Documentary series. Officers from North Yorkshire's specialist Road Crime Team 'box' a reported stolen car on the motorway.
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North Yorkshire - the largest county in England and Wales.
From seaside resorts like Scarborough
to the historic city of York.
It just offers you everything that policing could offer you.
You work the cities, you work the rural areas.
6,000 miles of some of Britain's most scenic
and most unforgiving roads.
We've got three casualties out of the vehicle in front of us.
The traffic cops here deal with among the highest number
of serious collisions per head than anywhere in the UK.
Roundabout, the wrong way, the wrong way, onto the dual carriageway.
Tonight, criminals on the run...
1768, we've got four males in it who are swapping seats.
..a driver in trouble.
Can you call me an ambulance out?
They're just doing tests.
..and a cop car rammed.
Vehicle's just rammed us.
Best job in the world.
We drive very nice cars and we stop baddies.
Welcome to North Yorkshire,
a vast area, stretching the traffic cops to the limit.
5,000 crimes are reported in North Yorkshire every month.
Many involve criminals using the county's roads as an escape route.
With 3,200 square miles to police,
the traffic cops here face a constant battle
to catch up with crooks on the move.
Whatever happens in the middle of London,
it happens in North Yorkshire.
It may not happen to the same magnitude,
it may not happen with the same frequency, but it happens.
Policing is policing because you're dealing with people.
First received. Just repeat. Foxtrot Papa 55.
Tadcaster traffic constable Martin Smith is five hours into his shift
when a call comes in about a stolen car.
They've got a trigger hit on a stolen motor vehicle
coming south from Boroughbridge.
The car's hit an automatic number plate recognition camera on the A1
and Martin is about 20 miles from the last sighting.
It's Foxtrot Papa 55 is what we're looking for, a grey Astra.
Across the UK, a car is stolen on average every seven minutes.
Oscar Romeo 22.
As Martin approaches the motorway,
more news comes through about the location of the stolen car.
He's managed to get ahead of it, so pulls up beside the slip road.
Yeah, 22, I'm static southbound at Bramham, waiting.
-We're trying to get enough cars together...
-Yes, 70, middle lane,
half a mile back on the A64 southbound.
..to stop it. It's half a mile away from us on here.
We're going to join in in a minute
and then we're probably going to put a pre-emptive stop on it,
which is stopping the vehicle before it starts to run.
Six miles behind, James Duffy and Mick Roth
of the North Yorkshire road crime team are racing to join the hunt.
91, can we hear from the ARB?
They're going to be closest.
We were in Harrogate and we'd heard it come down
and we're within a distance that means that
there's a real good possibility of us getting involved.
We don't usually have information as to who's in that vehicle,
because it could be anyone, so we have to treat that as
this is a genuine stolen vehicle, somebody's in that
and they're going to want to get away.
Looking for middle lane. Grey Astra.
In a minute.
There it is. That one there.
And we're going to join in the back and wait for instructions.
It's in front of the marked car, that's where it is.
There are now two police cars directly behind the stolen car
but the driver shows no sign of reacting to the cops.
Speed - 65mph. Just confirm...
The worry for Martin now is that the suspect may take off.
We're watching very carefully for this driver's reaction.
Some people just sit there very coyly
and believe, the more normal they behave, the quicker it'll go away.
23, you've got 22 behind you, nobody else.
The cops want to surround the car and force it to stop
but, to do this, they have to wait
until a third police car catches them up.
The idea at the moment is, if we can get another patrol car in behind,
we'll go for what they call a pre-emptive stop,
which is we will surround the vehicle and pull it in
without giving the driver much time to react.
If he does react, he's got three cars around him to hold him in,
but we ideally need three cars.
It might be, at that very, very point when we do that,
that the drivers suddenly twigs,
actually, we do know he's there and it is him we want and we have chaos.
Finally, the third cop car takes up its position in the chasing pack
but they still can't strike yet.
We have a duty to detain and deal with the offender.
We also have a duty to protect the public.
James is now behind the chasers keeping the traffic behind them,
out of harm's way.
That gives us enough vehicles to box it in
as well as having a safety vehicle
which means that the motorists that are coming up on you at 70-80mph,
we can give them warning to move over
and it gives us a bit of a safety barrier.
With the motorway traffic held back,
the intercept team get ready to stop the suspect.
Yeah, 22 to 23, if you want us to come past,
just leave your lights off.
When ours go on, then put yours on.
I'll go in front, the car behind me offside, you at the back, confirm?
-Yep, all received.
As soon as we're clear, I'll come round you.
I'd like that little white car out of the way,
because it's going to get right in the middle of it all
if we're not careful.
Martin moves to overtake the suspect's car.
One patrol car sits behind
and another comes alongside.
Vehicle is stopped. Stand by, XM.
Get out of the car. Get out of the car, please.
Come out and I'll explain what's happening.
All right, turn and face that.
Initially, he started saying, "Well, it isn't stolen,"
because, essentially, it's his car.
Maybe he thought it was all a big mistake.
The front one's the only one we can get him into.
Different people have different reactions
and the reaction isn't quite right for a completely innocent person.
He's a little bit too resigned to it.
