Documentary series. In a crackdown on motorists breaking the Highway Code, the traffic cops in Bedfordshire have brought in a credit scheme.
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Every year, more than 25,000 people are killed or seriously
-injured on Britain's roads.
-It's just heartbreaking.
-In order to reduce road casualties...
-See your tyres here?
Hello, how are you?
..the traffic cops in Bedfordshire are cracking down
and giving tickets out for any traffic offence.
You're wasting everybody's time, and your own.
No matter how minor they may seem.
If there is a collision, the dark windows could be
a result of the fact he can't see who is coming either side.
A lot of people that we stop, their only dealing with the police is
when we stop them for the seatbelt, for the mobile phone.
To them, it is quite minor, but they don't see the catastrophic
incidents that we go to and what we have to deal with.
Along the way up here, she was on the phone.
In an effort to catch more motorists violating road traffic laws
and make roads safer,
the police in Bedfordshire have introduced an incentive scheme,
where officers receive credit for the tickets they hand out.
-And how much is this?
-£60? And how much is that?
It effectively works on when you give out a ticket,
for example, a fixed penalty endorsible ticket, which
carries three points, and a £60 fine, that will give you five credits.
Is this your vehicle?
'If you arrest a disqual driver or somebody that's drink-driving,
'that's 20 credits, because it's an arrest.'
But you will generally find that we don't go out there and think,
right, today we are going to give out ten speeding tickets,
just to get those amount of credits.
They naturally fall into place within your working day, anyway.
The idea is to get people to understand the message that
breaking the law can cost lives. But it's not only about road safety.
With a monthly target of 300 credits to hit,
the clampdown is also about keeping officers on their toes.
To some extent, our discretion has been taken away.
We can't just let people off with a verbal warning any more.
This morning, PC Andy Scales is on patrol with
PC Chris Norton in Dunstable town centre.
Being able to spot possible offences in a flash is what being
a good traffic cop is all about.
A motorist waiting at the lights ahead has caught Chris's attention.
That BMW, he's on the phone.
The M3 at the front, he's got a black number plate, as well.
Hang on to your hats.
The black number plate Chris has spotted isn't regulation
and it is one of their specific targets, worth a few credits.
But it looks like Chris was wrong about the mobile phone.
He's still on it. Oh, no, he's not, he's rubbing his ear.
And that's not an offence.
Under pressure to issue tickets for every offence, Chris and Andy
are going to have a word with the driver about his illegal plate.
'I could see the number plate quite clearly
'and that's when I ran it through on the BlackBerry.'
A quick check on Chris's hand-held through to the police computer
shows the man shares his name with a mythological hero.
Hercules. Kick him in the heel!
Come on, get your gods right!
-Yeah, OK, Achilles wasn't a god, though.
-No, he wasn't.
-He was the son of Zeus.
-He wasn't a god, he was mortal.
We're not laughing and joking at other people's expense,
this guy had a reasonably unusual surname and it just led us
naturally on to discussing Greek mythology.
-He can lift up the world, though, can't he?
-That was Atlas.
Good man! Here's a thinker.
-Hello, how are you?
Thanks for stopping.
Do you mind just joining me at the side of the road,
so I'm not leaning into your car, talking to you like this?
-Is it your car, sir?
-You know that, don't you, already?
I've never met you before, so how would I guess that?
-You ran a check on me already.
-I did a check on your car, not you.
20,000 fixed penalty notice tickets are given out for traffic
offences in Bedfordshire each year.
More than a few recipients don't like the way they think
they are being targeted.
He had something to get off his chest
and I was the person he was going to sound off at.
-Why did you stop me?
-I'll show you. Here.
You've got a black number plate on your car, front and back.
-Didn't I see you pass me, going the opposite way?
So, how could you see I've got a black number plate on my car...
Because you're at the front of the queue.
But there was a queue, so you couldn't have seen through
-the thing that I had...
-Front and back.
-We saw the one on the front...
-Go and check the one on the front.
-Because you are lying.
-If I'm mistaken...
-Go and check.
There's no point being rude.
You told me that you were going to be civil and honest.
-So, be civil and honest.
So, you can't even tell me the truth about why you stopped me.
-Because I saw where you guys came from.
And there is no way you saw the back of my plates.
So I ask you again, why did you stop me?
Why did you spin your car around and come and follow me? Why?
Because I saw you had a black number plate.
You could not have seen I had a black number plate.
-I saw a black number plate on your car.
-Oh, you are so telling lies!
-I'm not telling lies.
-You absolutely are telling lies.
-I'm not telling lies.
As I say, you know what, I've got bigger fish to fry,
so do what you've got to do, send me on my way. Thank you very much.
Have you got the original plate
-for the back of the car?
-It's in the boot.
With all the things that are going on in the world,
you can't find yourself something to do?
Really and truly? You've seen me sitting there
and you think you've seen a black plate on the back of my car?
When you were coming from the opposite direction?
There's not enough going on in the world for you not to find something to do?
Stevie Wonder couldn't have seen a black plate on the front, do you understand me?
Why did you turn your car around and come for me?
Because I saw a black number plate on the vehicle.
I thought there was one on the front, but there is one on the back.
If you're not listening to me, don't ask questions, then.
Your job is to go and do something constructive.
My job is to enforce the law, road traffic law.
And when you think about the things in the world that are going on,
that you could be enforcing, you are wasting everybody's time,
and your own.
Right now, as you speak, some shit is going down of some consequence.
You could not see the back of my car.
-And you know it.
-How do you know what my eyes can see?
How do you know what my eyes can see?
Because your eyes are not any different than anybody else's.
And as far as I'm concerned, human beings can't see around corners.
No, but I can turn my head.
'He got it wrong, in that he thought we were coming towards him.
'We were at a 90-degree angle
'and I thought I saw a black number plate on the front.
'And as I turned round, I also saw the black number plate on the back.'
And he's got a black number plate, as well.
You would be more honest if you said to me,
"I saw you in that car and I fancied...
"What is that geezer doing in that car, does it belong to him, maybe? Let me go and check him out."
You would be more honest if you said that.
The rules from the DVLA are that you've got to have a white
number plate to the front, yellow number plate to the back.
Because you're wearing that sign
and that makes you think you can do whatever you want.
-That's what it is, isn't it?
I think typically, loads of people that wear that sign are small men.
