Episode 10 Crime and Punishment


Episode 10

A look at crime and punishment in modern Britain. Louise Minchin and Gethin Jones chart the changes in crime, criminals, police and prisons over the last 60 years.


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Transcript


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On Crime And Punishment today, 60 years of change in prisons and the police.

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Here in Bristol Prison, teaching literacy is helping to reduce crime.

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I'm in the West Midlands where police are pouncing on paedophiles

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using the web.

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The internet is now an essential part of our lives

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but like all innovations, it's open to abuse,

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especially by paedophiles. Here in the West Midlands,

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police have formed a special team to catch them.

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It's a subject that can be upsetting.

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These West Midlands police officers are carrying out a dawn raid.

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On most raids, the officers announce their arrival but on this one,

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it's vital that no-one sees or hears them approach the house.

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Police intelligence has suggested that indecent images of children

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are being collected and distributed by somebody at this address.

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POLICE! Stay where you are!

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Today's operation is Operation Vulcan.

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The West Midlands Police Child Online Safeguarding Team was set up

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ten years ago to deal with the increasing number of paedophiles

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using the internet to store and distribute

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indecent images of children,

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new technology facilitating the age-old crime of sexual abuse of minors.

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Detective Inspector Kay Wallace heads up the unit.

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Paedophilic activity, it would be safe to say, has changed

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over a period of time,

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and probably more noticeably over the last ten years,

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certainly the last five years, paedophilic activity using the internet

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as a facility to share indecent images of children

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has grown massively.

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Over 80% of people who possess and distribute images of children

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themselves do undertake on hands-on abuse of children.

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That's what's so concerning.

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The man they're looking for isn't there.

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But they've been given another address for him and they've no intention of letting him go.

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The internet has opened a whole new world for paedophiles.

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It's like people who play games on the internet

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and go into virtual worlds and they can become Venus Warrior Princess.

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The internet allows you to do that as well in terms of being an offender.

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You can offend in your bedroom

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and nobody will know, nobody will possibly know

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that I'm possessing images of children, looking at them and distributing them.

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Actually, we will know and we do know and we do tackle it.

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Three years ago, this unit's work put behind bars

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the man who'd sexually abused Nathan Hale.

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It began when he was 14 years old, living with his grandparents.

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It was the start of summer and me and my friends went to play football

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within the local park. We were approached by a man who said

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he was keen on football.

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We thought it was a bit strange that he was 28

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and he wanted to play football with a bunch of lads

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but he was passionate about his football so we thought nothing of it,

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we thought he was another guy who's lonely,

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a bit over-friendly but that was it.

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When Nathan's computer broke down, Paul Gardner offered to fix it.

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He spent a long time chatting to Nathan's grandparents,

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worming his way in to become a family friend

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so that they had no worries about him being alone with Nathan in his room.

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That's when the sexual abuse started.

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It started by touching of legs, etc.

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And then he found out about me struggling with my sexuality.

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That was the worst moment.

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I knew it was wrong. One of his phrases was,

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"You know you want to explore your sexuality."

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But then I realised it was actually wrong.

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He is a 28-year-old man and I'm only a child.

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Gardner kept control by threatening to tell Nathan's grandparents he was gay.

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Them being from a different generation,

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I thought they'd abandon me too. The thought of all of that...

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..became enough to buy my silence

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and to let it continue to happen.

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The abuse went on for two years,

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only stopping when Gardner moved out of the area.

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It left Nathan in turmoil, subject to flashbacks and nightmares.

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He became withdrawn and was bullied at school.

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He even attempted suicide.

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Looking back on it, it is difficult for me

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because I still don't have the answer why.

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I'd always like to ask him why me,

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why me out of all the 14, 15 boys that we played football with.

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To his credit, Nathan eventually started to get his life together,

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studying hard to be a chef. Then, at the age of 19,

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travelling back from a work placement in Portugal,

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he was met at the airport by police officers from Birmingham's Child Online Safeguarding Team.

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They had arrested Paul Gardner on charges of abusing another child

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and when they seized his computer, far more came to light.

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There were in excess of 15,000 indecent images of children.

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And equally multiple films of children being abused by Gardner,

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which he had filmed using his mobile phone.

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Nathan was one of those children.

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His image was on Gardner's computer.

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It was a matter of my office unpicking all of that

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and trying to make sense of the victims -

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who they were, approaching them, getting their testimony as to what had happened to them.

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And trying to pull together a case that truly reflected

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the abuse he'd undertaken.

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Gardner was convicted of 34 charges of abusing

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and taking indecent images of children aged three to fifteen.

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He was jailed indefinitely.

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That case was a success story for DI Kay Wallace and her team.

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But paedophiles will always be with us

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so the police must remain vigilant.

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They now have a second location for the man they were looking for this morning.

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We've got the warrant. We're going to that address now.

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We'll be back with Kay as the net tightens.

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One of the most memorable murder cases of modern times

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unfolded in the Cambridgeshire village of Soham,

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nearly ten years ago.

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It began with the disappearance of two little girls.

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August 4th, 2002, a quiet Sunday

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in the village of Soham, Cambridgeshire.

