A FORMER employee of environmental enforcers Kingdom Services has revealed details of the practices of the firm’s workers and how the company operates.
The Pioneer was forwarded a copy of the document - sent to Llandudno town councillor and former Mayor, Carol Marubbi - which revealed workers, paid to keep the area’s streets clean from litter and dog waste, never underwent any training while working for the company, didn’t have a uniform and targeted the elderly and disabled in order to achieve their quota of at least six issued fines per day.
In the e-mail, the ex-worker, who asked not to be named, said: “Kingdom put a lot of pressure on employees to issue as many tickets as possible, they aim for six plus a day. A dog fouler preferably as they bring more revenue. Old people, disabled people are getting fined. They target the easy.”
The ex-worker recalled a bizarre method employed by one worker regarding increasing dog mess penalties.
“I witnessed another employee place a cigarette paper over what looked like fresh dog poo. He then proceeded to place his finger over this to see if it was still warm.
”He then said the nearest dog to this and their owner is getting the fine, if they don’t like it they can argue it in court.”
The former employee, who worked with Kingdom for just four weeks before quitting his job in disgust, without giving any notice, said: “Body cameras are only switched on when they approach the ‘offender’. If they was on throughout their shift, fines would massively be reduced, as they would be monitored correctly.”
Protestors, led by Cllr Marubbi are now trying to use the inside information obtained to help with the bid to remove Kingdom from the area, having first been brought into the area in January 2015.
Llandudno resident Peter Rourke has created a Facebook page called Llandudno against Kingdom.
There have been a total of 4098 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued in the Conwy County area in 2016/17, the fourth highest in Wales – with Wrexham County Borough Council reporting the most with 6357.
Conwy had the most littering FPNs issued with 3980 – more than triple than the closest county and reported 118 dog fouling FPNs – only Wrexham having more (who also use Kingdom).
The county had the third highest takings from FPNs with £253,900 across 2016/17, third behind Wrexham and Denbighshire.
Across Wales, the total number of FPNs issued increased from 18,867 in 2015-16 to 29,758 in 2016-17.
Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders said: “These figures speak for themselves, and this has previously been an intense revenue income stream for the authority.
“Whilst nobody would condone the littering of our footpaths, or dogs being allowed to foul, the number of FPNs issued for all offences is colossal.
“I would urge anyone who feels that they have been targeted unfairly to seek redress by formally appealing their fixed penalty notice to Conwy Council.
“It is worrying that such a high percentage should be thrown out by the court, particularly given the cost to the taxpayers of these court cases.
“It is clear that a change in enforcement procedures is needed, and I hope that these figures will make Conwy County Borough Council (CCBC) sit up and listen.”
The Pioneer repeatedly contacted Kingdom Services over the past seven days but hadn’t received any comment by the time the paper went to press, while CCBC said they ‘refused to comment on anoyomous claims’.