Documentary. A routine check on a motorbike on a busy street in Luton turns into a bloody fight for survival when the traffic cops are attacked by the rider.
Browse content similar to In the Line of Duty. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This programme contains strong language and scenes which some viewers may find upsetting.
Each day, the police face the deadly...
-We were targeted by a high-powered laser.
-Oh, dear. How old are you?
-Disgraceful, mate, come and take a seat in the back.
-Spit it out!
Is it your birthday today? All right. Happy birthday.
And the most horrific situations.
When you see not only a colleague but your mate being dragged around the floor bleeding...
Chris, talk to us. THEY TALK OVER EACH OTHER
'..you've got to do something.'
With its airport and the M1 motorway on its doorstep,
Luton is one of the most well-connected towns in Britain.
To help keep tabs on people who are constantly on the move, Bedfordshire
and Hertfordshire's Traffic Cops have turned to ANPR technology,
Automatic Number Plate Recognition.
PCs Tim Smart and Chris Thomas are part of a special three-car,
five-man and one-woman team, whose job it is to catch criminals.
A man on a scooter is making a run from one of the team.
-RADIO CHATTER, SIREN BLARES
Tim and Chris intend to head him off, if they can get there in time.
We heard that it's a moped with one rider on it
and they tried to stop and it had obviously failed to stop.
You could hear the sirens going in the background.
The way the rider is not stopping suggests the moped
might be stolen at least.
We asked for a helicopter, because the ideal situation
is for a helicopter to come and take over on a pursuit on a bike, cos
it's safer and because nine times out of ten, they won't get away.
RADIO: One rider, black helmet with a NITRO sign on the side.
Black hooded top, blue jeans, black boots...
20 miles an hour, now approaching the junction,
wrong side of the road.
Tim and Chris are on target to intercept the runaway bike,
but there's a problem.
'When we got to Croydon Road roundabout,
'the bike was effectively coming towards us.
'My idea was to stop all the traffic at the bottom,
'block it off and then if the bike came down there
'he wouldn't come straight into a flow of traffic.
'And potentially I could move off and try and direct him
'away from the town centre.'
The issue was the bus and he was just sat there looking at me.
-Go! Go, bus, go!
The frustration is you know what you want them to do,
but you can't get across your point.
'They come into the roundabout,
'there could have been quite a bad collision.'
So right, right, Crescent Road, Crescent Road.
'But as the bus started to move then the bike took a different direction.'
Thanks to the bus, Tim and Chris are a fraction too late.
'We turned into Crescent Road just as the pursuit was coming to an end.
'The bike was on the pavement and the traffic car on the pavement,
'he sort of went up in the air a little bit, off the bike
'and it was low speed, nearly stopping.'
Whether he thinks he's going to try and avoid the police car
coming towards him by riding down the pavement the wrong way
as he's clipped that kerb coming up, the moped has fallen
and as the moped has come off, Mick has just made contact with...
with the moped.
It may not have been the textbook way of stopping the bike.
33, vehicle stopped, one in custody.
But the outcome nevertheless is perfect.
One rider under arrest and no damage or injuries to report.
You could see that he was shaken, and was a bit, well,
"I don't know what's actually going on now, I don't know what I've done."
The cops have no idea why the lad chose not to stop,
but he's being arrested anyway.
-Anything you do say may be given in evidence, do you understand?
I've initially arrested him on suspicion of aggravated
vehicle taking and because the bike was registered to somebody else.
But there may be something far more serious afoot.
-Have you got anything on you you shouldn't have?
Everything's in my moped seat.
Something hidden in the bike, perhaps.
And then he said my gear is in the bike. So we're thinking, happy days.
What's he got on the bike?
We have it before where we've stopped a moped
and there's been knives under the seat.
We've stopped them where there's been drugs under the seat.
But not this time.
We looked in the bike and there's his ID and stuff
and he just said he'd failed to stop cos he had no tax.
All of this for tax.
People do the silliest things. You know, he obviously panicked,
saw the police car behind him and didn't want to stop.
Didn't want to be in trouble for having no tax.
Um, and it was as simple as that.
-What's your name, fella?
To make matters worse, today is a special occasion for Mr Dill.
-Is it your birthday today?
All right, happy birthday.
It's not a happy birthday any more.
He's going to be spending the rest of it at Luton police station.
The police car was OK and there might have been a scuff mark
on the bumper, but there was no damage.
Chris got behind him off Ashcroft Road and he just
took off, failed to stop.
It wasn't excessive speed cos they don't go that fast, do they?
But he just failed to stop.
And once a marked car got behind him
we took over the initial pursuit and he just wouldn't stop.
Why? Apparently he's got no tax!
And we don't normally penalise people for tax,
we give them a £60 ticket for failing to display.
And it's his birthday. I've ruined his birthday.
To be fair, looking at the grand scheme of things what the
ANPR team are there to deal with he would actually have walked away with verbal advice.
Well, we're going to go now.
We'll push it this way so you can sting it if anything else comes in.
Policing on the front line, having direct contact with people and
tackling crime and disorder is the toughest job in the police force.
Traffic is still the ultimate frontline service.
You get the equipment,
the tools and the training to do the job in a very specialist way.
And Luton is one of the toughest places to police.
'When I started in the police I was offered the choice of where
'I wanted to start and I did choose Luton.
'Raised a few eyebrows of people thinking,
'"Why does he want to go to Luton?"
'But I've always been told it's one of the busiest places you can work.
'Two years in Luton is often like five years' experience somewhere else.'
After five years as a Response Officer in Luton, Ian knows
the place all too well and there isn't anything that happens
here that surprises him any more.
But that's about to change.
Ian is by a local fair, looking for some suspects involved in a robbery.