All we've been told at the moment is that the car's been reported stolen,
and you're in that vehicle,
hence why you're arrested on suspicion of theft.
We'll sort out the rest in due course, all right?
While the man's detained,
James is still holding traffic back waiting for an all clear.
Yep. All cars are off the road. They're on the hard shoulder.
You can let it run and then just come down to us.
As the roadblock's released and the motorway reopens,
the suspect and his car are taken to York police station
to confirm if it is, indeed, stolen.
40 miles away, traffic constable Dan Hughes
is patrolling north of Scarborough
on the lookout for more criminals on the move.
He's been alerted to a report of a shop theft.
When the initial report comes in of a theft
and people leaving in a vehicle,
you've got to start up on the top level.
Are you dealing with a team of shoplifters?
Organised travelling criminals.
People travel extensively throughout the country
for the sole purpose of committing high-value shop thefts.
More news comes in about what's been stolen.
It's a minor theft of fudge from a shop on Scarborough seafront.
You start up thinking about things top level
and sometimes end up coming down to the simpler, more amusing things.
Theft's a theft, isn't it?
You know, it's not a quad bike in the back but...
In 2013, there were nearly 4,000 reports of shop theft
across North Yorkshire.
If Dan responds quickly,
he could cut this thief off before he leaves the area.
Checks on the computer showed it to possibly be
from the Middlesbrough area.
Really, I was ideally placed to cut across country
and take up a position to try and intercept the vehicle,
should it be heading home.
There it is.
Literally within a couple of minutes,
the van passed me in the opposite direction.
Dan now urgently needs information about the suspect.
4-3, just got that vehicle stopped now on the last bus stop lay-by
before the main roundabout.
-You all right?
-All right, fellas? Yeah.
Just switch the engine off and pass us the keys.
Starter motor's gone, mate. Switch it off, it's dead.
-Where are you from?
-Right. Who's vehicle is it?
-What's your name?
-Have you been to Scarborough?
-No, not today.
-Are you sure?
-Positive, mate, yeah.
'I know that vehicle's been in Scarborough,
'the registration's been passed to me
'from witnesses who have seen it leaving the scene of the theft.'
If you know the facts and straightaway they're telling you
porkies then you know you need to do a bit of digging.
Where are you heading to now?
-Where have you been just now?
-Up in Rugby.
It's over that way, Rugby?
Over that way somewhere.
'I'm trying to play it fairly calm,'
there's no point diving in with handcuffs and things
'and aggravating the situation.
'I've got plenty of time to let them sit and stew for a moment.'
At York Police Station James Duffy is checking in the driver
of the car reported stolen.
He was really cool, calm and collected. He's never been arrested
before, we've got no record of him on our local system.
The driver continues to dispute who owns the car
but, as routine checks are carried out,
a search of the man reveals something much more suspicious.
We search all people when they come into custody
and it's a good job that we do.
£4,000 is a lot of cash for a gambling win
and James suspects the money really comes from the proceeds of crime.
The police are starting to think they might be onto something
much bigger here.
Anything else in your trouser pockets?
'We're now leading somewhere else.'
We have a very basic domestic theft of the car,
'we now suddenly have somebody with £4,000 in his pocket in cash,
'so you start to dig more and more,'
you use the powers that's available to you, so we continue to search.
Take your shoes off for me.
The cops then make another discovery.
It's a package full of what they suspect is class A drugs.
The drugs are crack cocaine, worth £2,000.
A real large quantity.
Probably one of the largest I've seen get off someone.
Wrapped and ready to go, obviously not in a pre-made...
Small wraps. So it's a real good little seizure, that.
In 2013 there were over 200,000 drug offences recorded in the UK.
I would think most involved at that level, it's because of profit,
it's how much money you make. It's business. It's supply and demand.
'The thing that goes down badly with society is the after-effects.
'Nasty drugs have a long-term effect on people,'
people become victims of drugs.
People who become victims of drugs have families.
Families witness this. So it becomes an unpleasant affair all round.
The allegations against the man in relation to the stolen car
are yet to be resolved...
but now his arrest for drug supply
means he could be facing a length prison sentence.
Despite this, he remains unfazed.
He's still real cool, calm and collected.
There's no worry in his face.
We get a range of reactions but often very quiet,
very solemn, you think they might have something on them.
Very nervous - you can see their chest going in and out,
real shallow, rapid breathing
because they've got adrenaline going round their body.
But there was no indications with this chap
that there was anything untoward.
50 miles away on the A171 near Whitby,
Dan has caught up with a van linked with a theft
from a shop on Scarborough seafront.
Yeah, I've got two passengers. One's got grey, paint splattered...
The man and the van fit the reported description.
'So I had to front them up, really,'
either all of you come in or one of you mans up and tells me
what you've done.
Which one of you have pinched these things at Scarborough, then?
Or are you all three getting locked up?
This chocolate fudge mousse stuff, in the wine glasses.
All right, buddy.
At this time you're under arrest on suspicion of theft.
Where's the bits now?
-Troughed 'em and binned 'em, have you?
-Was it worth it?
Faced with dropping his workmates in it, the fudge thief has come clean.
Fudge. Do you know what I mean?
If you want to jump in the front seat of the car for us.
