Episode 2 Britain's Bravest Cops


Episode 2

Series looking at some of Britain's most courageous police officers, with reconstructions of extraordinary acts of heroism and footage from police units up and down the country.


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Transcript


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As an ex-copper, I'm well aware of the hidden dangers facing Britain's

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police officers. What starts off as an ordinary day on the beat can

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suddenly turn into a life- threatening situation. In the week

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of the Police Federation Bravery Awards, we meet the ordinary

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officers who risk their lives to protect us. We hear stories of

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their extraordinary courage, and join them on the street as they

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continue to crack down on crime. This week, the courage and

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dedication of ordinary police officers up and down the country

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will be honoured at the Police Federation Bravery Awards. Standing

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up to violent criminals on the streets is one of the toughest jobs

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anyone can do, but it's all in a day's work for Britain's police

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officers. Today, we'll uncover the extraordinary lengths they go to to

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keep us safe. Coming up, off-duty PC, Matt Hunt,

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relives the horrific moment he tackled a knife-wielding maniac in

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a busy town centre. Any knife really I suppose, no matter how big

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or small, can inflict serious wounds and injuries. A knife of the

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size that he had at the time could have killed somebody.

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Officers from Strathclyde Police crack down on Glasgow's rising gang

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culture after a violent street fight erupts in the middle of the

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city. All it needed was a random blow from one of those knives and

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you would have had somebody lying on a mortuary slab.

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And we follow Manchester's specialist proactive unit as they

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crack down on drug crime. Police! Stay where you are! Turn round!

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first, the heroic story of four unarmed Met Police officers. They

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were on patrol in North London when a stop and search went dangerously

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wrong. It was a warm spring day in March 2008. A team from the Met

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Police's Territorial Support Group were driving around the city

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streets on the lookout for criminals. We were posted to

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Hackney borough for two weeks. We were tasked specifically with

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dealing with local villains in the area, to try and stop them

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committing crime. We was on mobile patrol in the Woodbury Down area in

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Hackney. We initially noticed two young males walking towards us.

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was a very warm day. However, one of them had a hood up partially

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covering his face. The other gentleman had a woollen hat on.

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driver beckoned them to say, "Hello boys, can you stop there, please?"

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And that's when it started to go wrong. As soon as the young men

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clocked the police carrier, they began to back away. PCs Michael

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Carroll and Richard Cousins immediately went after them. They

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didn't know it at the time but the two young men were in fact local

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drug dealer Colton Sam and an accomplice. I just saw Mr Sam

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walking away. I thought, oh, he's going to get rid of something, he's

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going to drop something. I saw him reach up, pull the balaclava down.

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I saw him reach inside his waistband. I thought it was just

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going to be drugs, he's going to throw some drugs, watch him. Then

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next thing I know, he's pulled the gun. And I'm thinking, he's got a

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gun! He's got a gun! He's got a gun! That's all that's going

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through my brain. The armed suspect stood facing PC Michael Carroll.

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sort of froze. It was total shock, what I was looking at. And it was

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then that he lifted the firearm up, aimed it directly towards me and

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fired. Colton Sam at the time was only between seven and ten metres

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away when he fired the first shot at me. I straightaway realised that

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this is a very dangerous situation, and I can't get out of it. All I

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can remember is looking down the barrel of the gun and seeing the

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smoke coming out of the other end. Luckily for Michael, Colton Sam was

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a poor shot. He then turned the firearm towards my colleague, PC

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Cousins and discharged the second shot. To actually then hear that

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bang, for a split second you're almost paralysed. As soon as you

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see it's pointing at you, you sort see it's pointing at you, you sort

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of go into a state where you become fixated, just staring at the

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firearm. Another stroke of luck. The gunman missed again. I was

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thinking, maybe a little bit of cover might help. But obviously the

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side of the carrier, there's nowhere to go. The only place to go

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was the floor. But before you know it, it was that quick. The shot had

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been fired and it was over. suspect then turned and fled. An

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extremely dangerous man was now loose on the streets of London, but

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the unarmed officers didn't hesitate to chase after him.

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shot at us. My feeling was, I need to get him, I need to arrest him.

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It was like, OK, let's get out. Let's get after him. At the time

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you are not thinking, I'm going to be brave, I'm going to chase him.

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You get the adrenaline rush and you become fixated. After the officers

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went after Colton Sam his accomplice ran from the scene,

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never to be found. Colton Sam was still firing at the police.

