A grandmother “burst into tears” after she was issued a £150 fine for feeding pigeons with the “corner of a sausage roll”.
Sally-Ann Fricker, 54, was shopping in Bath city centre with her daughter and grandchildren when she threw the birds some pasty scraps.
However, she was then approached by the council’s contractors 3GS, Somerset Live reports.
Mrs Fricker said she was “shocked” when the enforcement officer handed her a £150 fixed penalty for throwing a “substantial” amount of food on the floor.
She claims the food had been eaten and could no longer be seen.
She said she burst into tears after the incident, and has arranged to borrow money to cover the cost.
(Image: Toni Bradley)
“It was absolutely ridiculous,” Mrs Fricker said.
“It was the end corner of the sausage roll.
“I just dropped it for the pigeons that were there, and he came out of nowhere, stuck a badge in my face and started reading me my rights.
“He was telling me he was recording me, and asking for my name and address – asking for proof of who I was.
“I asked him what he was doing with my information and he wouldn’t answer.
“I wasn’t given a chance to speak. He didn’t explain why he was in my face until he had my name and address.”
Response from 3GS
A spokesperson for 3GS stood by the decision.
Gordon Brady, operations director for 3GS, said: “Pigeons and gulls cause a public nuisance and are part of the problem that Bath & North East Somerset Council has to manage when dealing with litter on the streets.
“Our officer observed the member of the public throw food waste on the floor in an area that was clearly signposted, with notices on the bins, stating to not feed the birds.
“As a consequence, the officer made a decision to issue an fixed penalty notice.
“3GS operate a fixed fee model, which limits what can be earned from the enforcement contract. Any funds received above cost are passed on to the local authority or used by 3GS for education and promotional purposes.”