And I'll...do some paperwork with you.
Attitude, you know, plays a big key role in the people we deal with.
He realises the error of his ways.
4-3, just after the values of the stolen items, please.
And was it two?
A fixed penalty ticket for theft.
I'll double-check the fine, I think it's 80 quid.
It's an alternative to taking you back down to Scarborough
and put in a cell and getting interviewed.
-Yeah, thank you.
-What do you do for a living?
-Shop fitter or lifter?
-Stop it right now!
He was quite a character.
Jolly enough. I think he'd had a little bit to drink.
But he was honest, he was open and that's the thing I like.
90 quid is it. It's gone up a bit but not as much as the others.
Used to be 80, it's obviously gone up to 90.
-90 quid for two fudges.
-It certainly isn't the crime of the
It certainly isn't but it's a crime nevertheless and that's somebody's
little business and it's a family owned business.
-I totally appreciate that...
-They put money into it, don't they?
..somebody being silly, coming in and swiping things from them...
Being a dick.
I don't need to tell you how stupid you've been, do I?
At the end of the day you've been honest with me.
I appreciate how you've dealt with me.
-We'll deal with you in a reasonable fashion.
-Thank you very much.
Seriously, I am just so happy that the police have been
so understanding and realise that I'm a tit
and I should not pinch fudge from shops. Nice one.
With the thief dealt with,
Dan now wants to look over the van for any other potential offences.
What else have you chaps been up to? What's the in the back of the van?
Plus somebody having a kip, is it?
On a makeshift shelf in the back of the van is another lad,
laid nice and quietly, hoping to keep himself tucked away.
Carrying a passenger in this way is both unsafe and illegal...
That'll be three points for you, then. Unlucky.
..and it's the driver's responsibility.
Bear with us, I'll get this ticket written out, get you on your way.
Although the driver's copped for the ticket...
-One of yous has got to walk.
-You can't have four of you in the van.
..it's the back shelf passenger who's ended up with a long walk home.
He has been issued with a £90 penalty.
That was expensive fudge, wasn't it?
That apparently wasn't even very nice.
Between two of them, driving that passenger it's cost them 190 quid
and three points on the license there, so...expensive outing.
At York Police Station James Duffy and Martin Smith are still dealing
with the crack cocaine found on the driver they stopped on the A1.
He claims that he found it in a park, he picked it up,
he knew what it was and his plan was to take that away and sell it.
We all know that's a load of rubbish.
Whether he's taking the rap cos he doesn't want it to fall on
people above him in the food chain maybe, I don't know.
Checks reveal that the driver has no criminal record.
Do we know when he came here?
It's rare for the police to be totally unaware of someone
found carrying such a large quantity of class A drugs.
Substantive license from 2005, that's genuine,
he's of no interest to Immigration. They don't know anything about him.
This one really caught us on the back foot.
You've got someone we don't know anything about,
he's never been in trouble, we don't hold any intelligence on him.
If that license is right, which they say it is,
-and that is him, he's no record at all.
-No trace, no.
It's rather a lot to have on someone.
Very lucky or very clever.
Not any more.
The hope now is that their investigation will lead to others.
Because it's someone that's gone under the radar, there's no
attention been put into him, but due to the fact he's not very well known
he's managing to move around large quantities of gear and cash.
With the man arrested, the cops can now search his home address.
Our priority is going to be securing the house.
There might be further drugs, cash, evidence relating to the offence.
Basically we can delay his right to have somebody informed
if we believe there's going to be a loss of evidence.
We can get some officers round there and do the search
and hopefully secure some more gear, cash, evidence, whatever it may be.
There will be a hierarchy.
You'll have the person at the top that imports the gear,
that will then get split up to lower dealers, then there's a whole range
of different levels before you get down to your street-level dealing.
What started as an unproven report of a stolen car has uncovered
a much more serious offence.
If found guilty of crack dealing on this scale the suspect could be
jailed for four and a half years.
For North Yorkshire's traffic cops,
keeping people safe is not always about locking up drug dealers.
Over the years we've had illness at the wheel,
people collapse in the street.
You can have people run out in the road
and see a police car coming, they need some help.
One of the primary functions of a police officer is to protect life
Martin Smith is back on patrol near the A1 in Boroughbridge
when something catches his eye in the rear-view mirror.
I was sat there and this great big artic came off the roundabout.
I wasn't that far away but he made a beeline for the back of the car
and I think he probably wants some directions
or he's going to report something.
-I don't know if you can help us
but me shoulder's gone... me arm's gone numb.
Right. Do you want me to get you an ambulance?
Are you in a bit of a state?
-I just feel all shaky.
Have you got any medical problems that you know of?
-Nothing? Right, you sit down there a second.
I'm going to get an ambulance out and get them to look at you,
just in case it's a ripple about something else. Then we'll sort
your truck out after that, all right?
The man's shoulder is numb.
It could be a sign of a stroke or heart attack.
It's the type of emergency most cops come across
at some point in their careers.
'I've had it happen to me once when I was a beat bobby in Scarborough.
'Somebody collapsed. Hadn't been in the job long - a month.'
And at that point in time,
bearing in mind I was 18 and a half years old, there was a degree
of panic setting in.