They think they're in there.
I've got Taser and we're obviously floating round the area
just in case we have any sightings.
We didn't know how many people were there,
we didn't know if any weapons had possibly been involved.
The two youngsters up ahead might be the ones he's looking for.
All right, guys. Just quickly, hang on. Come back this way.
-Where have you come from?
-Um, the fair.
-You've come from the fair. Right.
-No, we're going to the fair.
OK, because I'm taking your first answer, and there's been an incident down at the fair...
They just matched the description of possibly somebody that was involved in the robbery at the fair.
And a gentleman with a black cap and blue jeans has apparently been involved.
-That's a grey cap.
-Well, grey, black, either way. OK.
Not saying you're involved in it, but I'm saying because you match descriptions of people
that may have been involved I'm going to search you both. So anything on you
-that you shouldn't have at this moment in time?
-You've been smoking cannabis today?
-Has someone been round you smoking cannabis?
What are you doing with that little empty bag there then? Hm-hm.
Don't try and pull the wool over my eyes, mate.
Been doing this job a bit too long for stuff like that.
Keep your bag still. It's all right, I'll do it.
They're not the suspects from the fair, but Ian has found something.
-Some bags of cannabis.
-Right, so that's coming with me.
'Normally, if you stop someone and it's personal use they will have possibly one or two little bags that
'will be loose in their possession, possibly in their trousers.
'What he had was a little pouch
'and within that pouch was contained'
I think seven or eight deal bags.
Now I don't know whether or not that was full
when he left the house at the start of the day.
I don't know at what point I've stopped him walking down the street.
He could have been on the outskirts of the fair and he could have been doing that all day long.
The boy looks barely old enough to "peddle" a bicycle, let alone drugs.
-All right, how old are you?
Come and take a seat in the back of here. All right.
Jump in there, shuffle across to the other side, please.
It was one of the more shocking jobs. Not going to lie.
To get somebody of his age to have that bag of cannabis with all
the little deal bags inside it and he's heading towards the fair
and you put all the evidence together there and then and you
know for a fact he's going there and he's not going to be smoking it all
himself, he's going to be handing it over to whoever it's going to be.
You got anything on you you shouldn't have?
-Same question as before.
-Be honest with me.
I am being honest with you.
The other lad is clean,
but doesn't appear overly concerned about his mate.
He doesn't really understand what he's got himself involved in.
That's why his friend thought it was a big joke.
-Oh, shit. No way, man.
Oh, my days.
-Any of this yours?
-No, none of it's mine.
OK, you're good to do, all right. I'll have a chat with him.
Shuffle over to the other side for me, please, mate.
If the boy is a dealer, he's the youngest Ian's ever come across.
-You're 12 years old.
-That's not mine.
-That's not yours?
-Whose is that then?
-I'm just dropping it off to a friend.
-Who are you dropping it off to?
'The fair was on that day with an awful lot of people
'that are confined in one area.'
If his story was that he was taking it down there for a friend,
shall we say, then it was probably true.
If I seem hacked off, I am hacked off,
but there's a reason why I'm hacked off.
It's not because I think you're a bad person,
it's that I think at the age of 12 you should have enough about you to
know that carrying drugs is risky, cos you're going to get arrested.
Right or wrong?
I think the dealers would have had proper little runners out who were
going to sneak under the radar because the event was well policed.
And as a police officer, if you're down there,
if you see the usual suspects that you're coming across for drugs
offences, you're going to be stopping them and you're going to be
searching them, especially if you've got grounds to do so.
With 12-year-old lads, 13-year-old lads,
generally you'll be looking at them thinking, "Well, they're not
"going to be that daft, are they, to be carrying drugs around with them?"
But apparently - well, not so in this day and age.
If it's not for your mate and you are smoking it at the age of 12,
you really need to start looking at what you're doing.
When I started you were used to the criminal damages
and the graffiti and the other bits and pieces.
The drugs thing just seems to be now creeping in more and more at a younger age.
Having ensured the moped rider won't forget his birthday in a hurry,
the ANPR team are quickly back on the road.
All for no tax! What an idiot!
Tim and Chris are nearly always crewed together and are the best of mates.
See a lot of him in and out of work.
Speak to him a lot, see him probably more than I do my partner sometimes.
'Going to be his best man at some point soon.'
'Tim rubs off on everyone. It doesn't matter how bad a day you've had'
he'll just build you straight up
and you'll just end up coming out laughing.
Moments after ending up chasing one bike for no tax,
Tim's spotted another to try and stop.
Oh, that'll be a good one.
There doesn't seem to be an awful lot amiss with this one either.
He had a really small numberplate.
Started to have a look at it, got behind it
and then he just roared off.
He's not hanging around. Something is amiss.
SIREN BLARES Get a helicopter straightaway.
Lima 23, motorcycle making off.
Castle Street at speed. Get a helicopter, please?
How can that happen so quickly after the other one,
which is why I said to Chris, get the helicopter.
It was a powerful bike, cos he could have left us standing
if he wanted to, especially around the town.
But he hasn't and there's no need for the helicopter.
-The rider's pulled up at the lights.
-Oscar, Yankee, zero, seven, Charlie, Kilo, X-ray.
Mate, go down the right.
Charlie, Kilo, X-ray, got it stopped, Windsor Street.
Stinks of cannabis round here, don't it?
'Thought I could smell some cannabis outside but I didn't'
know whether it was from him or where it was coming from.
-Take your crash helmet off first.
-Is it yours?
-Yes, it is, sorry.
-Registered to you?
-Yes, it is, sir.
-What was that all about?
-Sorry, boss, I was quickly going home.
Idiot, man, I shouldn't have done it, man.
-You got a driving licence on you?
