Staff ‘lock’ a pensioner in after he refuses to pay tip charge

A pensioner claimed he was “imprisoned” by staff at a recycling centre after he refused to pay to dump his rubbish.

Chris Feller says he was ‘locked in’ a dump amongst other customers until he paid staff the tip charge for taking in a ‘armful’ of wood.

He also claimed staff at the Hempton Recycling Centre near Fakenham, Norfolk, locked the gates to stop him from leaving until he paid £3.

The 71-year-old said: “They imprisoned me – it was unlawful and illegal imprisonment.

“I was dumbstruck. I couldn’t understand because I went to drop some stuff off a few days before this and I never got charged.

“So I said to them to show me where it says I have to pay and continued to throw my wood away.

“They said if you don’t pay you are going to be done for fly-tipping and we are phoning the police.

“I just couldn’t believe it when they said I have to pay £3.

“It is not about the money, I just didn’t believe it – I thought this can’t be real.

“And then when I looked around they shut the gates.”

Chris, who has used the same waste centre for ten years, eventually paid the money as he claims other customers were also ‘locked in’ the recycling centre.

He added: “I kept getting looks from everyone as if I had done something wrong – so I paid it to let everyone out.

“I didn’t want to annoy anyone, I just didn’t understand why I had to pay. I have never had to pay before – and there are so many cons these days.

“All I asked them is to show me what obliges me to pay the charge.

“But they had phoned the police.”

Norfolk Police confirmed they were called to the tip at around 11.50am to reports of a public order incident.

Chris added: “I then got a call the next day from the same policewoman saying I am banned.

“But I said back to her I shall be going back to that tip because when I ask for proof of having to pay they didn’t show me.

“And I paid the charge in the end anyway.

“She was banning me all because I was accused of not paying the tip charge – all I wanted was proof that I had to pay it.

“The police aren’t working for the people I have realised. They are working for the co operations and companies.”

The county council confirmed an incident occurred on Wednesday, June 13, where a customer refused to pay to dispose of waste.

A council spokesman said: “Staff had tried unsuccessfully to engage with this person regarding the DIY charges, so the police were contacted.”

Norfolk County Council removed the concession which had seen people allowed to take one large item or up to 80 litres of waste for no charge to their local household waste recycling centre on April 1 – meaning customers now have to pay £3 when disposing their goods.

Mr Fellers claims he was not aware of this.

He added: “I was chatting to one of the men who worked there and he said sometimes the council hire private companies to charge people – so it doesn’t make the council look bad.

“But because I was not made aware of this even when I asked – I didn’t believe the charge.”


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