Oh, I was expecting him to say that, I've been bullied at school.
Because that's the common one.
OK, yeah, well, I'm only five foot eight.
You suffer with loads of issues and that's why you put that thing on.
-That's exactly why.
-That's your opinion, thanks for it.
I haven't got a problem with you as police, I think
-you do a good service...
-..most of the time.
Just not when I'm stopping you?
No, when you've stopped me for nothing!
You've stopped me because you saw me in the car. Did my face not fit?
Is that what you're saying? Can you not be that honest?
-I wouldn't even con...
-It's not the first time it's happened to me.
-Do you understand me?
-I think you've got issues about that,
because it's not anything to do with that, for me.
What, is the next thing you'll be telling me
-that I've got a chip on my shoulder?
-I was born and raised here.
Listen to what he's got to say.
You can go on your way, sir, there's your licence.
There's a £60 fine for failure to display the correct index plate.
Is there anything you wish to say, finally?
You don't have to, but it may harm your defence
if you fail to mention now something you later rely on in court.
Anything you say may be given in evidence.
-Am I going to court for a £60 fine?
-If you choose to.
If you fail to pay it within 28 days, it goes up to £90.
Clamping down on motorists harder than ever is never going to be popular.
He's got the correct one in the boot.
This is the Marsh Farm estate in Luton.
It's been perceived as a notorious trouble spot ever since
riots took place here in the mid-1990s.
Despite efforts to improve social conditions,
the police often find themselves drawn here.
Marsh Farm has historically had its problems.
So it is a known area by a lot of the officers in Luton.
That's not to say everyone in Marsh Farm causes us problems.
We will go round there, because we do pick up a fair amount of
vehicles without tax, insurance and drivers without driving licences.
Sam and Shona have to get their monthly quota of credits, as well.
That's worth a stop. That Mondeo.
Not that they ever find it difficult to reach their target.
The car and its occupants they have spotted this time
ARE under suspicion because of the way they look.
-Don't know what way they're going to go.
-There it is. The grey one.
We had two males sitting in the front of the vehicle
and something just didn't look right about either of them.
And it seems the cops were right to be suspicious.
They are making a run for it.
It's the light blue Mondeo, it's gone for the overtake.
The driver clearly clocked that we wanted to speak to him,
so he turned into the car park area...
We're going to have to decamp, Sam.
-..and decided to go for a run in the sun.
-I'm getting out here.
The passenger is nowhere to be seen, but if they are quick enough,
there is still a chance of catching the driver.
All I could see was the back of him, when we were running.
This is a handicap race and the odds are not in Shona's favour.
With my body armour on, it's like an extra stone in weight.
And when you are running, your body armour bounces
up and down and you can't get a really good run on,
because you are constantly fighting the weight of the body armour.
-Male, light blue jeans, yellow T-shirt.
-Need a unit on the pub road. Sam, go back to the car!
-Sam's race is run.
Any evidence of any offences that had been committed
was going to be in that car, which was insecure and unattended.
-We'll go back to the car. RADIO:
-'Proceed. Thank you.'
'The driver knew the area.
'The pathway goes, literally, straight back into Marsh Farm.'
-'He is running back into Marsh Farm somewhere.
'He is going to be in the trees.'
Luckily for Sam and Shona, help is close at hand.
Main description that has come out is light yellow T-shirt,
blue jeans, trainers, with dark hair.
It's quite handy we've got so much traffic here. Just, unfortunately,
he has made off and left us.
A search of the car shows the occupants were in such a hurry
they have left behind the keys.
Sam has found a mobile phone too.
When I'd found the phone, I will obviously have a look to see
if it's been used or has been used recently.
-'Just one hit on the mobile phone,
'that is on 22 April this year
'and that was for the vehicle.'
Someone using this mobile phone has previously used it to call
the police to report that the same car had been stolen.
-Now it is ringing.
Hello. Who are you after?
You're after Abe?
Abe is not here at the moment. Who is that?
Who is that? Who is ringing Abe's number,
because I have picked up his phone?
Steve. All right, then. Steve, where is Abe likely to be going?
Is he coming to see you?
I thought it was perhaps a person that had run off from the car and he
had realised he had left his phone in the car, to see who would pick up
the phone, if anybody, and what was going to happen.
Oh, right. Is Abe meant to be coming to you? Right. OK. Cool.
OK. Not to worry. I will give you a call back once we find him.
Cheers for your help, Steve. Bye.
-Shona has returned empty-handed.
-Abe's friend Steve just phoned up.
"Abe? Abe?" "No, it is not Abe."
-I am his girlfriend.
-I went, "Who is that then?"
He went, "Steve. I am in Barton. Where is he?" He went, "Who is that?"
I went, "Abe, where is he?" "It's the police, innit?"
MIMICS DIAL TONE
-So it is from Barton then?
-That is not who is on the...
-But that is who they said they Camphored it with.
A "Camphor" is a vehicle seizure under section 165 of the
Road Traffic Act, meaning the driver was disqualified or uninsured.
A disqualified driver most probably.
'The vehicle had been seized under Operation Camphor
'a couple of weeks prior,'
and the driver at the time happened to be a male by the name of Abe.
The question now is, is the man who phoned up really Abe,
and is there really someone else involved called Steve?
Because at the end of the day the person ringing could be
a completely innocent member of the public,
an innocent friend of somebody
who has got his car for the wrong reasons.
That is one less uninsured vehicle on the road then, isn't it?
The car is going to be recovered, but the owner will be able to
get it back as long as he can prove he has valid insurance.
And we had a nice day out in the sunshine. A nice little jog. Some...
-I've got clean trousers on, as well.
You still have clean trousers on. I haven't.
-I haven't got Abe, I have his phone.
-Steve has called again.
He says the car is his, he is legal to drive and he wants it back.
You are in that car park there.
There is a unit that will sit here until you arrive.
Good running skills, huh? Good running skills.
Shame we didn't go on from there.
-'Be there in a couple of minutes.'
You're a star. Cheers, mate.
Sam has arranged for them
to meet Steve at the nearby Marsh Farm tower blocks.
-He just had too much ground on us.
-But I am happy to run.
So yeah, let's go for it.
I didn't know if you wanted to get in the car and go the other way.
Next door to Marsh Farm is another development that was
built on what was once farm land around Luton -
the Lewsey Farm estate.
