Holey boxer shorts Robin!
Who knows whether the fabric was gone or not, but Batman’s reputation has gone from superhero to zero in the eyes of conservation volunteers who were visited by an unwelcome first foot for 2020.
Among a huge pile of stuff dumped at St Vigeans near Arbroath early in the new year was a Batman sign and, of all things, a pair of men’s underpants – but perhaps not the style the caped crusader normally wears over the top of his tights.
It’s a fair bet the junk also originated a lot closer to home than Gotham City – but whatever its source, the owners didn’t see fit to stop at Arbroath recycling centre less than a mile away.
Fly-tipped rubbish is far from a rare phenomenon in our parts, as evidenced by end of year stats showing that across the council areas of Angus and Dundee in 2019 there were nearly 2,500 reported incidents.
Shocking as the figure may be, it’s probably very much on the light side since landowners have long ago got fed up reporting incidents to toothless authorities whose action seems to stretch only as far as talking a good game about taking on the fly-tippers.
For, while our councils have dished out the £200 fixed penalties which the law entitles them to, it’s emerged that in the past two years not a single person has been reported to Police Scotland over alleged fly-tipping from more than 5,000 incidents in the Angus or Dundee City Council areas.
Which no doubt surprised – not to say disappointed – one farmer who did his own detective work last year in tracking down, from property website pictures, the very house which a kitchen he found in a field entrance came from.
It would seem not unreasonable to think the dossier of information he handed over might be the foundation of a potentially solid case to present to the polis for investigation – even with the usual excuse of someone having paid an anonymous ‘white van man’ to take their rubbish away.
Court powers extend all the way to £40,000 to deal with fly-tippers and many might think a couple of successful prosecutions, suitably spotlighted by councils and the media, could at least help act as some sort of deterrent.
But if our councils don’t seem to have the appetite to take on the bad guys, then who will?
Anyone got Bruce Wayne’s number?