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Ealing Council urged to review ties with security firm following BBC Panorama allegations

BBC Panorama alleged a company used by the council gave fining bonuses to litter wardens

Allegations have been made that littering fines in Ealing have been linked to a bonus scheme

Ealing Council has been urged to review its ties with a security firm following allegations litter wardens receive a fining bonus.

A BBC Panorama investigation into Kingdom Services claimed one of its managers described a bonus scheme linked to fines.

The show claimed the manager said officers earn £5 for tickets after issuing four in a day, which increased to £6 after seven are handed out.

In the programme, aired on Monday (May 15), a warden in Ealing was recorded undercover boasting about handing out fines "like Smarties".

Kingdom Services deny the bonus scheme is in place, saying it instead offers a competency allowance.

Ealing Conservative leader, Cllr Greg Stafford, urged the council to review its contract with the firm.

Cllr Stafford said: "Ealing Conservatives have long had concerns about Kingdom Services operatives.

"Whilst it is vital that litterers and fly-tippers are caught and punished, Kingdom seem to be going for the easy pickings rather than stopping the serial offenders.

"We've already had the scandal of the woman being fined for pouring coffee down the drain and now this.

"The Labour Council should either direct Kingdom to stop these bonuses and to properly incentivise its staff to catch the real culprits or they should end their contract."

Panorama featured the case of Ealing ballet and pilates instructor, Liz Jenner, who was fined for fly-tipping next to her wheelie bin after putting recycling out.

Hanwell pensioner Sue Peckitt, fined £80 for pouring a cup of coffee down a drain before the council apologised and refunded her, was also interviewed.

Labour's Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, the council’s cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said he will meet with Kingdom Security's chief executive following the allegations.

He said: "People want us to take action against litterbugs and fly-tippers and we’re doing exactly that.

"These two cases were clearly errors of judgement and we have apologised, but every single case we’ve taken to court has resulted in a successful prosecution, showing the system is working.

"Residents need confidence that the process is fair and that they can trust the contractor and we've been very clear from the start that we expect a common sense approach.

"I have asked for a meeting with the chief executive of Kingdom to discuss the allegations that came to light in the programme and ensure he is left in no doubt as to Ealing's views.

"We must be sure that safeguards are in place to ensure enforcement officers meet the high standards required."

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