Traffic cops on the estate have pulled over a driver who was
not wearing his seatbelt and are going to ticket him.
-Have you got your driving licence with you?
-Have you got any form of identification with you?
-Nothing at all?
-No, I was just going somewhere.
-Was it your car?
So you have nothing in your car that will say who you are?
No, I don't keep nothing in the car.
Giving people tickets is not always straightforward.
Many do not care for the cop's clampdown.
People see what you are doing is actually for the better
and to try and improve people's own safety
and at the end of the day, it could actually increase their life
expectancy, should they be wearing a seatbelt.
Other people just think you are doing it to generate revenue for
the Government, or for yourselves,
and they just don't like the police, full stop.
-Yes, but I just came out of that road.
And I stopped before you stopped me to get my stereo.
I took the seat belt off before you saw me.
-You came out of that road, didn't you?
I just pulled the seatbelt off so I could reach over.
I couldn't so I stopped here, I was going to put the seatbelt on
and get my stereo out.
So I wasn't driving, you never saw me driving, you weren't behind me
-or anything, were you?
-OK. Let me explain to you what I have seen.
You are travelling in a vehicle that's come across my path
and you did not have your seatbelt on.
After speeding, more tickets are given out in Bedfordshire
for people not wearing their seat belt
then any other ticketable offence.
The reason why we are stopping people for failing to wear
a seatbelt is not just to point things out to you, it is to make you
aware of the hazards involved by not wearing your seatbelt.
We obviously deal with RTCs, road traffic collisions, where people
are seriously injured as a result of not wearing their seatbelt.
People when get issued with a seatbelt ticket they think, "Why are the police stopping me?"
But when you have actually been to an accident yourself and you've seen
someone thrown from a vehicle and then crushed by their own vehicle
through not wearing their seat belt, you can see the reasons as to why.
I am going to contest it anyway.
Because you haven't got any form of identification with you,
I need to take a fingerprint from you, OK?
Which will be your right index finger.
It goes with the ticket and once the matter is dealt with,
whether at court or by you paying the fine then...
I am not giving you a fingerprint.
I have given you all my details,
-I am not going to give you a fingerprint.
-Let me finish, OK?
We can either take the fingerprint by your consent,
or we take a photograph, so it is up to you which one you want to provide.
The police are going to get proof of who the man is,
whether he likes it or not.
Powers introduced in 2006, mean they can take prints
or a mug shot and do it by force if necessary.
Sam and Shona have got an illegal car off the road,
but what they really want is someone to arrest
and they are hoping Steve is going to help them.
He knows something because he would not be phoning all the time.
Is that him?
Was he the one in the passenger seat?
No. Definitely not.
-Hello, my man.
-Sam is pretty sure he is not the man who ran off either.
'There was not much time for him to recompose himself
'and not be out of breath and not be hot and sweaty.'
He was very cool, calm, he didn't give me
an indication that he had been running.
I left my bloody keys in the car.
I left it parked off the road. As you can see, it has
no tax or anything on it at the moment, so I left it down here.
How long have you owned the car?
Er...couple of months.
I haven't sent the log book off for it, I've forgotten it.
If you were to leave your car with keys in the ignition in Marsh Farm,
I can guarantee you within several minutes that
car is going to be gone and it will be stolen,
so that did not ring true.
-How do you know it's Abe's?
-I used to work with him years ago.
-So what are you doing ringing him then?
-Just to see what he was up to.
-Have you seen him this morning?
-Describe him to me.
-About yey tall, small, short dark hair.
See, we have just had that car make off from us
and whoever was driving it run off from us.
-So we have now seized that car.
The fact that he had rung his mate ten minutes after the driver had
run off and decamped from the vehicle made me
think that he knew who the driver was.
-Where do you live, sir?
-I live in Luton.
-I'm in-between houses at the minute.
-I am waiting for a flat to be done up.
-I am not happy with this chap.
Can you take a seat in our car? Just going to take some details.
Looking back now, he possibly could have been in the car,
however, at the time, I didn't believe he was in the car.
Where were you when you phoned us?
-Just round the corner at a mate's house.
-Something is not quite right, is it, Steve?
-No, definitely not.
How about, what I think has happened, is you know that Abe has gone out
in that car and you know that Abe has not got a driver's licence?
I didn't know he went out in the car.
It seems bizarre that you don't know much about Abe but you are staying at Abe's dad's house.
I am not staying there, I have just been there. Can I go now, please?
-Not at the minute, no.
-Am I being arrested then?
No, you are being detained at the minute till I can make some further enquiries.
I tell you what it is, whether I don't know a lot or not,
I can't really help you.
I would help you if I could, that's why I have come out now.
I think you've come out now because you have a guilty
conscience and you would rather come to us or we come to you.
How do you know that he was driving the car or anything then?
Did you see him run off or something?
-We have our ways and means.
He was very woolly about where he was living
and then said that he had, literally, just come from Abe's house.
To try to add a bit of substance to his story
and because it is just around the corner,
Steve is inviting Sam and Shona to what he says is Abe's dad's place.
We found that the house was unlocked
and we believed that Abe was possibly in the property.
Hello? Police. Is anyone in here?
That's a nice little boy. Who does he belong to?
-So should we be arresting you for burglary then?
Because you don't seem to know anything about this house.
Obviously I know who the owner is,
I know the son and I have just popped round to see if he was here.
-How did you get in?
-Through the back door.
-The door was open.
-Would that be Abe?
-No, that ain't him. That ain't a photo of him.
-Who is that then?
-I don't know.
I'm not sure but I tell you now, that is not Abe.
-But Abe's dad lives here?
-So it wouldn't be unsurprising to
-find a picture of Abe lying around here somewhere.
There is still no sign of Abe at all
and still nothing to arrest Steve for at all.
'There was nothing in the house of Abe,
'which we found quite astonishing. We were thinking,'
"Are you Abe? Are you not?"
It was one of those. Still, right at the end,
we just couldn't really put our finger on it.
Steve, next time you speak to Abe, the worst that is going to happen
if it was him that has your car, we would've seized it anyway
for having no insurance and no driving licence.
Running off, he's just made a bit of the fool of himself,
made it bigger than it needed to, annoyed you
and got people involved that don't need to be.
If he needs the car, if he wants to be man enough to come up and stand up
to it and deal with it, like I say,
it can be dealt with very quickly and safely.
