Ealing's Litter Officers 'Tried To Fine Toddler Feeding Ducks'

Local MPs told that council enforcement priorities are wrong


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A former resident of West Ealing whose family still live there has written to MPs over increasing concerns about health and safety in the area and claims that litter enforcement officers working for Kingdom on behalf of Ealing Council are still trying to make money from 'soft targets'.

The complainant was born in West Ealing but moved away in 1998 however his relatives look after his daughter whilst he and his wife are at work.

He says, "A few weeks ago, my extended family were walking through Dean Gardens and my 2-year-old daughter seemingly threw some bread on the floor which she was eating as she wanted to, in her words, 'feed the ducks'.

''She was clearly totally unaware that she cannot feed the birds as she is TWO. Yet one of the Kingdom officers decided to try and impose a penalty on them and harassed them into waiting until the police arrived. He continually requested details until I was then put on the phone and discussed the matter with him at which point, he let them leave.''

Kingdom made the news when they first started operating in the borough for fining a woman who poured coffee down the drain, another elderly lady who was feeding birds on Haven Green and a local resident for leaving additional recycling out.

A council spokesperson said, “Kingdom do not issue fixed penalty notices to anyone under the age of 18. In cases where there might be a small child throwing bread, seeds, or crumbs to birds in the presence of parents or responsible adults, the policy is to approach the parents and engage them in a conversation about the downside of bird feeding. Food that is left unconsumed can attract other vermin.”

The complainant says they should be focusing their attention around Eccleston and Singapore Roads  in West Ealing where there is a large section of overgrown grass used as a fly-tipping and rubbish collection area.

He writes, ''The area now has a rat infestation which is extremely dangerous and unhygienic, particularly considering there are children playing around these areas.

''On many recent occasions we’ve witnessed live drug deals happening on and around these streets.  To add to all this – we’ve even had issues which we’ve lodged with the police of drug dealers using our wheelie bins to store the drugs during the night whilst others collect them – so they’re trespassing onto our driveways to do so, which is why many residents on the street have now locked their bins either into garages or behind side access gates.

''The issues are mounting and there is not enough police presence or “Kingdom Local Authority Support” officers to stop the pandemic of littering, drug dealing, trespassing and general petty crime.''

He wants the council to clear  the grass area and is appealing for more police to patrol the area and Kingdom officers to ensure littering is kept to a minimum.

A Council spokesperson said, “We are aware of issues and police are focusing on the area. “Meanwhile, residents who witness illegal activity are encouraged to call 999 for emergencies and 101 for non-emergencies.”

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13 August 2019 ( updated 16/08)

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