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police then fired down another side road, another police van was doing

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burglary patrols and the foot chasers continued along the road.

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By this time more officers had joined the chase. Despite the

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danger of getting shot, PC prig by grappled the drug dealer down. --

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Rigby. If I had lost sight by a mere seconds, when I caught up with

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PC Rigby and Colton Sam there was a struggle happening. I was unaware

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that the firearm had been discarded and I thought my colleague was

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having a struggle with a male still armed with a firearm. We finally

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got him detained and it was then we realised that the gun was thrown

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into a flower bed. The police got the result they wanted but the

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shoot-out could have ended tragically for at least two of the

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officers. We were working as a team from the start. It is that which

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saved us, because we kept putting Mr Sam under pressure. We put him

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under pressure and he reacted, but because we did it, he couldn't take

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proper aim. I think that's what saved us. Colton Sam got 30 years

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for the attempted murder of Richard and Michael. Four of the officers

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received a Blairry award for bringing in a gun-toting criminal.

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You never dream one day you will come across somebody with a loaded

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firearm and his only decision that day was to fire his way out of it.

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It was scary. It is not the sort of thing you would want every single

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day. It is not the sort of thing you -- think you would ever want

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again, but unfortunately the people we were dealing with on a daily

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basis, a lot of them routinely carry weapons, whether that be a

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knife, a bat or a firearm. Unfortunately firearms are becoming

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more common. Last year there were over 7,500 firearms offences in

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Britain. More often than not gangs are responsible. Police up and down

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the country are dealing with an increasingly violent gang culture.

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It is not just in the capital. This is Glasgow, a city with a

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population of around 600,000. Known for its amazing architecture and

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grand historic monuments, as well as its tree-lined streets and

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beautiful scenery. But for Strathclyde Police the picture is

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very different. They see a city carved up into dozens of gang

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territories. They are only separated by 56 metres of tarmac.

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They have been fighting for generations. It is such a dangerous

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place. In the last two years, police have made over 11,000

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arrests linked to gang crime Strathclyde the most common weapon

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of choice for gang members knives. I have never come across anyone

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with a disguised knife or through axe or none chucks who haven't been

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involved in some we with violence and assault using these weapons.

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Antisocial behaviour and violence are infesting the city as 150 gangs

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ballot for control of the streets. They are fighting and they are

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fuelled by drink. That gives them Dutch courage, if you want. Every

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day, officers like Detective Sergeant Steve put their lives on

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the line as they try to keep a lead on Glasgow's growing gang warfare.

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Back in 2009, Glasgow's gang problem reached crisis point.

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Fighting spilled out on to the streets and violent schemes were

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captured on CCTV. Detective Sergeant Stevie Cassenhorn explains.

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This area is basically the territory of the Govan Young Team.

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You see the man in a hooded top here. It is not until he gets on

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the Shore Street that you become aware that he is dragging something.

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Here he produce as baseball bat. That is used in the attack. He was

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heading for another gang of youths who had just got out of a cab at

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the other end of the street. individual who came from the taxi

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and the other individuals who came from the top end of the street are

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related to a team called the Wine Alyeah? Govan, which is not a

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million miles from here but it is far enough away to be regarded as

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another distinct area. The male from the taxi, who comes out of the

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back and walks down the street, you see him Jess tick lating with his

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hands. It was clear from the CCTV that they were armed with a machete.

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If you look up you will see the CCTV camera. That was the principal

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method of recording the events. He comes up to the top of the street.

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As he comes up to the top of the street the other faction, if you

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want to call them that, are coming down towards themselves. This is

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where the fight itself occurs in this area here. You see them

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running about the street and you will see more groups coming down

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from this end to back up the faction that came from the taxi.

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Thereafter you see the whole scenario unfolding on tape. What is

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amazing about it, it is 9 o'clock at nine in Govan and there's a

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full-scale battle running in the street. When I saw this I was

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absolutely horrified. At the end of the footening, if you look at it

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closely you will see a woman coming out pushing a buggy while this was

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ongoing. There was no regard for the injuries they could have caused

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each other. All it needed was a random blow from one of those

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knives and would have had somebody lying on a mortuary slab. Police

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could see all the gang members were armed with vicious weapons and

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knives. Violent street fights like there are the reason why

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Strathclyde Police sets up gangs task force to combat the rising

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gang culture. And now Stevie is part of a team of 33 officers in

