Elderly woman given litter fine for feeding birds

June 1, 2010 | by | 11 Comments

A woman was fined £80 for littering after wardens caught her throwing bread crumbs – to the birds.

Heartless rubbish spies spotted the frail woman sprinkling bread over her garden railings onto the pavement for starlings.

The woman, who has not been named, argued with the two street wardens but was slapped with an £80 on-the-spot fine.

Neighbours in Highfields, Leics., have condemned the ”heavy-handed” authorities and demanded the fine is overturned.

John Williams, 44, said: ”This is absolutely ridiculous. All the old dear was trying to do was feed the birds.

”But these two burly street wardens jumped on her and treated her like a criminal. I’ve been told that they were really aggressive.

”They should be spending their time and money catching the real litter bugs who leave drugs and beer cans in the area.”

Another mum-of-two in her 30s said: ”Fining somebody for feeding the birds seems a bit heavy-handed.

”The bread would have been eaten the bread anyway so it wouldn’t have caused a litter problem.”

Voluntary group St Peter’s Neighbourhood Monitoring started the campaign to catch litter louts last year.

Spies record residents who litter then post the footage onto Youtube. Neighbours are then encouraged to name and shame those dropping litter.

Footage of people who litter is passed to the local authority who are then able to use it as evidence to issue fines.

The area has been blighted with rubbish from take-aways being left on the street and syringes from drug users.

Several street signs warn about the dangers of leaving food in the area and leaflets are delivered to houses.

Group member Albert Berer defended the fine. He said: ”This person may have been throwing out bread with the best of intentions but there’s now no excuse.

”There have been plenty of warnings given to residents that throwing food out into the street will attract rats, mice and cockroaches and it simply mustn’t happen.

”Some people might think it’s a harsh state of affairs but actions such as this send out a strong message that littering of any form will not be tolerated in our area.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. Mary Poppins should immediately update her song to "feed the birds, £80 a fine"

    I'd like to see any bird leave any crumbs for the rats, mice and cockroaches so I really can't think of what planet this Albert Berer comes from.

    So perhaps the reporter Annie Mullins would please like to contact me as I would be so very happy to forward via her £20 towards paying the poor lady's fine.

    I can be contacted on :- devonshire(dot)dumpling (at)gmail (dot com)……..I can find a small amount out of my unemployment benefit as I feel so desperately sorry for the lady who obviously cares as much for our feathered friends as I do.

  2. Mary Poppins should immediately update her song to "feed the birds, £80 a fine"

    I'd like to see any bird leave any crumbs for the rats, mice and cockroaches so I really can't think of what planet this Albert Berer comes from.

    So perhaps the reporter Annie Mullins would please like to contact me as I would be so very happy to forward via her £20 towards paying the poor lady's fine.

    I can be contacted on :- devonshire(dot)dumpling (at)gmail (dot com)……..I can find a small amount out of my unemployment benefit as I feel so desperately sorry for the lady who obviously cares as much for our feathered friends as I do.

  3. John says:

    Are "St Peter’s Neighbourhood Monitoring" going to start wearing SS uniforms? Because that is certainly the mentaiity they have.

  4. John says:

    Are "St Peter’s Neighbourhood Monitoring" going to start wearing SS uniforms? Because that is certainly the mentaiity they have.

  5. I read this article with interest.

    What I found fascinating about it is the way a story gets warped from fact as it gets written about, rewritten and published through various iterations of detached commentators.

    The story above twists reality in a number of areas. I will address each in turn.

    First of all she was not throwing bread crumbs. What she was throwing over the railing of her Highfields Leicester home was big pieces of chapatti.

    This same spot is the precise place where we have often seen piles of mouldy bread and rancid rice. It could only be her to put it there.

    The word sprinkling minimises the action I observed. She came out of her front door, walked to the railings a blithely caste her food waste onto a public walkway that we ALL pay to have cleaned.

    You also write that neighbours condemned the fine as heavy handed.

    Again this really does twist the truth and imply that all her neighbours were against her being fined when the truth is that many of us who live here demanded that action be taken against those who have ignored all pleas, education, information, advice, signs and letters not to throw food out into the streets wand walkways of our neighbourhood due to the issue we have here with rats and cockroaches.

    I wonder if those who felt this was heavy handed are the same ones demanding action be taken to tackle the rats and cockroaches over running the neighbourhood the previous summer.

    All the “neighbours” here I know of, welcome the fine and hope it not only deters her but also those others who also dump food waste.

    I dare say that those neighbours who may feel it is heavy handed are probably others who also discard food waste in a similar manner.

    They were all warned in every single language from Hindi to Guajarati to Urdu and English. Even sign language posters went up. They have no excuse and no right to plead ignorance no matter what language she speaks.

    Another fallacy uttered in this report is the proposition that the birds would have eaten the bread anyway.

