In the Line of Duty Traffic Cops


In the Line of Duty

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.


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Transcript


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This programme contains strong language and scenes which some viewers may find upsetting.

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Each day, the police face the deadly...

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-We were targeted by a high-powered laser.

-Oh, dear. How old are you?

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-The shocking...

-Disgraceful, mate, come and take a seat in the back.

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-The extraordinary...

-SIREN BLARES

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The nerve-racking...

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-Spit it out!

-It's gone.

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The disastrous...

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Is it your birthday today? All right. Happy birthday.

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And the most horrific situations.

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When you see not only a colleague but your mate being dragged around the floor bleeding...

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Chris, talk to us. THEY TALK OVER EACH OTHER

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'..you've got to do something.'

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With its airport and the M1 motorway on its doorstep,

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Luton is one of the most well-connected towns in Britain.

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SIREN BLARES

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To help keep tabs on people who are constantly on the move, Bedfordshire

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and Hertfordshire's Traffic Cops have turned to ANPR technology,

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Automatic Number Plate Recognition.

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PCs Tim Smart and Chris Thomas are part of a special three-car,

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five-man and one-woman team, whose job it is to catch criminals.

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A man on a scooter is making a run from one of the team.

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-Ashcroft Road.

-RADIO CHATTER, SIREN BLARES

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Tim and Chris intend to head him off, if they can get there in time.

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We heard that it's a moped with one rider on it

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and they tried to stop and it had obviously failed to stop.

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You could hear the sirens going in the background.

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The way the rider is not stopping suggests the moped

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might be stolen at least.

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We asked for a helicopter, because the ideal situation

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is for a helicopter to come and take over on a pursuit on a bike, cos

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it's safer and because nine times out of ten, they won't get away.

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RADIO: One rider, black helmet with a NITRO sign on the side.

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Black hooded top, blue jeans, black boots...

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20 miles an hour, now approaching the junction,

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wrong side of the road.

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Tim and Chris are on target to intercept the runaway bike,

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but there's a problem.

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'When we got to Croydon Road roundabout,

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'the bike was effectively coming towards us.

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'My idea was to stop all the traffic at the bottom,

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'block it off and then if the bike came down there

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'he wouldn't come straight into a flow of traffic.

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'And potentially I could move off and try and direct him

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'away from the town centre.'

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Stop.

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The issue was the bus and he was just sat there looking at me.

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-Go! Go, bus, go!

-Go!

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The frustration is you know what you want them to do,

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but you can't get across your point.

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'They come into the roundabout,

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'there could have been quite a bad collision.'

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So right, right, Crescent Road, Crescent Road.

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'But as the bus started to move then the bike took a different direction.'

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SIREN BLARES

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Thanks to the bus, Tim and Chris are a fraction too late.

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'We turned into Crescent Road just as the pursuit was coming to an end.

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'The bike was on the pavement and the traffic car on the pavement,

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'he sort of went up in the air a little bit, off the bike

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'and it was low speed, nearly stopping.'

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Whether he thinks he's going to try and avoid the police car

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coming towards him by riding down the pavement the wrong way

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as he's clipped that kerb coming up, the moped has fallen

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and as the moped has come off, Mick has just made contact with...

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with the moped.

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It may not have been the textbook way of stopping the bike.

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33, vehicle stopped, one in custody.

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But the outcome nevertheless is perfect.

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One rider under arrest and no damage or injuries to report.

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You could see that he was shaken, and was a bit, well,

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"I don't know what's actually going on now, I don't know what I've done."

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The cops have no idea why the lad chose not to stop,

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but he's being arrested anyway.

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-Anything you do say may be given in evidence, do you understand?

-Yes.

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I've initially arrested him on suspicion of aggravated

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vehicle taking and because the bike was registered to somebody else.

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But there may be something far more serious afoot.

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-Have you got anything on you you shouldn't have?

-No.

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Everything's in my moped seat.

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Something hidden in the bike, perhaps.

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And then he said my gear is in the bike. So we're thinking, happy days.

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What's he got on the bike?

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We have it before where we've stopped a moped

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and there's been knives under the seat.

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We've stopped them where there's been drugs under the seat.

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But not this time.

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We looked in the bike and there's his ID and stuff

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and he just said he'd failed to stop cos he had no tax.

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All of this for tax.

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People do the silliest things. You know, he obviously panicked,

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saw the police car behind him and didn't want to stop.

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Didn't want to be in trouble for having no tax.

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Um, and it was as simple as that.

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-What's your name, fella?

-Chris.

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-Chris?

-Dill.

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To make matters worse, today is a special occasion for Mr Dill.

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-Is it your birthday today?

-Yeah.

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All right, happy birthday.

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It's not a happy birthday any more.

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He's going to be spending the rest of it at Luton police station.

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The police car was OK and there might have been a scuff mark

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on the bumper, but there was no damage.

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Chris got behind him off Ashcroft Road and he just

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took off, failed to stop.

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It wasn't excessive speed cos they don't go that fast, do they?

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But he just failed to stop.

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And once a marked car got behind him

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we took over the initial pursuit and he just wouldn't stop.

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Why? Apparently he's got no tax!

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And we don't normally penalise people for tax,

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we give them a £60 ticket for failing to display.

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And it's his birthday. I've ruined his birthday.

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To be fair, looking at the grand scheme of things what the

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ANPR team are there to deal with he would actually have walked away with verbal advice.

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Well, we're going to go now.

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We'll push it this way so you can sting it if anything else comes in.

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Policing on the front line, having direct contact with people and

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tackling crime and disorder is the toughest job in the police force.

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Traffic is still the ultimate frontline service.

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You get the equipment,

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the tools and the training to do the job in a very specialist way.

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And Luton is one of the toughest places to police.

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'When I started in the police I was offered the choice of where

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'I wanted to start and I did choose Luton.

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'Raised a few eyebrows of people thinking,

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'"Why does he want to go to Luton?"

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'But I've always been told it's one of the busiest places you can work.

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'Two years in Luton is often like five years' experience somewhere else.'

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After five years as a Response Officer in Luton, Ian knows

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the place all too well and there isn't anything that happens

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here that surprises him any more.

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But that's about to change.

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Ian is by a local fair, looking for some suspects involved in a robbery.

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They think they're in there.

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I've got Taser and we're obviously floating round the area

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just in case we have any sightings.

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We didn't know how many people were there,

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we didn't know if any weapons had possibly been involved.

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The two youngsters up ahead might be the ones he's looking for.

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All right, guys. Just quickly, hang on. Come back this way.

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-Where have you come from?

-Um, the fair.

-The fair.

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-You've come from the fair. Right.

-No, we're going to the fair.

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OK, because I'm taking your first answer, and there's been an incident down at the fair...

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They just matched the description of possibly somebody that was involved in the robbery at the fair.

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And a gentleman with a black cap and blue jeans has apparently been involved.

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-That's a grey cap.

-Well, grey, black, either way. OK.

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Not saying you're involved in it, but I'm saying because you match descriptions of people

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that may have been involved I'm going to search you both. So anything on you

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-that you shouldn't have at this moment in time?

-No.

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-You've been smoking cannabis today?

-No.

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-Has someone been round you smoking cannabis?

-Oh, yeah.

-Oh, yeah?

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What are you doing with that little empty bag there then? Hm-hm.

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Don't try and pull the wool over my eyes, mate.

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Been doing this job a bit too long for stuff like that.

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Keep your bag still. It's all right, I'll do it.

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They're not the suspects from the fair, but Ian has found something.

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-Oh, dear.

-Some bags of cannabis.

-Right, so that's coming with me.

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'Normally, if you stop someone and it's personal use they will have possibly one or two little bags that

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'will be loose in their possession, possibly in their trousers.

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'What he had was a little pouch

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'and within that pouch was contained'

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I think seven or eight deal bags.

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Now I don't know whether or not that was full

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when he left the house at the start of the day.

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I don't know at what point I've stopped him walking down the street.

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He could have been on the outskirts of the fair and he could have been doing that all day long.

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The boy looks barely old enough to "peddle" a bicycle, let alone drugs.

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-All right, how old are you?

-12.

-12?

-Yeah.

-Disgraceful, mate.

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Come and take a seat in the back of here. All right.

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Jump in there, shuffle across to the other side, please.

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It was one of the more shocking jobs. Not going to lie.