I've got a lorry driver's just pulled up
and he's in a bit of a state with himself, medically.
Can you call me an ambulance out? It's non-specific.
He's got a pain in his arm, it's seized up. The only thing he's taken
is flu tablets. If you could send us one down, please.
But you don't forget these things.
And life is life whichever way you look at it.
Got up this morning, I felt fine.
I was coming down the A19, me shoulder's just gone, like...
I can only lift it as far as there.
It might be something as simple as a trapped nerve. But if you're...
-I don't know if I'm feeling shaky with the worry.
So I don't know so we'll have the ambulance out to look at you.
That's what they're there for. Try not to worry about it too much.
While we're chatting I'm going to put your feet in and shut the door
and put the heater up a little bit.
'The chap is clearly distressed and he's on the verge of tears
'and I think it's fair to say that most blokes'
don't like bursting into tears in front of other blokes.
It's a man thing, I guess.
Me dad died of a stroke.
running through there.
'Whilst he's talking to me I ask a question'
and I'm studying his reaction.
If he suddenly starts slurring or delays his answers
or he can't remember something I've said then we know something is
developing and it may be time to change tack.
An ambulance quickly arrives and Martin hands over to the paramedics.
-We'll get you on our vehicle and we'll get you checked out.
-Do you think you can manage to walk to our vehicle?
Nice and steady.
With a history of strokes in the family, the man's condition
is taken seriously.
-You were changing gear when it happened?
Figures show that every five minutes someone suffers a stroke in the UK.
When it occurs behind the wheel of an HGV the consequences could be fatal.
If he's going down the A1 and he passes out at the wheel
and leans left he might go up the embankment and flip his lorry over
on the hard shoulder. It just doesn't bear thinking about.
While he's checked over the driver receives a call.
It actually says "The Wife."
I'm in an ambulance.
'His wife is somebody that's very personal to him'
so as soon as he's in the company of somebody he can trust
-then all the emotions come forward.
-They're just doing tests.
What you're seeing now is what he really feels like.
I pulled in at a police car.
The police phoned the ambulance.
I'll let you know what's happening.
I think as you get older
you start to understand what this life thing is.
I don't think people understand until they get older what it means.
Let's just take you down to Harrogate, get the pain sorted out.
The tests have not shown up anything worrying
but, as a precaution, Davey is taken to hospital.
I think most people if they thought they were going to have a stroke
or were convinced they were having a heart attack,
and it's never happened before, you can't blame them for panicking.
He was just frightened. Did not know what was happening.
He got to the point where he needed some help and I'm glad he found it.
Policing North Yorkshire's roads is a 24-hour operation.
At night-time the traffic cops are on the hunt for crooks who use
darkness to cover their tracks.
We stop a lot of vehicles on a night.
We get people that bring drugs, we get burglars
and we get other sort of thieves and people up to no good.
You never quite know what it's going to be.
It's 3.00am. The middle of the night.
James Duffy is keeping an eye on a crime hotspot.
We're in Askern which is just north of Doncaster
but it's really close to our border.
That whole stretch there, we get a lot of traffic of people
coming up and committing plant thefts, theft of metal and wiring,
all sorts of crimes like that and it's a real hotspot for us.
It's not long before James spots a van he thinks is worth stopping,
and he sets off in pursuit.
We're trying to catch up with a vehicle that we'd seen
approach the lights, suddenly do a U-turn and disappear back off.
Which is real suspect behaviour.
There's a male, white, wearing a dark green coloured jumper.
It's not particularly racing along
but it is driving in excess of the speed limit.
Having attracted James' attention,
the van's registration is run through the police database.
Citroen Berlingo van in white.
RESPONSE ON RADIO
It comes back to a BMW in black
so we have to give it a stop and that's what we do,
light it up and we'll soon see the reaction from him.
As soon as James puts his blue lights on the driver makes a run for it.
There's no attempt for him to pull over
and you can see he goes straight into overtakes.
It's early in the morning, it's not great conditions.
What we need to do is start to get vehicles to the area.
But before the rest of the team can reach him,
the driver changes tactics...
putting James in a vulnerable position.
I can see that his lights are on.
Straightaway we're thinking you're either looking at a decamp
or he's going to ram us. And it's a bit of a standoff.
The cop car is a three litre twin turbo BMW worth over £40,000.
But the van driver doesn't seem to care about damaging it.
Vehicle's just rammed us...
His back end, you're not going to be able to do anything to put him out
the game. Us, you're talking about our front end and that's where
the damage can be done and you can be put out the pursuit.
When they're ramming you you've got a couple of options -
you're either going to look at reversing, staying well back
and don't give him an opportunity.
The next option is to close up to him.
Because if he can't get a good run up at you he's not going to
be able to do much damage.
If ramming a cop car isn't enough,
the van driver now poses an even bigger threat.
As we come round he's out of the vehicle, wielding what turns out
to be a pair of bolt croppers.
His ultimate aim there was to smash our windscreen.
Just something else they can do to get you out of the game.
Having been rammed five times,
the damage to James' patrol car is serious.
..entering a 30... speed is 4-0 miles an hour...
There's a problem with its engine.
