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Dartford council to carry out independent review into 'litter police' firm behind 'bonus scheme' documentary

PUBLISHED: 12:11 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:11 24 May 2017

Dartford town centre

Dartford town centre

Archant

The documentary aired last week

An independent review into Dartford’s ‘litter police’ service is being organised after one officer was filmed boasting he could hand out fines “like smarties” in the hope of a bonus.

An undercover BBC journalist filmed the Kingdom Security trainee in nearby Bexley along with another officer, who was shown pretending to call police to pressure a man on benefits into handing over ID as he tried to issue an £80 fine in Bexleyheath.

The footage, which aired last week, also recorded a manager at the firm describing how its officers are given a £5 ‘bonus’ on top of their basic £9.47 an hour wage — once they have issued four in a day.

Dartford council entered a three year contract with Kingdom Security in January 2016 for the firm to carry out litter and dog fouling patrols around the borough.

But in the wake of the footage, council leader Jeremy Kite said it was organising an independent review into the firm’s enforcement policy.

“I don’t believe the footage reflects what’s going on in Dartford,” said Cllr Kite, who is still recruiting independent officials for the review.

“Following the Panorama documentary we feel it’s best to review their policies, one of the offences filmed was for putting extra rubbish out at Christmas, but we actively encourage our residents to use our waste services at that time, so it depends on the councils as much as the enforcement.

“We don’t need to support or challenge Kingdom Security at this stage, for now we’re getting together a team of people separate from the council who work around Dartford on environmental issues so they can properly review the policies.”

Since Kingdom Security was awarded its Dartford contract, 4418 were issued up to March this year, 3168 of which were paid.

According to the council, the 73.5 per cent success rate is ‘the best overall payment percentage of all Kent schemes’.

Kingdom, which is now 16 months into its contract with Dartford, denied the bonus, saying they have a “discretionary competence allowance” - not a paid incentive.

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