-I have, boss, yeah.
-Got an illegal numberplate.
I know that's what I'm going to change as well,
going to get that sorted on Monday.
Sorry man, you know what, boss, I'm an idiot,
I shouldn't have been speeding. I've got a full licence.
He held his hands up,
but there was still something in my mind that something wasn't right.
-What's your name?
-Oh, you used to have the little...
Tim has dealt with the man about his driving before.
Soon as he said who he was we recognised the name, both me and Chris straightaway.
Courtney, jump in the car for a minute, mate, please.
But it's the overwhelming smell that's concerning Tim.
The stink of cannabis from you is a lot.
No, I was just at my mate's house, he was smoking, I haven't got any.
-How do I get into your bike as well?
-I haven't got anything in there.
-How do I get into it?
-You can't get into it. I haven't got anything.
-Just one seat.
-Nothing. The seat doesn't come up?
'Searched him. Just found a cannabis grinder which is obviously where they grind'
down their cannabis in order to put it into their cigarettes.
Just turn round and face the car, please, buddy.
You know what, boss, I've run out of... I've run out of MOT.
Courtney, I'm not so sure the saddle doesn't come off this bike, cos it stinks.
Jump in the back for us. Where's your keys?
'Walked round the bike, put my nose against it
'and there was a real pungent smell of cannabis coming from the seat.
'And round the seat rim there were some marks, like screwdriver marks'
or key marks where he'd like tried to
force it open or levered it open before.
So I was convinced something was definitely in there.
Courtney, I don't want to break your bike
but I'm going to rip that big bit off in a minute.
How do I get it off? Stay in there, stay in there.
-Do you just pull it up?
-I can't, I can't. Seriously I can't.
-Put some cuffs on him.
-Oh, well, all right, all right...
I'm sorry, all right, I ain't going anywhere, man!
Give us your other hand now. No, give us your other hand.
-I'm not going anywhere.
-No, you're not, that's right.
-I'm not going anywhere!
-Get in there, get in!
GET DOWN, GET DOWN! 34, assistance!
34 assistance straightaway!
Chris is holding on to the man by the handcuff for dear life.
-Get up before I Taser you! Do you understand?!
Put your hand out! PUT YOUR HAND OUT NOW! PUT YOUR HAND OUT NOW!
GET ON THE FLOOR AND PUT YOUR HAND OUT NOW!
Right, hold on a second!
GET ON THE FLOOR!
DON'T YOU MOVE!
Stay there or I'll Taser you, do you understand?!
34, ETA, please?!
RADIO: We'll be with you in a couple of seconds.
Chris has been hurt badly.
When you want help it always feels like a long time, but it was a matter of minutes.
Luckily the police station is just around the corner
and help's already arrived.
'Best sound in the world of sirens pulling up.'
Get him cuffed, get his hand out, get his hand out!
Get his hand out now!
Get his hand out now. Get your hand out now!
-RELEASE YOUR HAND!
-Get your hand out now!
-Get your fucking hand out now!
Chris, you all right? Chris, you all right? Was it your mouth, your nose?
-HIS REPLY IS MUFFLED
-My head's banging.
Tim's own CS gas he managed to spray is badly affecting him.
I was in the cloud as well.
-My gas is somewhere.
-It's over there by your right foot.
Chris is unconscious, but not from the gas.
Chris, Chris. Chris, talk to me. Chris.
Lots of people have gathered to see just what's going on.
You see them get their phones out and start taking pictures
and filming you then it makes you angry sometimes, things like that.
But none have offered to help.
Be nice to have somebody come over and hold a leg or grab hold of somebody,
but I wouldn't expect somebody to come over and start helping me out
necessarily, especially I think the way society has gone nowadays.
I don't think people help each other, so why should they help a policeman?
-Chris, talk to me.
-Chris, mate, come on. Chris, mate, come on!
-Chris, talk to me, it's Smarty. Chris, talk to Smarty!
-Just keep talking, yeah.
He's bleeding severely from his nose and mouth.
Been punched in the head, his head's banging.
-He's losing consciousness.
-Chris, keep talking, keep talking, fella.
Can you hear me still, Chris? Just give us a nod or something, yeah, good lad.
The emergency's been heard over the radio by everyone.
'We'd literally only just got into Luton custody with
'Mr Dill from the moped.'
And the first thing I heard was sheer panic in Tim's voice,
asking for urgent assistance. And that was that...
that was the first we knew something was very wrong.
But the biker doesn't think he's done anything wrong.
You're going to break my fucking wrist!
'As I pulled up, there was already a sea of blue lights there'
from panda cars and divisional vans that were there as well.
-Calm yourself down.
-You're going to break my wrist!
'He was unconscious when I got to him.
'His eyes were starting to roll back a little bit,
'his eyelids were flickering.
'He was, um, he was shaking.
'He'd gone white. His face was covered in blood
'but the problem was, I couldn't see where the blood was coming from.'
We have a male detainee on the floor...
He's got loads of drugs in his bike.
'Tim appeared just to be in absolute shock.'
Sort of walking around
and you know, trying to do things, but not really doing them.
The man's finally been restrained
and is going to be taken away unceremoniously,
despite his pleas of innocence.
I haven't done nothing.
I haven't done nothing!
What is wrong with you?
-Get your legs in.
Get your legs in. Get your legs in, sit up there,
sit there and be nice.
'The next thing I remember is the paramedic arriving.'
At last, Chris can get some medical treatment.
He's come round but no-one seems to know what his injuries are
or how they've happened.
-OK? Stay there, buddy.
-What's happened to him?
He's been assaulted. Think he's been punched...
Tim, how was he hit, mate?
Don't know, he just punched him, going mad.