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To get somebody of his age to have that bag of cannabis with all

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the little deal bags inside it and he's heading towards the fair

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and you put all the evidence together there and then and you

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know for a fact he's going there and he's not going to be smoking it all

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himself, he's going to be handing it over to whoever it's going to be.

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You got anything on you you shouldn't have?

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-Same question as before.

-No.

-Be honest with me.

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I am being honest with you.

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The other lad is clean,

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but doesn't appear overly concerned about his mate.

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He doesn't really understand what he's got himself involved in.

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That's why his friend thought it was a big joke.

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-HE LAUGHS

-Oh, shit. No way, man.

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Oh, my days.

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-Any of this yours?

-No, none of it's mine.

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OK, you're good to do, all right. I'll have a chat with him.

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Shuffle over to the other side for me, please, mate.

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If the boy is a dealer, he's the youngest Ian's ever come across.

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-You're 12 years old.

-That's not mine.

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-That's not yours?

-No.

-Right.

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-Whose is that then?

-I'm just dropping it off to a friend.

-Right.

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-Who are you dropping it off to?

-My friend.

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'The fair was on that day with an awful lot of people

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'that are confined in one area.'

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If his story was that he was taking it down there for a friend,

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shall we say, then it was probably true.

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If I seem hacked off, I am hacked off,

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but there's a reason why I'm hacked off.

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It's not because I think you're a bad person,

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it's that I think at the age of 12 you should have enough about you to

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know that carrying drugs is risky, cos you're going to get arrested.

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Right or wrong?

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I think the dealers would have had proper little runners out who were

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going to sneak under the radar because the event was well policed.

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And as a police officer, if you're down there,

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if you see the usual suspects that you're coming across for drugs

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offences, you're going to be stopping them and you're going to be

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searching them, especially if you've got grounds to do so.

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With 12-year-old lads, 13-year-old lads,

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generally you'll be looking at them thinking, "Well, they're not

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"going to be that daft, are they, to be carrying drugs around with them?"

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But apparently - well, not so in this day and age.

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If it's not for your mate and you are smoking it at the age of 12,

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you really need to start looking at what you're doing.

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When I started you were used to the criminal damages

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and the graffiti and the other bits and pieces.

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The drugs thing just seems to be now creeping in more and more at a younger age.

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Having ensured the moped rider won't forget his birthday in a hurry,

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the ANPR team are quickly back on the road.

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All for no tax! What an idiot!

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Tim and Chris are nearly always crewed together and are the best of mates.

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See a lot of him in and out of work.

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Speak to him a lot, see him probably more than I do my partner sometimes.

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'Going to be his best man at some point soon.'

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'Tim rubs off on everyone. It doesn't matter how bad a day you've had'

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he'll just build you straight up

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and you'll just end up coming out laughing.

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Absolutely brilliant.

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Moments after ending up chasing one bike for no tax,

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Tim's spotted another to try and stop.

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Oh, that'll be a good one.

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There doesn't seem to be an awful lot amiss with this one either.

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He had a really small numberplate.

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Started to have a look at it, got behind it

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and then he just roared off.

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He's not hanging around. Something is amiss.

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SIREN BLARES Get a helicopter straightaway.

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Lima 23, motorcycle making off.

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Castle Street at speed. Get a helicopter, please?

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How can that happen so quickly after the other one,

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which is why I said to Chris, get the helicopter.

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It was a powerful bike, cos he could have left us standing

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if he wanted to, especially around the town.

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But he hasn't and there's no need for the helicopter.

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-The rider's pulled up at the lights.

-Oscar, Yankee, zero, seven, Charlie, Kilo, X-ray.

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Mate, go down the right.

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Charlie, Kilo, X-ray, got it stopped, Windsor Street.

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Stinks of cannabis round here, don't it?

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'Thought I could smell some cannabis outside but I didn't'

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know whether it was from him or where it was coming from.

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-I'm sorry.

-Take your crash helmet off first.

-Sorry.

-Is it yours?

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-Yes, it is, sorry.

-Registered to you?

-Yes, it is, sir.

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-What was that all about?

-Sorry, boss, I was quickly going home.

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Idiot, man, I shouldn't have done it, man.

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-You got a driving licence on you?

-I have, boss, yeah.

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-Got an illegal numberplate.

-Sorry.

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I know that's what I'm going to change as well,

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going to get that sorted on Monday.

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Sorry man, you know what, boss, I'm an idiot,

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I shouldn't have been speeding. I've got a full licence.

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He held his hands up,

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but there was still something in my mind that something wasn't right.

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-What's your name?

-Courtney...

-HE MUTTERS

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-Oh, you used to have the little...

-C2, yeah.

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Tim has dealt with the man about his driving before.

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Soon as he said who he was we recognised the name, both me and Chris straightaway.

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Courtney, jump in the car for a minute, mate, please.

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But it's the overwhelming smell that's concerning Tim.

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The stink of cannabis from you is a lot.

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No, I was just at my mate's house, he was smoking, I haven't got any.

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-How do I get into your bike as well?

-I haven't got anything in there.

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-How do I get into it?

-You can't get into it. I haven't got anything.

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RADIO CHATTER

0:15:240:15:25

-Just one seat.

-Nothing. The seat doesn't come up?

-No, boss.

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'Searched him. Just found a cannabis grinder which is obviously where they grind'

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down their cannabis in order to put it into their cigarettes.

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Just turn round and face the car, please, buddy.

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You know what, boss, I've run out of... I've run out of MOT.

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Courtney, I'm not so sure the saddle doesn't come off this bike, cos it stinks.

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Jump in the back for us. Where's your keys?

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'Walked round the bike, put my nose against it

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'and there was a real pungent smell of cannabis coming from the seat.

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'And round the seat rim there were some marks, like screwdriver marks'

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or key marks where he'd like tried to

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force it open or levered it open before.

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So I was convinced something was definitely in there.

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Courtney, I don't want to break your bike

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but I'm going to rip that big bit off in a minute.

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How do I get it off? Stay in there, stay in there.

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-Do you just pull it up?

-I can't, I can't. Seriously I can't.

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-Put some cuffs on him.

-Oh, well, all right, all right...

-Stay there!

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I'm sorry, all right, I ain't going anywhere, man!

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Give us your other hand now. No, give us your other hand.

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-I'm not going anywhere.

-No, you're not, that's right.

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-I'm not going anywhere!

-Get in there, get in!

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GET DOWN, GET DOWN! 34, assistance!

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34 assistance straightaway!

0:17:010:17:04

Chris is holding on to the man by the handcuff for dear life.

0:17:040:17:07

-Get up before I Taser you! Do you understand?!

-Yes, boss.

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Put your hand out! PUT YOUR HAND OUT NOW! PUT YOUR HAND OUT NOW!

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GET ON THE FLOOR AND PUT YOUR HAND OUT NOW!

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Right, hold on a second!

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GET ON THE FLOOR!

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DON'T YOU MOVE!

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Stay there or I'll Taser you, do you understand?!

0:17:290:17:33

34, ETA, please?!

0:17:350:17:37

RADIO: We'll be with you in a couple of seconds.

0:17:370:17:40

Chris has been hurt badly.

0:17:400:17:43

When you want help it always feels like a long time, but it was a matter of minutes.

0:17:430:17:46

Luckily the police station is just around the corner

0:17:460:17:49

and help's already arrived.

0:17:490:17:51

'Best sound in the world of sirens pulling up.'

0:17:510:17:53

Get him cuffed, get his hand out, get his hand out!

0:17:530:17:55

Get his hand out now!

0:17:550:17:57

Get his hand out now. Get your hand out now!

0:17:570:18:00

-RELEASE YOUR HAND!

-Get your hand out now!

0:18:000:18:02

-Get your fucking hand out now!

-All right.

0:18:020:18:04

Chris, you all right? Chris, you all right? Was it your mouth, your nose?

0:18:120:18:16

-HIS REPLY IS MUFFLED

-My head's banging.

0:18:160:18:20

Tim's own CS gas he managed to spray is badly affecting him.

0:18:200:18:24

I was in the cloud as well.

0:18:240:18:25

-My gas is somewhere.

-It's over there by your right foot.

0:18:250:18:28

Chris is unconscious, but not from the gas.

0:18:280:18:31

Chris, Chris. Chris, talk to me. Chris.