We are on duty until seven.
My collar number is 850 and my colleague's number is 928.
If he wants to go into Luton police station and be man enough to
-deal with it, pop in there and deal with it really quickly.
Back on the Lewsey Farm Estate, the man with no ID still doesn't
want his photograph of fingerprints taken.
For the cops, it is a necessity so if the matter ever goes to court,
there is no doubt about who the ticket was given to.
Basically, it's to reduce the number of people that are not paying
the tickets they are issued with.
Why are you lot doing this? Why are you wasting my time?
-We are not wasting your time.
-You are wasting my time.
-No, we're not. OK?
-They are the options.
-I have never done this before in a police car.
-"Give me your
-fingerprint or give me your
Listen to me. I am not swearing at you so I would like you to show...
-I am not swearing at you.
-Yes, you are.
Now, I would like you to show me the same courtesy, OK?
Just let me out, man.
-I am going to ask you, can we take a photograph from you?
-No, you can't.
Well, we have the power to do it by force,
or we can take a fingerprint from you.
You ain't forcing me, I tell you, just let me out, man.
You've got everything you need.
James isn't letting the man out,
he's getting his camera out from the back of the car.
But before he does, the driver is going to have a quick fag break.
-Don't light that in the back of here.
-Let me out, then.
I'm not going to go nowhere, am I?
-He's lit up in the back of the car.
He's lit up a cigarette in the back of the car.
Just let me out, man. I'm not going nowhere, am I?
-Pass me the cigarette.
-I'm going to stand outside.
-No, pass me the cigarette.
-Listen, I'll give you ID, all right?
I've got ID, you're not taking no photos of me, all right?
That's criminal damage to the police car, mate.
Let me out, I'm standing here.
I'm not going go leave my car now and run off, am I? Flippin 'eck.
-It's criminal damage to the police car.
-I'm asking you.
-No, I'm telling you to put it out.
-Don't take my photo.
Cos I just said to you I'm going to give you my ID.
-OK, like I said to you...
-Did I not just say I'll give you my ID?
Where is it, then? Put the cigarette out, then.
-Let me out.
-Put the cigarette out.
-All right, I'll let it out. I'll do it.
-Put it out the window, then.
There isn't an ashtray, that's why I'm telling you to put it out.
You put it out and give it back to me, then.
-Did you just throw my cigarette away?
-It's on the floor, yeah?
Why are you acting like an idiot?
Why are you not giving me any ID when you've got it in your pocket, then?
Well, I don't have to.
I've never had to do it. Why do I have to give it to you?
-It's an offence to fail...
-Do you know what,
I'm going to remember everything you've done here and said.
-Can we just have your driver's licence?
-I'm going to give you my f... driver's licence.
But I'm going to remember everything you two done and said here.
-OK, it's fine.
-Here you are.
'I knew he was anti-police from the start,'
but just the sheer audacity of the bloke
to light a cigarette in the back of the car
I found quite astounding, really.
That wasn't so difficult, was it?
No, you're just making things...
You're dying to take me to the police station
so you can go and sit and have your cup of tea. Do you know what I mean?
This is what happens - every time. You know what I mean?
Anyone asks you for anything, yeah? You lot have to be difficult.
This is what you lot are, you've always been like this.
The next generation comes along, it's the same.
You know. It's you lot, it's not us.
"We're in uniform, we never do anything wrong,"
you know what I mean?
I've asked you for your driving licence, you've then said you haven't got it.
-Yeah, but I didn't need to cos I'm going to give you all my details anyway!
So, why isn't that good enough? Why isn't that good enough?
When the police officer asks for a driving licence, OK,
it is an offence not to produce it.
Do you understand that?
-No, I don't understand it.
-Let me out.
The man's going to have to pay a £60 fine,
not wearing a seat belt isn't an endorsable offence for the moment.
-There's your cigarette then.
-You can keep it.
-Do you want it, or not?
The smoker's decided it's time to quit.
Just get in the car and drive off.
There's a line that every police officer has
where they expect to be treated courteously in return
by the person that they're dealing with.
Myself or Ian hadn't sworn at him,
so there's no reason for him to start swearing at us.
Government statistics show that using seat belts saves lives.
Without them, it's estimated that around 300 more people
would die on Britain's roads every year,
yet 5% of all drivers still don't brother.
That Saab went through a red light.
Sam and Shona are spreading the word
to those who aren't heeding the message,
like the driver coming towards them who's easier to pick out than most.
'As he came past I could clearly see'
he wasn't wearing his seat belt, because he's got such a white top on.
Nice white shirt gave it away.
'He did put his seat belt on
'when he realised he was going to get stopped.'
Lots of people do try it,
but I've got a longer memory than a goldfish
and I can remember that they weren't wearing their seat belt.
That's it. Block the road. Great place to stop(!)
-Well done, that man.
-He's all yours, mate.
It's Sam's turn to pick up the five credits on offer for this one.
-Any idea why I stopped you, fella?
-No, no idea.
You weren't wearing your seat belt when you came past us
-on Cardiff Road. Is the vehicle all registered to you?
-Yes, it's my car.
-Cool, cool. Any ID?
-You know what I was trying to say.
-Have you got any with you?
-No, I haven't.
What's your name, my friend?
Going to deal with this by way of a fixed penalty notice.
-It's no points on your licence and a £60 fine.
-What for? Seat belt.
You don't have to say anything but it may harm your defence
if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court.
Anything you do say may be given in evidence, do you understand?
-What, are you arresting me for not...
-No, no, no!
You were when you stopped it. You were when we stopped you.
You can go to court with it, it's not problem at all.
No, you can wipe your ticket up, I'm not taking it.
He needs three points and a £60 fine as well.
You'll end up getting yourself arrested for a seat belt.
Why am I going to get myself arrested?
-Cos you're writing out a ticket and I'm refusing to take it?
There's more bad news for Andrew.
While Sam was speaking to him,
I went round and had a look at the vehicle
and noted two of his tyres had quite a few cuts in the tyre wall,
which is extremely dangerous.
What colour's your T-shirt?
-Why you being like that?
-You know what colour my T-shirt is.
OK, your T-shirt's white and what colour's a seat belt?
-I don't know, you tell me.
-Your seatbelt's black.
So what do you think I'm going to see across your T-shirt
-as you're driving past me?