We're trying to keep with him as much as we can
but we've got to balance it
because we don't want to push a car that's not fit for purpose any more.
If we're to lose control we could end up in a collision and we don't
want to put the public at risk so sometimes you have to call it.
We are dropping off, unfortunately. Losing power from my car.
We've been rammed. Speed 4-0 miles an hour.
It's a temporary loss at this time.
I can't explain how frustrating it is.
It's a total loss on Doncaster Lane B1220.
It goes that way sometimes. Sometimes you can have a clean hit
on them and you bring that pursuit to an early conclusion.
James suspects the van driver's late night outing wasn't just about
damaging cop cars.
I'm thinking he's looking at going into compounds so you're looking at
theft of cable, commercial burglaries, anything like that.
But unfortunately without stopping him
we're not able to make those investigations.
30 miles away it's now 5.00am.
On the outskirts of Ripon, rookie traffic constable Chris Coleman
is nearing the end of his nine-hour night shift.
I'd only been in traffic about three weeks, possibly, then.
So fairly new.
I left school, I went straight into the building trade and enjoyed it
but I always wanted to be a police officer.
It was a big shock when I first joined.
I joined as a PCSO to start with,
which was a great learning curve.
But soon settled into it and absolutely love it.
A member of the public has alerted the cops to a 4x4
and checks on the car reveal the owner lives 50 miles away.
The police suspect the 4x4 driver has stolen a trailer
and used it to steal diesel.
Diesel theft, particularly from the farming community,
is a major problem.
In 2013 there were more than 750 fuel thefts across North Yorkshire.
We're looking for a Jeep. But if we find them and they smell of diesel
and there's diesel in that trailer they're all coming in.
Yeah, I'm just behind you now.
A colleague's on the Jeep's tail and Chris tucks in behind.
Just let him keep going till we get him in the lights at the roundabout.
Taking the lead, Chris sees there's no trailer with the Jeep.
But colleagues have found one abandoned 20 miles away.
The trailer's been carrying a heavy load
and the electric socket is torn off.
If the 4x4 is also damaged there may be a link.
Although the car pulls over...
..for some reason the driver doesn't want to be found behind the wheel.
We've got four males in it who are swapping seats.
'Suspicions were it was either a disqualified driver,
'he was drunk, full of drugs or he was driving with no insurance.'
Jump out, mate. Jump out. Jump out for us.
Jump out, just go to my colleague there.
It's very easy to tell they weren't there just for a drive out to
look at the scenery.
A damaged towbar confirms the cops' suspicions.
The Jeep has been towing the abandoned trailer.
'It's got a towbar and a light socket missing which again'
is all just good evidence for us.
Cos you were the driver and it's on our camera in the back of there.
I don't drive.
Have you got a driving licence?
-No, I don't drive.
-You been disqualified?
Jamie, don't forget to tell the truth who was driving.
You try to get them separated as quickly as possible but when there's
four of them and only three police officers it's not always that easy.
-What's your name?
-Well, what's your name?
I'll go and get this lad's details cos this is the driver.
I'm not the driver.
'They know the system quite well, really.
'But we get used to it and we just carry on with our job.'
Just sit in there for us.
Don't nick this car.
Suspecting the driver who changed seats is disqualified
and drunk, Chris arrests him.
Listen to what I'm saying to you.
You don't have to say anything, it may harm your defence...
-I'm arresting you...
-I'm arresting you for driving while disqualified.
They know how far they can push it, what they think
they can do to wind us up, what information they want to give us.
Whose is the vehicle?
The lads might not want to talk...
..but a search of the car may have uncovered a further offence.
I'll nick the driver for that as well, then.
Diesel, we'll have to dip it.
Chris has found containers of red diesel
which is for off-road use only.
Using this cheaper fuel on public roads is illegal.
It is quite a big problem, yeah, especially in North Yorkshire cos
there's a lot of red diesel around cos all the farms use red diesel.
And there's a further report that the men have been up to no good.
There's a burglary not far away from where the trailer's been dumped.
The trailer was stolen so they've ditched it after something's
gone wrong and they've been trying to get back home.
Just to make you both aware,
you're also being arrested for theft of a trailer.
Yeah. Do you both understand that?
You know exactly what it means, mate.
-I'll explain it all to you when we get to custody.
With or without their cooperation...
Stop kicking the van!
..the suspects are locked up and heading for custody.
Don't damage the van, mate, I'll lock you up for that as well.
You need to calm down, fella.
Despite the abuse directed at him Chris still remains philosophical.
He's all right, it's the camera he doesn't like.
Best job in the world. Drive very nice cars and we stop baddies.
Nothing better than that, really.
North Yorkshire is a popular tourist destination,
attracting millions of visitors every year.
But even in a seaside resort like Scarborough the cops still face
their fair share of crime.
For traffic constable Mark Gonella it's home.
It's a beautiful area. I moved up here 13 years ago.
Scarborough is a holiday location,
people coming up to have a good day out at Scarborough seaside,
to sit on the donkeys, to play on the sand,
and I couldn't ask for a better area to work.
But we still have crime, we still have violence.
It's 9.00am and some worrying news comes through.