0:18:330:18:37

Lots of people have gathered to see just what's going on.

0:18:370:18:40

You see them get their phones out and start taking pictures

0:18:400:18:42

and filming you then it makes you angry sometimes, things like that.

0:18:420:18:46

But none have offered to help.

0:18:460:18:48

Be nice to have somebody come over and hold a leg or grab hold of somebody,

0:18:480:18:51

but I wouldn't expect somebody to come over and start helping me out

0:18:510:18:56

necessarily, especially I think the way society has gone nowadays.

0:18:560:18:59

I don't think people help each other, so why should they help a policeman?

0:18:590:19:02

-Chris, talk to me.

-Chris, mate, come on. Chris, mate, come on!

0:19:020:19:05

-Chris, talk to me, it's Smarty. Chris, talk to Smarty!

-Just keep talking, yeah.

0:19:070:19:12

He's bleeding severely from his nose and mouth.

0:19:120:19:15

Been punched in the head, his head's banging.

0:19:150:19:18

-He's losing consciousness.

-Chris, keep talking, keep talking, fella.

0:19:180:19:21

Can you hear me still, Chris? Just give us a nod or something, yeah, good lad.

0:19:210:19:25

The emergency's been heard over the radio by everyone.

0:19:270:19:31

'We'd literally only just got into Luton custody with

0:19:310:19:34

'Mr Dill from the moped.'

0:19:340:19:37

And the first thing I heard was sheer panic in Tim's voice,

0:19:390:19:46

asking for urgent assistance. And that was that...

0:19:460:19:49

that was the first we knew something was very wrong.

0:19:490:19:53

But the biker doesn't think he's done anything wrong.

0:19:530:19:56

You're going to break my fucking wrist!

0:19:560:19:58

'As I pulled up, there was already a sea of blue lights there'

0:19:580:20:01

from panda cars and divisional vans that were there as well.

0:20:010:20:04

-Calm yourself down.

-You're going to break my wrist!

-Go away!

0:20:040:20:08

'He was unconscious when I got to him.

0:20:080:20:10

'His eyes were starting to roll back a little bit,

0:20:100:20:12

'his eyelids were flickering.

0:20:120:20:14

'He was, um, he was shaking.

0:20:140:20:15

'He'd gone white. His face was covered in blood

0:20:170:20:20

'but the problem was, I couldn't see where the blood was coming from.'

0:20:200:20:24

We have a male detainee on the floor...

0:20:240:20:26

He's got loads of drugs in his bike.

0:20:260:20:29

'Tim appeared just to be in absolute shock.'

0:20:290:20:32

Sort of walking around

0:20:320:20:33

and you know, trying to do things, but not really doing them.

0:20:330:20:37

DOG BARKS

0:20:370:20:39

The man's finally been restrained

0:20:430:20:45

and is going to be taken away unceremoniously,

0:20:450:20:48

despite his pleas of innocence.

0:20:480:20:50

I haven't done nothing.

0:20:500:20:52

I haven't done nothing!

0:20:520:20:54

What is wrong with you?

0:20:550:20:58

-Stand up!

-Get your legs in.

0:20:580:21:01

Get your legs in. Get your legs in, sit up there,

0:21:010:21:04

sit there and be nice.

0:21:040:21:07

'The next thing I remember is the paramedic arriving.'

0:21:070:21:10

At last, Chris can get some medical treatment.

0:21:100:21:13

He's come round but no-one seems to know what his injuries are

0:21:130:21:16

or how they've happened.

0:21:160:21:18

-OK? Stay there, buddy.

-What's happened to him?

0:21:180:21:20

He's been assaulted. Think he's been punched...

0:21:200:21:23

Tim, how was he hit, mate?

0:21:230:21:26

Don't know, he just punched him, going mad.

0:21:260:21:28

-I didn't see how he got hit.

-So a punch to the head?

-Yeah.

0:21:280:21:30

Feeling dizzy. Banging head, he was saying he feels a bit cold.

0:21:300:21:35

Has he been knocked out?

0:21:350:21:36

He's been a bit in and out of consciousness

0:21:360:21:38

but he's always been breathing.

0:21:380:21:40

An inspector's arrived to find out for herself

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exactly what has happened to one of her men.

0:21:420:21:45

Yes, yes. Confirmed.

0:21:450:21:47

We picked him up at the bottom of the road,

0:21:470:21:49

where he's coming up at a stupid speed. He's pulled over fine.

0:21:490:21:52

We go and talk to him, he said who he is,

0:21:520:21:54

we recognised him from a long time ago.

0:21:540:21:56

Chris has him in the car, talking to him, I go to the bike

0:21:560:21:59

and the bike stinks of cannabis.

0:21:590:22:01

Have we identified what's...

0:22:010:22:03

..what he used to punch him?

0:22:040:22:06

Just his hands, it's all he's got, yeah.

0:22:060:22:08

Cos Chris had hold of the handcuff the whole time so it wasn't that.

0:22:080:22:11

'We weren't sure at the time what had caused that puncture wound.

0:22:110:22:15

'Now transpires that the...

0:22:150:22:17

'the rider had the bike key in his hand, so effectively'

0:22:170:22:22

the bike key is like this or one of these fingers,

0:22:220:22:26

so he's got his fists clenched with the bike key up

0:22:260:22:29

and he's taken a swing at Chris,

0:22:290:22:31

which has then penetrated just in here.

0:22:310:22:34

I'd say another two inches higher, he'd have lost an eye.

0:22:360:22:40

30-year-old Chris Thomas has only been on the ANPR team a year.

0:22:400:22:44

Before that, he always patrolled in Luton

0:22:440:22:46

but he's never experienced anything like this before.

0:22:460:22:50

My head was pounding and I just remember speaking to Chris Leah

0:22:500:22:54

at some point on the floor, and then I remember a paramedic turning up.

0:22:540:22:57

-Chris, I'm sorry, man.

-It's fine, Tim.

-For what?

0:22:570:23:01

-Couldn't help you, man.

-What do you mean, "You couldn't help"?

0:23:010:23:04

-Fucking mad, weren't he?

-You all right?

0:23:040:23:06

He was beating himself up, saying he should have done more.

0:23:060:23:08

There was nothing more Tim could have done

0:23:080:23:10

or anybody could have done. He overpowered both me and Tim

0:23:100:23:13

'when he pushed himself out of that car with one cuff on.

0:23:130:23:16

I just had hold of the other side of the cuff

0:23:160:23:19

'and then as he's pushed out, taken a blow to the face

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'at which my glasses then flung out of my face onto the floor

0:23:220:23:27

'and then he was just throwing me around like a rag doll.

0:23:270:23:30

'Trying to get away, and we were trying...we were holding him

0:23:320:23:36

'and trying to get him back on the floor to contain him

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'and restrain him on the floor

0:23:390:23:42

'and all I remember is me holding on to that cuff

0:23:420:23:46

'and being pulled around the road into the main road.

0:23:460:23:50

'Then I've had another hit to the face.

0:23:540:23:56

'The last main detail I remember of the incident was

0:23:590:24:02

'we'd had him on the floor,

0:24:020:24:04

'I've still got hold of the cuff with his arm out towards me

0:24:040:24:08

'and all I remember is having a face full of CS'

0:24:080:24:11

and just remember seeing blood pouring out my face on the ground

0:24:110:24:15

where I was obviously kneeling down or laying down.

0:24:150:24:18

Chris is showing all the signs

0:24:190:24:21

that he's suffering from severe concussion.

0:24:210:24:24

'I remember almost being sick near the road sign.'

0:24:240:24:28

He's going to be rushed to hospital. He needs treatment fast.

0:24:300:24:34

Apparently it's all been captured on CCTV

0:24:340:24:36

but he was just absolutely mental.

0:24:360:24:38

-They watched it all, didn't they?

-Yeah, saw the lot.

0:24:380:24:42

Tim hasn't come through the ordeal unscathed either.

0:24:420:24:45

Once things started to calm down,

0:24:450:24:47

you start to realise what had happened,

0:24:470:24:49

'the adrenaline sort of stopped pumping,

0:24:490:24:52

'realised that me pinkie was quite sore

0:24:520:24:54

'so I had to go and see the doctor.'

0:24:540:24:56

Strength was unbelievable. This had no effect at all.

0:24:560:25:00

Unbelievable.

0:25:020:25:03

Course, mate. No problem at all.