-I didn't see how he got hit.
-So a punch to the head?
Feeling dizzy. Banging head, he was saying he feels a bit cold.
Has he been knocked out?
He's been a bit in and out of consciousness
but he's always been breathing.
An inspector's arrived to find out for herself
exactly what has happened to one of her men.
Yes, yes. Confirmed.
We picked him up at the bottom of the road,
where he's coming up at a stupid speed. He's pulled over fine.
We go and talk to him, he said who he is,
we recognised him from a long time ago.
Chris has him in the car, talking to him, I go to the bike
and the bike stinks of cannabis.
Have we identified what's...
..what he used to punch him?
Just his hands, it's all he's got, yeah.
Cos Chris had hold of the handcuff the whole time so it wasn't that.
'We weren't sure at the time what had caused that puncture wound.
'Now transpires that the...
'the rider had the bike key in his hand, so effectively'
the bike key is like this or one of these fingers,
so he's got his fists clenched with the bike key up
and he's taken a swing at Chris,
which has then penetrated just in here.
I'd say another two inches higher, he'd have lost an eye.
30-year-old Chris Thomas has only been on the ANPR team a year.
Before that, he always patrolled in Luton
but he's never experienced anything like this before.
My head was pounding and I just remember speaking to Chris Leah
at some point on the floor, and then I remember a paramedic turning up.
-Chris, I'm sorry, man.
-It's fine, Tim.
-Couldn't help you, man.
-What do you mean, "You couldn't help"?
-Fucking mad, weren't he?
-You all right?
He was beating himself up, saying he should have done more.
There was nothing more Tim could have done
or anybody could have done. He overpowered both me and Tim
'when he pushed himself out of that car with one cuff on.
I just had hold of the other side of the cuff
'and then as he's pushed out, taken a blow to the face
'at which my glasses then flung out of my face onto the floor
'and then he was just throwing me around like a rag doll.
'Trying to get away, and we were trying...we were holding him
'and trying to get him back on the floor to contain him
'and restrain him on the floor
'and all I remember is me holding on to that cuff
'and being pulled around the road into the main road.
'Then I've had another hit to the face.
'The last main detail I remember of the incident was
'we'd had him on the floor,
'I've still got hold of the cuff with his arm out towards me
'and all I remember is having a face full of CS'
and just remember seeing blood pouring out my face on the ground
where I was obviously kneeling down or laying down.
Chris is showing all the signs
that he's suffering from severe concussion.
'I remember almost being sick near the road sign.'
He's going to be rushed to hospital. He needs treatment fast.
Apparently it's all been captured on CCTV
but he was just absolutely mental.
-They watched it all, didn't they?
-Yeah, saw the lot.
Tim hasn't come through the ordeal unscathed either.
Once things started to calm down,
you start to realise what had happened,
'the adrenaline sort of stopped pumping,
'realised that me pinkie was quite sore
'so I had to go and see the doctor.'
Strength was unbelievable. This had no effect at all.
Course, mate. No problem at all.
Even punching him was nothing, was it? Nothing at all.
'I think if he'd had a weapon with him,
'he was so in that zone that he might have thought about using it.
'Chris is lucky he didn't get his hand out and start using the handcuff against him,
'cos that could be a quite nasty weapon as well.'
You're not to drive, all right, OK?
-That's going to have to stay here for now?
-Yeah, for a little while.
That'll have to stay here. Do you want to come back to Luton with me?
We are like a family at work, effectively.
We all look out for each other.
-You all right?
-I'm just fucking...
-Let's get you back. It's all right,
let's get you back, let's get you back.
I've known Tim since I was 15.
We were cadets together, we were specials together.
'You know, we've known each other a long time
'and I've never seen Tim in that state before.
It's all a bit fuzzy, but yeah, I'll get stuff down.
Sit down, have a cup of tea
and then update me later how you feel or go through your sergeant.
Yeah, of course, yeah. The keys are in it anyway.
The cops have still got no idea why the motorcyclist became so violent.
They suspect it can only be something to do
with what's in his bike.
We're going to take Tim back to Luton.
The smell of cannabis coming from that bike was just horrendous,
so you knew there was something in the bike.
Already back at Luton Police Station
is the 12-year-old boy who was found with cannabis on him.
DP was stopped for a routine check because he smelt of cannabis.
Carried out a Section 23, which is a Drugs Act search,
at which point I found four bags of cannabis inside that bag
that was on his possession, in his possession.
He stated that he was carrying it.
Cannabis was recently upgraded in 2009
from a Class C to a Class B substance,
meaning the penalties for possessing it or supplying it have increased.
Just for possession, a court could impose a five-year prison sentence.
-Do you understand why you've been arrested?
Who you living with now, Mum or...Dad?
-Is she aware you're here?
-Does she know you've been arrested?
More often than not, though,
the police just issue offenders with a warning.
'When I was their age, cannabis was a big no-no. It's a drug.
'But now it's just got this image that, "Oh, it's only cannabis."
'"We get stopped with that, then we'll get a slap on the wrist.
'"And we can get a warning for it. Then we might get a caution for it.
'"Then later on, we might get put before the courts
'"but they still won't do anything other than fine us."'
And you do think to yourself, you're talking three or four times
they can get caught for possession of cannabis or using cannabis,
and nothing really is going to happen to them.
So where is the deterrent?
-I'm calling in relation to your son
Maybe the boy's parents will be able to provide the answer
but at the moment, they're nowhere to be found.
I need to speak to you in relation to why he's been arrested.
If you could call us back...
I tried to speak to his mum, I asked him about his dad.
He didn't know where he was.
Right, if you take your shoes off for me.
You'll have to spread your mattress out so it will go across there.
Give you a hand.
