A team of heroic Leighton Buzzard tree surgeons claim to have caught three men fly-tipping, trapping the alleged offenders with their work van and holding them at the scene for two hours.
Callum Chase, 25, and his brother Connor, 23, were driving home from work on the evening of May 9 when they spotted a “suspicious” sight down Land Park Lane, Kensworth.
The Leighton lads claim they saw three men removing mattresses and chairs from a van and placing the items into undergrowth, so the brothers - along with Frank, a plumber, who was driving behind them - simultaneously turned their vehicles round to investigate.
Parking about 20ft away from the scene, Callum, Connor and Frank walked up to the three men who they claim “genuinely believed” weren’t doing anything wrong by dumping the items there.
However, the lads were having none of it, and called their boss, Ducan Tomblin, who arrived with his van and blocked the three men in until the police arrived two hours later.
Callum claimed: “The first hour was almost a constant argument with the men, about why they couldn’t be fly-tipping and not realising at all why they were doing something wrong.
“We’d say, ‘no you are not allowed to do that’, and they’d reply: ‘But thereis rubbish already here’ - there were beer bottles, bags, etc.
“They kept saying they didn’t do it all, only the mattresses and the chair.
“Then my brother Connor rang Duncan up - he doesn’t like fly tippers! He would know a bit more about what to do. Meanwhile, one of the men, who was in the van, panicked, and started reversing, but my brother was leaning against the van to stop it!
“The younger man knew there wasn’t much choice, so shouted at the one in the van to stop him driving.
“Duncan turned up about ten to 15 minutes later - none of us wanted to walk away so he pulled up and parked his van straight behind theirs.”
After a while, the tree surgeons, Frank, and a fifth workmen who had been passing by and arrived at the scene for moral support, claim that they entered into “peaceful negotiations” with the three men, and persuaded them to load the mattresses and chairs back into their van.
The three men who the lads believe were fly-tipping then got back into the van (which the tree surgeons think was hired) and sat inside until the police arrived.
Duncan, 44, claims: “When the police turned up I thought they would seize the vehicle and arrest the three guys. I got really frustrated, as the police wouldn’t take their van away. If there’s no deterrent, people will carry on fly-tipping.
“I wouldn’t recommend doing what we did; there’s safety in numbers but before I have been threatened when I’ve seen fly-tipping – people say they will ‘kill you’ or ‘ram you off the road’.
A Beds Police spokesman said: “We were called to reports of inconsiderate behaviour in Land Park Lane, Kensworth at around 6.15pm on Wednesday, May 9.
“Three men were reportedly fly tipping and were confronted by a number of members of the public.
“Each call we receive is assessed on THRIVE – Threat, Harm, Risk, Investigative opportunity, Vulnerability and Engagement and resources are allocated accordingly.
“At 5.56pm, shortly before receiving the report of fly-tipping, we were called to reports that a six-year-old boy had gone missing from Luton. A number of officers, including one of the officers who later attended the fly-tipping report, were involved in the search. Thankfully the boy was later found safe and well just after 7.30pm.
“On May 9, we experienced an exceptionally busy evening and one of the highest levels of demand we have seen so far this year.
“Due to this demand and our attendance at other incidents, two officers were allocated to the flytipping incident at 8.11pm, and arrived on scene six minutes later at 8.17pm, where they interviewed one man.
“Fly tipping is a council-led issue and details will be passed to Central Bedfordshire Council for further investigation.”
A Central Beds Council spokesman said: “We are aware of this fly tipping incident. We have received a statement from the police who attended the scene and have identified the driver of the vehicle.
“We will be collecting further statements from both the driver, passenger and witnesses. If there is enough evidence a file will be submitted to our legal team.”
Callum was also pictured yesterday with rubbish that was left before and after their ‘fly-tipping’ incident; the three men they saw loaded their items back into the van. The mess pictured with Callum has been left by other people and has yet to be cleared up.
However, a CBC spokesman added: “The rubbish will be cleared by the end of the week.”