0:25:030:25:06

Even punching him was nothing, was it? Nothing at all.

0:25:060:25:09

'I think if he'd had a weapon with him,

0:25:090:25:11

'he was so in that zone that he might have thought about using it.

0:25:110:25:15

'Chris is lucky he didn't get his hand out and start using the handcuff against him,

0:25:150:25:19

'cos that could be a quite nasty weapon as well.'

0:25:190:25:21

You're not to drive, all right, OK?

0:25:210:25:25

-That's going to have to stay here for now?

-Yeah, for a little while.

0:25:250:25:29

That'll have to stay here. Do you want to come back to Luton with me?

0:25:290:25:32

We are like a family at work, effectively.

0:25:320:25:34

We all look out for each other.

0:25:340:25:36

-You all right?

-Yeah.

0:25:360:25:37

-I'm just fucking...

-Let's get you back. It's all right,

0:25:370:25:40

let's get you back, let's get you back.

0:25:400:25:42

I've known Tim since I was 15.

0:25:430:25:45

We were cadets together, we were specials together.

0:25:450:25:48

'You know, we've known each other a long time

0:25:480:25:51

'and I've never seen Tim in that state before.

0:25:510:25:54

It's all a bit fuzzy, but yeah, I'll get stuff down.

0:25:540:25:56

Sit down, have a cup of tea

0:25:560:25:58

and then update me later how you feel or go through your sergeant.

0:25:580:26:01

Yeah, of course, yeah. The keys are in it anyway.

0:26:010:26:04

The cops have still got no idea why the motorcyclist became so violent.

0:26:040:26:08

They suspect it can only be something to do

0:26:080:26:11

with what's in his bike.

0:26:110:26:12

We're going to take Tim back to Luton.

0:26:120:26:14

The smell of cannabis coming from that bike was just horrendous,

0:26:140:26:18

so you knew there was something in the bike.

0:26:180:26:21

Already back at Luton Police Station

0:26:240:26:27

is the 12-year-old boy who was found with cannabis on him.

0:26:270:26:30

DP was stopped for a routine check because he smelt of cannabis.

0:26:310:26:35

Carried out a Section 23, which is a Drugs Act search,

0:26:350:26:37

at which point I found four bags of cannabis inside that bag

0:26:370:26:42

that was on his possession, in his possession.

0:26:420:26:44

He stated that he was carrying it.

0:26:440:26:47

Cannabis was recently upgraded in 2009

0:26:470:26:50

from a Class C to a Class B substance,

0:26:500:26:53

meaning the penalties for possessing it or supplying it have increased.

0:26:530:26:58

Just for possession, a court could impose a five-year prison sentence.

0:26:580:27:03

-Do you understand why you've been arrested?

-Yeah.

0:27:030:27:06

Who you living with now, Mum or...Dad?

0:27:060:27:09

-Mum.

-Just Mum.

0:27:090:27:11

-Is she aware you're here?

-Hmm?

-Does she know you've been arrested?

-No.

0:27:110:27:16

More often than not, though,

0:27:160:27:17

the police just issue offenders with a warning.

0:27:170:27:20

'When I was their age, cannabis was a big no-no. It's a drug.

0:27:200:27:25

'But now it's just got this image that, "Oh, it's only cannabis."

0:27:250:27:28

'"We get stopped with that, then we'll get a slap on the wrist.

0:27:280:27:31

'"And we can get a warning for it. Then we might get a caution for it.

0:27:310:27:34

'"Then later on, we might get put before the courts

0:27:340:27:37

'"but they still won't do anything other than fine us."'

0:27:370:27:40

And you do think to yourself, you're talking three or four times

0:27:400:27:43

they can get caught for possession of cannabis or using cannabis,

0:27:430:27:46

and nothing really is going to happen to them.

0:27:460:27:48

So where is the deterrent?

0:27:480:27:50

-I'm calling in relation to your son

-BLEEP...

0:27:500:27:53

Maybe the boy's parents will be able to provide the answer

0:27:530:27:57

but at the moment, they're nowhere to be found.

0:27:570:27:59

I need to speak to you in relation to why he's been arrested.

0:27:590:28:02

If you could call us back...

0:28:020:28:04

I tried to speak to his mum, I asked him about his dad.

0:28:040:28:06

He didn't know where he was.

0:28:060:28:07

Right, if you take your shoes off for me.

0:28:070:28:10

You'll have to spread your mattress out so it will go across there.

0:28:120:28:16

Give you a hand.

0:28:170:28:20

Grab hold of that.

0:28:200:28:23

OK. If you need anything,

0:28:230:28:25

there's a buzzer on the wall, OK?

0:28:250:28:27

Everybody's literally just around the corner,

0:28:270:28:29

you're in the cell designed for younger people.

0:28:290:28:32

Should be back with you soon and I'll go have a knock on your door.

0:28:320:28:35

Is your mum likely to be at home or is she at work?

0:28:350:28:39

'It suddenly starts to dawn,

0:28:390:28:41

'"Hold on a minute, I've got caught here with drugs,"

0:28:410:28:43

'and it's only really when you close that cell door

0:28:430:28:47

'and you look into their eyes'

0:28:470:28:49

and you get a feel for, "Are they bothered about what's going on?"

0:28:490:28:53

A lot of people, you put them in the cell, you close the door

0:28:530:28:55

and they're asleep before the door's closed, they're just so used to it.

0:28:550:28:59

With somebody like him,

0:28:590:29:00

you'd like to think that this might be a bit of a wake-up call

0:29:000:29:03

because he was sat there with his head in his hands

0:29:030:29:06

but you never can tell these days, that's the sad thing.

0:29:060:29:08

Outside, Tim has returned for a postmortem into what went wrong

0:29:110:29:16

when he and Chris pulled over the biker.

0:29:160:29:18

I'm all right, yeah, I'm a little bit still fucking...

0:29:180:29:20

-You know I would have been first there.

-Yeah, I know, mate,

0:29:200:29:23

could see you running across, yeah.

0:29:230:29:25

-Strong fucker, weren't he?

-He was, mate...

0:29:250:29:28

THEY CARRY ON TALKING, INAUDIBLY

0:29:280:29:30

'So much goes through your mind'

0:29:340:29:36

and it is like slow motion.

0:29:360:29:38

You know, once it all finishes, you can't remember much of it.

0:29:380:29:42

CCTV will help jog Tim's memory.

0:29:420:29:45

It's nice that the public helped you. It's really nice, that is.

0:29:450:29:49

Every last moment was caught on camera.

0:29:490:29:51

'I was convinced I did nothing at all.

0:29:510:29:54

'Whether that was part of shock or whatever, I was convinced

0:29:540:29:58

'that I just stood and watched Chris get ragged around, get beaten up

0:29:580:30:02

'and then more officers arrived and they dealt with him.

0:30:020:30:06

'So watching CCTV, I saw that I did what I could.

0:30:060:30:09

'I pranced around a little bit and sprayed a little bit,

0:30:090:30:12

'you know, got hold of his leg, tried to get him on the floor'

0:30:120:30:15

and held him down and things, so it was good watching it for me.

0:30:150:30:18

Throughout, Tim showed remarkable restraint.

0:30:180:30:21

'I thought afterwards I'd punched him several times, but no.

0:30:230:30:27

'I'm not one of these people who has to get revenge on somebody.'

0:30:270:30:31

I wouldn't be sitting above him

0:30:310:30:33

thinking, you know, "Look what you've just done to Chris,

0:30:330:30:36

"now you're going to get this back,"

0:30:360:30:37

you know, cos I'm above that, I'm a policeman,

0:30:370:30:40

I'm not there to hand out punishments to people,

0:30:400:30:42

got to just try and get them... try and get them into custody.

0:30:420:30:45

Can I just have a brief account of what happened?

0:30:450:30:48

There's some confusion about whether something happened in the car.

0:30:480:30:51

One of the inspector's priorities is to find out

0:30:510:30:53

how the man managed to escape from the back of the police car.

0:30:530:30:57

-Chris managed to get a cuff on him.

-So at that point he's in the car?

0:30:570:31:00

-Yeah. He was sat in the back of the car.

-Sat in the back of the car.

0:31:000:31:03

And then really from there, it's all a blur. He just went mad.

