Bin Crimes We Wheelie Can’t Believe
This time of year seems to bring a spike in wheelie bin crime as the nights get darker, and there are plenty of fireworks and bonfires to contend with. Here are some recent wheelie bin crimes that have hit the headlines.
A Police Community Support Officer in Plymouth took pictures of a fire that was deliberately started by vandals to illustrate the increasing problem of wheelie bin arson and the problems that emergency crews have to face.
The officer added that the previous week, youths threw missiles at fire crews when they were trying to deal with another incident.
Several wheelie bins were set on fire in a skatepark, and this prompted the officer to tweet that it was ‘stupid, irresponsible, and dangerous.’
Police say that up to 18 youths stole wheelie bins, took them to the skate park, and set them on fire. They are appealing for information that will lead to the identification of the suspects.
A man was spotted by passers-by putting donations left outside a charity shop in a wheelie bin in Leicestershire. The man was spotted rifling through bags outside a Cancer Research shop, and loading items into a wheelie bin in preparation to take them. Angry members of the public made him put the items back and he tipped them out of the bin.
He had loaded clothes and toys into the bin, and there were 3 or 4 bags of items he had taken, according to witnesses.
Police say they are investigating and have appealed for witnesses to the attempted theft. A representative from Cancer Research said that it upsets their staff and volunteers who try very hard to raise money for the charity. The charity has encouraged people to leave donations at the shops during working hours, rather than just leaving them outside, in case they are stolen.
Illegal fireworks with a value of more than £1500 have been found in a wheelie bin on an industrial estate in Midlothian. Trading standards officers accompanied police to the industrial estate after receiving a call about fly-tipping. A local councillor said that they were very concerned about the fireworks, including rockets that were 3 feet long, because children could have got hold of them.
Since the summer, shops have no longer been able to sell fireworks with the British Standard mark BS7114, and these fireworks are being completely phased out over the next 5 years.
The police believe that the fireworks were most likely dumped in the bin by a shop owner who didn’t want to pay to dispose of them correctly.
The police say that they are working to keep illegal fireworks out of circulation, but they admit this is difficult given that they have seen fireworks being offered as competitions on social media. They have encouraged members of the public not to accept fireworks if they are offered them. They are keen to remind people of how dangerous using illegal fireworks can be, and what the consequences of not storing them correctly could be.
Trading standards emphasised that legal fireworks will always have a CE kitemark on them to show that they meet standards for fireworks that are safe and fit for sale.
The police say they are working with trading standards to identify who is responsible for dumping the fireworks and have appealed for information.