PLEASE let me confess to a crime I will have been committing for years, let me explain.
One morning I set off in my little van to plaster a room at Deepcar, being a self-employed plasterer of nearly 25 years.
At Oughtibridge a policeman on a motorbike instructed me to follow him.
I was led a couple of miles to a piece of square land next to the dump-it site at Deepcar. Awaiting me were at least a dozen policemen and cars, two HMRC vans and various other council figures.
After parking up along with many other similar builders, plumbers and plasterers in the same, confused situation as me, I was bluntly asked: “Are you carrying any rubbish?”
Two police officers and one council ‘waste officer’ searched my van for any bags of rubbish. I kid you not.
The council waste officer asked: “Do you ever carry any rubbish and if so do you have a licence?”
I replied: “I have no knowledge of this licence and yes, my van is usually packed with leftover rubbish.”
Luckily for me, on this occasion I was clean, but if they would’ve found any rubbish I would have got a £300 fine.
If I had wanted to buy a licence to carry one bag of rubbish or more it would’ve cost me £150, which lasts two years.
I asked what I should do with any leftover plasterboard, bags of plaster etc and was told to shove it in the customer’s wheelie bin.
I was questioned by a fourth person in uniform about my opened or half-used bags of plaster because they looked ‘a bit iffy’.
After passing all the questions I was allowed on my way. Imagine my horror when I arrived at my job to discover that, when I rolled out my dust sheets, there was nearly a bag full of dust and rubbish.
The police search had failed. I am hoping that next time I’m caught in the act of carrying muck and rubble to a skip, the judge will be in a lenient mood.
You couldn’t make it up, could you?