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this specialist unit. They've found that children as young as 12 are

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joining gangs, largely because it runs in the family. Alarmingly, the

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majority of fights are over territory, as fellow task force

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officer PC Blair Pettigrew explains. That area is Chapel, part of

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Glasgow, and this is a council area, part of Clydebank. There's been

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fighting between these two sides of the road. They are only separate

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bid 56 metres of tarmac. They've been fighting for generations. It

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is such a dangerous place. The added danger is they have got to

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cross two dual carriageways to get to fight each other. Sometimes

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simply crossing a road into another gang's patch is enough to spark a

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fight. This kind of gang rivalry often leads to other crimes, like

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drug taking, antisocial behaviour, and theft. PC Blair Pettigrew is

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part of the gangs task force team, cracking down on gang crime. Most

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gang fights lap at the weekend. It's a common problem and tonight

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he is patrolling the streets, monitoring activity among Glasgow's

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youth. It is a dangerous job but he's trained to deal with any

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aggressive behaviour. You've got to go with your gut I think distinct.

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If somebody came at me with a knife I would have to rely on the CS gas,

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or I have my baton I can use to try a pre-emptive strike or block any

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attack on me, and then use my handcuffs to arrest them. There is

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always the chance that something might happen. Blair knows from

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experience that the later it gets the more likely it is a fight will

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It's only 6.30pm. You could imagine, in four or five hours' time, with

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the alcohol they've been drinking. They come back, and there's

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rivalries in the area. And they're only a short distance from each

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other. There's always potential for violence when you see groups like

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that. So it's important we are in the area, and it's important we

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have a presence. There's uniformed cops out tonight as well to deter

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them. It's now 8pm, and already groups of

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young men are gathering at hot spots known for trouble. Blair and

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his team will stop and search anyone suspected of carrying

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weapons, drugs and alcohol. They spot a group of youths hanging

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about outside a shop. The young men are co-operative, and allow Blair

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to give them a once over. But They chase him. But he's nowhere to

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Over in that area. There are some trees over my left shoulder. So

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we've asked for the assistance of a dog unit which was nearby. The

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police officers are going out there with a police dog, and are trying

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to find a male. If he is hiding in the trees, I'm pretty sure the dog

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It has been a troublesome night for Blair. A lot of anti-social

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behaviour from young men and angry, drunk and disorderly gang members

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keen to confront the police. Officers are open to all sorts of

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risk in their work. But tonight, nobody is hurt. And being out and

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about on streets is helping them keep tabs on gang activity, and

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identify the ringleaders. All in all, six people have been seen in

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some form by the task force. The stop and searches. And

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intelligence regarding who is hanging about, and where. So we are

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building into that bigger picture to ensure the next time we go out,

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we know who we are looking for, and where we are looking for them.

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But now, picture this. It is one thing tackling gangs with knives

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when you've got back-up from your fellow officers. It's another when

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you're on a night out with your mates.

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July 2009. Off-duty policeman Matt was heading home through Redditch

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town centre after an evening of drinking and clubbing with friends.

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It was 1am. We decided we were going to make our way home. A few

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people said they wanted to get some food. At which point, I saw a group

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of males I recognised from my work in the area. I didn't pay too much

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attention to them at first. I then saw another male with a knife. It

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was tucked up his sleeve. I could clearly see the edge of the knife,

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the tip. Two of the lads were having a go at the other two, as if

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spoiling for a fight. He was very aggressive, there was a lot of

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verbal abuse coming from him. Not aimed at us, but aimed at this

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other group. It was quite clear that he was out to hurt someone

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Matt was off duty. But a copper's instincts never switch off, and he

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began to keep a close eye on the knife. He could see the young man

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meant serious business. You don't know whether he's drunk, or on

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drugs. You don't know what he's thinking. You don't know what's

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happened prior to that, to make him come out with this kitchen knife.

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But I knew I had to do something. Suddenly, two of the youths ran off.

