Danielle Botcher was left annoyed and speechless after she was approached by three council officers who claimed her child had incorrectly disposed of fast food.
The 28-year-old from Basildon, Essex had nipped to her local Tesco store and was heading back to her vehicle while her 18-month-old daughter Mia was eating a packet of Dairylea Lunchables.
She said that she’d pushed the trolley back to her vehicle and that when she went to get her daughter out of the trolley, she noticed that her daughter had dropped some of the crackers into the trolley.
She said that she saw the crackers in the trolley, so she picked them up, but she never saw the one on the floor, and why would she have picked up the ones in the trolley and not the one on the floor, if she had noticed it.
The stray mini cracker, no bigger than a fifty pence piece, was the reason Danielle claims she was given an on the spot £100 fine, which has since been cancelled after she complained.
She said that she’d put her daughter and shopping bags in the car and was about to close the door as a woman tapped on her window. She told her she was a Basildon Council enforcement officer and that she saw her daughter drop a biscuit on the floor and that she didn’t pick it up.
Danielle, who works as a part-time carer, apologised and said she didn’t realise the mistake, however, she was told that all three officers agreed that she’d decided to ignore the cracker and asked for her name and ID.
She said that she didn’t know what to think and that she was in shock and thought that it must be a joke and that you wouldn’t expect concealed cameras for how absurd the entire situation was, and she said that it took her a while to get her head around what was going on and that when she got home, she was extremely upset.
Danielle’s family helped her to contact a local councillor who contacted the council on her behalf. She later had a call from the enforcement agency to say that her penalty would be reversed.
She continued that they were panicked that they would have to pay it, and she was frantically searching on Google, and all the information she could find was saying they could end up in court, and that it was scary because £100 was a lot of money to them.
This is disappointing from a council that seems to turn a blind eye to massive industrial scale waste dumped by fly-tipping builders but they feel happy issuing £100 fines, and it says a lot about the people Basildon Council employ.
And it must have been a pretty quiet day for the officers, who were bored and petty enough to pick on a toddler, which is essentially what they’ve done, to give a mother a fine for what the toddler did and didn’t know any better, and these guys seriously need to retrain or get a job that will fill their time better.
These enforcement officers are nothing more than traffic wardens in effect, and they’re usually from a third party company that go around browbeating people whilst attired in a uniform, seeking to squeeze money out of people any way they can.
They stalk you, waiting for any opportunity to fine you, and they have no legitimate power, but they’ll attempt to scare and frighten you, and the best thing to do if they approach you is to simply turn around and walk away if you can. Although they will follow you and goad you into threatening them, and this is the method they will use to then call the police.
The best thing to do is to not engage with them and walk off, and ultimately, they will leave you alone, although they will pretend to phone the police in front of you, however, the police don’t do emergency call outs for the dropping of litter, hence why they try to goad you into threatening them.
Of course, the bureaucrats and their officers have a job to do, but when I find out what it actually is, I’ll let you good folks know because you really couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.