Grab hold of that.
OK. If you need anything,
there's a buzzer on the wall, OK?
Everybody's literally just around the corner,
you're in the cell designed for younger people.
Should be back with you soon and I'll go have a knock on your door.
Is your mum likely to be at home or is she at work?
'It suddenly starts to dawn,
'"Hold on a minute, I've got caught here with drugs,"
'and it's only really when you close that cell door
'and you look into their eyes'
and you get a feel for, "Are they bothered about what's going on?"
A lot of people, you put them in the cell, you close the door
and they're asleep before the door's closed, they're just so used to it.
With somebody like him,
you'd like to think that this might be a bit of a wake-up call
because he was sat there with his head in his hands
but you never can tell these days, that's the sad thing.
Outside, Tim has returned for a postmortem into what went wrong
when he and Chris pulled over the biker.
I'm all right, yeah, I'm a little bit still fucking...
-You know I would have been first there.
-Yeah, I know, mate,
could see you running across, yeah.
-Strong fucker, weren't he?
-He was, mate...
THEY CARRY ON TALKING, INAUDIBLY
'So much goes through your mind'
and it is like slow motion.
You know, once it all finishes, you can't remember much of it.
CCTV will help jog Tim's memory.
It's nice that the public helped you. It's really nice, that is.
Every last moment was caught on camera.
'I was convinced I did nothing at all.
'Whether that was part of shock or whatever, I was convinced
'that I just stood and watched Chris get ragged around, get beaten up
'and then more officers arrived and they dealt with him.
'So watching CCTV, I saw that I did what I could.
'I pranced around a little bit and sprayed a little bit,
'you know, got hold of his leg, tried to get him on the floor'
and held him down and things, so it was good watching it for me.
Throughout, Tim showed remarkable restraint.
'I thought afterwards I'd punched him several times, but no.
'I'm not one of these people who has to get revenge on somebody.'
I wouldn't be sitting above him
thinking, you know, "Look what you've just done to Chris,
"now you're going to get this back,"
you know, cos I'm above that, I'm a policeman,
I'm not there to hand out punishments to people,
got to just try and get them... try and get them into custody.
Can I just have a brief account of what happened?
There's some confusion about whether something happened in the car.
One of the inspector's priorities is to find out
how the man managed to escape from the back of the police car.
-Chris managed to get a cuff on him.
-So at that point he's in the car?
-Yeah. He was sat in the back of the car.
-Sat in the back of the car.
And then really from there, it's all a blur. He just went mad.
We started to put the handcuffs on him, got one on him
and that's when he played up. Wouldn't get the other handcuff on.
'It was his determined strength. He was getting out the car
'and you know, you sort of try and hold on to him in any way you could,
'but the gap was so awkward,
'you're not meant to get three blokes in that little gap of a car.
'What he's done is got his foot
'in a position where he could lever himself up in-between the seats,
'so he's at the advantage that he can just push up against us.
'And it was just a case of he pushed us backwards out the way.'
It's quite shocking to be moved out the car like that.
-How are you? Are you all right?
-I'm all right. Me finger's hurting
but that's a bit pathetic compared to what happened to Chris,
-but no, I'm all right.
-All right, just wanted to double-check.
-No, fine, OK. Thanks a lot. Cheers.
With the debrief over, Tim's got a chance to see the doctor.
My finger there, top of the finger especially.
His injury's a little worse than he thought.
I had a fractured little finger.
So just here?
-From there up.
-All the way up?
So just to rule out any minor cracks, we need to get an X-ray.
The street fight was a sharp reminder of the dangers
officers face every day in the line of duty.
'You can stop 50 people in a day and you have no problems at all.
'And then that one person you do stop,
'that ends up happening to you.
'You know, nothing on his motorbike said
'he was going to start beating policemen up.'
So it's a reality check.
The 12-year-old's mother has ridden off into the sunset
but Ian has managed to track down another member of his family.
Mum's up in Sheffield, apparently.
We've got the auntie, who's upstairs,
who doesn't really know what he's doing at the moment.
She's told him to stay in the house today, apparently he hasn't
and he's just left the house.
So she's happy to come in and act as an appropriate adult,
but she can't say whether or not this is a blip
or whether or not he's off the rails a little bit at the moment.
Obviously, the best person to deal with him is going to be Mum,
but she's gone off to Sheffield and left him here.
We don't know. I don't know what the personal circumstances are,
it's going to be difficult.
Ideally, Youth Offending Team will sit down with Mum and him
and have a bit of a conference about what's going on,
the way he's acting and get to the bottom of it.
'You try and say, "Well, is he going through any problems at the moment?
'"Is there anything that you know of that is sending him down this path?"
'She said, "I don't really know him."
'And you think, "Well, you've got responsibility for him here,"
'and you start asking simple questions to you and I.
'"When did he last have a meal?"
'"I don't know. Just leave food in the fridge."
'You think to yourself, "Well if that's the life that he's got,'
"what's stopping him trying something else?"
Because it might just be a cry for help and that's even sadder,
cos if he's being pushed down that route he doesn't want to go down
'because he thinks he's got no choice at his age,
'it's a rocky road from then.'
Got to be honest, it's a bit of a shocker for me
and that's having worked in Luton for five years
to be picking somebody up of his age
walking around with sort of bags of cannabis.
It's not too common.
Does he actually smoke it?
I don't know.
Cos he doesn't live with me, he lives with his mum.
-Right, where does she live?
-I'm just... She lives in Stopsley.
-I'm just minding him for a week because she's gone to Sheffield.
I will always offer him all the help in the world
if he wants to go down the right route
but if he chooses to go down that other route,
I'll make it clear to him that I know his face,
I know the area he lives in and if I see him out causing problems,
I'm going to arrest him.
