A grandmother is outraged after a litter enforcement officer allegedly tried to fine her for nothing.
Karen Whimpenny says she was falsely accused of dropping a cigarette butt during a smoke break outside Mind charity shop in Huddersfield town centre, where she works as manager.
Kingdom, a private environmental protection firm, was brought in by Kirklees Council in April on a 12-month trial. Enforcement officers dish out £75 fines in the town centre to people contravening the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Karen said: “I came back into the shop after having a cigarette break. As usual, I put the packet under the till.
“When I smoke, I always put the cigarette butt back into the packet so it would have been in there.
“A man came into the shop, introduced himself and showed his ID.
“He said, ‘I’ve just seen you throw a cigarette butt on the floor’.
“I said, ‘no you haven’t’.
“He said, ‘prove it’. It was his attitude that angered me most.
“I went out and showed him the packet. He said ‘right’ and walked off - no apology or anything.
“There are condoms, chewing gum, drug paraphernalia, broken bottles, food containers with pigeons pecking at them and he’s picking on smokers.
“I was so angry at what happened and that he embarrassed me in front of our customers.”
The incident happened around 12.30pm on October 6.
Karen, who has lived in various parts of Huddersfield all her life, continued: “I’m sick of seeing bad behaviour in Huddersfield and it being one rule for the council and one rule for us.
“It used to be a beautiful town and now it has just gone to the dogs.
“I am sickened that this beautiful town is no longer what it used to be.”
Karen has since contacted Kirklees Council about the incident and was asked what she would like done about it.
“I want a public apology from the man - in the shop and in front of customers,” the 66-year-old added.
“He can be as embarrassed as I was.”
A spokesperson for Kirklees Council said: "As no ticket was issued and the enforcement officers are directly employed by Kingdom, any complaints would need to be directed to their customer care department on 0845517700.
"However we will make contact with them to ensure they are aware of the case, and request that they consider how they approach customers as they carry out their duties."