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10-year-olds Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells

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had been enjoying a family barbecue.

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Holly's mum takes this picture.

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Less than an hour later, the girls go out to buy sweets from the nearby sports centre.

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Thinking the girls are still playing upstairs,

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it isn't until 8.30 that evening

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Holly's parents discover Holly and Jessica are missing.

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Police begin one of the biggest searches ever known,

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involving 24 different forces, as well as many local volunteers.

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Holly and Jessica's parents appeal for help in finding the girls.

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Give them back, just give them back.

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Just put an end to all of this for them.

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We miss them so much.

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Police interview many villagers,

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including the caretaker of nearby Soham Village College.

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29-year-old Ian Huntley tells police he's seen the girls

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outside his home the evening they disappeared.

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It's just very upsetting, you know?

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To think that I might be the last friendly face that these two girls had to speak to.

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Following this admission, Huntley, amongst others,

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is now under suspicion.

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Although media depictions of murder

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tend to concentrate upon unknown assailants,

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actually what we know is that most homicides happen

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between people who know each other.

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That structures the way the police approach them.

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And in the Soham case, Huntley certainly fitted that description

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and will probably have come in quite early as a possible suspect,

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even though there wasn't anything necessarily pointing to him being a prime suspect at that point.

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But the police have a problem. Huntley has been given an alibi

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by his girlfriend, Maxine Carr.

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I was in the back at the time and like I said to everybody else,

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if I'd been downstairs, I'd probably have been talking to them outside,

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asking them where they were going, what they were doing.

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The impact of the disappearance of Holly and Jessica

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spreads beyond the local community and provokes a national response.

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You are talking about thousands of bits of information coming in

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every day for the first few days.

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I've worked with murder squads where this has happened.

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The atmosphere is really quite difficult

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because you can feel the public pressure upon you.

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You know people are watching

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and that if you get this wrong, there are going to be serious repercussions.

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12 days after the girls' disappearance,

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new information reveals Jessica's mobile phone

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had been switched off inside Huntley's home.

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Huntley and Maxine Carr agreed to the search of their home

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and the college where Huntley works. There,

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in the very building the girls' parents appealed for help,

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police make a discovery that changes the course of the investigation.

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Holly and Jessica's clothing had been found in the hangar in the college grounds.

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Their net is closing in on Huntley and within hours,

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all hope in Soham is lost as the girls' bodies are discovered,

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buried a few miles away.

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Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr are arrested

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on suspicion of murder.

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And Soham begins to mourn.

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On the 17th December, 2003, after a six-week trial,

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Ian Huntley was found guilty of the murder of Holly and Jessica,

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and Maxine Carr, guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

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But what the jury was never told

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was that Ian Huntley had previously been involved

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in a number of sexual allegations, many with underage girls

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in his hometown of Grimsby.

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Humberside Police had investigated a series of incidents,

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including burglary, but this information

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wasn't kept on their systems.

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So when Soham Village College did a police check on Huntley,

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at the time of his appointment, it came back with an all-clear.

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People are dismayed, hearing that a man with that sort of background

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was put in a position of trust,

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by me, and was...mixing with our children.

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I couldn't express just how dismayed,

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I feel physically sick, actually,

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to think that was the background of a man that was appointed here.

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That vital information wasn't even available to the police

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investigating the disappearance of the girls.

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When I went to the scene,

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what struck me was how close his house was to where the victims were last seen.

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I know that the officers engaged on this inquiry

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think that was a real mistake, that they missed the fact

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that here we had an individual who was in the vicinity,

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known to the victims and he wasn't identified as a prime suspect

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as soon as he should have been.

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Humberside Police defended their actions by saying

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they had destroyed information about previous allegations

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to comply with the Data Protection Act.

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Certainly, I am sorry

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that the force had weaknesses in its systems.

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I am sorry there were individual failings.

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However, the fact remains that there was nothing on the system

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and there was nothing on the system

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due to an honest...an honest and forthright attempt

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to be compliant with the Data Protection Act.

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I know there's been some research that's looked

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at how different individual forces apply the Data Protection Act

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and they develop very different standards,

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but nevertheless the Data Protection Act is quite clear

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that the police can hold this sort of information and can share it.

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The things that were going on in Humberside, I think it's widely agreed, should not have happened.

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A year after the girls' death,

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Lord Bichard led an inquiry, investigating the failure

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to share information between forces.

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I have discovered errors, omissions, failures and shortcomings

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which are deeply shocking

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and which meant, for example, there was not one single occasion,

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in all of the contacts with Huntley,

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including eight sexual offence allegations notified to Humberside Police,

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when the records systems worked properly.

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Amongst 31 other recommendations,

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Lord Bichard proposed the urgent introduction

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of a national police intelligence system.

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Previously, police had to request information from other forces.

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But in June 2011, the Police National Database was launched,

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allowing the sharing of information between all forces automatically.

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In the history of policing, significant change has often happened following crises.

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And that's what happened with the Soham investigation.

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Things went wrong.

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They went badly wrong and they went publicly wrong.

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But as a result of that, it made the police change, adapt and improve.