    I can only invite people to come and view the piles of rancid decaying food waste laying here in our neighbourhood and nearby park with all colours of mould over it and often with maggots pouring out of the festering mounds of waste in the hot summer sun or spread across the pavements in a slimy, slippery mess in the rain.

    In our neighbourhood itself, that sight is actually rare now as we have an extra member of staff to clean those piles up before they get too bad. But wander up to Spinney Hill Park nearby and you will see food waste blighting a beautiful public park here unrestrained and unchecked.

    The next point I would raise is the calling St Peters NM members who act as neighbourhood monitors, “spies” as it really does show ignorance to the work we do and why we do it.

    Monitors first of all are responsible local residents who pay rent or mortgages to live here and pay several hundred pounds a year each at least for the services to make the area pleasant to live in as well as safe and secure.

    We pay. And other people for whatever reason treat our neighbourhood with contempt with litter, flytipping, graffiti, anti social behaviour and crime.

    Neighbourhood monitoring is about identifying those responsible for such actions across the full spectrum of seriousness and providing either the city council or the police with the evidence in order to take action.
    It might be evidence of littering or it might be evidence of a pensioner being attacked and robbed by louts. It may be theft from a motor vehicle, or a burglary. At other times we have filmed bullying, a lad being surrounded by thugs and taking the beating of his life. There was a young lady who was subjected to violence in the street from a man who felt he could beat his girlfriend up in public with impunity. Weapons being carried and used from clubs, baseball bats, screwdrivers, knives and even firearms being discharged.
    So before you call us spies consider the facts of the work we do. This is not a neighbourhood where the Fiona Pilkington’s of this world would be subject to abuse and everyone would turn a blind eye. The presence of neighbourhood monitoring means that all behaviour that blights the lives of those who live here would be tackled head on.

    Residents have a role to play in all communities whether it is in the form of a neighbourhood watch or in the form of neighbourhood monitoring or other local groups. The police and local authorities cannot manage without support from people in communities.

    The main difference with neighbourhood monitoring is that we deliberately and proactively monitor our neighbourhood and do so with the capacity to obtain and secure video evidence.

    Neighbourhood Monitors are not paid staff, neither are they uniformed as one commentator suggests. We are simply residents who donate our time and skills to improve our neighbourhood by identifying those who blight its environment or its residents.

    Your article also uses the phrase “name and shame”. This is a phrase that you will never find St Peters Neighbourhood Monitoring as having ever used on any of our extensive websites or social networks.

    The reason you will never find it, is simply because that is not what we are out to do.

    What we do, is to show media of people who have blighted our environment and ask people to let us have their names and addresses or workplaces.

    That information is then ultimately used to take action against them.

    We never publish their names once we have them or warn them.

    As for the birds here, they tend not to be thrushes, sparrows or song birds but pigeons. Vast numbers of pigeons. The rats of the air.

    I invite “Devonshire Dumping” to come to Spinney Hill Park in Leicester and take a look at the piles of bread and rice the birds don’t eat. I assure him it lays there festering in the hot sun on most days at the moment.

    Anyone wanting to take time to know about the work of St Peters NM before coming out with easy to make uninformed comments should read our blog article here… http://stpetersnm.co.uk/?p=262
    You make also talk to us or comment on our work on twitter by following us on @stpetersnm

    • Simon155x says:

      Please let us know if there is a petition out for reversing the charges on the old dear, and imposing a fine on the wardens for undue harassment etc.

      This sort of blatant stupidity and infringement of personal freedoms needs to be cracked down on.

      By all means if there’s a petition online somewhere, please chain-mail or facebook it out to the rest of the country, and have the idiots on the local council replaced. Any chance of a vote of no confidence in these situations? lol

  6. I read this article with interest.

    What I found fascinating about it is the way a story gets warped from fact as it gets written about, rewritten and published through various iterations of detached commentators.

    The story above twists reality in a number of areas. I will address each in turn.

    First of all she was not throwing bread crumbs. What she was throwing over the railing of her Highfields Leicester home was big pieces of chapatti.

    This same spot is the precise place where we have often seen piles of mouldy bread and rancid rice. It could only be her to put it there.

    The word sprinkling minimises the action I observed. She came out of her front door, walked to the railings a blithely caste her food waste onto a public walkway that we ALL pay to have cleaned.

    You also write that neighbours condemned the fine as heavy handed.

    Again this really does twist the truth and imply that all her neighbours were against her being fined when the truth is that many of us who live here demanded that action be taken against those who have ignored all pleas, education, information, advice, signs and letters not to throw food out into the streets wand walkways of our neighbourhood due to the issue we have here with rats and cockroaches.

    I wonder if those who felt this was heavy handed are the same ones demanding action be taken to tackle the rats and cockroaches over running the neighbourhood the previous summer.

    All the “neighbours” here I know of, welcome the fine and hope it not only deters her but also those others who also dump food waste.

    I dare say that those neighbours who may feel it is heavy handed are probably others who also discard food waste in a similar manner.