0:31:030:31:06

We started to put the handcuffs on him, got one on him

0:31:060:31:08

and that's when he played up. Wouldn't get the other handcuff on.

0:31:080:31:12

'It was his determined strength. He was getting out the car

0:31:120:31:15

'and you know, you sort of try and hold on to him in any way you could,

0:31:150:31:19

'but the gap was so awkward,

0:31:190:31:21

'you're not meant to get three blokes in that little gap of a car.

0:31:210:31:25

'What he's done is got his foot

0:31:250:31:26

'in a position where he could lever himself up in-between the seats,

0:31:260:31:30

'so he's at the advantage that he can just push up against us.

0:31:300:31:33

'And it was just a case of he pushed us backwards out the way.'

0:31:330:31:36

It's quite shocking to be moved out the car like that.

0:31:380:31:42

-How are you? Are you all right?

-I'm all right. Me finger's hurting

0:31:420:31:44

but that's a bit pathetic compared to what happened to Chris,

0:31:440:31:47

-but no, I'm all right.

-All right, just wanted to double-check.

0:31:470:31:51

-No, fine, OK. Thanks a lot. Cheers.

-No problem.

0:31:510:31:54

With the debrief over, Tim's got a chance to see the doctor.

0:31:540:31:58

My finger there, top of the finger especially.

0:31:580:32:00

His injury's a little worse than he thought.

0:32:000:32:03

I had a fractured little finger.

0:32:030:32:05

So just here?

0:32:070:32:08

-From there up.

-All the way up?

0:32:080:32:12

So just to rule out any minor cracks, we need to get an X-ray.

0:32:120:32:17

The street fight was a sharp reminder of the dangers

0:32:180:32:21

officers face every day in the line of duty.

0:32:210:32:23

'You can stop 50 people in a day and you have no problems at all.

0:32:250:32:30

'And then that one person you do stop,

0:32:300:32:32

'that ends up happening to you.

0:32:320:32:35

'You know, nothing on his motorbike said

0:32:350:32:37

'he was going to start beating policemen up.'

0:32:370:32:39

So it's a reality check.

0:32:390:32:41

The 12-year-old's mother has ridden off into the sunset

0:32:440:32:47

but Ian has managed to track down another member of his family.

0:32:470:32:51

Mum's up in Sheffield, apparently.

0:32:510:32:53

We've got the auntie, who's upstairs,

0:32:530:32:56

who doesn't really know what he's doing at the moment.

0:32:560:32:59

She's told him to stay in the house today, apparently he hasn't

0:32:590:33:02

and he's just left the house.

0:33:020:33:03

So she's happy to come in and act as an appropriate adult,

0:33:030:33:06

but she can't say whether or not this is a blip

0:33:060:33:08

or whether or not he's off the rails a little bit at the moment.

0:33:080:33:11

Obviously, the best person to deal with him is going to be Mum,

0:33:110:33:14

but she's gone off to Sheffield and left him here.

0:33:140:33:17

We don't know. I don't know what the personal circumstances are,

0:33:170:33:20

it's going to be difficult.

0:33:200:33:21

Ideally, Youth Offending Team will sit down with Mum and him

0:33:210:33:24

and have a bit of a conference about what's going on,

0:33:240:33:26

the way he's acting and get to the bottom of it.

0:33:260:33:28

'You try and say, "Well, is he going through any problems at the moment?

0:33:280:33:32

'"Is there anything that you know of that is sending him down this path?"

0:33:320:33:36

'She said, "I don't really know him."

0:33:360:33:39

'And you think, "Well, you've got responsibility for him here,"

0:33:390:33:42

'and you start asking simple questions to you and I.

0:33:420:33:45

'"When did he last have a meal?"

0:33:450:33:47

'"I don't know. Just leave food in the fridge."

0:33:470:33:50

'You think to yourself, "Well if that's the life that he's got,'

0:33:500:33:54

"what's stopping him trying something else?"

0:33:540:33:56

Because it might just be a cry for help and that's even sadder,

0:33:560:34:00

cos if he's being pushed down that route he doesn't want to go down

0:34:000:34:03

'because he thinks he's got no choice at his age,

0:34:030:34:05

'it's a rocky road from then.'

0:34:050:34:07

Got to be honest, it's a bit of a shocker for me

0:34:070:34:10

and that's having worked in Luton for five years

0:34:100:34:13

to be picking somebody up of his age

0:34:130:34:15

walking around with sort of bags of cannabis.

0:34:150:34:17

It's not too common.

0:34:200:34:22

Does he actually smoke it?

0:34:220:34:24

I don't know.

0:34:240:34:25

Cos he doesn't live with me, he lives with his mum.

0:34:280:34:31

-Right, where does she live?

-I'm just... She lives in Stopsley.

0:34:310:34:35

-OK.

-I'm just minding him for a week because she's gone to Sheffield.

0:34:350:34:39

Got you.

0:34:390:34:40

I will always offer him all the help in the world

0:34:400:34:43

if he wants to go down the right route

0:34:430:34:45

but if he chooses to go down that other route,

0:34:450:34:47

I'll make it clear to him that I know his face,

0:34:470:34:49

I know the area he lives in and if I see him out causing problems,

0:34:490:34:52

I'm going to arrest him.

0:34:520:34:53

And I don't care if he's 12 years old or 44 years old.

0:34:530:34:56

Back at the nick,

0:34:580:34:59

the bike that wasn't ridden off is going to be examined

0:34:590:35:03

to get to the bottom of why its rider turned so nasty.

0:35:030:35:07

The smell of cannabis that came from that garage as soon as you walked in

0:35:070:35:10

'was there even though the bike had cooled down.'

0:35:100:35:13

It's in there.

0:35:130:35:15

The opening ceremony is being photographed for verification.

0:35:150:35:19

This bit here is a cover where the, um,

0:35:190:35:21

if you were to take a pillion you'd take this plastic cover off

0:35:210:35:25

and put the pillion seat on to take the pillion.

0:35:250:35:28

We found the locking mechanism for the plastic cover.

0:35:280:35:31

'And as soon as we removed that,

0:35:340:35:35

'then the bags of cannabis were just visible.'

0:35:350:35:38

Voila!

0:35:380:35:40

24 bags of cannabis which retail at about £20 a bag.

0:35:400:35:43

This is why he wanted to run.

0:35:430:35:47

Carrying his cannabis in the bike.

0:35:470:35:49

In the grand scheme of things, the amount isn't huge.

0:35:490:35:51

'It was elation that there was enough in there to make you think,

0:35:510:35:55

'"Well, that's not just personal use."

0:35:550:35:57

'You're going to be looking at a possession with intent to supply

0:35:570:36:00

'and you hope that relevant house searches

0:36:000:36:04

'that would have been carried out under Section 18 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act

0:36:040:36:08

'would actually bring more evidence of dealing. But then'

0:36:080:36:13

you do get a little bit of disappointment thinking,

0:36:130:36:15

"Hang on, looking at how he reacted to Chris and Tim,

0:36:150:36:18

"all we found was 24 bags of cannabis."

0:36:180:36:21

And you start asking yourself, "Well, why?" You know, why?

0:36:210:36:24

It'll do, mate. It'll do, but at the end of the day,

0:36:260:36:29

that's a lot of scrapping and a lot of trying to get away

0:36:290:36:32

for a relatively small amount of cannabis, isn't it?

0:36:320:36:35

The way he was fighting and the way he was so desperate to get away

0:36:360:36:40

and what he did to Chris,

0:36:400:36:41

our thoughts were, "There has to be a lot more to this

0:36:410:36:44

"than a little bit of cannabis in a bike."

0:36:440:36:45

It'll go upstairs to CID for them to have a look at,

0:36:450:36:48

then it'll get booked into the drugs store.

0:36:480:36:50

Tim's got a fractured finger,

0:36:500:36:53

so he's going to be on light duties for a little while

0:36:530:36:56

until that gets sorted out, bless him,

0:36:560:36:58

and all we know at the moment

0:36:580:37:01

is that Chris Thomas has had some glue put in a hole in his nose

0:37:010:37:05

that's been caused by the injury.

0:37:050:37:08

In Bedford town centre,

0:37:120:37:14

cops with Tasers are being called to another serious incident.

0:37:140:37:18

'Got a report of a male with a red T-shirt

0:37:180:37:20

'in possession of a carving knife who's trying to attack our informant,

0:37:200:37:23

'he wants to steal from him or to take his phone.