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So whilst no-one wants these kind of circumstances to arise,

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in some ways there is some good that comes out of them

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because hopefully you can stop it happening again.

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Ten years on, police intelligence is much better co-ordinated

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as we've seen from Kay Wallace and her team

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in the West Midlands Child Protection Squad.

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Their first raid failed to catch the suspect but the hunt goes on.

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Detective Inspector Kay Wallace and her team are following up

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intelligence in the hunt for internet evidence of child sexual abuse.

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They're on their way to a second address

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for the man they were looking for earlier.

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It's slightly later in the morning now

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so it's possible he may not be at the address

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but we've got a warrant so we can still conduct a thorough search

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of the premises and get the evidence we need.

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The time of day dictates the way this raid is handled.

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First, two plain clothes officers knock on the door...

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KNOCK ON DOOR

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When there's no reply, they force an entry.

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OK.

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Police!

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POLICE SHOUT

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The forensics officers are searching for anything

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that could give them evidence of online child abuse.

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A laptop that they already believe contains indecent images of children

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is taken away for further investigation.

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20 years ago, evidence gathering of this sort didn't exist.

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Soon into the search, the man they're looking for arrives home.

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We've executed a search warrant at the address.

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We're investigating an offence that's taken place on the internet.

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As a result, we'll arrest you on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

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You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence

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if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court.

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Anything you do say may be given in evidence, all right?

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Grab a seat for a second.

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If he does have indecent images, he won't have a chance

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to destroy any evidence or to warn anyone else

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that he may have been swapping them with.

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That's a good result so far.

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This man is in his early 20s, one of the internet generation.

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Social networking, using sites to communicate

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with your best friends, your friends across the world,

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is now second-nature to most people,

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whereas certainly five years ago, I would say it wasn't.

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The internet has allowed now, a community to develop

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whereas many years ago, it would be people who live locally,

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people who are able to meet, people who are able to share -

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I hand you something, you hand me something.

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Now, we can share across the world and paedophiles do.

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Our experience has shown individuals who distribute and possess images,

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it's a currency. It's really important that I can have that image

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that's out there and therefore I'll do anything to get it,

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which, if it means taking indecent images of my own child

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or of my neighbour's child or a child I've groomed, then I will do that,

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in order to get that golden nugget.

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It could take months to get to the bottom of the case they're working on today,

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sifting through every piece of evidence they've uncovered.

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The difficult job of keeping children safe goes on.

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If everybody who was a paedophile had it stamped across their head,

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that would make my job so much easier. I guarantee you,

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there'll be people in your life, in my life, who are paedophiles,

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who we have no knowledge of, we don't know.

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That's why I do the job I do, because I'm very passionate about the fact

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people who possess images, distribute images,

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actually are fuelling the abuse of children

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which is totally, totally abhorrent.

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Now, if a man can't read or write,

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what chance has he got of holding down a job

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or even applying for one in the first place?

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In Bristol, teaching literacy is a big thing

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and there's special help for inmates with dyslexia -

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what would have been called "word blindness" 60 years ago.

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-Michala.

-Hello.

-How are you doing? I'm Gethin.

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-Hi, pleased to meet you.

-Nice to meet you.

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-I hear you're in charge of this unit.

-I am, yes.

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Maybe you can tell me what kind of things you do here, what goes on.

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Basically we take prisoners who've been identified

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at initial assessment as having dyslexia or a possibility

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of having dyslexia, and they come and join part of the dyslexia support project with us,

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where they work one-to-one with a volunteer

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on a development software programme we have.

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We see them each week and help them improve their literacy.

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And we help them work against the difficulties dyslexia causes them.

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Is it a common problem in prisoners,

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and indeed in the population of the UK, dyslexia?

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It is common. Statistically, in society it's supposed to be

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one in ten. In the prison population, that rises.

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80% of adult prisoners are said to have dyslexia

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-and 60% of young adult prisoners.

-I can see two guys hard at work here.

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-Yes, they are.

-Can I have a chat with them?

-Please do.

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Move over here to...

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-How are you doing?

-Pleased to meet you.

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-And you must be Graham?

-Graham, pleased to meet you.

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Good stuff. Tell me, what kind of stuff do you do here?

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Basically, they help you to learn and read and write.

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As we've got problems with reading and writing,

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this is one of the best places to come to.

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Before I come here, I didn't know how to read or write properly.

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-At all?

-At all.

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This is the first place I've ever read a book in my whole life.

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-Really?

-Yeah.

-When was that, when did you pick up your first book?

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It was in...er, December.

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And why, what made you?

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It's a funny story, my cellmate blew our telly

0:21:070:21:09

and we had no telly for the night.

0:21:090:21:12

And just to pass the boredom, he gave me a book to read.

0:21:120:21:16

Once I started getting into it, I thought, "Yeah".

0:21:160:21:19

He was beside me and he helped me get through it.

0:21:190:21:22

Picked up the next book, then the next book and before I knew it, I'm just read...

0:21:220:21:27

-I've read five books already.

-Really?

0:21:270:21:29

It passes the time, it exercises my brain as well.

0:21:290:21:33

I find it really good just to read, to sit and read.

