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Seven Kings man fined £150 for feeding ducks

PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 April 2020

Paul Gale, who got fined £150 for feeding the ducks, said he didn't notice the tiny sign before he got busted. Picture: Paul Gale

Paul Gale, who got fined £150 for feeding the ducks, said he didn't notice the tiny sign before he got busted. Picture: Paul Gale

Archant

A Seven Kings resident thinks the council is being “heavy-handed” after slapping him with a £150 fine for feeding the ducks.

Paul has lived in Redbridge all his life and thought the fine was heavy-handed despite social distancing measures in place. Picture: Paul GalePaul has lived in Redbridge all his life and thought the fine was heavy-handed despite social distancing measures in place. Picture: Paul Gale

Paul Gale, 58, was taking his dog out for his government-allowed daily walk in South Park and brought stale bread to feed the ducks like he often does.

He was surprised when two Redbridge enforcement officers told him he was breaking the law and issued him a £150 fine.

Paul, who is on furlough from his job and has lived in Redbridge all his life, didn’t know it wasn’t allowed and said he didn’t see any signs saying you would be fined.

But a spokeswoman for Redbridge Council said: “We’d like to remind park users to keep the parks clean, and continue adhering to park rules as fixed penalty notices are still operational.

“Littering and bird-feeding are prohibited in the parks due to issues around animal welfare and pest infestation. We have clear signage up in parks advising people of this.”

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Paul said: “One of the enforcement officers was talking to me very close to my face and not keeping six metres away.

“I’m not trying to be defiant but I think it’s a bit heavy-handed.

“My daughter is a nurse and I’d rather pay that money to the NHS.”

Paul said at the time he was talking to the enforcement officers there was a group of four to five people playing football nearby and wondered why the officers weren’t stopping them.

But Redbridge Enforcement Officers, who are employed by the council, don’t have the authority to prosecute people for disobeying social distancing guidelines and only police officers can do so.

The council spokeswoman said: “If an individual believes their fixed penalty notice was issued incorrectly, we’d advise them to go through the appeal process, which can be found on the council website, or in the information printed on their notice.”

For the latest coronavirus health advice from the NHS, go to 111.nhs.uk/covid-19.


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