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The knifeman and his mate quickly chased after them. Sensing trouble,

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Matt followed too. Obviously, I pursued, accompanied by one of the

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lads I was out with. It was only then when I saw the knife brought

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out, that I realised that he had a fair-sized knife on him. Any knife

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really, it doesn't matter how big or small, can inflict some serious

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wounds and injuries. A knife of the size he had could kill somebody

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quite easily. Matt had no doubt that the knifeman was about to

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attack the other two youths, or indeed anyone else that was in his

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way. One of the group shouted out, "Hawaii Five-O!" which is a code

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name for the police. At this point, the male turned, he recognised me

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I'm pretty sure as a police officer. And he knew I was pursuing him. He

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was brandishing a big knife, he was running at me and staring at me. So,

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I kind of wondered where it was going to go. I just thought, I need

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to stop this now. As the man came straight at him

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with the knife, he had just seconds to react. But he stood his ground,

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putting himself in grave danger. You've always got your training to

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back you up. I used the old I hit him. The knife catapulted

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into the air. I heard the knife swooshing. So I knew it was either

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going to land on me, or not far from me. My concern was I didn't

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want him to have that knife whilst I was so close to him. As the knife

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landed, one of Matt's friends quickly snatched it away for

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safekeeping. Using all his strength, Matt managed to pin the knifeman

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down and keep him there for several minutes until back-up arrived.

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There's nothing nicer than seeing officers coming to your aid. It's a

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nice sight when you see the blue lights flickering around off the

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buildings, and that pat on the shoulder. You know that you're OK.

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Looking back on it, probably not the right thing to do. But

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something just takes over, I think. You just feel you've got to do

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something. But the consequences could have been a lot worse. I

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might not be sitting here today. Matt took a huge gamble. But,

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thanks to his brave actions, no one was hurt. The suspect got two years

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for affray. While Matt deservedly got one of this year's Police

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In 2008, there were over five fatal stabbings a week in England and

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Wales alone. It is vital that the police get weapons off the streets.

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Many of them are in the hands of gang members who are three times

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more likely to carry a knife and other criminals. Earlier, we saw PC

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Blair Pettigrew carrying out a stop and search patrol on the streets of

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Glasgow as part of an operation to crack down on anti-social behaviour

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As part of his job, PC Pettigrew has to deal with incidents of knife

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crime all over the city. Over the past few years, his team have

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seized hundreds of lethal weapons from Glasgow's gangs. This is just

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a small selection of some of the weapons the task force have seized

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since their creation a couple of years ago. You can see yourself it

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is a horrific display of weapons that have, at some point, been on

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the street and in the public domain. They go from home-made nunchucks

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that have been made from two pieces of wood and a dog chain. To knives

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out of something that looks like from a horror movie, a Rambo movie.

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Home-made knives with a section cut off from a saw. And wrapped round

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with plastic and Sellotape. That, at some point, has been a table leg,

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a piece of furniture that has been taped up for the purposes of using

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it. And you can see that they have scored their name on it, and the

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initials of the gang they are attached to. This butterfly knife

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is another article which we come across all too often. They are

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prohibited weapons. You can see it folds up to prevent injury to the

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person carried it. -- carrying it. You can see it is very thin. It can

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be fitted inside a sock or into the waistband of trousers. And then it

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can be accessed very easily by flicking it open and locking it in

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place. Again, another deadly weapon. Officers like Blair are often on

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the receiving end of these weapons. I was actually on my own. And an

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individual came out from a homeless accommodation carrying a large

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kitchen steel knife, and coming towards me. He tried to fight with

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me when I was on duty. Luckily, I threw him off, using the safety

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training and equipment I had. And my colleagues were not too far away.

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Then he was arrested, subdued. He served a custodial sentence for his

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actions. I can't begin to imagine the psyche of somebody who'd want

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to arm themselves with a knife going on a night out. I understand

:23:44.:23:47.

individuals come from different areas, there are territorial

:23:47.:23:50.

battles, gangs and fighting. I'm not condoning it in the slightest.

:23:50.:23:54.

But I can't understand why somebody would then go to the next level and

:23:54.:23:57.

carry a knife. It's amazing the number of times you've been to an

:23:57.:24:00.

incident where a knife has been used. Somebody's been assaulted,

:24:00.:24:03.

and it's actually their own knife they've taken out with them. It's

:24:03.:24:07.

been taken off them, and been used in a serious assault on them.

:24:07.:24:10.

Blair and the gangs taskforce often come across youths fighting for the

:24:10.:24:14.

sake of it. For them, it's just something to do. But sometimes,

:24:14.:24:17.

turf wars break out over more serious issues. Like drugs.

:24:17.:24:19.

For Detective Sergeant Stevie Cassenhorn, stamping out drug

:24:19.:24:21.

dealing is a crucial part of the team's work.

:24:21.:24:24.

