I lost job for sticking up for public, claims Croydon Council contractor Kingdom Security's litter cop

Croydon Guardian: Martin Young claims he lost his job for intervening when a friend was wrongly fined Martin Young claims he lost his job for intervening when a friend was wrongly fined

A 'litter cop' employed by the council to catch culprits dropping waste has claimed he was forced to resign from his job for preventing an innocent person being fined.

Martin Young, of Bensham Lane, Thornton Heath, alleges he was threatened with arrest by bosses for confronting a colleague he believes was wrongly issuing a fixed penalty notice to a member of the public.

Council contractor Kingdom Security warned the 26-year-old he would be perverting the course of justice if he prevented the fine being slapped on a friend, accused of dropping of cigarette end in High Street on Thursday but who according to Mr Young does not even smoke.

Kingdom denies the man fined was falsely accused.

But dad-of-seven Mr Young warned other alleged offenders could have been wrongly stung with fines by Kingdom, enlisted by Croydon Council in August to clamp down on littering and dog poo.

He said: "This person had done nothing wrong at all. They were accused of dropping a cigarette but they weren't even smoking. They don't even smoke.

He was waiting for me to finish so he could talk to me because we hadn't spoken for about six years.

"I said, don't issue him with a fixed penalty notice, he hasn't dropped anything. But [my colleague] said he did see them.

"Senior management told me to either resign or they would go to the police station with the evidence that they have got.

"But there is no evidence he dropped anything at all; it is just one person's word against another's."

He added: "I'm angry I lost my job for sticking up for a member of the public. I'm going to try to go to a tribunal because I have been unfairly treated."

Officers have issued more than 1,929 fines since August, with those who fail to pay the £75 fine risking a criminal record and penalties of up to £2,500.

Kingdom's staff work on commission, pocketing an additional £5 for each fine issued. 

The company said 370 had complained about their fine, but only ten raised concerns about the conduct of the officer who issued it.

But Mr Young, who worked for Kingdom in Bromley for seven months before switching to Croydon in August, said he had seen 'offenders' being wrongly fined.

He said: "It happens a lot. I've never issued anyone [a fine] unless I know they have done it, but other guys have gone over and issued people who haven't even done anything.

"That is perverting the cause of justice itself because you are making an innocent person pay. It's completely wrong."

Croydon Guardian:

The litter cops on their beat in Surrey Street

Michael Fisher, head of Kingdom's legal and enforcement division, disputed Mr Young's version of events.

He said: "We investigated this incident when it happened and as a result a member of our staff resigned rather than taking the option of going through a formal disciplinary procedure.

"Kingdom works to the highest professional standards and all discussions between our officers and members of the public are recorded on uniform-mounted cameras."

A council spokesman said: "The relatively low level of representations received from members of the public who have been issued with penalty notices for littering offences means we are confident they are being issued legitimately."

Have you been wrongly fined? Email chris.baynes@london.newsquest.co.uk or post a comment below.

 

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Comments (9)

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5:12pm Wed 8 Jan 14

ummagumma says...

When a member of the public is issued with a Penalty Charge Notice, they must either pay it or take the issuers to court. There is NO right of appeal. Most people cannot afford to risk the maximum fine of £4,000.00 if they lose in court so reluctantly pay up. This is grossly unfair and gives company's like Kingdom a licence to print money. This practice should stop NOW!
When a member of the public is issued with a Penalty Charge Notice, they must either pay it or take the issuers to court. There is NO right of appeal. Most people cannot afford to risk the maximum fine of £4,000.00 if they lose in court so reluctantly pay up. This is grossly unfair and gives company's like Kingdom a licence to print money. This practice should stop NOW! ummagumma
  • Score: 12

8:31am Thu 9 Jan 14

concernedread says...

