By Sophie Norris
A bike instructor was cautioned after a traffic warden spotted he had dropped a packet of cigarettes and tried to fine him for littering.
Wayne Taylor, 40, had been on a car park in Southport on Monday with a student when he unknowingly dropped an almost full pack of cigarettes under his motorbike.
Not realising Wayne continued talking to the learner until he was approached by a civil enforcement officer who began reading him the police caution.
In protest, Wayne asked his student to start filming the encounter as evidence and the jobsworth officer can be seen liaising with his superior over a walkie-talkie.
After more than three minutes of to-ing and fro-ing, the officer then allegedly announced ‘it’s your lucky day sir, I’m going to let you off with a warning.’
As the video ends, the police are called to help diffuse the volatile situation.
After posting the video to his social media followers, Wayne claims angry viewers were ‘calling for the traffic warden’s head’, but he simply hopes it will teach the officer to ‘think twice before reaching to his ticket book’ in the future.
Sefton Council have now encouraged the public ‘to understand the necessary job [civil enforcement officers] do under often difficult circumstances.”
Wayne Taylor, from Hesketh Bank, Lancashire, said: “It’s ridiculous. I’d got off my motorcycle to chat to my trainee about his riding and got a cigarette out.
“I lit it and carried on talking without realised the packet hadn’t gone in my jacket pocket but fell on to the floor.
“The first thing the warden did was read me my rights – I actually thought it was for not having a ticket on my bike but they are exempt on council car parks.
“When he said it was for littering I still didn’t know why because the packet was obscured by my fairing.
“When I was made aware of it I picked them up, put them back into my pocket and said ‘ok thank you’ and turned back around, only to be read my rights for a second time, which is just before the video started.”
After being read a police caution for the second time, similar to what is read on arrest, Wayne asked his trainee to start filming the argument for evidence.
He is now calling on Sefton Council to retrain the officer and hopes the video will encourage him to exercise more ‘common sense’ in the future.
Wayne said: “Surely a more sensible approach should be used. I just hope that [after posting this] common sense prevails and maybe makes him think twice or at least
assess the situation before jumping for his ticket book.
“A PCSO was around the corner so I called her over and told her what had gone on and then after she’d spoken to him, he turned around and said ‘I’ve decided to just give you a warning on this occasion’. I thought, a warning for what? I’d done nothing wrong.
“There were 18 cigarettes left in that packet and I told him repeatedly. I showed them to the PCSO.”
“I am all for fining people who intentionally drop litter – it is a great hazard to many bikers out there.
“As all bikers know, litter is major danger on the roads, especially in this windy weather we are experiencing.
“We do nothing but promote the importance of road safety, hence why I am very passionate about being accused ‘wrongly’ for dropping litter in a public place.
“Even when he said he’d let me off with a warning, he tried to walk off with my details. I said I’d be going to the top with it.”
The video has now been viewed 44,000 times and social media users are calling on the council to act to prevent the officer repeating his actions.
One viewer Stephen Leslie wrote: “Stunned, totally stunned, by the level of sheer stupidity of this.”
Another, Roy Holmes, said: “This is beggar’s belief! Is it candid camera? Is this really what our council tax is being spent on?”
Sefton Council, who employ the civil enforcement officer, claim the officer was working under ‘difficult circumstances’ and that he was ‘verbally abused’.
A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “We are aware of an incident whereby a civil enforcement officer, employed by the council’s enforcement contractor NSL Ltd, was verbally abused during the course of his day to day work.
“A male was witnessed dropping a cigarette packet near to the Floral Hall in Southport on Monday, January 29 and when approached by the officer, became abusive.
“A warning for littering was issued to the male at the scene.
“We will not tolerate abusive behaviour to any of our officers. Littering is an issue that we take seriously and it is a civil enforcement officer’s job to make sure it doesn’t happen.
“We would encourage everyone to understand the necessary job they do under often difficult circumstances.”