Good morning everybody, thanks very much for turning up. Obviously,

:24:24.:24:27.

we've an operation, a drugs operation, and we are releasing

:24:27.:24:32.

Operation Fleet this morning. the last few months, he's been

:24:32.:24:35.

gathering covert evidence on drug crime, and is now preparing to raid

:24:35.:24:39.

a house in the local area. Today, the police are hoping to

:24:39.:24:44.

arrest someone they suspect is selling heroin. The intel suggests

:24:44.:24:51.

she's receiving an order of drugs approximately 8:30am every morning.

:24:51.:24:55.

She's dealing from the house, and she's going down to the hotel and

:24:55.:24:59.

dealing from there. The rest of us will take up a position in Berkeley

:24:59.:25:01.

Street, just around the corner. Surveillance suggests there might

:25:01.:25:05.

be a dog in the flat. So, just in case, the specialist dog handler is

:25:05.:25:10.

drafted on to the team. The most important piece of kit we use is

:25:10.:25:14.

this, to take control of the dog. The other piece of kit we use is

:25:14.:25:17.

this electric shield. The shield itself has a battery which is

:25:17.:25:21.

equipped to give out 50,000 volts, the equivalent of a police taser.

:25:21.:25:24.

There have been occasions where a dog has managed to get around the

:25:24.:25:28.

shield, and start biting your feet and legs. So you have to be

:25:28.:25:32.

relatively quick to get the dog under control. Any delay in that

:25:32.:25:37.

could cause you or one of the officers serious injury. Stevie and

:25:37.:25:40.

the officers have been given specific information on the

:25:40.:25:46.

suspected drug dealer. It's powder drugs we're dealing with, according

:25:46.:25:52.

to intelligence. So, as soon as we start making any noise outside the

:25:52.:25:55.

door, that could alert people inside, and they may attempt to

:25:55.:26:00.

dispose of it. The powder could be flushed down the toilet or thrown

:26:00.:26:05.

from the window. So we cover the front and the back of the building

:26:05.:26:10.

as best we can. And put a team to the door. Get the door in as quick

:26:10.:26:14.

as we can. And just control the occupants. The police hope that the

:26:14.:26:19.

intelligence is correct. But they don't always get it right. They can

:26:19.:26:23.

never fully predict what the situation will be on the other side

:26:23.:26:27.

of the door. You always get a bit of adrenalin. You really don't know

:26:27.:26:30.

what will be behind that door. And you're concentrating on working as

:26:30.:26:34.

a team, to control it first off. And once you have got that control,

:26:34.:26:39.

it goes into slow motion a wee bit. Because you can deal with the

:26:39.:26:43.

situation then. Everything is under your control. That's the single

:26:43.:26:51.

biggest thing you've got to It is 9am, and Stevie and the team

:26:51.:27:00.

of officers arrive at the flat. One of the officers has an enforcer to

:27:00.:27:04.

break down the door. And the dog handler is right behind him just in

:27:04.:27:08.

case they have to deal with the dog inside. What you can hear there,

:27:08.:27:12.

you can see the door is forced. You can hear the dog barking. The

:27:12.:27:15.

shouts of, "Clear!" the officers are checking the rooms to ensure

:27:15.:27:21.

that there are no other occupants. You can hear that dog just now. I'm

:27:21.:27:25.

concerned that the door is open, so if it comes out and bites people,

:27:25.:27:30.

we will be out of here. But it seems to be all right. All I can

:27:30.:27:34.

hear is one female voice in there, and no other raised male voices. So

:27:34.:27:37.

it tends to suggest that the intelligence is probably spot on,

:27:37.:27:45.

and it's just her inside the house. There is a woman in the flat, but

:27:45.:27:48.

the expected heroin isn't there. This time, the intelligence is

:27:48.:27:52.

wrong. You can see the marks where the enforcer was used this morning.

:27:52.:27:55.

There is no evidence of dealing in the flat. So Detective Sergeant

:27:55.:27:58.

Cassenhorn leaves the scene. There's been no controlled drugs

:27:58.:28:01.

found. Although there was a fair bit of paraphernalia, indicating

:28:01.:28:04.

that they are involved in the use of controlled drugs. But

:28:04.:28:07.

effectively no offences have been detected under the Misuse of Drugs

:28:07.:28:12.

Act 1971. So, the team have now moved away from that location.

:28:12.:28:15.