-I don't know, maybe...
Maybe the seat belt across your T-shirt, which I didn't see.
He quite liked Sam, and I think it helped,
the fact we were females, and we calmed the situation down.
Sam knows exactly how to keep people sweet
by using some well-known customer care tips.
Like always be polite,
and take the time to deal with the customer's problems.
-OK, that's fine.
-Jail time doesn't bother me, do you know that?
No, it's fine. Doesn't bother me, to be fair.
I'll do my 14 days, I don't pay the fine, is that right?
-Well, you can do 28 days and not pay the fine, if you want?
-I don't mind.
-You've got twice as long.
-I can do that standing on my head.
Always encourage a good relationship with the customer.
-What is that aftershave you're wearing?
-It is really nice, innit?
-It's Boss, it's a new one.
-Is it? Millennium?
-That is very nice.
-What's your perfume, Sam?
And mine's Poison.
Between the two of us, you've got no chance, have you?
I can smell your one, but I can't smell hers.
See, I haven't got that close.
And always give the customer more than they might expect.
What's she writing out now, another ticket?
Yeah, we need to speak to you about your tyres as well.
I just got 'em done, I just came out the tyre place.
Couldn't have done. And I'll show you how I know.
Listen, Andrew, let me finish first.
-What, you going to give me points for that as well?
-Let me finish!
-Let this lady finish and then I'll speak to you.
-You've got two women.
Come back down to the level you were on a minute ago.
You're not going to give me points for that.
Let's take it to the level
and then I'll explain to you what's going to happen.
One at a time.
After taking my ticket, he certainly didn't want the tyre ticket.
Come round here a second. This is an advisory.
See your tyres here?
That is through prolonged use of going up and down kerbs, yeah?
You need to get them changed,
because, effectively, it's affecting the side of the tyre wall
and it could have a blow-out easier than what you normally would.
Round here is my main concern.
OK, you've got a chunk taken out there, a nice big chunk there.
Fortunately it's the safety of your vehicle
that I'm more concerned about.
The fact you've got a kiddie at some point in that car
means that you should be above reproach
when it comes to safety of your vehicle.
Tickets for defective tyres may be worth credits,
but tyre safety isn't something Shona takes lightly.
'At the end of the day, he's not wearing his seat belt,'
he's travelling in a 30mph zone, built-up area,
and if that tyre were to blow because of the cut in the tyre wall,
he wouldn't be able to control that vehicle, he'd have a crash.
Are you serious? Are you going to give me another ticket,
another fine for that?
-How many points have you got on your licence now?
-I'm not taking that ticket, then. I'm not taking that.
-But that's no points on your licence.
-I'm not taking that ticket.
Do you think I've got money to throw away?
Arrest me, I'm not taking that ticket, man.
It's more down to safety than it is just us being pedantic
and giving them a ticket for the sake of giving them a ticket.
My colleague's already spoken to you and now I deal with you.
I understand what you're saying and you don't want to accept the ticket, that's fine.
I'll just send you to court for your details. But I still need you to fill out the ticket
and then you fill out the back bit that you want to go to court.
Don't pay the fine, don't produce your licence
and there'll just be a summons to court.
I enjoy situations like that where I can try and defuse them
just by talking to people so I can try and calm them down.
You're not going to arrest me if I don't turn my licence in?
-Oh, what a shame.
-Do you really want to be arrested by us?
-Yeah, by yous two, yeah. I wouldn't mind.
-There's your ticket.
-So you wouldn't mind if we stopped you again?
-That's what we like.
If you were two blokes, that would be a different story.
-But we're not. It's just us.
-We're not here to give you grief.
We'd probably be brawling in that bush or something.
He did say, "If you were men,
"this would have turned out completely different."
And I honestly believe that that would have been the case.
-How much is this now?
-Did you pass Maths?
120 quid. What could I do with 120 quid?
That's a very open answer there... Question.
Sam and Shona have succeeded with the ultimate customer care tip -
always give memorable service.
We have to do our job at the end of the day,
and that's just part and parcel of it, unfortunately, for him.
It's good for two women, because, what can I say?
If it had been two blokes it would have been a different story.
'I have been called heartless before.'
I don't get credits for discretion
and sometimes a lot of people out and about that we stop,
they're only dealing with the police
when we've stopped them for the seat belt, for the mobile phone,
or for something to them that's quite minor.
But they don't see the catastrophic incidents that we go to
and what we have to deal with.
Reports are coming in of just such a catastrophic incident,
ten miles north of Bedford on the busy A6.
Rescue workers are at the scene.
Now traffic cops PC Matt Bill and PC Mark West
are being called in as well.
RADIO: 'Can you take a three-vehicle RTC, please...'
Yes, yes, over.
'The information we had'
was that there was three vehicles involved
and it was believed to be serious injury to one of the occupants.
An air ambulance is on its way from Essex.
'When the paramedics are at the scene and they've called the air ambulance,
'then that means that they're concerned enough
'that it's usually pretty serious and it's one that we need to get to
'and deal with ourselves.
'Secure it and gain any evidence.'
Matt's an old hand,
but going to this kind of job never gets any easier.
There is a sort of trepidation
as to what you're actually going to see when you turn up,
but other than that you tend to switch into work mode
and not think about it.
The first thing you've got to do is get there.
The crash is on a 60mph stretch of the A6 at a T-junction.
It's a notorious accident black spot.
There have been 20 accidents here in the last two years.
Three cars have been smashed,
but the only serious injury is to a female passenger
who's trapped in the blue Honda Civic and fighting for her life.
Right, we've got...
We've got this lady, who's with this car. She's OK.
We've got... I'm not sure who's in the back in this Audi.
There's no-one in it.
The driver's got a cut on his head,
but the female passenger they're quite concerned about.
-Is the driver still in it?
-No, the driver's out.
It's the female passenger who's trapped.
They've got the air ambulance en route and the consultant
and his test as well.
What are they concerned about?
She was still in the car and there was lots of people around her
dealing with her, so it was difficult to actually see any level of injury.
It was a case of relying on information we were getting
from the paramedic service.
Certainly there was a serious head injury.
But I think that the main concern
was that they thought she may have fractured her neck.
And any sort of swelling on that could cause paralysis or death.
With the prognosis looking bleak,
a full-scale investigation into exactly what happened is going
to take place, just as it would for a serious crime.