And I don't care if he's 12 years old or 44 years old.
Back at the nick,
the bike that wasn't ridden off is going to be examined
to get to the bottom of why its rider turned so nasty.
The smell of cannabis that came from that garage as soon as you walked in
'was there even though the bike had cooled down.'
It's in there.
The opening ceremony is being photographed for verification.
This bit here is a cover where the, um,
if you were to take a pillion you'd take this plastic cover off
and put the pillion seat on to take the pillion.
We found the locking mechanism for the plastic cover.
'And as soon as we removed that,
'then the bags of cannabis were just visible.'
24 bags of cannabis which retail at about £20 a bag.
This is why he wanted to run.
Carrying his cannabis in the bike.
In the grand scheme of things, the amount isn't huge.
'It was elation that there was enough in there to make you think,
'"Well, that's not just personal use."
'You're going to be looking at a possession with intent to supply
'and you hope that relevant house searches
'that would have been carried out under Section 18 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act
'would actually bring more evidence of dealing. But then'
you do get a little bit of disappointment thinking,
"Hang on, looking at how he reacted to Chris and Tim,
"all we found was 24 bags of cannabis."
And you start asking yourself, "Well, why?" You know, why?
It'll do, mate. It'll do, but at the end of the day,
that's a lot of scrapping and a lot of trying to get away
for a relatively small amount of cannabis, isn't it?
The way he was fighting and the way he was so desperate to get away
and what he did to Chris,
our thoughts were, "There has to be a lot more to this
"than a little bit of cannabis in a bike."
It'll go upstairs to CID for them to have a look at,
then it'll get booked into the drugs store.
Tim's got a fractured finger,
so he's going to be on light duties for a little while
until that gets sorted out, bless him,
and all we know at the moment
is that Chris Thomas has had some glue put in a hole in his nose
that's been caused by the injury.
In Bedford town centre,
cops with Tasers are being called to another serious incident.
'Got a report of a male with a red T-shirt
'in possession of a carving knife who's trying to attack our informant,
'he wants to steal from him or to take his phone.
'Start making your way. You have full authority.'
PC Carl Klein, however,
has been beaten to the job by officers nearer the scene.
But he has come across some other men acting suspiciously.
Hi, guys. What's happening?
'There are officers on foot in the town dealing with other incidents,
'but initially I stopped them both on me own.'
I got out, shouted at them, they did stop.
You look familiar. Not Patrick, is it?
-You're not Patrick, are you?
The cops have special training for potentially threatening situations.
I can see the consequences
of dealing with one, maybe two suspects on your own,
which is why we keep a distance between them. I call it the bubble.
'It's just keeping that gap where you can see hands move or feet move
'and it gives you a chance to respond, whether you...
'fight or flight. Whether you grab them or take a step back.'
But even so, reactionary gap from sort of eight foot is not much.
You need to have your wits about you.
You're not from round here?
Huh? Where you from?
-Where you from?
And where you living?
-I'm not from around here.
-I need your address.
"Not from around here" is not an address, is it, to me?
I live in south...
Right, give me your full address. Where were you born?
-Where was I born? I was born here.
-You were born in Bedford?
-No, United Kingdom.
-Kings College Hospital.
-All right. Where were you born, Jason?
Local bobbies have arrived with word from CCTV control
that the men might be drug dealers.
-Man on the right.
-Have they been searched?
-No, not yet.
Because we had information there was possibly a drugs deal going down.
-Colly. Yes, please.
My friends. We've had information
there's some suspicious activity taking place down there.
Both of you are detained under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The two men are going to be detained and searched for drugs.
5734 has joined me with some information about sus drug dealing
so they're both being searched. I don't know if you've got eyeball.
The old sus law, where people were stopped and searched
just for looking suspicious,
led to race riots in the 1980s before being outlawed.
Nowadays the cops are supposed to stop and search
only when there is a reasonable suspicion of an offence.
It appears their suspicion was right.
Give me that back!
Spit it out.
Spit it out.
-Spit it out.
-Spit it out!
-Spit it out!
-Is it? All right, it's not so bad.
-It's gone, it's gone. It's only marijuana, man.
Take hold of his right hand.
-What you doing, man?
-I'm taking you for a strip search.
What's the point of a strip search, man? All I had was a bit of weed.
Yeah, but we ain't got it, have we?
You guys always do stuff like this, man.
Always do stuff, what, like make you swallow drugs?
Why? It's only a bit of weed, man,
-come on now, it's only a bit of weed.
-Is that all that's on you?
I swear to God, that was all that was on me.
-And is your name Jason?
-What? I thought you meant to say Joseph.
-That's my name, Jason.
-So those details you gave me are real?
A check on his mobile fingerprint device
has told Carl the man is still lying about who he is.
Hopefully he isn't lying about what he swallowed as well.
I don't think a bit of cannabis is going to do any harm,
but he may well need some medical advice.
We don't know what was in there. If it was anything more than cannabis,
he's going to be in some difficulties, isn't he?
'They went back to the police station'
and a further search was carried out.
Carl's now got a fresh concern.
Some issue at the railway station,
I think they're expecting some trouble coming in.
It's all stations go.
'There was a job at the train station 15 miles away'
in Flitwick, where there was a report of a stabbing.
Unit 110, yeah, and 11 en route.
'The offenders had got on a train and were heading towards Bedford.'
A group of 50 males coming into the station.
Probably a bit exaggerated, but...
Firearms Team was deployed about Flitwick Station
and we were sent as backup to Bedford train station.
Colly, can you just relay the facts again, then?
The plan is to intercept the offenders,
if the information is correct, on the train from Flitwick.
We knew what train times would be coming in.