REPORT ON RADIO
A spate of violent bag snatches has been reported in the last 24 hours.
It's a worry, isn't it? Scarborough's not a place for that
and yet in 24 hours you've had four, five, six bag snatches,
you've got, you know, violence being used towards people.
It's something you don't want.
And now reports of another attack are coming in.
While Mark usually deals with traffic incidents,
the local police are pulling in all resources.
To us at that point it's got to be a manhunt.
There's a gentleman out committing all these crimes
and we've got to find him.
Seven officers are now searching Scarborough and the surrounding area,
with only eyewitness sightings to go on.
-Are you all right?
You haven't seen a lad, 25-30 years old, running through your car park?
It's already ten minutes since police received their last sighting
of the suspect but so far he's slipped the net.
They're now speaking to the witness and he's not come down this way,
he's done the bag snatch...
in the alleyway, he's doubled back into some fields and across them.
You've got that timescale, every minute that goes past
they're either getting further away,
they're changing what they're wearing.
You've got to be as quick as you can and responsive as you can.
Is it going to change? Is it going to become more violent?
Is someone going to resist?
So, yeah, it's a worry.
Suspect...has run across the traffic lights that I've just come from,
he's run across and gone into the fields to our left.
But he's also been seen to discard his clothing
and he's discarded a black top.
You've got to think like the criminal,
you've got to think, what are they going to do? Where are they going to
go? What are they trying to avoid? Are they going to change clothes?
As more cops join the manhunt the net is closing in.
I'm just thinking whether he's heading up towards
the back of Oliver's Mount and whether it's worth...
I'll hang around here if you want to go up.
If you cover this side I'll go Oliver's Mount
and just drop in the top end.
-In front of him?
-Yeah. And if he's coming through then we've covered...
But before Mark can search the area there's a crucial update.
They're checking someone now.
Plain clothes colleagues less than half a mile away have a man
matching the description in their sights.
As Mark arrives the plain clothes officers have the suspect
They've got him.
They're confident he's the man they've been looking for.
Excellent. Brilliant, well done.
The unmarked officer's vehicle - and officers - came up the road and saw
the gent just walking straight down this grassed area in front of me.
He was approached, he made no denial at all.
He fits the description perfectly.
The property has been recovered and found.
He was arrested for robbery and, as they say,
he put his hands straight out.
With the manhunt over
the investigation into the suspect's crimes begins.
Earlier on today there was a report of a robbery taking place
of a lady near to the Morrisons store.
At the moment we're going purely on description and location.
We were given a good description.
When you bear in mind the weather conditions today,
that it's cold, there's not many people walking around just wearing
a blue T-shirt and jogging bottoms.
Have you been arrested before?
There's been no denials whatsoever.
He's just accepted that he's been arrested and come here.
He's quite calm and collected for someone that's just been
arrested for a serious offence.
The suspect stands accused of mugging five elderly women.
..arrested by 3-2-1.
'It's one of the worst crimes, isn't it? It's attacking a person.'
It may be a 30-second thing for that bag snatcher
but for that person that's been touched by them
and attacked by them that's a lifelong thing.
-Do you prefer Joe or Joseph?
Because you've come into custody I've got to search you to make sure
you haven't got anything on you that you shouldn't have.
Those were done prior to us seeing you today?
Yeah, these have been done just before I've been arrested.
'My goal as a policeman is to make sure that me, my wife, my kids,'
anybody can go around places like Scarborough without fear or worry
and by taking him off the street that's what we're achieving.
If Joseph is found guilty of robbery
he could be jailed for up to seven years.
-All right, take care.
On the outskirts of Scarborough there's been another violent attack.
This time a thief has attempted
to steal a van on a local industrial estate.
At Scarborough's traffic base, Dan Hughes is responding to the call.
If he's got any hope of catching the thief Dan needs to get there fast.
Criminals can be quite determined.
If they've come out with the intention of stealing
something that day then they might just go elsewhere
and chance their arm at stealing something else.
As Dan arrives the thief is nowhere to be seen
but the van he tried to steal is still in the yard.
As the thief attempted to drive off,
a local contractor jumped in to stop him.
I just went for the car door cos I knew it wasn't any of our lads
so I knew it was getting pinched.
I opened the door and he barged out at me.
Lucky to catch them in it and not let them get away
cos he could have run him down and driven off.
The bottom line is always to not recommend people have a go.
However, naturally instinct is always for people to get stuck in
and try and stop. In this case it's paid off but there's always
the consideration that they've been disturbed trying to steal one van,
will they be hanging around? Are they out for a van?
Are they going to try and steal something else?
The thief left behind a vital piece of evidence -
his shirt ripped in the struggle to get away.
That's why I couldn't keep hold of him, he wiggled out it.
When it happens so fast you can't...
You haven't got time to think, have you?
They've made one grave error
and that was leaving clothing at the scene.
The chances of us getting DNA swabs from that are fairly high.
For the cops the hunt is on.
They're looking for a silver Volvo seen at the time of the incident.
Witnesses have confirmed its registration number
and the cops are hoping it's still close by.
Dan parks up one of Scarborough's main roads,
ready to stop the Volvo should it make a break from the area.
He should stand out if he's in the passenger seat of the car,
bare-chested with lots of tattoos.