0:21:330:21:37

And when the time does pass and you're back in the real world,

0:21:370:21:41

what difference do you think it will make to your life?

0:21:410:21:43

It will make a hell of a lot.

0:21:430:21:46

Now, I can sit down with my children, sit them on my lap and read to them,

0:21:460:21:51

where before, I couldn't even do that.

0:21:510:21:53

That's one of the achievements I want to get out of here,

0:21:530:21:57

is to go...I can go and get a job, fill in the application form,

0:21:570:22:01

without even panicking.

0:22:010:22:04

You must have had trouble doing that...

0:22:040:22:06

That was one of my things where I couldn't get a job

0:22:060:22:09

because I was so nervous going in there,

0:22:090:22:11

filling out an application form and getting it wrong, so to speak.

0:22:110:22:16

Then handing it over and you've just filled in a load of things they don't understand.

0:22:160:22:20

-Sure.

-So coming to this place, it's really helped me a lot.

0:22:200:22:25

I've jumped leaps and bounds, which I feel inside myself.

0:22:250:22:30

Before, I don't think I'd ever done it.

0:22:300:22:34

That's great news. I can see you're in the middle of things

0:22:340:22:37

-so I'll let you get back to your work. Nice to meet you, the very best of luck with it.

-Brilliant.

0:22:370:22:42

Today we've been watching women in action in the prisons and police.

0:22:460:22:49

In 2012, they compete

0:22:490:22:50

on an equal basis with the men but it wasn't always so.

0:22:500:22:54

Policewomen in the '50s and '60s had to fight to be taken seriously.

0:22:540:22:59

In the 1950s,

0:22:590:23:00

women joined the entirely separate Women's Police Service.

0:23:000:23:05

They dealt with all cases involving women and children

0:23:050:23:09

and were kept away from most of the duties carried out by the men.

0:23:090:23:12

But despite being considered unsuitable

0:23:120:23:15

for the rigours of the beat,

0:23:150:23:17

they had to tackle sex offenders - sometimes quite literally!

0:23:170:23:21

The sergeant told me

0:23:210:23:22

that that night I was going to do observations for a flasher.

0:23:220:23:25

I didn't know what a flasher was!

0:23:250:23:27

If a sex crime came in, or a prisoner arrested for a sex crime,

0:23:270:23:32

the cry would go up, "Send for a policewoman!"

0:23:320:23:34

As I walked past, his mac flew open

0:23:340:23:36

and there was this thing bathed in the light.

0:23:360:23:39

And I was so incensed that he would have the gall

0:23:390:23:43

to expose himself to me, I pulled out my whistle and instead of blowing it,

0:23:430:23:47

I went to hit his willy with this thing and it missed!

0:23:470:23:50

And the chain wrapped itself round his willy. I pulled,

0:23:500:23:53

thinking, "Argh, my whistle!"

0:23:530:23:55

All I could think about was getting my whistle back - it was my first day on duty

0:23:550:23:59

and if I lost my whistle, I would lose my job!

0:23:590:24:02

So why would they want to take on such a challenging career?

0:24:020:24:05

Once you get into the police force, it's like a large family.

0:24:050:24:08

I just got, you know, hooked up in it

0:24:080:24:13

and stayed on and on and on.

0:24:130:24:15

My husband was a student, we had no money.

0:24:150:24:17

We had our jeans stolen from the washing line.

0:24:170:24:19

A very nice sergeant came round to see me

0:24:190:24:22

and he said, "Why don't you join the police?"

0:24:220:24:25

So I say, I joined to catch the so-and-sos that stole my jeans.

0:24:250:24:29

My grandfather was a police officer from 1930,

0:24:290:24:33

in Oxford City. My father also joined the police after the Second World War.

0:24:330:24:39

I didn't really consider anything other than the police.

0:24:390:24:42

I actually believed the blurb that came from the Met Police

0:24:420:24:46

about it was an equal opportunities employer.

0:24:460:24:49

It sounded like a good career.

0:24:490:24:52

But the reality wasn't always what they expected.

0:24:520:24:55

In 1963, there was still an awful lot of prejudice really.

0:24:550:25:00

We were tea-makers, we were just women.

0:25:000:25:03

Some officers would creep up behind you

0:25:030:25:05

and try and undo your bra strap.

0:25:050:25:09

You've not been initiated until you've been turned upside down

0:25:090:25:12

and had the station stamp on your bottom.

0:25:120:25:15

I walked into the front office at Notting Hill.

0:25:150:25:17

I was pounced upon, grabbed, taken into what was called the reserve room

0:25:170:25:21

and they actually pulled down my waistband

0:25:210:25:23

and stamped the top of my bum with the station stamp.

0:25:230:25:27

I was furious.

0:25:270:25:28

Women police officers were issued with very different uniform and equipment from the men.

0:25:280:25:33

Collars and ties, all starched, uniforms pressed.

0:25:330:25:37

We used to wear nylons with seams up the back, seams straight.

0:25:370:25:41

When I joined the traffic department, I think we caused more accidents

0:25:410:25:45

than we actually stopped because the drivers would be going along

0:25:450:25:49

and seeing a pair of nylon-clad legs... They'd be all over the road.

