A look at innovative ways of catching criminals. A masked intruder terrifies shop staff and a 14-year-old boy is badly beaten on a bus, but his attacker is caught on camera.
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Thieves will steal our cars, our valuables,
just about anything they can get their hands on.
To cut down on crime and anti-social behaviour,
the police are now using new tactics
where the bad guys actually get caught in the act.
They're launching covert operations.
Keep pretending you're talking on the phone for a bit longer.
And setting clever traps...
The laptop he's about to steal is equipped with a tracking device.
..that deliver unsuspecting crooks right into their hands.
And there are also ways that we the public and local businesses can fight back
with some tricks of our own.
I weren't going to sit back and let them do this.
We've caught you and we're sending you down.
So anyone who's up to no good had better think twice.
They might just get caught red handed.
Coming up today on Caught Red Handed...
A masked raider brandishing two carving knives
terrifies a store in Lancashire.
With two suspects in the frame, an image expert with a nose for detail
works out from the footage which one could be the bad guy.
And in Hull, a 14-year-old boy is viciously beaten on the back of a bus
by a 19-year-old girl.
I saw blood on my jacket.
I thought, this is getting a bit bad now.
Also, in London the devious lengths pickpockets will go to
to get their hands on our stuff.
But first, it's tea-time in Preston, Lancashire.
And so far it's been a normal day at this corner shop.
This is about to change.
A young boy leaves the shop with a magazine he has bought just in time.
A hooded man wearing a balaclava underneath
bursts in wielding a carving knife in each hand.
Waving the knives around, he shouts that he wants the till opened.
The two members of staff don't want to get too close to him
but they don't want to open the till either.
The raider becomes more agitated,
starts slashing at the man behind the counter...
..who picks up a chair as a shield.
Desperate, the raider then tries to force open the till himself.
Failing to, he then becomes even more abusive
and threatening with his knives.
To try and get him to back off,
the shopkeeper throws the chair at him.
This, and the sound of another customer entering the shop,
is enough to frighten the armed robber into running out of the store.
He's gone away empty handed
but with his balaclava he probably thinks he's safe from being recognised.
But what he hasn't counted on
is that a team of forensic experts are about to use the few vital visual clues
provided by this footage to unmask him.
The case lands on the desk of Detective Constable Les Clegg from Lancashire Police.
He's keen to catch the would-be robber as soon as possible.
As he knows another attempted incident like this
could end up with serious injury or worse.
The robbery has taken place when
members of the public come into the shop. They're extremely scared.
They are large carving knives.
It is quite a horrific type of attack.
Shopworkers all run the potential risk of getting caught up in a robbery attempt.
The man behind the counter here, the shop owner,
didn't want to talk about his experience.
But another store owner, Robert Namadam,
knows how it feels to be faced with an armed attacker.
Robert's store suffered six robberies in a five-month spell.
He has been threatened with knives, hit over the head with a bottle,
and has even been shot at.
It makes you worry, very much.
You don't want to leave the shop
in case something happens when you're not here.
When it was happening to us, I wouldn't go home till we'd shut the shop.
And I wouldn't have anything to eat cos I couldn't rest.
-Some people would say you're very brave.
No, not brave at all. It's just it's my business and it's my livelihood.
And I don't want anybody else to have it.
Not all of the people who attempted to steal from Robert's store have been caught.
And he recognises the difficulty in tracking criminals
when they take steps to conceal their identity
like the man in the Preston robbery attempt.
There's not much of his face you can see, is there, really?
This is the problem facing DC Les Clegg.
But he still hopes there's enough evidence in this footage
to help catch this dangerous man.
Because he's got a balaclava on
it makes it difficult to work out who that individual is.
The only thing we had to go on
was the partial shot of his nose
and distinctive gloves and jacket.
Our first thing was to locate the jacket.
They ask local neighbourhood police teams
about likely suspects for this crime on their patch,
who have also been seen in a brightly coloured jacket like this one.
They are given the name of Liam Gould
who happens to live on the same street that, according to eye witnesses,
the culprit was last seen fleeing down.
DC Clegg and a colleague go to interview him about his movements the night before.
Whilst there, that's where we had the lucky break.
That's when we recovered the jacket
which is distinctive cos it was green, white and black.
The police take this jacket to the shopkeeper
who confirms it's the same type worn by his attacker.
So they go back and formally arrest Liam Gould for attempted armed robbery.
But he protests his innocence
and says that the jacket was left at his flat by a friend
and it was actually this friend that carried out the crime.
But when the friend is brought in for questioning, he insists it wasn't him.
The police have a problem.
The difficulties were identifying
which one of the two individuals were responsible for the offence.
The good thing from the investigation's point of view
is the quality of the CCTV.
So they call in the help of forensic imagery investigator Iwan Hughes.
Iwan's job means he's used to picking out minute details.
Iwan is given mugshots and custody footage of the first suspect
and the friend he's accused.
He'll compare their faces with the original footage of the robbery
to see if he can eliminate either man as a suspect.
First up, Liam Gould's friend.
When comparing the second suspect's nose against the nose of the offender,
we match them scale for scale.
When the nose was viewed from the front,
there was quite a clear and obvious difference with the suspect
having a rather large bump on the bridge of his nose.
Whereas the offender had a straight and uniform width to the bridge of his nose.
When viewed in a profile view,
the second suspect had a very obvious
aquiline or a Roman appearance to his nose.
The offender actually had a very straight bridge to the nose.