The first step is to get the accounts of any witnesses.
As we approached here, right,
she just drove straight across,
turning into that garage.
The old boy coming the other way did not stand a chance.
He went like that, she went that way, he went that way,
he spun right round.
The man knows the when, the where and the why.
I was convinced that, all the way up here, she was on the phone.
Only at that roundabout did I actually see her on the phone.
One of the lads over there with a yellow high-vis on,
said she was definitely on the phone when it happened.
-And he clearly knows who.
-Yes, that middle aged woman standing there.
-She wants locking up.
-The taller one?
-The shorter one.
The male driver of the blue Honda had no chance of avoiding
the crash, but has escaped with only cuts and bruises.
Can you remember what happened, mate?
There was a queue of traffic this way... Well, I don't know.
-A lot of cars coming up the hill.
One at the front just went. Just didn't stop, just went.
-Turned into the garage.
You're saying the other car has
pulled across your path into the garage.
I was on the A6, came towards...
Remarkably, the woman suspected of being on her phone,
who turned into the young man's path, has escaped unscathed.
A collision like that, I think
you've got to try and remain impartial.
It's easy to let your own judgement come in.
You've got to try and make sure you get all the facts from people
as they're telling you
and then you can take a step back
and actually have a look at it when you've got all the information
and sort of piece it together from there.
The information needed is why
exactly did the woman not see the oncoming car.
I don't remember any more, really. Except for the big bang.
I don't certainly remember seeing a car.
-Whether I turned or not... I suppose I must have done.
But I certainly...
All I remember is the airbag.
She spoke as though, basically, it was just a normal accident.
She'd pulled across the path of this vehicle, she'd misjudged its speed.
There was no mention of any phone
or anything like that at all at the time.
But someone else also witnessed her using her phone.
I was coming down there,
we'd been following them for about three or four miles
and then that woman, she was on the phone, she's gone to turn into the
garage, obviously not concentrating,
turned straight in front of them. Spun them right round.
With the suspicion growing that being on her mobile phone was the
cause of the crash, it will be down to the traffic cops to prove it.
It's just so dangerous.
Like, if someone's not wearing their seat belt,
that's their life that they're putting at risk, but when you're
using a mobile phone, you're putting other road users lives at risk.
I think it's been said that it's something like being just over
the drink drive limit when you're on your phone.
The air ambulance has arrived at last,
but the emergency crews are still struggling to get
the casualty out from the wreckage of her car.
'She was conscious and breathing at the time,
'and obviously in a lot of plain.
'So, the last thing they want to do is drag her out
'and actually make anything worse,'
particularly with that sort of neck injury.
The force of the impact suddenly stopping,
so she'll whip her head back and forth.
The front A-pillar was bent down and that's where she's got
the head injury from, is actually the pillar itself.
While they worked to free her trapped legs, the driver,
her boyfriend, is going to be taken to hospital by ambulance.
So the intrusion has all come in and
basically dropped the engine on her foot,
giving her a foot injury, pushed it right back into the footwell.
-Well, I'm good friends with the driver...
Looking on anxiously, a friend of the injured couple has heard
the speculation about the cause of the crash.
It's just unbelievable. I don't know whether it is the case that
the woman was on her phone or not...
If she was, she needs to put her phone down
and take a look at what she's done. It's disgusting.
The mobile phone belonging to the woman has been seized.
It will have to be analysed by experts before any real
evidential data can be had from it.
Just to update you, she's going to be airlifted to Addenbrooke's.
-Yes, they said she is stable at the moment,
but it is potentially nasty. They're going to airlift her.
Addenbrooke's is a head injury specialist hospital.
They obviously identified that that's where they wanted to send her
and the quickest way to get her there, by far,
would be the air ambulance.
Ready? Brace. Lift.
WOMAN SHOUTS AND GROANS
It's already been an hour since the smash and although now stable,
the casualty's head injuries are still being
classified as life-threatening.
For Inspector Matt Thompson,
it's incidents like this that vindicate the hard line
his officers take against drivers who ignore traffic laws.
If someone gets a mobile phone ticket and they get frustrated,
we're told we should be out catching burglars and robbers
and rapists, and people get frustrated with the ticket.
But we do take robbery, burglary and sexual offences
very seriously but when you come to something
like this, you realise, use a mobile phone,
that girl could be dead. That girl could have a serious injury,
and you think, "Where does it go from that?"
So, for us, it doesn't get more serious.
And if they'll use their mobile phone,
or speeding or not wearing seat belts,
we give tickets out, because this is the consequence of it.
Addenbrooke's is in neighbouring Cambridgeshire.
But, thanks to the helicopter, it's only minutes away,
though it's still going to be a race against time for the injured woman.
Back in Luton, Sam and Shona are
still on their mission to give tickets out.
We're like little Duracell batteries.
Once we're out there, we don't stop.
You do make your own luck
and you go purposely to places where you know you can find something.
There we go!
'Both of our eyes were drawn to'
an Astro that had very dark tinted windows.
Dark tinted windows are just the thing for people who are modest.
But installing them illegally can have expensive consequences.
-£60. Well, it's a £30 ticket, isn't it?
You can only let 70 % of light through your windows.
Anything below that, then you're illegal.
It's the front windows that matter
and Shona's got a special device for measuring how tinted they are,
called a Tintman.
-Right, is the car registered to you?
He didn't understand why we'd stopped him.
Take a seat with my colleague in the back of the car.
-How are you?
-And are you with this chap here?
What's in the back here, then?
Hello? There's a child!
To Sam and Shona, the back of their car is their office.
It brings a whole new meaning to hot-desking.
Is it your vehicle?
-No, it's my mum's car.
-Excellent. Have you got insurance to drive it?
Well, my mum has. I'm learning to drive, innit?
Where's your L-plates?
I didn't know I had to have them.
I thought if it was insured and had a person in the passenger seat and she's over...
What is it? 20 something. And she's had a licence for three years.
Oh, deary me.
This isn't going to go well, I feel.
So what? Because I haven't got L-plates on?
You need to speak to my colleague.
Just because I haven't got L-plates on?
-What's your name, my friend?
-What's your name?
Mr Smiley was the driver.
And he wasn't particularly smiley at all.
Shall I do this?
If you don't mind.
So it's three points, isn't it, either side of the window?
Right, the tints on your windows, front windows, are illegal.