We'll sit here for a bit. The job's only 10 or 15 minutes old
and we'll see if the vehicle surfaces.
It could be long gone but it might still be in the area.
News come through of a breakthrough.
Numberplate recognition cameras
have identified the Volvo driving back into the area.
There's a fair chance of that being the correct vehicle as it's from the
Humberside area, it's got no current keeper on it and no insurance.
We've got a suspicious vehicle still in the area
and we've got some proper details of that car -
a registration number and make and model.
You've always got to hope. You've always got to be out there thinking
positively that they're still about and you're going to catch them.
With the cops closing in on the silver Volvo in Scarborough...
..50 miles away rookie traffic cop Chris Coleman
is heading south on the A1.
He's on the tail of a Land Rover Discovery
he thinks is driving too fast.
I think I was overtaking vehicles in lane two,
doing about 70mph in a fully-marked police car
and the car in front of us went past me doing about 80mph.
I always find it amusing when people pass me going over the speed limit.
They're a bit like an ostrich - they turn the other way
and never look at me.
Like an ostrich would bury its head, thinking I won't see 'em.
The driver has slowed down but Chris now has another concern -
he can't make out the registration on the back of the Discovery.
Can you read that number plate?
Not having a clean number plate's an offence
and what more bothered me was the speed he came down the outside lane.
4x4s like this Discovery are a common target for car thieves.
Without a visible registration, automatic number plate recognition
cameras can't identify a stolen car.
I can't do a vehicle check cos I'm struggling to see the number plate.
You've got to stop it. It's my job to be curious.
He's sticking to the speed limit now.
I don't know whose it is, I haven't got a clue who's in it.
As soon as I get out the car they might try to make off.
Morning. How are you?
I'm good, thank you. I was.
-Do you know the registration of your vehicle?
-Erm...no, Y... No.
I don't know it, either.
-The reason I don't know it is cos I can't see it.
-Oh, right. Sorry.
'A lot of people don't know their reg plates'
but a lot of people drive different cars now -
lease cars and company cars and that,
so it's not an offence not to know your registration plate.
It's just an offence not to keep it clean.
It's normally the back one that is the problem.
Satisfied the plates match up and are now clean,
Chris has a word with the driver.
-Thank you. Have you been in trouble with the police before?
-Are you aware it's an offence not to have a clean number plate?
Is there any reason why you didn't clean it this morning before
-you set off?
-I didn't even look.
-So, I can't...
Right, that's fine,
but obviously there is reasons why we need number plates clean.
Before rookie Chris gives the driver her ticket
he wants a bit of advice from a colleague.
Can I just double check the cost code on that?
'We've just had some new tickets come out,
'and it used to be £30 for a number plate.'
And I knew the tickets had gone up and I assumed they'd gone up to £50.
I've just, er, stopped a vehicle
for a number plate that I couldn't read.
I thought it was a £50 fine.
On my...code booklet, it says it's £100. Is that correct?
It is. It's 100 quid, mate.
-I think it's worth the £5 car wash.
-Yeah, you're right.
I'm not the first police officer in North Yorkshire to have had
a bit of a shock when they've found out it's £100.
I'm sorry. I did think it was £50, but I have checked and it isn't.
But if it was stolen,
-you would want us to be able to read it, wouldn't you?
No, it's fine. You know, it's my fault.
But, Julie, look on the bright side -
-I didn't do you for the speeding.
-Which you were doing
in the outside lane, about 90mph when I first saw you.
Exercising his powers of discretion,
Chris offers the woman words of advice about her speed.
I know you saw me,
because you braked quite heavily and came back in.
I have to say, I don't think you see enough of you lot on the roads.
-I know, no!
-Today you wish you hadn't seen me!
Yeah, I know what you mean.
One minute, we're the worst people in the world
when we're doing people for speeding. Everybody hates us.
But then when there's somebody in front of them in lane two
and don't pull over, they want the police there to go
and deal with it, so we can't win.
That's not cos we're not here, it's just...because of numbers
and we have to go to where the jobs are, so... You know.
Unfortunately, I don't make the rules. I only enforce them.
-So, it's £100 you owe me.
-Oh, never mind. Thank you anyway.
-I appreciate it.
-I didn't realise it was that.
-Right, I'll just get the tax details.
I just think £100 for that and £100 for speeding, I don't really think
there's any comparison, but if he's saying I was speeding earlier...
You know, it's fair cop, isn't it?
So I can't... I can't complain.
Yeah, it's a bit hard, isn't it, really?
How do you back down?
You made the decision that she's committed the offence,
but, tell you what, she won't do it again.
It's a shame that you can't give...
..er, nasty people big fines and nice people little fines.
I do sometimes think, "Ooh, that's not very nice."
Back in Scarborough, Dan's closing in on the silver Volvo
thought to be involved in the attempted theft of the van.
But a colleague has got there first.
By chance, he spotted the Volvo coming back into the area,
so he's got behind that vehicle and it's stopped.
What we're trying to do is just some checks on the occupants
and see if we can firm up some descriptions of the offenders
as to whether it's likely to be these chaps
that are in this car or not.