0:25:490:25:55

I couldn't get over a wall

0:25:550:25:57

so I just hoicked my pencil skirt above my waist.

0:25:570:26:00

I think the PC's eyes were popping out

0:26:000:26:03

but I didn't have stockings and suspenders on.

0:26:030:26:05

I was a modern woman with tights.

0:26:050:26:07

We were issued with a cape and it was just so comfortable.

0:26:070:26:12

If there's any senior officers watching,

0:26:120:26:15

they'll probably be cross but my friend and I used to hide our shopping under it!

0:26:150:26:20

The men had truncheons that were about that long

0:26:200:26:23

and the women were...I don't know whether we were issued

0:26:230:26:27

or we all managed to get hold of a truncheon that was that big

0:26:270:26:30

and would fit into a handbag.

0:26:300:26:32

By the time you'd fished everything out of your bag, that was no use whatsoever.

0:26:320:26:36

I didn't have a radio, we used to have to go to a police box

0:26:360:26:39

if we'd arrested anybody,

0:26:390:26:41

and telephone to ask for some transport.

0:26:410:26:45

Or we had to walk them into the police station.

0:26:450:26:49

So we had no protection whatsoever really.

0:26:490:26:52

You just had to use your wits and your charm.

0:26:520:26:56

And sometimes that wit and charm was more effective than brute force.

0:26:560:27:01

There was a load of rockers, in the days of mods and rockers,

0:27:010:27:05

on their motorbikes, making a tremendous noise

0:27:050:27:08

outside a pub at the bottom of the town.

0:27:080:27:11

Being a female and not wanting to get into a fight,

0:27:110:27:14

I just stood and said in a really loud voice,

0:27:140:27:17

"Just what...do you think...you are doing?"

0:27:170:27:21

I spoke to these boys, I said, "We've had a complaint about you,

0:27:210:27:25

"I wonder if you'd mind moving off and doing it one by one

0:27:250:27:28

"so as not to cause a lot of noise?"

0:27:280:27:30

And they were as good as gold!

0:27:300:27:33

So they got up sheepishly and said, "Sorry, Miss."

0:27:330:27:36

I said, "How dare you fight in the streets of Wakefield!"

0:27:360:27:40

Ten minutes later, the big blue personnel van,

0:27:400:27:43

with half a dozen policemen, came down, "Where are they?"

0:27:430:27:46

I said, "They've gone."

0:27:460:27:49

Not only were female officers assigned to different areas of policing,

0:27:490:27:53

they didn't have the same pay or opportunities for promotion.

0:27:530:27:57

As women officers, we only got 95% of the pay.

0:27:570:28:01

As I said, when I joined, I was married.

0:28:010:28:04

I expected to get rent allowance as the married male officers got,

0:28:040:28:08

but I was told, "Oh no, you're a woman, you don't get that."

0:28:080:28:11

When I took my inspector's examination,

0:28:110:28:15

I came top in the force.

0:28:150:28:17

When the chief constable got the report from the police college,

0:28:170:28:21

he said to me, "Have you written this yourself?"

0:28:210:28:25

I asked the chief constable if there was any chance of getting back as a sergeant into CID.

0:28:250:28:29

And he said, "Not in the foreseeable future, Miss Normington."

0:28:290:28:33

So I saw an advert for people for the Hong Kong police

0:28:330:28:37

which was offering equal opportunities for women,

0:28:370:28:41

and decided to apply.

0:28:410:28:43

I definitely hit the glass ceiling. Women of my generation

0:28:430:28:48

cracked the glass ceiling so that women later could go through it.

0:28:480:28:52

In 1974, the Equal Opportunities Act meant women were integrated

0:28:520:28:57

into the main police force, getting equal pay

0:28:570:29:00

and taking on the same duties as men.

0:29:000:29:02

But that meant potentially more dangerous operations.

0:29:020:29:06

-I could see his shadow move back and say,

-"BLEEP,

-is this a woman?"

0:29:070:29:11

At that point, I'd got the gun in my back and then I felt...

0:29:110:29:16

Saw the shadow go, and I can remember thinking, "He's hesitated."

0:29:160:29:22

I uncurled myself and ran up the road in a pair of heels.

0:29:220:29:25

He must have lifted up the gun and fired it at me

0:29:250:29:28

cos I felt this thing go through my head. I can remember at the time,

0:29:280:29:32

it was like slow motion. I can remember running and thinking,

0:29:320:29:37

"If I'd been taking off on that run instead of landing,

0:29:370:29:40

"that would have got me in the back of my head."

0:29:400:29:43

All these miners came out with big batons.

0:29:430:29:45

And they'd got these steel toecaps on and they were angry,

0:29:450:29:49

boy, were they angry!

0:29:490:29:50

They were slapping these batons on...

0:29:500:29:52

I said to Pam, "We've had it."

0:29:520:29:54

They took one look at us and all they saw was a uniform,

0:29:540:29:58

they didn't see a woman, they saw a uniform.

0:29:580:30:00

We used to work on roughly the top 2% of criminals in the UK.