'We'd liaise with British Transport Police
'to say when they arrived at Bedford, keep the doors locked,'
police will be there with staff.
The problem is, two Flitwick trains are coming in almost together.
Has this one come from Flitwick?
All the doors are open.
-There's no likely candidates who've got off the train.
Let's do a sweep of the train. Keep an eye on the doors.
Yeah, I'm just doing a sweep of this train.
Could somebody speak to Beta P?
If the train does manage to pull in, just keep the doors closed.
We searched the first train and there was no such groups.
That's fine, you can all go.
Can you get the driver to close the doors
and keep them closed on that train?
A few minutes later, a train come in on the other platform.
Guys, just stop there for a second.
If the train stops and the doors don't open,
then we'll let you through, but keep there for a minute.
Luckily, it's midweek so there aren't too many people on the train.
This one looks empty.
Any gangs of youths on board should be easy to spot.
Yeah, we've got the people stopped at the bob. Just wait there, please.
So the other train, hopefully they won't mingle.
We're trying to speak to the driver, get the doors to stay closed.
We managed to keep the doors shut
till we could get enough officers along the exit points of the train.
Network Rail don't seem to know which train's which
and where it's coming from.
Yeah, release the doors.
No, the doors have been opened now, we'll filter these people through,
any likely candidates will be stopped.
'We filtered them out'
so if there was a group, we could just intercept them.
But there are no suspects to be found at all on the train.
That's fine, you can all go.
But one has been found back up the line in Flitwick.
'They found the person who'd made the call
'and the officers at the scene put two and two together'
so completely pie in the sky,
just made it up and rung 999.
The hoaxer will be arrested and charged with wasting police time.
30 miles away in Hertfordshire,
a very unusual vehicle has just been stolen.
PC Mike McCoy is rushing to help two of his traffic colleagues
who are chasing it.
We heard Dave and Tony had a vehicle failing to stop for them,
so I jumped in the car and tried to get there as quick as possible.
The vehicle's been stolen from Radlett
and is heading down the A41 towards London.
Luckily, it's not going very fast.
Mike should be able to catch up with them.
His colleagues are chasing a kind of off-roader, a dune buggy.
PC Dave Marshal is in the lead car chasing the buggy.
It wasn't the fastest chase I've ever had, to be honest!
I think we topped out about 45 miles an hour down that road.
Nevertheless, it's not stopping.
As with motorbikes, the unprotected wheels of the buggy
make it potentially dangerous to attempt any direct contact.
They were thinking, "We're not going to get caught by the police,"
and that's their single goal at that point.
But the cops have got to stop the thieves
before they try something out of the ordinary.
The main thing was that we didn't want that thing to go off-road
because us in our estate cars would never have caught up with it
if he'd have gone into a field or something like that.
We tried once to get past it,
but the road opened up and it wasn't right for us to stop it there
and then he goes through a blind set of traffic lights
where he can't see either way when ours is on red
and at that point we thought, "He's going to have some sort of collision soon."
The buggy has no lights, no mirrors
and is being driven by two youngsters.
You could tell they were young males. They both had hooded tops on
and the hoods were right up over their heads
and trying to disguise themselves as best they could,
but you just put out what description you can
when you're chasing them
to make sure other people, if they run off, know who they are
and who we're looking for.
There's a police chopper on its way
but before it arrives,
the cops have spotted their chance to put an end to the pursuit...
..by getting a car in front and boxing him in.
The driver's out and over the central reservation like a gazelle.
But his mate's copped an unfortunate break.
When he jammed the vehicle in,
the passenger couldn't obviously move,
cos he was stuck against our car
but the driver was obviously very quick on his heels.
He sort of helped us out a bit by hitting the back of the police car,
in all honesty, cos it just...
it jammed him into the barrier and couldn't get away.
So that brought it to a successful stop.
Except they've only caught the passenger.
Waiting for a dog, with a bit of luck.
He literally went over the fence like he could fly.
Just no way we could get over the fence.
The arrested lad isn't giving anything away.
We were going to a job in Radlett,
where there's been a burglary at some estate or something there.
As we've come down the road on the way there,
this has been coming the other way
with these two blokes from London in it.
He doesn't know where he's just been,
doesn't know what he was doing there,
doesn't know the bloke he's with, virtually,
only knows his name, Michael, so I think there's a bit more to it
than they're telling us at the moment.
The dune buggy is one of the more unusual vehicles Dave's ever chased.
'It looked like something that you'd go and drive around a sand beach'
across a load of dunes, not...
not driving round a street in Hertfordshire.
He just drove straight into the back of the police car!
Just like that. So I start slowing down...
"Not having that!"
He slammed us in the back.
-It's a low-speed chase.
It was ridiculous.
The police helicopter's arrived to track down the missing driver.
Met helicopter's coming as well
cos they've had a linked call from some bloke in the back of a garden.
They might get him, you know.
-Got two helicopters.
Better than that, I've got a video
-of Saunders falling off the other side of the fence.
The gazelle is in the garden and has been snared by the chopper crew.
They found the gentleman.
He approached the officers and handed himself in.
Both gentlemen are going to be taken into custody.
The cops will have the buggy examined for evidence
to prove that they stole it.
'No-one was injured, the vehicle was stopped
'and both people were arrested.
'I think it was a good, successful job.'
The buggy's not built for speed.
Even so, it could have gone a whole lot faster than it did.
I think they only found first gear. There was a gearbox in the middle
'and it was in the up position
'and I think it had a second gear and it could have gone faster
'but I don't think they'd worked that out.'
Which was a bit lucky for us, I suppose,
cos it would have been even more dangerous.