    They were all warned in every single language from Hindi to Guajarati to Urdu and English. Even sign language posters went up. They have no excuse and no right to plead ignorance no matter what language she speaks.

    Another fallacy uttered in this report is the proposition that the birds would have eaten the bread anyway.

    I can only invite people to come and view the piles of rancid decaying food waste laying here in our neighbourhood and nearby park with all colours of mould over it and often with maggots pouring out of the festering mounds of waste in the hot summer sun or spread across the pavements in a slimy, slippery mess in the rain.

    In our neighbourhood itself, that sight is actually rare now as we have an extra member of staff to clean those piles up before they get too bad. But wander up to Spinney Hill Park nearby and you will see food waste blighting a beautiful public park here unrestrained and unchecked.

    The next point I would raise is the calling St Peters NM members who act as neighbourhood monitors, “spies” as it really does show ignorance to the work we do and why we do it.

    Monitors first of all are responsible local residents who pay rent or mortgages to live here and pay several hundred pounds a year each at least for the services to make the area pleasant to live in as well as safe and secure.

    We pay. And other people for whatever reason treat our neighbourhood with contempt with litter, flytipping, graffiti, anti social behaviour and crime.

    Neighbourhood monitoring is about identifying those responsible for such actions across the full spectrum of seriousness and providing either the city council or the police with the evidence in order to take action.
    It might be evidence of littering or it might be evidence of a pensioner being attacked and robbed by louts. It may be theft from a motor vehicle, or a burglary. At other times we have filmed bullying, a lad being surrounded by thugs and taking the beating of his life. There was a young lady who was subjected to violence in the street from a man who felt he could beat his girlfriend up in public with impunity. Weapons being carried and used from clubs, baseball bats, screwdrivers, knives and even firearms being discharged.
    So before you call us spies consider the facts of the work we do. This is not a neighbourhood where the Fiona Pilkington’s of this world would be subject to abuse and everyone would turn a blind eye. The presence of neighbourhood monitoring means that all behaviour that blights the lives of those who live here would be tackled head on.

    Residents have a role to play in all communities whether it is in the form of a neighbourhood watch or in the form of neighbourhood monitoring or other local groups. The police and local authorities cannot manage without support from people in communities.

    The main difference with neighbourhood monitoring is that we deliberately and proactively monitor our neighbourhood and do so with the capacity to obtain and secure video evidence.

    Neighbourhood Monitors are not paid staff, neither are they uniformed as one commentator suggests. We are simply residents who donate our time and skills to improve our neighbourhood by identifying those who blight its environment or its residents.

    Your article also uses the phrase “name and shame”. This is a phrase that you will never find St Peters Neighbourhood Monitoring as having ever used on any of our extensive websites or social networks.

    The reason you will never find it, is simply because that is not what we are out to do.

    What we do, is to show media of people who have blighted our environment and ask people to let us have their names and addresses or workplaces.

    That information is then ultimately used to take action against them.

    We never publish their names once we have them or warn them.

    As for the birds here, they tend not to be thrushes, sparrows or song birds but pigeons. Vast numbers of pigeons. The rats of the air.

    I invite “Devonshire Dumping” to come to Spinney Hill Park in Leicester and take a look at the piles of bread and rice the birds don’t eat. I assure him it lays there festering in the hot sun on most days at the moment.

    Anyone wanting to take time to know about the work of St Peters NM before coming out with easy to make uninformed comments should read our blog article here… http://stpetersnm.co.uk/?p=262
    You make also talk to us or comment on our work on twitter by following us on @stpetersnm

  7. Those interested in reading the original blog article on which the press reports were originaally based can read it at http://stpetersnm.co.uk/?p=224

    Those wanting to see photos of the littering, flytipping and food waste on the ground (even at the entrance of a building here) should take a look at this slide show http://stpetersnm.com/issue_4_gallery.html

    I am sure you will see why neighbourhood monitoring was formed here in St Peters, Leicester.

    Tweet us @StPetersNM

  8. Those interested in reading the original blog article on which the press reports were originaally based can read it at http://stpetersnm.co.uk/?p=224

    Those wanting to see photos of the littering, flytipping and food waste on the ground (even at the entrance of a building here) should take a look at this slide show http://stpetersnm.com/issue_4_gallery.html

    I am sure you will see why neighbourhood monitoring was formed here in St Peters, Leicester.

    Tweet us @StPetersNM

  9. Leicester EDL says:

    Mr Berer and his associates should be applauded for the good work they are doing.There is no ecuse for litter and those who are too idle to dispose of their rubbish in a bin should be made to pay the cost of hiring others to clean it up.

  10. Leicester EDL says:

    Mr Berer and his associates should be applauded for the good work they are doing.There is no ecuse for litter and those who are too idle to dispose of their rubbish in a bin should be made to pay the cost of hiring others to clean it up.

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