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Envirocrime - it's tough on the streets.

Daily Express: UK News :: 18 hours in police cell – for dropping apple

A MAN accused of dropping an apple core in the street hit out at police last night after being held in a cell for 18 hours.

Plumber Keith Hirst, 54, who has a heart condition, was locked up after he refused to accept a £50 on-the-spot fine from a police community support officer.

“The way I was treated you would have thought I had robbed a bank,” he said. Mr Hirst was arrested after he refused to give his name and address. He was then taken to a police station, where he had his DNA and fingerprints taken.

Police were given the power to take DNA samples from suspects in 2003. But the then Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, made clear at the time that the power should be used only for serious offences.

Mr Hirst was held during a lunchtime trip to shops in Swinton, Greater Manchester. He was approached by the cycle-riding support officer, who he said was wearing a fluorescent jacket, big sunglasses and a baseball cap and carrying a wad of tickets and a pen.

Mr Hirst, who has had heart surgery and is unable to work, told the officer he was not responsible for dropping the apple core and went into a chemist to buy medication for his disabled wife.

He then claims he emerged to discover five uniformed officers had arrived to arrest him.

He was held at Swinton police station and taken to court the next day handcuffed to a security guard. He appeared before Salford magistrates charged with dropping litter and obstructing a police officer.

He denied both charges, and the obstruction charge has since been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. The litter charge is scheduled to go to trial before a district judge in July.

Senior officers yesterday defended the police action and said : “We obviously do not want to arrest people for dropping litter. This man had a terrible attitude and left us with no choice because he refused to give his details.”

Superintendent Ian Palmer, of Greater Manchester police, said: "We work closely with the city council and other partners and take a firm stance against all environmental crime."

"Environmental Crime" - so that makes it all acceptable; Noddy Cops in their silly clothes, banging up and DNA extraction, nothing is too much in the fight against environmental crime.

I hesitate to mention this in case it gives them ideas but how far off can it be before Environmental Thought Crime is on the books? Look at how racism has been fought, it used to just be illegal to hit a black man, then it was a crime to incite violence, then just to be unpleasant and now just to harbour inner thoughts. Surely the environment deserves the same protection.....


Environment crime was first developed in Germany in the late 1980s. Of course, the Krauts know a thing or two about enforcement action. Of course, it all started innocently enough with laws about not mowing your lawn on a Sunday or not washing your car at home, but soon led to draconian laws on boilers, recycling, littering and now smoking. Of course, you can always rely on the British Civil Service to gold plate these European-inspired thought-crime diktats. Actually, I'm convinced that the reason we have common law in the Uk was that someone somewhere new that EU/Roman law would be too much of a temptation for some jobsworths in this country. I also blame the internet. It makes it far too easy and convenient for bureaucrats to cross fertilise their nasty little schemes. Take away their PCs and stop them attending international conferences. it's the only way to stop the spread of this viral dictatorship.

Yep, that's the way they are usefully deploying police resources.

Well, otherwise they'd have to go break up illegal raves in the dark, or something equally onerous...

Another excellent channel to piss away more taxpayers' cash.

It is worrying that a police officer admits to working closely with the Council, policemen are supposed to be impartial. Oops, sorry...it's a police state now isn't it. Just waiting for the knock on the door.

It's an apple FFS, you never see them stopping the little scrots chucking plastic bottles, burger wrappers and fag packets anywhere they see fit. But a fully natural, edible object, that if it doesn't get eaten by the next dog to walk past will happily decompose to nothing- does that even qualify as litter?-Do they hang around in orchard nicking apple trees too?

What about horse-chestnut trees? Do they get a fine for dropping conkers? What's the difference? IT's not about the end result of the littering (decomposition sees to that) it's more about the droppers intent. By dropping an apple core you are violating the government's edicts that there should be no littering. You are, in fact, being given a fine for disobedience. It's all about control.

Call me old fashioned but I was taught two very important things by my parents. Never to drop litter and never to lie.

He should have done a George Washington and been man enough to admit, "I cannot tell a lie. I dropped the apple core."

Let one lying litterbug off the hook and they'll all be at it.

18 hours? I'd have thrown away the key.

Yep! Hanging's too good for 'em!

If five coppers hadn't come to arrest this obviously dangerous criminal then the public would have lost confidence in the authority of the PCSO to ensure the proper disposal of fruit waste. Society is just one apple core away from a riot.

Who's to say he wasn't a pomme-de-terrerist?

He might have had a five pounds of Granny Smiths strapped to his chest and a few Coxs in his rucksack.

You can't be too cautious these days and I'd say the Community Support officer did the right thing and called in the SWAT.

It's a twisted state of affairs when people get fined for dropping an apple while shoplifters get a caution.

The way to stop these jobsworth nazis is to punch them into the middle of next week every time they try this shit on and then use every legal trick going to make plod prove it was you,the more this kind of thing happens the more i loathe the police and this rotten country.

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