Thankfullly for Detective Sergeant Cassenhorn, this time the operation

:28:15.:28:18.

passed off without injury. Last year, there were nearly 4,000

:28:18.:28:22.

assaults on police officers in Strathclyde. That's twice as many

:28:22.:28:28.

as in London. There are now more and more police specifically

:28:28.:28:38.
:28:38.:28:40.

trained to combat serious crime, as It is 7am, and a team of specialist

:28:40.:28:43.

officers are preparing for a drug raid on a house in the Manchester

:28:43.:28:46.

area. The intention today is to execute a

:28:46.:28:49.

search warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act. The intelligence to

:28:50.:28:53.

support the warrant indicates that there is a cannabis farm at the

:28:53.:29:01.

address. The intention today is to attend the address, and to make a

:29:01.:29:03.

rapid and dynamic entry into the premises. Intelligence also

:29:03.:29:07.

indicates that there may be dealing from the address. So we may have

:29:07.:29:12.

loose cannabis. So, before they can dispose of it, we want to gain

:29:12.:29:15.

entry and detain all occupants inside. So, in five, ten minutes,

:29:15.:29:18.

ready to rock and roll, and we'll get kitted up. This proactive unit

:29:18.:29:21.

was set up in 2009 to tackle increasing violent crime across

:29:21.:29:25.

north Manchester. These guys have had expert training

:29:25.:29:30.

to deal with any situation they come across. There's been incidents

:29:30.:29:34.

before in the past, where officers have been confronted with a booby-

:29:34.:29:41.

trapped house and rooms. These can range from windows and doors being

:29:41.:29:46.

electrified. You have serrated blades being secreted in door

:29:46.:29:49.

handles, they are behind light switches which again can cause

:29:49.:29:55.

injury. We have also had a large number of weapons found in cannabis

:29:55.:30:05.
:30:05.:30:08.

farms where offenders to try to Each day these officers are

:30:08.:30:12.

entering unknown territory, so they are fully kitted up with protective

:30:12.:30:17.

clothing just in case they find themselves on dangerous ground.

:30:17.:30:22.

are putting on a Kevlar kit, which is covering your major arteries.

:30:22.:30:27.

We've got a top and a bottom covering your major arteries, to

:30:27.:30:31.

ensure that if there are issues with glass we are not seriously

:30:31.:30:35.

injured. Over the past few years, Manchester's police have noticed

:30:35.:30:39.

the steady increase of cannabis farms emerging across the city. Now

:30:40.:30:44.

many of their raids are targeting this serious problem. Cannabis

:30:44.:30:48.

farms are becoming more prominent, because of the revenue they can

:30:48.:30:52.

create for criminals. A good grow with reap thousands of pounds worth.

:30:52.:30:58.

They can be set up relatively cheaply in something as small as a

:30:58.:31:03.

two up, two down terraced house. fact a small-time dealer with make

:31:03.:31:11.

anything up to �50,000 or more in just a year. Over the past few

:31:11.:31:14.

months, Manchester police have been gathering evidence against

:31:14.:31:19.

suspected drug dealers. Now the proactive unit have a good idea of

:31:19.:31:28.

what to expect and are fully prepared. Potentially we may come

:31:28.:31:33.

across a few problems in the address, trying to detain the

:31:34.:31:43.

occupants of the address. Each raid is strategically planned and each

:31:43.:31:48.

officer has an important role to play. Two officers hold the

:31:49.:31:55.

battering ram, known as a double ram-it, while the four remaining

:31:55.:32:02.

officers follow closely behind. Police! Stay where you are! Turn

:32:02.:32:10.

round! Two occupants have been located inside the address, one the

:32:10.:32:16.

subject of a warrant. He was in bed. A cursory search of the premises

:32:16.:32:20.

incates there's a cannabis farm in the loft, where one of the suspects

:32:20.:32:25.

were located. The team of officers start searching the house for

:32:25.:32:31.

hidden drugs. Nothing is left unturned. What we've got up here in

:32:31.:32:35.

the loft conversion appears to be cannabis, which is under

:32:35.:32:45.

cultivation. A small set-up. 10 or 12 mature cannabis plants.