Not only were the thieves so stupid that they couldn't find second gear,
it also turned out that they'd filmed themselves on a mobile phone
hotwiring the buggy inside the owner's garage.
They'd been using the phone as a light
to try and see what they were doing in the garage, and I think
he'd accidentally recorded himself and his mate burgling this garage.
Don't even touch that yet.
It was just the evidence the CID investigators were looking for.
One buried his head in the hands and said, "OK, I'm guilty,"
and the other said, "It's not me."
And at one point on the video
you see it's clearly him wearing the same shoes he had in interview,
same top, same clothes
and had his socks over his hands that he had on as well,
so they had nowhere to go, really.
X-ray Alpha 99, the police helicopter, is homeward bound
but all of a sudden, it's encountered what's fast becoming
the biggest menace to flying at night.
I've got problems. We're being targeted by a high-powered laser.
Crew's attention was drawn to a green laser
being shone at the aircraft, quite a powerful laser.
It's a serious matter.
And you are playing, potentially, roulette
with passengers and crew in the aircraft,
particularly if the aircraft's in an important phase of flight
such as coming in, taking off or landing from an airport
so it's quite close to ground.
The pilots, if they're dazzled, it could cause significant issues.
We're trying to identify the property at the moment.
Unbeknownst to the culprits, they've been caught
on the helicopter's powerful thermal imaging camera.
Cops on the ground will soon be paying them a visit.
-Property is number one, number one
they're in the rear garden and still targeting the aircraft.
-Carl, in Bedford, has been called to the scene.
-Oh, right, they're shining it at the aircraft?
It's a pretty unusual job for Carl and his driver, Bob Martindale.
We're going left, bud.
I'm your sat nav. Shall I talk in a female voice?
Under the Air Navigation Act, 2006,
shining any light at an aircraft is an offence.
-They prosecuted a few.
-Yeah, I had one in Luton.
-Cos if it hits the pilot in the eyes...
-There's the helicopter.
And the helicopter's pretty good in moving off the location
but keeping them under observation,
and then we can move in with their guidance.
-Have they got anybody down there?
A Special Constable is already at the address.
The officer at the house was on his own
with two suspects the helicopter could see.
We went and backed them up.
In most cases, a pilot getting a flash from a laser is manageable
but at the wrong moment, it could have severe consequences.
Yeah, it can be a serious offence.
It can be fatal consequences, couldn't it, really?
Those pens can blind. Normally they have a little warning on it.
Flying a helicopter,
driving a car or a lorry,
you have a laser light in,
the first thing you're going to do is try and shield that.
You don't want to take your hands off a helicopter control, do you?
There it is.
Recklessly using a laser doesn't only endanger aircraft
but it's also another waste of the police's time
and can even lead to a prison sentence.
The only problem is, it's in somebody's back garden.
The person who shone the laser is a young man.
His father is less than pleased.
-You all right?
-Crazy, crazy guy.
I'm sure you're aware of the consequences of a laser pen in your eye,
cos these pilots, they may wear night vision goggles, yeah?
And it will blind somebody, won't it?
How old is...is it your son?
-Yeah, my son.
23, I think.
Very good, my son, very good.
No problem. I don't know what...
-First time, this one.
-Fair enough. It's a serious offence, though.
-Could be consequences are quite grave, aren't they?
'There's legislation for doing this. It is a specific offence.
'His son was spoken to by the officer
'and arrested for that offence.'
Never trouble, never anything, you know.
It's just one of them things people don't know about.
A laser pen, if it gets the pilot in the eyes.
You're right, every time you're right.
Cos we want people to learn not to do this.
The 23-year-old is learning the hard way.
He's being led away for questioning at the police station.
-Can I just have a quick look at the pen?
-Yeah, go for it.
Green Laser Pointer.
'We took possession of the pen.'
The light from a laser is infinite. It will keep going.
It is very, very powerful.
'Whether it be 10 feet, 100 feet,'
that intensity is the same.
'If you put the lens cover on it,
'it actually multiplies by, I'd say, 1,000 dots.'
God, look at that.
And they're all the same intensity.
So you've now got 1,000 beams rather than one.
I thought you was on your own.
-What time you on till?
I don't think there's malice
from the people who get found by police aircraft.
They're just not aware of the consequences of their actions,
they're reckless as to what they're trying to do.
The number of laser strikes is rocketing.
Last year in Britain, there were nearly 2,000 of them
against all types of aircraft,
compared to just 27 reported in 2007.
It is a significant problem.
I don't think there goes a month in the UK
when a police aircraft is not hit with a laser.
There's 30-odd helicopters in the UK, police aircraft
and it'll be one hit a month at least.
After being quizzed at the police station,
the man who laser-flashed the copper's chopper was released
after accepting a police caution.
The 12-year-old boy found with cannabis
was given a three-month referral order and made to undergo
a six-month reparation and intervention programme.
The cannabis-eating man was released without being charged
when no evidence could be found
after it had all been eaten.
The young man whose birthday it was,
who fled from the cops just because he had no tax,
pleaded guilty to dangerous driving
and had his licence taken away for 18 months.
The other biker who turned nasty
pleaded guilty to two charges of assault
as well as possession of cannabis and cocaine
and was sentenced to nine months in prison.
Chris Thomas, whom he assaulted,
has now fully recovered since being re-admitted to hospital
after suffering a seizure following the attack.
And the two men who stole the dune buggy were both found guilty
of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking
and were given community orders and 12-month driving bans.
The fact that they caught themselves on camera only goes to show
you don't have to be stupid to be a thief, but it certainly helps.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
A routine check on a motorbike on a busy street in Luton turns into a bloody fight for survival when the traffic cops are attacked by the rider. And, high in the night sky, a police helicopter pilot is in danger of being blinded by an attack from a laser.