0:30:000:30:04

That could be anything from IRA terrorists

0:30:040:30:08

to international drug dealers, to armed bank robbers.

0:30:080:30:12

In the early days, there was little support following traumatic incidents.

0:30:120:30:17

There were times when I would like to have had

0:30:180:30:22

somebody's arms around me to just say, "There, there."

0:30:220:30:25

But there wasn't anybody, so you got on with it.

0:30:250:30:28

If you went to a fatal accident, you'd all get back to the station,

0:30:280:30:32

and all the policemen would be laughing and joking.

0:30:320:30:35

Not because they didn't feel anything,

0:30:350:30:38

they had to do something to relieve the stress.

0:30:380:30:40

If they took the things they'd seen to heart, it would drive them mad.

0:30:400:30:45

Policemen are not hard, they're just experts in covering their feelings up, as are policewomen.

0:30:450:30:52

Women joining the police force in the last 50 years

0:30:520:30:56

have had to be pioneers, fighting for equality,

0:30:560:30:58

for opportunity and change.

0:30:580:31:01

So, has it been worth it?

0:31:010:31:03

I've no regrets, no regrets at all.

0:31:030:31:06

It's a very rewarding and satisfying job, and I'm proud of it.

0:31:060:31:11

It was the best day's job I did, on the 5th April 1955,

0:31:110:31:16

when I signed up to join the police force.

0:31:160:31:19

They said, "You'll change." I said, "No, I shan't change,

0:31:190:31:22

"I'll change the police force."

0:31:220:31:25

I'm here in the custody suite at Birmingham Central Police Station.

0:31:290:31:33

It is a working custody suite so it can be noisy. Brian, you're in charge.

0:31:330:31:36

I wanted to talk to you about being a black police officer.

0:31:360:31:39

-You've been working for 24 years, haven't you?

-Yes.

0:31:390:31:42

How were things back then?

0:31:420:31:44

Well...

0:31:440:31:46

As I say, I joined at a time when there was approximately

0:31:460:31:51

250 non-white police officers in the West Midlands police force.

0:31:510:31:54

Er...if you fast-forward to today,

0:31:540:31:58

there's now 660 police officers.

0:31:580:32:01

-What sort of percentage is that now of police officers?

-8%, roughly.

0:32:010:32:04

-So still not an enormous amount, is it?

-No, no.

0:32:040:32:07

There's about 7,800 police officers.

0:32:070:32:11

And of those, 660 are non-white.

0:32:110:32:13

I wanted to talk to you about attitude as well.

0:32:130:32:16

When you joined, what was the reaction you got from people?

0:32:160:32:19

I was a novelty. You didn't see many non-white police officers.

0:32:190:32:24

Both from police officers and members of the public.

0:32:240:32:28

When I was out on patrol, you'd get a lot of people rubbernecking.

0:32:280:32:31

Didn't cause any accidents or anything like that!

0:32:310:32:34

But people would stand and stare and think, "How odd's that?"

0:32:340:32:38

That was from the non-white community as well.

0:32:380:32:41

Some people would call you "Bounty" - coconut, white on the inside, black on the outside.

0:32:410:32:47

-That's how they would see it.

-That's from your own community.

-Yes, your own community.

0:32:470:32:52

What about police officers? On your first day, what was it like?

0:32:520:32:55

The first day was quite eventful.

0:32:550:32:57

We got turned out to a car chase, drove round a corner,

0:32:570:33:02

there was the bandit vehicle, the stolen...

0:33:020:33:06

The offenders jumped out of the car and ran off.

0:33:060:33:09

-And you being...

-Me being 11 stone, fit, straight out of training school,

0:33:090:33:14

left all the old guys behind.

0:33:140:33:16

Several garden fences later, apprehended the chap,

0:33:160:33:20

didn't know what I was doing, my first arrest,

0:33:200:33:22

my first day, screaming for Derek, my tutor constable.

0:33:220:33:26

He eventually comes over the fences, huffing and puffing.

0:33:260:33:29

And so I was accepted straight away.

0:33:290:33:32

You ended up in somebody's garden. How did the house owner react?

0:33:320:33:35

She started screaming, she opened the window,

0:33:350:33:38

-only to be confronted by me...

-A police officer.

0:33:380:33:42

A police officer, my big face at the window shouting, "Open the door!"

0:33:420:33:45

cos I wanted to take this prisoner through her house.

0:33:450:33:48

She closed the curtains, screaming.

0:33:480:33:50

I'm shouting, screaming for Derek.

0:33:500:33:52

The prisoner's screaming. Derek's thinking I'm getting a kicking.

0:33:520:33:56

He comes over the fence, I'm like, "I've got him, what do I do now?"

0:33:560:33:59

She was scared because of the way you looked?

0:33:590:34:02

Six foot two, black guy, I don't think she saw the uniform at all.

0:34:020:34:06

And she, you know, scary...

0:34:060:34:09

So that's the attitude back then. Are things better now?

0:34:090:34:12

Things are a hell of a lot better. We have a lot of diversity training,

0:34:120:34:16

so people know what's acceptable and what's not acceptable.

