A shop owner in Muswell Hill, London, has likened Haringey Council to the Gestapo after being fined £300 by officers for using the wrong bin bags.
Sangita Ibrahim, 47, who owns designer clothes boutique Charli in Muswell Hill Broadway, said: "The shop was really busy and they came bounding in like the Gestapo and said, 'We're investigating a possible crime.' I felt like I was going to be frog-marched away."
Commercial waste is collected by council contractors Haringey Enterprise and has to be disposed of in official grey bin bags. But Mrs Ibrahim says she put it out in four black bags after an expected delivery of official bags at the beginning of the month had failed to arrive despite calls to Haringey Enterprise asking for more.
Photo from here.
Dora Panagi, who works in the shop, said: "We had none left and we had to get rid of the rubbish as it was beginning to get smelly and we've had problems with rats in the past. "We put the black bags out amongst our last two council bags so they'd know they were ours, not just somebody dumping their rubbish amongst the business rubbish."
Charli was fined £75 per black bag but Mrs Ibrahim wants to appeal. She also plans to lodge a complaint about the conduct of the officers, who she says confronted her in front of customers last Thursday afternoon. She said: "I felt really intimidated by them. It was really unprofessional of them to confront me in front of customers. They were obviously on a power trip - they were just so rude.
"Some of the customers told me they were shocked at the way I had been spoken to, as though I was a criminal. They actually said I could get a criminal record just for using the wrong bin bags."