0:37:230:37:26

'Start making your way. You have full authority.'

0:37:260:37:30

PC Carl Klein, however,

0:37:300:37:32

has been beaten to the job by officers nearer the scene.

0:37:320:37:35

But he has come across some other men acting suspiciously.

0:37:350:37:39

Hi, guys. What's happening?

0:37:390:37:41

'There are officers on foot in the town dealing with other incidents,

0:37:410:37:45

'but initially I stopped them both on me own.'

0:37:450:37:48

I got out, shouted at them, they did stop.

0:37:480:37:50

You look familiar. Not Patrick, is it?

0:37:500:37:53

-Pardon?

-You're not Patrick, are you?

0:37:530:37:55

The cops have special training for potentially threatening situations.

0:37:550:38:00

I can see the consequences

0:38:000:38:01

of dealing with one, maybe two suspects on your own,

0:38:010:38:04

which is why we keep a distance between them. I call it the bubble.

0:38:040:38:08

'It's just keeping that gap where you can see hands move or feet move

0:38:080:38:12

'and it gives you a chance to respond, whether you...

0:38:120:38:15

'fight or flight. Whether you grab them or take a step back.'

0:38:150:38:18

But even so, reactionary gap from sort of eight foot is not much.

0:38:180:38:23

You need to have your wits about you.

0:38:230:38:25

You're not from round here?

0:38:250:38:26

Huh? Where you from?

0:38:260:38:28

-Hmm?

-Where you from?

0:38:280:38:31

And where you living?

0:38:310:38:33

-I'm not from around here.

-I need your address.

0:38:330:38:35

"Not from around here" is not an address, is it, to me?

0:38:350:38:38

I live in south...

0:38:380:38:39

Right, give me your full address. Where were you born?

0:38:390:38:42

-Where was I born? I was born here.

-You were born in Bedford?

0:38:420:38:45

-No, United Kingdom.

-Whereabouts?

0:38:450:38:48

HE SIGHS

0:38:480:38:50

-Kings College Hospital.

-London?

0:38:500:38:52

-Yeah.

-All right. Where were you born, Jason?

0:38:520:38:55

-Same place.

-London?

-Yeah.

0:38:550:38:57

Local bobbies have arrived with word from CCTV control

0:38:580:39:02

that the men might be drug dealers.

0:39:020:39:04

-Man on the right.

-Have they been searched?

-No, not yet.

0:39:040:39:07

Because we had information there was possibly a drugs deal going down.

0:39:070:39:11

-Colly. Yes, please.

-Section 23.

0:39:110:39:14

My friends. We've had information

0:39:140:39:16

there's some suspicious activity taking place down there.

0:39:160:39:20

Both of you are detained under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

0:39:200:39:23

The two men are going to be detained and searched for drugs.

0:39:230:39:27

5734 has joined me with some information about sus drug dealing

0:39:270:39:31

so they're both being searched. I don't know if you've got eyeball.

0:39:310:39:34

The old sus law, where people were stopped and searched

0:39:340:39:37

just for looking suspicious,

0:39:370:39:39

led to race riots in the 1980s before being outlawed.

0:39:390:39:42

Nowadays the cops are supposed to stop and search

0:39:430:39:46

only when there is a reasonable suspicion of an offence.

0:39:460:39:49

It appears their suspicion was right.

0:39:520:39:56

Give me that back!

0:39:560:39:58

Spit it out.

0:39:580:39:59

Spit it out.

0:39:590:40:01

-Spit it out.

-Spit it out!

0:40:010:40:04

-Spit it out!

-It's gone.

0:40:040:40:07

-It's marijuana.

-Is it? All right, it's not so bad.

0:40:070:40:09

-It's gone, it's gone. It's only marijuana, man.

-"Only"?

0:40:090:40:12

Take hold of his right hand.

0:40:120:40:14

-What you doing, man?

-I'm taking you for a strip search.

0:40:140:40:16

What's the point of a strip search, man? All I had was a bit of weed.

0:40:160:40:20

Yeah, but we ain't got it, have we?

0:40:200:40:23

You guys always do stuff like this, man.

0:40:240:40:26

Always do stuff, what, like make you swallow drugs?

0:40:260:40:29

Why? It's only a bit of weed, man,

0:40:290:40:31

-come on now, it's only a bit of weed.

-Is that all that's on you?

0:40:310:40:34

I swear to God, that was all that was on me.

0:40:340:40:36

-And is your name Jason?

-No.

0:40:360:40:38

-Right, so...

-What? I thought you meant to say Joseph.

0:40:380:40:40

-That's my name, Jason.

-OK.

0:40:400:40:41

-So those details you gave me are real?

-Yeah, man.

0:40:410:40:44

A check on his mobile fingerprint device

0:40:440:40:47

has told Carl the man is still lying about who he is.

0:40:470:40:50

Hopefully he isn't lying about what he swallowed as well.

0:40:500:40:53

I don't think a bit of cannabis is going to do any harm,

0:40:530:40:56

but he may well need some medical advice.

0:40:560:40:58

We don't know what was in there. If it was anything more than cannabis,

0:40:580:41:01

he's going to be in some difficulties, isn't he?

0:41:010:41:04

'They went back to the police station'

0:41:040:41:06

and a further search was carried out.

0:41:060:41:08

Carl's now got a fresh concern.

0:41:080:41:12

Some issue at the railway station,

0:41:120:41:13

I think they're expecting some trouble coming in.

0:41:130:41:16

It's all stations go.

0:41:160:41:17

'There was a job at the train station 15 miles away'

0:41:170:41:20

in Flitwick, where there was a report of a stabbing.

0:41:200:41:23

Unit 110, yeah, and 11 en route.

0:41:250:41:27

'The offenders had got on a train and were heading towards Bedford.'

0:41:280:41:32

A group of 50 males coming into the station.

0:41:320:41:34

Probably a bit exaggerated, but...

0:41:340:41:36

Firearms Team was deployed about Flitwick Station

0:41:360:41:39

and we were sent as backup to Bedford train station.

0:41:390:41:42

Colly, can you just relay the facts again, then?

0:41:420:41:45

The plan is to intercept the offenders,

0:41:450:41:47

if the information is correct, on the train from Flitwick.

0:41:470:41:50

We knew what train times would be coming in.

0:41:520:41:55

'We'd liaise with British Transport Police

0:41:550:41:57

'to say when they arrived at Bedford, keep the doors locked,'

0:41:570:42:01

police will be there with staff.

0:42:010:42:03

The problem is, two Flitwick trains are coming in almost together.

0:42:030:42:07

Has this one come from Flitwick?

0:42:070:42:09

All the doors are open.

0:42:090:42:10

-What?

-There's no likely candidates who've got off the train.

0:42:170:42:20

Let's do a sweep of the train. Keep an eye on the doors.

0:42:200:42:22

Yeah, I'm just doing a sweep of this train.

0:42:220:42:24

Could somebody speak to Beta P?

0:42:240:42:26

If the train does manage to pull in, just keep the doors closed.

0:42:260:42:29

We searched the first train and there was no such groups.

0:42:290:42:32

That's fine, you can all go.

0:42:320:42:33

Can you get the driver to close the doors

0:42:330:42:35

and keep them closed on that train?

0:42:350:42:38

A few minutes later, a train come in on the other platform.

0:42:380:42:40

Guys, just stop there for a second.

0:42:400:42:42

If the train stops and the doors don't open,

0:42:420:42:45

then we'll let you through, but keep there for a minute.

0:42:450:42:47

Luckily, it's midweek so there aren't too many people on the train.

0:42:470:42:51

This one looks empty.

0:42:510:42:52

Any gangs of youths on board should be easy to spot.

0:42:540:42:57

Yeah, we've got the people stopped at the bob. Just wait there, please.

0:42:570:43:02

So the other train, hopefully they won't mingle.

0:43:020:43:05

We're trying to speak to the driver, get the doors to stay closed.

0:43:050:43:08

We managed to keep the doors shut

0:43:080:43:09

till we could get enough officers along the exit points of the train.

0:43:090:43:13

Network Rail don't seem to know which train's which

0:43:130:43:15

and where it's coming from.

0:43:150:43:17

Yeah, release the doors.

0:43:180:43:19

No, the doors have been opened now, we'll filter these people through,

0:43:220:43:25

any likely candidates will be stopped.

