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Wiltshire Police Federation

Boy asks officers to pick up their police tape 'litter'

5 March 2020

BBC News

A seven-year-old boy has written to officers asking them to stop leaving police tape behind, as it is littering.

Jack Heath sent a letter to Salisbury police last week telling them they should do more to protect the planet.

PC Jack Billington wrote back saying he was "absolutely right" and officers "should always pick up their tape".

The seven-year-old said he had been learning about littering and plastic waste at his primary school in Dinton, near Salisbury.

"First of all it kills wildlife and living plants and it can kill animals - if they swallow it or get it stuck around them," he said.  "Normally whenever there's a car accident or anything like that, they normally put police tape out and it doesn't get tidied up, and that's littering."

PC Billington wrote back to the seven-year-old to say he did not like littering either.

"You are absolutely right - police officers should always pick up their police tape when they've finished at a car crash or at a crime scene," he wrote.

"We always try our best to set a good example, but sometimes we make mistakes just like everyone else."

He thanked Jack for bringing the matter to the Wiltshire force's attention and said his "heart-warming letter" had "really made us think".

"It's normally a little bit difficult to make sure we clean it all up, particularly if it's been put up at night or if it's been put next to a very fast road," he said.

"But we're going to be making sure that officers are a little bit more vigilant when it comes to picking up their police tape."