Why we must stop bleating about civil liberties and throw the book at the Sunderland bin-rakers

Councillor Niall Hodson with the waste said to be tipped out by a bin raker in Millfield.
Councillor Niall Hodson with the waste said to be tipped out by a bin raker in Millfield.
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The proposed introduction of public space protection orders has caused much consternation among some campaigners.

These orders are seen as an attack on the poor and an infringement of our civil liberties.

Try telling that to those in our community under attack from so-called bin-rakers.

There is a growing number of incidents in which individuals have been spotted raking through rubbish bins in parts of our city.

These people think nothing of overturning wheelie bins and leaving the litter strewn across back lanes.

It causes misery for the residents and more work for a council that can ill-afford the cost of cleaning up the mess.

There was a time when someone spotted going through a bin would illicit some sympathy. Not now.

Those upturning wheelie bins are not desperate souls searching for scraps, but, in many cases, they are crooks looking to steal your identity.

The personal details that be found in discarded letters and utility bills are used by fraudsters to obtain goods and cash. And it is the innocent householder who ends up footing the bill.

The story we highlight today is becoming all too common. The solution may well lie in good community vigilance and the introduction of these protection orders.

The public space protection orders, if used correctly, will see bin rakers hammered with fines of up to £1,000.

Catching these people is tough, but with a big financial deterrent like a public space protection order in place, it may make these rakers think twice before targeting our community.