The occupants of the Volvo have told Dan's colleagues
they know nothing about the attempted theft of the van.
'These chaps are denying that they've been to Scarborough
'and they've not been in that area.'
Already, they've started to lie to us.
We know that car's been on the industrial estate
because somebody's taken the registration number of it.
If one of the men has tattoos,
it could be enough to link them to the scene of the crime.
It's whether he's got a load of tattoos, that was all.
-He has got tattoos.
-Has he got loads of tats, or...?
A tiny tattoo on the shoulder here, and he's got them on his back.
-That's what he showed me.
We've got some descriptions of them.
We've started, you know, gathering the facts.
Erm... So now it's cuffs on time.
Matey boy in the Volvo's on his phone, so...
-Yeah, the other one's on his phone.
-They'd be better off...
Lock 'em up now and then take the phones off.
At this time, you're under arrest
on suspicion of the attempted theft of a motor vehicle, OK?
You don't have to say anything, but it may harm your defence
if you don't mention when questioned
something which you later rely on in court.
Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
'There's nothing greater than opening the door on somebody
'and locking them up...'
erm... when they think they're getting away with it.
With enough evidence to bring the two men into custody,
more detailed investigations begin.
He was cuffed compliantly at the scene, just to keep him secure
while we waited for a van.
If you just take everything that you've got in your pockets out
and pop it on the top.
We've got a description of the offender and particularly tattoos
were mentioned, so they're going to be what it hinges on, really.
He's got some marks on his skin
that seem like fairly fresh scratch marks,
that would be consistent with having a bit of a tussle
with somebody as he's dragged out of the stolen van.
-Are they trackie bottoms, Lee?
Dan's noticed the suspect is wearing two pairs of trousers.
White trackies, aren't they?
I've got blue jeans on.
He's took my blue jeans off so I've only got white trackies on now.
Criminals under pressure will do all kinds of things
and they will try and change their appearance.
Not least, they'll change their clothing.
He also seems familiar with the custody process.
People are affected by going into the custody area very differently.
For some people, it's the first time and they get very upset by it.
Er, some people get very angry and want to fight everybody.
And some people take it in their stride.
What's going to happen now is
the vehicle's being searched to see if there's anything
evidential in there that could link these two to the job earlier.
Erm, there's going to be CCTV in the relevant areas to check.
And ultimately, the clothing that was left at the scene is going
to most likely have some DNA on it.
There is also some potential evidence on the suspect's mobile phone.
Some interesting messages came back from the time of the incident.
Er, particularly in relation to questions of
"Have you got a van yet?"
To which he's replied along the lines of "Close, but no cigar."
Erm, you know, if that's not a good indication of guilt,
then I don't know what is, really.
He's blaming everybody but himself.
And quite often, criminals will blame everybody but themselves.
They fail to see that they're doing anything wrong.
To them, it's a way of life. It's an existence.
For Dan, it's another criminal in the cells.
The man the cops stopped on the A1
was convicted of dealing crack cocaine.
He pleaded guilty at court and was sent to prison
for two years and four months.
The fudge thief paid his £90 fine
and for allowing a passenger unsafe travel,
the driver received a £100 fine and three points on his licence.
The truck driver who pulled up behind Martin Smith in a panic
made a full recovery and is now back to work.
The 4x4 stopped by Chris Colman was using red diesel
and its owner was fined £500.
The vehicle has been scrapped.
The driver was disqualified for three years
and sentenced to a 12-week curfew and 200 hours unpaid work.
All four men were convicted of the theft of the trailer.
The bag snatcher caught by the police in Scarborough
was sent to prison for four years.
And the man arrested for attempting to steal a van
on a Scarborough industrial estate
pleaded guilty at court and received a £60 fine
and a supervision order.
There was no action taken against the driver.
North Yorkshire is one of the safest places in the UK, with some of the country's lowest crime rates, but still there are an average of 5,000 crimes reported across the county every month. Many involve criminals using the county's roads as an escape route. And, with 3,200 square miles to police North Yorkshire's Traffic cops face a constant battle to catch up with crooks on the move. This episode finds officers from North Yorkshire's specialist Road Crime Team 'boxing' a reported stolen car on the motorway, but it's not until they take the driver into custody that they discover what their suspect has really been up to.
On the north east coast, the cops are high alert after a spate of violent bag snatches in Scarborough. And when the police are alerted to another attack, Traffic Cop Mark Gonella joins the manhunt.
On the outskirts of Scarborough, a foiled attempt to steal a van leaves the police with a good description of the thief and an accomplice's car. The suspect's car is soon tracked down using Automatic Number Plate Recognition Cameras (ANPR), and Scarborough's Traffic Cops stop the suspects in his tracks. However, the man in car refuses to take responsibility for his actions, preferring to put the blame on society for turning him into a criminal.
Later, Road Crime Team officers spot another suspect vehicle, this time however their suspect isn't so easy to tame and the officer's £40,000 unmarked car is rammed by the suspect's vehicle five times.
And, when a rookie Traffic Cop is nearing the end of his solo night shift - a report of another theft tests his patience to the full. A stop check connects the occupants of 4x4 Jeep to the crime, but with four suspects under arrest, the driver takes his frustrations out on the rookie.