0:34:160:34:20

But it's obvious that you deal with a lot of that, or probably have done over the years, with humour.

0:34:200:34:25

That's it. Some of it I laugh off because it is funny.

0:34:250:34:29

Others, I say, "No, that's not acceptable."

0:34:290:34:32

-I put a stop to it straight away.

-It's been a pleasure to meet you.

0:34:320:34:35

-Thank you.

-I know you're busy, somebody needs your assistance. See you later.

-Bye bye.

0:34:350:34:39

There are almost 2,500 women officers in West Midlands Police,

0:34:470:34:52

just under a third of the workforce.

0:34:520:34:54

They work alongside the men in every role.

0:34:540:34:57

Armed police! Drop the weapon!

0:34:590:35:03

When you grow up, you see roles that are for females and roles that are for males.

0:35:030:35:08

And having a gun, a weapon, you might think that's a man's job.

0:35:080:35:11

That's where I saw it,

0:35:110:35:13

until I came down here and had a look and had a go,

0:35:130:35:16

and actually thought, "You know, I'm quite excited about this.

0:35:160:35:20

"I'm going to give this a go."

0:35:200:35:21

Yes, I'm a woman. Yes, I might be quite small.

0:35:240:35:27

but my communication skills and the way I put myself and express myself,

0:35:270:35:31

makes them understand that I won't take any messing about.

0:35:310:35:35

But it wasn't always so.

0:35:350:35:37

There weren't any female police officers

0:35:400:35:42

until the Women's Police Force was founded in 1914.

0:35:420:35:46

And they were only volunteers.

0:35:460:35:49

However, it was a long journey. Only in 1995

0:35:490:35:53

did Britain get its first woman Chief Constable, Pauline Clare.

0:35:530:35:58

But today, there's no reason why any woman police officer

0:35:590:36:03

shouldn't aim high.

0:36:030:36:05

Sergeant Helen Carver joined the force at 23.

0:36:050:36:08

I was nine years old when I first wanted to be a police officer.

0:36:100:36:13

School fete, there was a police officer.

0:36:130:36:15

That's all I've wanted to do since.

0:36:150:36:17

Everything from then has been geared toward

0:36:170:36:19

I could gain skills to be a really good police officer.

0:36:190:36:22

She specialised in working with persistent offenders.

0:36:220:36:25

Today, she's leading a team of court warrant officers,

0:36:250:36:28

rounding up those who've breached their court orders

0:36:280:36:32

to get them back in the dock.

0:36:320:36:34

The young lady we're hoping to speak to today

0:36:340:36:37

has never attended the attendance centre.

0:36:370:36:39

She's not even made an effort to contact them to explain why she's never attended.

0:36:390:36:43

Therefore, it's important for us all to work together

0:36:430:36:46

and ensure we bring this lady before the courts

0:36:460:36:49

to explain exactly why she has chosen to ignore her court order.

0:36:490:36:54

The father of the 19-year-old woman they're after answers the door.

0:36:560:37:00

Hello, sorry to trouble you, can we come in for a moment? We need to have a quick chat...

0:37:000:37:04

-BLEEP BLEEP.

-What about her? She's pregnant.

0:37:040:37:07

-There's nothing wrong with her.

-We need a chat with her.

0:37:070:37:10

-She's wanted on a warrant for breaching a community order.

-You're joking! She's pregnant!

0:37:100:37:15

Can we come in, just have a chat with her?

0:37:150:37:17

The woman claims because she's pregnant,

0:37:170:37:20

she was too ill to attend probation on the allotted date.

0:37:200:37:23

But that doesn't stop them taking her in now.

0:37:230:37:26

Put some clothes on, we'll take you to court.

0:37:260:37:28

And we'll get you sorted out.

0:37:280:37:30

Other than it being outstanding, you'll have the worry of it.

0:37:300:37:34

-How long am I going to be?

-How long's a piece of string?

0:37:340:37:37

I don't know, mate.

0:37:370:37:38

It doesn't matter how much she complains,

0:37:380:37:41

there's no way out.

0:37:410:37:43

Have you got any drugs or alcohol issues we need to know about?

0:37:460:37:50

-No, no, no.

-OK then, in you get.

0:37:500:37:52

It's going to be 15 minutes into town

0:37:520:37:54

and we'll get you into the cells there.

0:37:540:37:56

She was a bit angry that it was early in the morning we'd come

0:38:020:38:07

but she was fully aware of why we'd come to get her, of the community order,

0:38:070:38:10

aware that she had breached it and then she'll be placed in the cells

0:38:100:38:14

and she'll go before a magistrate at some point this morning.

0:38:140:38:17

-Good morning.

-Morning.

0:38:170:38:19

A successful day for Sergeant Carver and her team.

0:38:190:38:23

My role's always been front line,

0:38:230:38:25

I've never felt it be any different.

0:38:250:38:28

I'm sure 30 years ago, that would be very different

0:38:280:38:31

and women in policing wouldn't be on the front line,

0:38:310:38:34

they'd be very much in a male-dominated workforce.

0:38:340:38:38

However, now we're on the front line, we do exactly the same role,

0:38:380:38:42

same job as our male colleagues

0:38:420:38:44

and there's no difference at all. Male or female, we do the same role.

