Division.
I don't think this was the way we expected our £200 Council Tax precept to the Police Authority to be spent was it?
Part Three of this saga will be published as soon as North Wales Police provide me with information I have requested under the Freedom of Information Act which is subject to delay after delay...I wonder why?
UPDATE - This story appeared in the Daily Express over the weekend