A group of fly-tippers who were caught dumping rubbish by police have been escorted back to pick up their mess.
Officers brought the three men back five miles to clean up the trash they had left at the side of a motorway.
Highways Agency CCTV operators spotted the men dumping bags of rubbish on a grass verge between junctions 12 and 13 of the M6 in Staffordshire on Sunday.
Their silver Volkswagen Passat vehicle was then intercepted by Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) officers between junctions 14 and 15 and escorted the five miles back to the scene.
Pictures taken by the police show the three men stooping over in an emergency refuge area (ERA) lifting their rubbish and putting it back in black bin bags.
CMPG officers tweeted on Sunday: "M6 J12 to J13 a eagle eyed @HighwaysWMIDS who was monitoring the CCTV cameras notice the occupants of a Passat dumping rubbish in a ERA bay.
"We intercepted the vehicle M6 J14 to J15 and escorted them back clear their rubbish up. Details passed to @EnvAgency.”
The officers were praised for their actions on social media.
One user wrote: "I would love to have seen their faces when pulled over by you. Bloody fantastic work officers."
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Another said: "Instant karma right there - serves you right lads.”
One commented: “It wasn't a clean getaway for them."
M6 J12 to J13 a eagle eyed @HighwaysWMIDS who was monitoring the CCTV cameras notice the occupants of a Passat dumping rubbish in a ERA bay. We intercepted the vehicle M6 J14 to J15 and escorted them back clear their rubbish up. Details passed to @EnvAgency. 5419 pic.twitter.com/5tWwYYiaDZ
— CMPG (@CMPG) March 28, 2021
James Hawkes, Highways England network operations manager for the Midlands, said: “We spotted this blatant and reckless abuse of one of our designated emergency areas on our CCTV system and quickly passed it to the police.
"We continue to work closely with our police colleagues who enforce issues like this.
"Emergency areas are there for just that, an emergency.
"They’re not there for people who fly-tip, which is highly irresponsible and illegal.”
Last month, it emerged that councils in England dealt with almost one million cases of fly-tipping in the year up to March 2020.
Watch: Councils in England deal with nearly 1 million fly-tipping cases a year