0:38:440:38:48

Louise Proffitt's role is very much front line.

0:38:490:38:52

Even in the army, armed women still don't go into active combat duty.

0:38:520:38:57

Louise is one of only five women in West Mids Police Firearms Unit.

0:38:570:39:01

I don't understand why there aren't the females on this department.

0:39:010:39:04

There's currently six females

0:39:040:39:07

out of 130-plus officers.

0:39:070:39:11

I've not come across anything yet I can't do that I've been asked to do.

0:39:120:39:16

There's only your own personal bridges that you have to cross.

0:39:160:39:19

I started my courses on the Firearms Department with a number of males.

0:39:190:39:23

And they're not here today because they haven't passed the courses,

0:39:230:39:27

met the marks that are required of them.

0:39:270:39:30

So it's not a job that females can't do.

0:39:300:39:31

And year by year, the percentage of women joining West Mids Police

0:39:330:39:37

continues to increase.

0:39:370:39:39

60 years ago, the best a victim could hope for

0:39:430:39:45

was a nice cup of tea and maybe the neighbours rallying around.

0:39:450:39:48

Now, prisons try very hard to make the inmates aware

0:39:480:39:53

of the victim's point of view, as Louise discovered.

0:39:530:39:56

Hi, sorry to interrupt.

0:39:580:39:59

-Hello there, I'm Louise.

-Hello, I'm Vince.

0:39:590:40:02

Thanks for seeing us.

0:40:020:40:03

Tell us what you've been talking about here today.

0:40:030:40:06

Today, with Ashton and Mark, we're talking about the ripple effect

0:40:060:40:11

which is the continuing consequences of an offence

0:40:110:40:17

on other people - families, friends

0:40:170:40:21

and society in general.

0:40:210:40:22

-Can I talk to them, is that OK to interrupt you?

-Yes, please do.

0:40:220:40:25

Hi, thanks for talking to me. The ripple effect, what does it mean for you?

0:40:250:40:29

What have you been thinking about?

0:40:290:40:32

In terms of myself, it's my actual crime.

0:40:320:40:35

And then the impact it's had on my family, victims,

0:40:350:40:39

the wider community.

0:40:390:40:41

And what kind of impact has it had?

0:40:410:40:42

Er...

0:40:420:40:44

It's a little bit different for me. I'm in the classroom

0:40:440:40:47

because I'm here for supplying cannabis.

0:40:470:40:49

I've had to...I've struggled slightly in finding a victim...

0:40:490:40:53

But you mention your family, you've got lots of children, haven't you, so...

0:40:530:40:57

I've got quite a large family and they're affected in a big way.

0:40:570:41:00

And there are issues that we're working through now

0:41:000:41:04

with the wider community, with regards to that.

0:41:040:41:07

What about the impact on your children? How does it affect them?

0:41:070:41:10

They're lonely, they're missing their dad,

0:41:110:41:14

there's been some shame with regards to my partner at the school,

0:41:140:41:18

and they've had issues in school as well

0:41:180:41:20

so that's obviously something I feel bad about.

0:41:200:41:24

So it's really obvious this course is making you both think

0:41:240:41:27

but Ashton, will it stop you,

0:41:270:41:29

will it stop the way of life you had before you came in here?

0:41:290:41:32

Well, I would say, the course...

0:41:320:41:35

Stopping you committing crime is within yourself.

0:41:360:41:39

These courses enlighten you to what you are doing wrong.

0:41:390:41:42

But me personally, I've stopped doing crime.

0:41:430:41:47

I want more out of my life than this.

0:41:470:41:50

This, there's only so much it can offer you

0:41:500:41:52

and I want to proceed in my life. I'm only young, I'm 23.

0:41:520:41:56

I don't want to be doing this for the rest of my life.

0:41:560:41:59

I've seen older people in the system,

0:41:590:42:01

doing it for years and years and years.

0:42:010:42:03

So I'm trying to take the most I can from this

0:42:030:42:06

-and use it in a good way.

-OK, and what about you, Mark?

0:42:060:42:10

Yeah, basically the same thing.

0:42:100:42:12

I'm missing my family, I've got young children.

0:42:120:42:14

I don't want to be coming to prison again.

0:42:140:42:17

I'm hoping I can take something from this course myself

0:42:170:42:19

that's going to make sure I don't.

0:42:190:42:21

Thanks for talking to us and being honest as well

0:42:210:42:25

-about what you feel. Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:42:250:42:28

And that's it for Crime And Punishment.

0:42:310:42:33

There's only one thing left to say.

0:42:330:42:35

In the immortal words of George Dixon, Dixon Of Dock Green,

0:42:350:42:38

mind how you go.

0:42:380:42:40

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:460:42:49

A look at crime and punishment in modern Britain. Louise Minchin is at Birmingham City Centre Police HQ and Gethin Jones is behind the bars of Bristol Prison. In this diamond jubilee year, they chart the changes in crime, criminals, police and prisons over the last 60 years. They revisit dramatic landmark cases and present hard-hitting real life stories from the city streets and prison life today.


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