People put them in because they think it looks cool with
the shape and style of their car when, really,
it actually looks quite ridiculous sometimes.
The tint machine measures how much light can pass through the window.
Any reading below 70 is a failure.
9.9. This one's 10.2.
Inside, they've got to let 70 % natural light in.
And that's quite clearly way below.
'They can't necessarily see out if the weather's bad.'
We can't see in, so we don't know who is driving that car.
People have them tinted for very different reasons, but it raises
our suspicion, because we can't see who is driving that vehicle.
So we want to know that the person driving is meant to be in the
vehicle and advise them accordingly with regards to their tints.
That's not fair, though, because I didn't know that I'm supposed to have L-plates.
If I knew I was supposed to have L-plates, I'd have them.
Right. Ignorance isn't an excuse.
OK? It's written in the...
I don't think it's fair I'll get points on my licence
when I haven't even passed my licence yet.
-I'll have to pay more on my insurance because of my mum. It's my mum's
I'm sorry to be rude, Officer, but it's not my fault.
My mum's the one that wanted me to drive.
I didn't want to drive. I didn't know I was supposed to have L-plates or I'd have had them!
He was pushing his luck an awful lot,
blaming his mum for all sorts of things.
You're the driver of that vehicle, aren't you?
-learner driver of that vehicle!
-That's the same thing.
-I'm not the driver, I'm the learner driver!
I haven't even got a licence yet!
How can you give me points before I've got a licence?
The point of me driving now is so I learn to drive
so I can get my licence!
I'm getting three points on my shit cos of her!
My mum, you should give her points, not me!
She's told me to drive, she's responsible, not me.
He had no respect for his mum whatsoever, which really shocked me.
It's her car, yeah? She told me to drive,
she's the one that's got a licence, not me.
Why am I responsible for her? You could give her points!
You know, I think we need the air con on in here with
the amount of hot air coming out of this gentleman.
'I think certain women would be
quite intimidated by coming across somebody like him.'
But by us shouting and screaming back,
we're just lowering ourselves to his level
and antagonising a situation that really doesn't need to be there.
Adam, you were driving the car, mate.
But the car doesn't belong to me!
So how can you give me a ticket for shit on the car that ain't mine!
Yes. Adam, can you just pipe down for a second
because I'm trying to talk.
Can you just confirm who the RO is, please?
The RO is the registered owner.
-'Did you say the RO?'
Adam, the car's yours.
The computer has confirmed it's not his mum's, as he says, after all.
Oh, and no insurance in 2007. Six points.
So you, Adam, as a provisional licence holder, only have...
You have nine points on your provisional licence.
Exactly! Because of officers like you making it impossible for young
drivers to drive. So I might as well drive illegally.
Might as well continue to drive illegally.
He'd got nine points on his provisional licence.
So trying to tell me he was trying to drive legally
somewhat made me laugh.
If I was white, you'd let me go then, innit?
When you're black, makes your whole life harder.
Sorry, there's a gentleman that's accusing me of...
-Got a couple of
-coppers on you.
-I'm on the telephone trying to sort this out.
-Can you just...?
-Just tell them I'm
and they'll take my whole licence away, innit?
No officer discretion, like there used to be.
I've explained to you the situation.
You've done nothing but shout and be abusive to us,
-and you expect us to deal with that and listen to it?
-I don't care what you do.
-You might as well take my licence, take everything.
It doesn't make a difference to me. I don't care.
-I need to ask your ethnicity. Out of that list, could you...
-If you would like to...
-I don't care.
-You can write down whatever you like.
-I'll put down that you haven't defined your ethnicity,
and that's fine by me. I can do that.
'At the end of the day, we stopped him for how dark his tints were.
'They're meant to let 70% natural light in.
'His were letting between 9 and 10. I couldn't see what colour he was.'
I had no idea what ethnicity he was, or where he was from,
so I find it a bit insulting that he's suggesting I'm racist,
when I can't see who's driving that car.
-Why don't you have a heart and just let me go, man?
You've already got me, you've already charged me money.
What else do you want from me?
The heartless cops are giving Adam a £30 ticket for his illegal window tints
and a £60 ticket and three points for failing to display any L-plates.
Obviously, if you had a heart, you wouldn't have done me like this.
-I'm not going to help you tear it off, am I?
-I'll do it.
-It's your job, innit?
I'll tear it off, because I know that you won't drive round like this.
The tints are simply a film applied to the inside of the window.
Sam's making sure he doesn't carry on breaking the law.
You saw by his reaction - he peeled off the entire side of the tint the other side.
He won't drive round with half-tinted windows. He'd look silly.
They've given me a £90 fine and three points on my licence,
before I've even got a licence.
I'm trying to be in a driver's seat to learn how to drive,
so that I'm legitimate, and they've stopped me from doing that once again.
They've taken my money. They've taken the money I haven't even got. I've got to feed my son.
I've got two sons, and I'm on benefits.
I've got to pay for them to eat, and now I can't even do that, because they're going to take my money.
I just don't think he realises that us traffic officers don't actually have hearts.
-No, we don't have hearts.
-Do you care? No.
At the scene of the accident on the A6,
the road is still closed as investigations continue.
Following the witnesses' damning allegations,
the carnage caused by a phone call is clear to see.
With fears her life may still be in danger,
a specialist family liaison officer, PC Craig Baker, has been called in.
I spoke to the ambulance guy and he said it's purely head injuries, blunt trauma.
The badly injured girl, Lorna Foley, is just 20 years old.
It doesn't matter how much training you have, you've got feelings
and to get told someone could effectively die is disheartening.
A number of witnesses gave information that the driver
was on the mobile phone. We seized the mobile phone.
We've got to be careful what we tell people, and it was
decided that we wouldn't tell him about the mobile phone at that stage, until we knew,
because at that stage, it is only a possibility.
Craig's immediate task is to inform Lorna's brother and sister of her accident and get them
to her hospital bedside as quickly as possible.
I think the most difficult time is when you initially tell the family.
You get so many different reactions,
and you cannot predict what reaction you'll get.
Further back down the A6, approaching Bedford,
traffic cops PC Mark Atkins and Sgt Chris Smith have
come across someone else with a smoking problem...with their car.
Blue smoke, innit? Plumes of blue smoke everywhere.
We came to the top of the A6, we saw the Golf pulling
into the lay-by on the nearside, so we pulled in behind him.