:32:45.:32:50.

officers unearth detailed notes on how the plants are grown. What

:32:50.:32:54.

appears to be his diary. He's prosecution his cannabis. It takes

:32:55.:33:02.

roughly three months to get the harvest. It looks like he has taken

:33:02.:33:12.

measurements. 4ml to bloom, 1ml to boost, 1 to force bud. Raiding and

:33:12.:33:15.

searching a property occupied by suspecting criminals carries all

:33:15.:33:20.

sorts of potential dangers, as an officer explains. I remember one

:33:20.:33:24.

time we got called to a domestic. We had colleagues at the scene. We

:33:24.:33:30.

had to get him on the floor. During the struggle myself and a colleague

:33:30.:33:35.

were bit. It transpired the gentleman was HIV-positive. Due to

:33:35.:33:41.

that I will to receive four weeks of antiviral medication, which made

:33:41.:33:45.

me extremely ill and had to take five weeks off work. At the time

:33:45.:33:50.

you get on with it. It is not until I got home and started explaining

:33:51.:33:55.

the situation to family members it kind of sink in, that, potentially,

:33:55.:33:59.

even though it is a low risk, die have contracted a disease I've got

:33:59.:34:04.

to spend the rest of my life living with, and the effects of that on

:34:04.:34:13.

myself and my family. Elsewhere the officers continue to make a

:34:13.:34:18.

thorough search of the house for any further evidence of drug

:34:18.:34:23.

cultivation. This is a really simple set-up really. Bin liner

:34:23.:34:29.

material, white-side in to keep the heat in, and reflect the light. The

:34:29.:34:33.

fan to circulate the air and the fan to take away the aroma.

:34:33.:34:37.

Sleeping in the room as well, so he doesn't want that too much. There

:34:37.:34:42.

is quite a basic one, but it does the job, as you can see. We are

:34:42.:34:46.

going to destroy it now and stop him from using it. It turns out

:34:46.:34:49.

that the the loft has been converted into a small cannabis

:34:49.:34:55.

farm. It is an awkward space, which goes to show the lengths people

:34:55.:35:02.

will go to cultivate drugs. It's been a successful raid, but that

:35:02.:35:06.

doesn't necessarily mean that the person growing the plants will get

:35:06.:35:10.

prosecute. The male is in custody now. We don't know what he is going

:35:10.:35:14.

to say on interview. From past experiences you tend to find a lot

:35:14.:35:18.

of people argue the toss that they are growing it for their own

:35:18.:35:21.

personal use rather than supplying it, because it carries a lesser

:35:21.:35:26.

sentence when it gets to court. Obviously, it is for us to seize

:35:26.:35:31.

other items, other bits of drug paraphernalia, snap bags and scales.

:35:31.:35:37.

Things like that contribute to the fact that he may be distributing it

:35:37.:35:40.

to other people. But finally the officers believe they've got enough

:35:40.:35:45.

evidence to make an arrest. If found guilty offenders are looking

:35:45.:35:55.
:35:55.:35:59.

at up to 14 years in prison. It's often said that police work is

:35:59.:36:04.

99% routine and 1% pure terror. You never know when a routine call-out

:36:04.:36:08.

will turn into a life or death situation. When it does, that's

:36:08.:36:17.

when your instincts and training really kick in. For West Midlands

:36:17.:36:23.

PCs Rak and Curt their regular patrol through the streets of

:36:23.:36:30.

Coventry started like any other. had our routine. I was partnered

:36:30.:36:35.

with my colleague, PC Ray. We saw smoke and flames in an upstairs

:36:36.:36:40.

window. Normally when we come across a house fire we would call

:36:40.:36:43.

the Fire Brigade and wait for them to arrive. But we were concerned

:36:43.:36:51.

that somebody may be trapped. By the time the Fire Brigade got there

:36:51.:36:55.

the person inside may not have survived. The Fire Brigade were

:36:55.:36:59.

coming but were minutes away. Instinctively and without thought

:36:59.:37:04.

for their safety the PCs dashed towards the burning building

:37:04.:37:14.
:37:14.:37:15.

Rpblgts Anybody there? Police;; Anybody there! Police! At that time

:37:15.:37:20.

we didn't even think about any burns, or suffering smoke

:37:20.:37:24.

inhalation or anything that was going to happen to us. Maybe it was

:37:24.:37:30.

just an adrenaline rush. We needed to do what we had to do. Hello?

:37:30.:37:38.

