Littering in the Time of the New National Labour Government (It's Cleanup Time!) : Part 2
When they had moved away the ‘village green’ (it wasn’t really a village, more a suburb of the big city which had expanded inexorably over many recent years, to link the village with the city until it was now a mere suburb) looked a bit of a mess. The unthinking group had left a few pieces of litter, by far the worst of which was the only partly eaten chicken and chips, cast away only feet from one of the many bins which stood on both sides of the road before the shops and next to the bus stop.
Later, perhaps an hour and a half after the pubs closed a couple of men walking their two dogs came past. One dog, the smaller, was on his extendable lead. The other, a much better behaved and older Labrador, who could be trusted to be off lead, although he was quite partial to looking for any extra food he could find as he did his late evening rounds with his ‘masters’. Greedily he sniffed around and ‘bingo’! There was the chicken and chips, not just a lone chip squished into the pavement, or a few crumbs of uneaten bread. He was straight at it, although his owners protested when they saw him go for it. It would keep him happy and make his day for the evening, so what harm could it be, although they had been having a terrible time at keeping the dog to the correct weight due to his predilection for greediness. The vets were never satisfied when he had his occasional weighing checkups.
The men with the dogs had considered picking the remaining packaging litter up and putting it in the bin, but why should they? Whoever was responsible should be found out and be forced to take responsibility for their uncaring actions, and perhaps even obliged to come back and dispose of it properly themselves. So although the dog had eaten the remains of the food, the cardboard container and other litter from the group of friends were still in full view.
Unbeknown to the dog walkers the police were already onto this one and the video evidence was already being checked. The police had patrolled just before the dogs arrived and duly noted the careless littering in the area, but were under orders not to move it into the bins just next to it, while the camera watchers studied the video evidence to see who the culprits were.
Unbeknown to many people there were some new cameras in this area. The pavement before the row of shops had had a camera or two belonging to the shops trained on it for some years, but now, since the election, the council and police had funded some cameras covering the bus stop and the green so the whole area was covered. These could be viewed remotely on computer screens at the police offices not very far away. The whole story of these pieces of litter would soon be discovered unless there was some kind of malfunction. The police officers on their beat patrol had also taken pictures of the litter, focusing particularly on the uneaten chicken and chips.
The duty sergeant at the police station decided that, as this was a fairly petty case, although nonetheless very much deserving of police action, they would nonetheless leave it until the morning, when there would be more police officers available, to deal with it. Tracy and two others of the party were found to have been guilty of littering offences. Their pictures on the camera evidence were quite clear and they were quite easily matched with some pictures on file which looked similar. There were some addresses which were fairly local for some of the party already, which could be visited to ascertain whether these were the citizens responsible for this petty outrage. A few questions to the staff at the pub or the fast food grill takeaway shop might help to fully determine their identities or those of their friends who could also be questioned.