0:43:250:43:27

'We filtered them out'

0:43:270:43:28

so if there was a group, we could just intercept them.

0:43:280:43:31

But there are no suspects to be found at all on the train.

0:43:310:43:34

That's fine, you can all go.

0:43:350:43:37

But one has been found back up the line in Flitwick.

0:43:370:43:41

'They found the person who'd made the call

0:43:410:43:43

'and the officers at the scene put two and two together'

0:43:430:43:46

so completely pie in the sky,

0:43:460:43:49

just made it up and rung 999.

0:43:490:43:51

The hoaxer will be arrested and charged with wasting police time.

0:43:510:43:56

30 miles away in Hertfordshire,

0:44:010:44:03

a very unusual vehicle has just been stolen.

0:44:030:44:06

PC Mike McCoy is rushing to help two of his traffic colleagues

0:44:130:44:17

who are chasing it.

0:44:170:44:18

We heard Dave and Tony had a vehicle failing to stop for them,

0:44:180:44:24

so I jumped in the car and tried to get there as quick as possible.

0:44:240:44:28

The vehicle's been stolen from Radlett

0:44:280:44:31

and is heading down the A41 towards London.

0:44:310:44:33

Luckily, it's not going very fast.

0:44:420:44:44

Mike should be able to catch up with them.

0:44:460:44:49

His colleagues are chasing a kind of off-roader, a dune buggy.

0:44:490:44:53

SIRENS WAIL

0:44:540:44:58

PC Dave Marshal is in the lead car chasing the buggy.

0:45:080:45:12

It wasn't the fastest chase I've ever had, to be honest!

0:45:120:45:16

I think we topped out about 45 miles an hour down that road.

0:45:160:45:20

Nevertheless, it's not stopping.

0:45:200:45:23

As with motorbikes, the unprotected wheels of the buggy

0:45:300:45:34

make it potentially dangerous to attempt any direct contact.

0:45:340:45:39

They were thinking, "We're not going to get caught by the police,"

0:45:390:45:42

and that's their single goal at that point.

0:45:420:45:44

But the cops have got to stop the thieves

0:45:440:45:46

before they try something out of the ordinary.

0:45:460:45:49

The main thing was that we didn't want that thing to go off-road

0:45:490:45:52

because us in our estate cars would never have caught up with it

0:45:520:45:55

if he'd have gone into a field or something like that.

0:45:550:45:58

We tried once to get past it,

0:46:020:46:03

but the road opened up and it wasn't right for us to stop it there

0:46:030:46:07

and then he goes through a blind set of traffic lights

0:46:070:46:11

where he can't see either way when ours is on red

0:46:110:46:13

and at that point we thought, "He's going to have some sort of collision soon."

0:46:130:46:17

The buggy has no lights, no mirrors

0:46:170:46:20

and is being driven by two youngsters.

0:46:200:46:22

You could tell they were young males. They both had hooded tops on

0:46:230:46:27

and the hoods were right up over their heads

0:46:270:46:29

and trying to disguise themselves as best they could,

0:46:290:46:33

but you just put out what description you can

0:46:330:46:36

when you're chasing them

0:46:360:46:37

to make sure other people, if they run off, know who they are

0:46:370:46:40

and who we're looking for.

0:46:400:46:41

There's a police chopper on its way

0:46:420:46:45

but before it arrives,

0:46:450:46:47

the cops have spotted their chance to put an end to the pursuit...

0:46:470:46:50

..by getting a car in front and boxing him in.

0:46:540:46:57

The driver's out and over the central reservation like a gazelle.

0:47:100:47:15

But his mate's copped an unfortunate break.

0:47:150:47:18

When he jammed the vehicle in,

0:47:180:47:20

the passenger couldn't obviously move,

0:47:200:47:22

cos he was stuck against our car

0:47:220:47:24

but the driver was obviously very quick on his heels.

0:47:240:47:27

He sort of helped us out a bit by hitting the back of the police car,

0:47:270:47:30

in all honesty, cos it just...

0:47:300:47:31

it jammed him into the barrier and couldn't get away.

0:47:310:47:34

So that brought it to a successful stop.

0:47:340:47:37

Except they've only caught the passenger.

0:47:370:47:40

Waiting for a dog, with a bit of luck.

0:47:400:47:42

He literally went over the fence like he could fly.

0:47:440:47:47

Just no way we could get over the fence.

0:47:470:47:49

The arrested lad isn't giving anything away.

0:47:490:47:53

We were going to a job in Radlett,

0:47:530:47:55

where there's been a burglary at some estate or something there.

0:47:550:47:58

As we've come down the road on the way there,

0:47:580:48:01

this has been coming the other way

0:48:010:48:02

with these two blokes from London in it.

0:48:020:48:04

He doesn't know where he's just been,

0:48:040:48:06

doesn't know what he was doing there,

0:48:060:48:08

doesn't know the bloke he's with, virtually,

0:48:080:48:10

only knows his name, Michael, so I think there's a bit more to it

0:48:100:48:14

than they're telling us at the moment.

0:48:140:48:16

The dune buggy is one of the more unusual vehicles Dave's ever chased.

0:48:160:48:21

'It looked like something that you'd go and drive around a sand beach'

0:48:210:48:25

across a load of dunes, not...

0:48:250:48:27

not driving round a street in Hertfordshire.

0:48:270:48:30

He just drove straight into the back of the police car!

0:48:300:48:33

Just like that. So I start slowing down...

0:48:330:48:35

"Not having that!"

0:48:370:48:39

He slammed us in the back.

0:48:390:48:41

-It's a low-speed chase.

-Yes!

0:48:410:48:43

It was ridiculous.

0:48:430:48:46

The police helicopter's arrived to track down the missing driver.

0:48:460:48:50

Met helicopter's coming as well

0:48:500:48:52

cos they've had a linked call from some bloke in the back of a garden.

0:48:520:48:55

They might get him, you know.

0:48:550:48:57

-Got two helicopters.

-Have we?

-Yeah.

0:48:590:49:02

Better than that, I've got a video

0:49:020:49:03

-of Saunders falling off the other side of the fence.

-Brilliant!

0:49:030:49:07

The gazelle is in the garden and has been snared by the chopper crew.

0:49:100:49:14

They found the gentleman.

0:49:140:49:15

He approached the officers and handed himself in.

0:49:150:49:18

Both gentlemen are going to be taken into custody.

0:49:180:49:21

The cops will have the buggy examined for evidence

0:49:210:49:24

to prove that they stole it.

0:49:240:49:26

'No-one was injured, the vehicle was stopped

0:49:260:49:29

'and both people were arrested.

0:49:290:49:31

'I think it was a good, successful job.'

0:49:320:49:35

The buggy's not built for speed.

0:49:350:49:37

Even so, it could have gone a whole lot faster than it did.

0:49:370:49:40

I think they only found first gear. There was a gearbox in the middle

0:49:400:49:44

'and it was in the up position

0:49:440:49:46

'and I think it had a second gear and it could have gone faster

0:49:460:49:49

'but I don't think they'd worked that out.'

0:49:490:49:51

Which was a bit lucky for us, I suppose,

0:49:510:49:53

cos it would have been even more dangerous.

0:49:530:49:56

Not only were the thieves so stupid that they couldn't find second gear,

0:49:560:50:00

it also turned out that they'd filmed themselves on a mobile phone

0:50:000:50:04

hotwiring the buggy inside the owner's garage.

0:50:040:50:07

They'd been using the phone as a light

0:50:070:50:09

to try and see what they were doing in the garage, and I think

0:50:090:50:13

he'd accidentally recorded himself and his mate burgling this garage.

0:50:130:50:16

Don't even touch that yet.

0:50:160:50:18

It was just the evidence the CID investigators were looking for.

0:50:210:50:26

One buried his head in the hands and said, "OK, I'm guilty,"

0:50:260:50:30

and the other said, "It's not me."

0:50:300:50:33

And at one point on the video

0:50:330:50:35

you see it's clearly him wearing the same shoes he had in interview,

0:50:350:50:38

same top, same clothes

0:50:380:50:40

and had his socks over his hands that he had on as well,

0:50:400:50:43

so they had nowhere to go, really.

0:50:430:50:46

X-ray Alpha 99, the police helicopter, is homeward bound

0:50:580:51:02

but all of a sudden, it's encountered what's fast becoming

0:51:020:51:05

the biggest menace to flying at night.