Police! And we heard a noise from the left-hand side, from the stair

:37:38.:37:44.

way. I can't breathe! When we got closer I could see a bloke

:37:44.:37:47.

stumbling down the stairs, disarrangementsated. He couldn't

:37:47.:37:52.

see where he was going or what he was doing. I thought, what are we

:37:52.:37:56.

going to do if there is somebody else up stairs?, because the smoke

:37:56.:38:00.

is very thick. There was no time to lose. Toxic smoke kills more people

:38:01.:38:06.

in house fires than the fire itself. Every second of exposure put Ray

:38:06.:38:11.

and curt at risks of losing consciousness, and even being

:38:11.:38:16.

killed. The courageous cops needed to get the man out fast. Ray took

:38:16.:38:23.

one arm, I took the other arm. We didn't know the layout of the

:38:23.:38:26.

building, so we took him out of the front of the house, and a safe

:38:26.:38:31.

distance from the house, across the road. Ray and curt got the man out

:38:31.:38:36.

in the nick of time. It was evident he was suffering from smoke

:38:36.:38:42.

inhalation. We had to check whether anybody else was in the address.

:38:42.:38:47.

The dog. He told us there were two dogs but we weren't convinced there

:38:47.:38:52.

was knowing else in there. He was quite clearly disorientated. Then

:38:52.:38:57.

in an extraordinary act of courage the PCs decided to go in again and

:38:57.:39:01.

check for more people, even though the blaze was getting fiercer.

:39:01.:39:11.
:39:11.:39:13.

smoke was clearly getting thicker. It was very hot inside. We went in

:39:13.:39:17.

slowly together, and ushered the dogs out. To be fair, I think they

:39:17.:39:20.

were quite keen to get out of the property that. Assisted us greatly.

:39:20.:39:24.

We came back out and asked if anybody else was back in the

:39:24.:39:30.

address. That the point he told us his pet bird was inside. By this

:39:30.:39:34.

point the fire was raging out of control. The house might collapse

:39:34.:39:43.

at any moment. Take a deep breath. But going beyond the call of duty

:39:43.:39:47.

Ray and Curt made a split second decision to go back into good house

:39:47.:39:51.

one more time. Windows were smashing. The room in which the

:39:51.:39:56.

bird was in was directly where we had seen the flames, so I was

:39:56.:40:00.

conscious of the ceiling of that room and the flooring of the room

:40:00.:40:07.

above where the fire started, collapsing. Smoments later, the

:40:07.:40:12.

Fire Brigade arrived -- moments later, the Fire Brigade arrived.

:40:12.:40:16.

The whole rescue had only taken 7 minutes. If the structure had

:40:16.:40:20.

become more unstable perhaps we wouldn't have got out. I don't

:40:20.:40:25.

think myself, Ray, my colleague, or the gentleman and his pets would

:40:25.:40:30.

have got out, so I think somebody was looking down on us that day.

:40:30.:40:33.

Looking back at things now, it could have ended bad for us. We

:40:33.:40:39.

could have died. We may not have maid it out of that house, but at

:40:39.:40:43.

the time I didn't think like that. I'm sure if the situation happens

:40:43.:40:49.

again we would go and do it again. There is no doubt their courageous

:40:49.:40:53.

actions that day saved a man's life. I think if we hadn't been passion

:40:53.:40:58.

at the time we did and saw the fire when we did, I think it is

:40:58.:41:02.

questionable whether the man would have got out. According to the

:41:02.:41:06.

ambulance, a few more minutes and he wouldn't have made it.

:41:06.:41:12.

Astonishingly when the drama was over, Curt and Rahan carried on

:41:13.:41:17.

with the rest of their shift. For their part in saving a man's life

:41:17.:41:26.

they've both been nominated for a Chief Constable's Commendation.

:41:26.:41:31.

Next time on Britain's Bravest Cops, we retell the story of a lone

:41:31.:41:35.

police officer who con fronts a violent burglar in a dark alley.

:41:35.:41:41.

All I could see as I looked up was the hammer above my head. I really

:41:41.:41:45.

thought he was good going to hit me with it. He could have caved my

:41:45.:41:50.

head in. PC Nick Peters launches a series of dawn raids against

:41:50.:41:57.

suspected drug dealers in Northamptonshire. Police!

:41:57.:42:05.

Strong intelligence shows that drug dealing has been taking place at

:42:05.:42:12.

As Britain's most courageous police officers are honoured in the Annual Police Federation Bravery Awards, Britain's Bravest Cops tells their stories and highlights the day-to-day bravery of officers on the frontline. Each episode reconstructs extraordinary acts of heroism and follows police units up and down the country in hazardous operations as they crack down on crime.


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