And where there's smoke, there's fire.
Ooh, he's got a dodgy plate as well.
The numberplate isn't legal because its characters are a German style.
It doesn't meet British standards.
It's a different font to what our ANPR cameras
are used to recognising, so sometimes they can misread them.
The cause of all the smoke is under the bonnet.
It wasn't on fire, but I think if he'd had gone much further it would have been.
It had dumped oil on the exhaust and he'd blown the engine, basically.
But at least his kids are happy.
They can watch cartoons on the telly now,
which would have been illegal if he was driving.
It's all under the Road Traffic Act.
You cannot have a TV screen that is visible to the driver
that's likely to take the attention away from the road in front of them,
so it can be anything from due care to dangerous driving.
Obviously, with your dodgy numberplate and your TV
-in the car as well... Huh?
-They just turned it on.
-I told them to put it on.
-My little girl's in the back. They're watching Alice In Wonderland.
-And you're not?
-No, I just turned it on.
-Because obviously you've just stopped.
-Yeah, I just stopped and said, "Put the telly on."
I couldn't see if it was on or not when we were driving along
because of all the smoke, so I just have to
take his word for it, that he wouldn't lie to a policeman.
Just check how he has done the suspension.
-There's no give on it at all, is there?
I'm just a bit concerned about how low the car is.
-Do you find steering a problem?
-There's nothing wrong with the steering.
-There's nothing wrong with the steering.
-It's just because...
-It's rock solid.
-It's got anti-roll bars on it.
-There's nothing wrong with it.
Apart from the engine, there's nothing wrong with the car,
he's insisting, as it has recently passed its MOT.
But there is with his numberplate.
-German plates, aren't they?
-You can't have them on the road in England, can you?
And it's not for the first time.
-We've had this chat before, haven't we?
-My numberplate was blatant.
-You can read it.
-It doesn't matter. It has to comply with the Vehicle Excise Act,
which means it has to have British Standard markings on it.
Where on that plate is the British Standard mark?
He didn't particularly want to look at Mark because Mark had stopped him
about two or three months before
and done him for exactly the same thing.
They're making sure it won't happen again.
What I'm going to do, because we have spoken to you before,
-I'm going to give you another 60 quid ticket. All right?
All right? Cool. I thought you'd have learned...
But there's another problem.
-Does your insurance company know about these tints?
They wouldn't insure you with them,
because that is more than a 30% tint, isn't it?
On our Vectra, that is the most tint you can have on the front.
That's the most.
Anything you see like this, they ain't going to insure you.
So, straight up, before we get the measuring device,
you're going to tell me you're going to get rid of that tint, aren't you?
-What, you going to do that as well?
-No, no, no.
-Because you're going to tell me you'll get rid of it.
-Yeah, I'll get rid of it.
-Good. Good answer.
At the end of the day, if you have a bash in this,
they ain't going to pay out, because that is illegal. Yeah? Cool.
I'll just do your ticket.
Mark is showing that sometimes a bit of discretion is still
-the order of the day.
-Quite a lot of discretion there, to be honest.
He could have gone to court for those offences, put together,
when you think of the numberplate, the tints,
the smoke billowing out the back,
but that's not to even mention the DVD player he had in the car.
The numberplates must be a recent addition,
as anything non-standard is an automatic MOT failure.
They now are included in the test.
Unless it's got a legal plate on it, it will fail.
Oddly, while numberplates are checked in order for a vehicle to
pass the MOT and meet road safety standards,
tinted windows aren't included in the test.
He knows what he's done. He knows the game.
I've pointed this all out to him before.
I was quite reasonable with him last time,
gave him the benefit of the doubt.
He had other defects on the car the last time,
but on this occasion... Your patience wears a bit thin
because you try and help these people,
because people may not necessarily know the law around the numberplate,
so you try and educate them a little bit, but he's just taking the mickey now, isn't he?
At the hospital in Cambridge, X-rays have brought good news.
Lorna, the young girl seriously injured in the crash on the A6,
is off the critical list
but she has bashed her head and broken a vertebra in her back.
-Where is that?
-It's in the lower part of your back,
so your back is divided into individual bones - vertebrae -
so just where the lower arch is in the back,
it's towards the bottom of that.
-And it's just...
..rather than being square, one corner's come in a bit. OK?
Once you're out of hospital,
one of my colleagues will be in touch with you.
On roads policing, we target people using a mobile phone.
And to be fair, so we should.
People don't get it, but using a mobile phone kills.
Seven months after the accident Lorna,
a full-time floristry student, and her boyfriend James
are still coming to terms with what happened.
I think, because everything was going really well, as well, before,
I had just got Student of the Year at college.
It put all of our plans and our future on hold,
to now deal with something that she's put in front of us
that we didn't ask for.
Lorna is lucky to be alive
but it's going to be a long time before she fully recovers from
the damage to her spine and a brain injury that's affected her memory,
all because of a minor traffic offence.
You're driving around at 60mph plus,
not in control of something that's in excess of two tonnes,
you should be punished.
I think it's people...
they don't understand why.
I think they know that you shouldn't do it
but they don't know WHY you shouldn't do it, really.
I think that's what it is.
Further investigation at the scene of the horrific crash
revealed that there might have been another factor
why the woman turned into the oncoming traffic -
her front windows were illegally, excessively tinted,
and further examination of her phone uncovered evidence that
pointed to her being on it at the time of the crash.
On the phone, it had a certain number of calls
and we had all those listed from the handset itself,
yet when we then got the subscriber records,
it showed that there was an extra call
that wasn't shown on the handset.
There's only two ways that that can happen.
One is that she's deleted it from the handset. Why would she do that?
That specific call that was made at or around the time of the collision.
The only other way that would be is if, mid-call,
the phone was turned off.
60-year-old Gillian Green pleaded guilty in court
to dangerous driving
and was sentenced to a nine-month suspended prison sentence
and banned from driving for a year-and-a-half.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
In a crackdown on motorists breaking the Highway Code, the traffic cops in Bedfordshire have brought in a credit scheme where they get 'points for pulls'. Drivers using mobile phones, not wearing seat belts or having illegal number plates are all on their hit list. The reason for the crackdown is brought sharply into focus when a girl is seriously injured in a three-car pileup, the disastrous consequence of a woman being on her phone.