It's a pity that Croydon council did not get them doing something more useful, they only seem to want to keep the centre of Croydon clean! Perhaps they should get out of their nice new HQ with nice new furniture! In the north of Croydon Woodside/South Norwood there is a epidemic of fly tipping some residence front gardens look like a council tip with rubbish/food waste or soiled mattresses! Even the councils contractors fail to clean up! There was a burnt out motor cycle on the playing field next to the arena tram stop for about 4 months before it was removed, also the contractor that cuts the grass never litter picks and so when they cut the grass spreads litter all over the place, at the present there is a duvet on the field near the footpath that's been there since August!!! I suppose because they don't see it, they don't bother to clear it up!
It's a pity that Croydon council did not get them doing something more useful, they only seem to want to keep the centre of Croydon clean! Perhaps they should get out of their nice new HQ with nice new furniture! In the north of Croydon Woodside/South Norwood there is a epidemic of fly tipping some residence front gardens look like a council tip with rubbish/food waste or soiled mattresses! Even the councils contractors fail to clean up! There was a burnt out motor cycle on the playing field next to the arena tram stop for about 4 months before it was removed, also the contractor that cuts the grass never litter picks and so when they cut the grass spreads litter all over the place, at the present there is a duvet on the field near the footpath that's been there since August!!! I suppose because they don't see it, they don't bother to clear it up! concernedread
  • Score: 11

5:43pm Thu 9 Jan 14

jane1108 says...

I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here
I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here jane1108
  • Score: 4

6:18pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ummagumma says...

jane1108 wrote:
I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here
Wow, so many words but no punctuation. Take a big breath before reading!
[quote][p][bold]jane1108[/bold] wrote: I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here[/p][/quote]Wow, so many words but no punctuation. Take a big breath before reading! ummagumma
  • Score: -2

10:28pm Fri 10 Jan 14

ANNE GILES says...

ummagumma wrote:
jane1108 wrote:
I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here
Wow, so many words but no punctuation. Take a big breath before reading!
Why has he got seven children?
[quote][p][bold]ummagumma[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jane1108[/bold] wrote: I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here[/p][/quote]Wow, so many words but no punctuation. Take a big breath before reading![/p][/quote]Why has he got seven children? ANNE GILES
  • Score: -2

10:12am Sat 11 Jan 14

ummagumma says...

ANNE GILES wrote:
ummagumma wrote:
jane1108 wrote:
I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here
Wow, so many words but no punctuation. Take a big breath before reading!
Why has he got seven children?
Anne, this may come as a really big surprise, but when a man and a lady get married they are able to get a visit from the stork. It all starts off with the birds and the bees................
.
[quote][p][bold]ANNE GILES[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ummagumma[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jane1108[/bold] wrote: I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here[/p][/quote]Wow, so many words but no punctuation. Take a big breath before reading![/p][/quote]Why has he got seven children?[/p][/quote]Anne, this may come as a really big surprise, but when a man and a lady get married they are able to get a visit from the stork. It all starts off with the birds and the bees................ . ummagumma
  • Score: 6

1:16am Mon 13 Jan 14

Kapwoman says...

Michael Fisher, head of Kingdom's legal and enforcement division said:
"Kingdom works to the highest professional standards and all discussions between our officers and members of the public are recorded on uniform-mounted cameras."
All well and good Mr Fisher, but I would then question why any actual offences are not also recorded if the officers have the means to do so? There would be no equivocation such as the case above then.
Michael Fisher, head of Kingdom's legal and enforcement division said: "Kingdom works to the highest professional standards and all discussions between our officers and members of the public are recorded on uniform-mounted cameras." All well and good Mr Fisher, but I would then question why any actual offences are not also recorded if the officers have the means to do so? There would be no equivocation such as the case above then. Kapwoman
  • Score: 3

5:54pm Mon 13 Jan 14

jane1108 says...

Well said kapwoman I agree with you on this one so mr fisher can you look in too it
Well said kapwoman I agree with you on this one so mr fisher can you look in too it jane1108
  • Score: 1

12:39pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Mr Strings says...

ANNE GILES wrote:
ummagumma wrote:
jane1108 wrote:
I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here
Wow, so many words but no punctuation. Take a big breath before reading!
Why has he got seven children?
His choice to make, as much as it is for you to make snap judgements about people.
[quote][p][bold]ANNE GILES[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ummagumma[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jane1108[/bold] wrote: I feel that Kingdom and croydon council should have a good look in to this just because he did not give someone a fine does not mean you can make someone leave the job that they are doing I have read this news about what has happened and I feel that the young man was in his rights to not fine the person I do not know how mr fisher can sleep at night this young man has 7 kids to feed hows this family going to livewith out any income comeing in just hope that is will make Kingdom and the council think about what has happened here[/p][/quote]Wow, so many words but no punctuation. Take a big breath before reading![/p][/quote]Why has he got seven children?[/p][/quote]His choice to make, as much as it is for you to make snap judgements about people. Mr Strings
  • Score: 0

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