A Gravesend smoker has criticised the council’s environmental enforcement officers after he was removed from a bus for allegedly dropping a cigarette.

Martin Thomson, from Windmill Street, was escorted off a bus outside Debenhams in Clive Road on November 19, because the enforcement officer refused to let it leave with him still on it, allegedly telling the 49-year-old, “I am the law.”

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The Gravesend's smokers fingers are stained with the dog-end he claims the officer said he dropped

Mr Thomson, who suffers with severe paranoia said: “He’s ruined my whole day.

“How are they going to inform the public of their power?

“This is not acceptable.

“He couldn’t have seen me do anything because there was a bus right across his vision that I was behind.

“He might have seen me smoking a cigarette but he’s made an assumption I’ve dropped it and I took offence to that.

“Other people were verbally attacking him about his job but I tried not to swear and I don’t think I did - but I did call them all a bunch of idiots.”

As others got on the bus it is reported that Mr Thomson was told that he would have to wait until the police arrived.

TOP STORIES: The Gravesend smoker added: “He told me my picture was going to be sent to the police.

“In the end I got off the bus to allow it to carry on.

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Mr Thomson is upset with the way he was treated by the environmental enforcement officers

“I showed him the dog-end of the cigarette but I was getting very frustrated that I missed my bus.

“[The council enforcement officer] was following me after I got off the bus and I told him to leave me alone and after a while he got the message.”

Mr Thomson wouldn’t give his details to the officer and he wasn’t given a ticket.

Gravesham Borough Council has apologised to the bus company for what it described as an “overzealous pursuit of a man who allegedly dropped litter in Gravesend.”

A council spokesman said: “The officer is understood to be new to the job but his actions in delaying the bus were overzealous.

“All officers have been reminded of their duty under these circumstances and we are satisfied that this will not recur.

“Litter enforcement continues to be a priority for the council but must be carried out properly.

“Under the circumstances, no further action will be taken against the man and the penalty notice has been cancelled.”

Gravesham’s enforcement officers are employed by the council through the contractor Kingdom.

An officer can issue a fixed penalty notice of £75 but if this is not paid, offenders can face a conviction up to £2,500.