0:51:050:51:07

Lasers.

0:51:090:51:10

I've got problems. We're being targeted by a high-powered laser.

0:51:100:51:14

Crew's attention was drawn to a green laser

0:51:140:51:16

being shone at the aircraft, quite a powerful laser.

0:51:160:51:19

It's a serious matter.

0:51:190:51:21

And you are playing, potentially, roulette

0:51:220:51:25

with passengers and crew in the aircraft,

0:51:250:51:27

particularly if the aircraft's in an important phase of flight

0:51:270:51:30

such as coming in, taking off or landing from an airport

0:51:300:51:33

so it's quite close to ground.

0:51:330:51:34

The pilots, if they're dazzled, it could cause significant issues.

0:51:340:51:38

We're trying to identify the property at the moment.

0:51:380:51:41

Unbeknownst to the culprits, they've been caught

0:51:410:51:43

on the helicopter's powerful thermal imaging camera.

0:51:430:51:46

Cops on the ground will soon be paying them a visit.

0:51:460:51:50

-Property is number one, number one

-BLEEP

-Road,

0:51:500:51:53

they're in the rear garden and still targeting the aircraft.

0:51:530:51:56

-Carl, in Bedford, has been called to the scene.

-Laser pen.

0:51:560:51:59

-Oh, right, they're shining it at the aircraft?

-Yeah.

0:51:590:52:03

It's a pretty unusual job for Carl and his driver, Bob Martindale.

0:52:080:52:13

We're going left, bud.

0:52:140:52:16

I'm your sat nav. Shall I talk in a female voice?

0:52:170:52:20

Under the Air Navigation Act, 2006,

0:52:220:52:24

shining any light at an aircraft is an offence.

0:52:240:52:27

-They prosecuted a few.

-Yeah, I had one in Luton.

0:52:280:52:31

-Cos if it hits the pilot in the eyes...

-There's the helicopter.

0:52:310:52:35

And the helicopter's pretty good in moving off the location

0:52:360:52:40

but keeping them under observation,

0:52:400:52:42

and then we can move in with their guidance.

0:52:420:52:45

-Have they got anybody down there?

-A Special.

0:52:570:53:00

A Special Constable is already at the address.

0:53:000:53:03

The officer at the house was on his own

0:53:030:53:05

with two suspects the helicopter could see.

0:53:050:53:08

We went and backed them up.

0:53:080:53:10

In most cases, a pilot getting a flash from a laser is manageable

0:53:100:53:14

but at the wrong moment, it could have severe consequences.

0:53:140:53:17

Yeah, it can be a serious offence.

0:53:170:53:19

It can be fatal consequences, couldn't it, really?

0:53:190:53:22

Those pens can blind. Normally they have a little warning on it.

0:53:240:53:28

Flying a helicopter,

0:53:280:53:30

driving a car or a lorry,

0:53:300:53:32

you have a laser light in,

0:53:320:53:33

the first thing you're going to do is try and shield that.

0:53:330:53:36

You don't want to take your hands off a helicopter control, do you?

0:53:360:53:39

There it is.

0:53:390:53:40

Recklessly using a laser doesn't only endanger aircraft

0:53:400:53:43

but it's also another waste of the police's time

0:53:430:53:46

and can even lead to a prison sentence.

0:53:460:53:49

The only problem is, it's in somebody's back garden.

0:53:490:53:52

The person who shone the laser is a young man.

0:53:580:54:01

His father is less than pleased.

0:54:010:54:04

-You all right?

-Hello, sir.

0:54:040:54:05

-Crazy.

-Crazy, crazy guy.

-Crazy, crazy.

0:54:080:54:11

I'm sure you're aware of the consequences of a laser pen in your eye,

0:54:140:54:18

cos these pilots, they may wear night vision goggles, yeah?

0:54:180:54:22

And it will blind somebody, won't it?

0:54:220:54:25

How old is...is it your son?

0:54:260:54:28

-Yeah, my son.

-How old?

0:54:280:54:31

23, I think.

0:54:310:54:33

Very good, my son, very good.

0:54:330:54:35

No problem. I don't know what...

0:54:350:54:39

-First time, this one.

-Fair enough. It's a serious offence, though.

0:54:390:54:42

-Yeah.

-Could be consequences are quite grave, aren't they?

0:54:420:54:47

'There's legislation for doing this. It is a specific offence.

0:54:470:54:52

'His son was spoken to by the officer

0:54:520:54:54

'and arrested for that offence.'

0:54:540:54:56

Never trouble, never anything, you know.

0:54:560:54:59

It's just one of them things people don't know about.

0:54:590:55:02

A laser pen, if it gets the pilot in the eyes.

0:55:020:55:05

You're right, every time you're right.

0:55:050:55:08

Cos we want people to learn not to do this.

0:55:080:55:11

The 23-year-old is learning the hard way.

0:55:120:55:15

He's being led away for questioning at the police station.

0:55:160:55:20

-Can I just have a quick look at the pen?

-Yeah, go for it.

0:55:200:55:22

Very impressive.

0:55:220:55:25

Green Laser Pointer.

0:55:250:55:26

'We took possession of the pen.'

0:55:260:55:29

The light from a laser is infinite. It will keep going.

0:55:290:55:33

It is very, very powerful.

0:55:330:55:35

'Whether it be 10 feet, 100 feet,'

0:55:350:55:38

that intensity is the same.

0:55:380:55:40

'If you put the lens cover on it,

0:55:400:55:42

'it actually multiplies by, I'd say, 1,000 dots.'

0:55:420:55:45

God, look at that.

0:55:450:55:47

And they're all the same intensity.

0:55:480:55:50

So you've now got 1,000 beams rather than one.

0:55:520:55:55

Cool.

0:55:570:55:59

I thought you was on your own.

0:55:590:56:01

-What time you on till?

-About three.

-Cool.

0:56:010:56:03

I don't think there's malice

0:56:030:56:06

from the people who get found by police aircraft.

0:56:060:56:09

They're just not aware of the consequences of their actions,

0:56:090:56:12

they're reckless as to what they're trying to do.

0:56:120:56:15

The number of laser strikes is rocketing.

0:56:160:56:19

Last year in Britain, there were nearly 2,000 of them

0:56:190:56:23

against all types of aircraft,

0:56:230:56:25

compared to just 27 reported in 2007.

0:56:250:56:28

It is a significant problem.

0:56:280:56:30

I don't think there goes a month in the UK

0:56:300:56:32

when a police aircraft is not hit with a laser.

0:56:320:56:36

So that's...

0:56:360:56:37

There's 30-odd helicopters in the UK, police aircraft

0:56:370:56:40

and it'll be one hit a month at least.

0:56:400:56:43

After being quizzed at the police station,

0:56:450:56:47

the man who laser-flashed the copper's chopper was released

0:56:470:56:51

after accepting a police caution.

0:56:510:56:53

The 12-year-old boy found with cannabis

0:56:550:56:57

was given a three-month referral order and made to undergo

0:56:570:57:01

a six-month reparation and intervention programme.

0:57:010:57:04

The cannabis-eating man was released without being charged

0:57:050:57:09

when no evidence could be found

0:57:090:57:10

after it had all been eaten.

0:57:100:57:12

The young man whose birthday it was,

0:57:140:57:16

who fled from the cops just because he had no tax,

0:57:160:57:19

pleaded guilty to dangerous driving

0:57:190:57:20

and had his licence taken away for 18 months.

0:57:200:57:23

The other biker who turned nasty

0:57:240:57:26

pleaded guilty to two charges of assault

0:57:260:57:29

as well as possession of cannabis and cocaine

0:57:290:57:31

and was sentenced to nine months in prison.

0:57:310:57:35

Chris Thomas, whom he assaulted,

0:57:350:57:36

has now fully recovered since being re-admitted to hospital

0:57:360:57:40

after suffering a seizure following the attack.

0:57:400:57:42

And the two men who stole the dune buggy were both found guilty

0:57:440:57:48

of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking

0:57:480:57:50

and were given community orders and 12-month driving bans.

0:57:500:57:54

The fact that they caught themselves on camera only goes to show

0:57:540:57:57

you don't have to be stupid to be a thief, but it certainly helps.

0:57:570:58:01

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:220:58:25

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.


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