NEW flytipping teams have been accused of harassing shoppers, a source from inside Basildon Council has claimed.

The teams, introduced only last week to crack down on high street flytipping across the borough, have been accused of stalking shoppers through shops and not sticking to their brief, according to a member of staff from within the council.

He told the Echo that a woman was left in tears outside B&M, a store on the Town Square, after several members of the flytipping clean-up squad, part of National Enforcement Solutions, had followed her around shops on the high street.

Basildon Council have rebuffed these claims, and stated that no formal complaints have been made about the flytipping teams.

The anonymous claimant said: “They’re pursuing people through the town.

“They’re actively following people into shops.

“They’ve pulled a woman off a bike to give her a fine.

“They’re tactics are not helpful and not healthy.

“They’re not doing what was promoted either. Large dumps are not being searched for.

“All they’re doing is looking for people who are smoking and could drop their cigarettes.”

A spokesman for Basildon Council, responded, and said: “Residents regularly tell the council that they do not want to see littering and flytipping within our borough.

“The majority of our residents do the right thing with their waste and we are proud of our community volunteers who give up their time to help support us in keeping the borough clean.

“Officers are always in full dual-branded uniforms, and highly visible. The officers do not hide, and they patrol highly populated areas. An officer patrolling acts as a deterrent, however, if they witness an offence they will take details and issue a penalty.

“Officers are trained to do this often difficult job and we expect them to uphold high standards at all times.

“Should we receive any complaints, and we have had no direct complaints to date, we will take them seriously.

“We want everyone to feel part of the effort to keep our streets clean from litter.”