Binmen in Muslim areas ordered by police to snoop in residents’ rubbish bins

Police chiefs ordered binmen to act as spies by sifting through rubbish to look for pamphlets produced by Islamic terror groups. Town halls responsible for areas with large Muslim populations were summoned to London and told to get their refuse collectors to search bins for discarded documents or material that might identify and incriminate Islamic extremists. But the bin-searching instruction was deemed so potentially damaging to community relations that councils simply refused to carry out any sort of spying.

Bradford City Council leader Kris Hopkins said: “We were asked to snoop on our own residents by getting our binmen to rummage around people’s rubbish. But the idea that our binmen should be rooting around a wheelie bin to see if they can spot dodgy bits of paper or funny wires is ridiculous. Our binmen aren’t there to act like the secret police. They’re there to empty our bins. It goes without saying that if any of our staff spotted something illegal they’d call the police. But our job is to bring communities together, to help our communities live side by side, not do the dirty work for MI5.”

Mail on Sunday, 19 April 2008