A quick-thinking Devon woman has captured on video the moment she caught three men dumping building waste at a Devon beauty spot.
Ella – who did not want to use her last name – was on the Ugbrooke estate on the evening of Thursday, April 15 when she discovered the men apparently emptying debris and building material from their large lorry down a quiet lane.
She confronted the men while filming them and taking pictures, before calling the police, and her boyfriend – who was enjoying a pint in a nearby pub.
The police arrived and are investigating the matter.
“It was about 7.30pm and I was putting away my chickens that I keep there when I heard a noise which sounded like gravel being tipped,” Ella said.
“I thought it was an odd time for them to be working but then had a horrible feeling that they were fly-tippers, so I ran up the field to see what was going on.
“When I got there, I saw a big white tipping lorry and heard men’s voices along with a bit of commotion.
“I just took out my mobile phone and ran through them videoing them all. They were just about to get back in, so I ran through them and made sure I got all their faces on video.”
Ella said that she called her boyfriend, who quickly arrived on the scene with some of his friends.
The police were also called and arrived a short time later.
Ella spoke to the men who were leaving the items, who insisted that they had tried to dump the waste at a local tip only to find it was closed.
They said they planned to return the following day and collect the rubbish again.
Despite being on her own, Ella said she was determined to capture the incident on camera as fly-tipping has become such a big problem in the area.
“Being quite angry, I think any fear or responsibility went out the window. We’ve had fly-tipping here before and it’s so frustrating,” she said.
“I think they were a bit shocked as I ran in from middle of nowhere, but I had to do it. I knew as soon as I got their faces on video that I would be okay.
“It’s such a lovely area but sometimes you go out and see a fridge or a washing machine and you just think how awful it is.”
“I actually spoke to the guys after it happened and they were actually very nice,” she continued.
“They were very apologetic, but it is all very well saying that after they had been caught doing it.
“They were working for a company and I think they have to answer questions as well about the people they are hiring and where they are going to get rid of their waste.”
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Devon and Cornwall Police have been contacted for further information about the incident.
Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates’ court.
It can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment if convicted in a crown court.