Given these differences put together,
that was enough for us to rule the second suspect out
and eliminate him from the investigation.
So that leaves Liam Gould. Could he be the offender?
When we compared them, from the front
you can see Mr Gould has a very straight appearance to the bridge of his nose.
With a very uniform width.
From the bottom of the eyebrow all the way to the tip of the nose.
This was also a similar feature visible on the offender as well.
When we view the noses from the side,
Mr Gould again, you can see clearly the straight bridge of the nose.
And small flare of the nostrils as well.
These features were also similar in the offender.
All these considered, there wasn't anything to permit us to eliminate Mr Gould,
so he remained as a candidate for the offender.
More evidence to build up the case that this man's the knife-waving attacker
is provided when they find a pair of tatty gloves at his home.
They look eerily familiar.
Iwan gets a colleague to pose with the recovered gloves in exactly the same position
as the original footage to see if they match the gloves used in the raid.
You can see damage here on the index finger of the right hand.
It's also evident quite clearly on the gloves worn by the offender.
And also when held in a specific pose, you can see two clear pieces of damage
on the ends of the fingers and thumbs there.
Another small piece of damage halfway along the finger.
You put all these things together, it's quite compelling evidence
that the gloves used during the offence and the recovered gloves
are one and the same items.
Detective Constable Les Clegg and the police
agree Liam Gould has effectively handed himself over.
Especially when his DNA is found
in the gloves and on the cuffs of the jacket he said was his friend's.
So Liam Gould had worn that jacket and with the DNA to link it in
that proved that a strong forensic case
for us to charge Liam Gould with attempted robbery.
A few weeks before his trial,
Liam Gould, who claimed his innocence throughout
and charmingly tried to make his friend a scapegoat for this vicious crime,
eventually pleads guilty
when he's made aware of the weight of evidence against him.
He's sentenced to three years and two months in jail.
I was very relieved that we managed to prove the offence.
On its own, it would be very difficult to prove,
but when you use neighbourhood policing, CID and forensic providers,
all working together,
it made a strong case to convict Liam Gould of attempted robbery.
We've just seen how much evidence police can get from CCTV pictures.
But sadly some criminals do still get away with it.
Pickpockets, known to us as dippers,
actually learn their trade,
a bit like Fagin taught the boys in Oliver.
They get really good at stealing from you without you even noticing.
Ladies, I would suggest
that you carry your bag diagonally across your body.
So that the front of the bag is actually visible to you.
And, gents, don't leave your wallet in your rear pocket
or in an open coat pocket.
They are at risk of being stolen.
So, here's a dipping duo about to strike.
Unaware that cameras are watching their every move.
They walk into the bar of this restaurant.
One of them immediately takes a quick scope of the area
and takes great care to brush against
this man's coat hanging off the back of his chair.
By hitting the pockets, he can feel the weight of a wallet inside
and does the same on the way back just to make sure.
The diner, distracted by eating and talking with his companion,
has now become the target.
Over the next few minutes, menu in hand,
they pretend to chat amongst themselves
whilst sidling ever closer to the coat on the chair.
One of the men has removed his own jacket
to hang over his shoulder as a shield.
Finally, he has one hand on hip
and the other in somebody else's pocket.
Once he's carefully prised out the wallet,
the pair suddenly don't seem so hungry and leave immediately.
They got around £150 in cash,
cards and a driving licence.
These two are still at large,
so make sure they don't sidle up too close to you.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Best watch out for them.
Still to come on today's Caught Red Handed...
A man has a two-year battle with the council
after filming a pair of traffic wardens he thinks have been very naughty.
The wardens lay out there as predators almost, taking advantage of the situation.
We're about to see an important use of new technology by the police
which is helping make travel on public transport even safer.
Anti-social behaviour used to be investigated on the buses, the trains, the trams,
using undercover police officers.
Recently we've been investing in a lot of technology
on the public transport systems
whereby we can tap into these CCTV images.
We don't have to actually be on the bus to tap into the CCTV.
We can monitor it remotely
in control rooms via smartphones
and we can monitor the behaviour of these individuals
as they're travelling along the bus routes or even at bus stops.
Thousands of us use public transport perfectly safely every day.
But sometimes violent or threatening behaviour can be a problem.
One of the most common crimes is vandalism or anti-social behaviour.
Such as these lads causing mayhem on a late night train.
First, they go around trying to rip fixtures off the sides of the carriage.
Before letting off fire extinguishers
that are supposed to be there for a real emergency.
Wasting several extinguishers,
they then leg it when they reach their stop.
While it's in the station, a guard surveys the damage caused to this train.
One that you or I might need to use tomorrow morning.
But it can get more serious.
Violent or threatening behaviour is another regular problem.
In the West Midlands, it was to fight a rise in offences on public transport
that led to the set up of the safer travel unit.
Bus and rail companies have teamed up with the West Midlands Police
and the British Transport Police to crack down on all types of crime.
Anything from people putting feet on seats to smoking
up to substance misuse and offences of violence occasionally.
And offences involving robbery and theft of items as well.
As well as police patrols they can also watch from afar from here.
The safer travel CCTV control centre.
At the moment we have approximately 800 static cameras across the West Midlands.
What we're doing is adding to that with remotely deployable systems.
The whole idea to work towards
is ultimately when a bus driver or member of the public contacts us,
the system can automatically switch on to live on board CCTV,
and then we can pool resources
and identify who is responsible.
The ultimate aim is that to act as a deterrent rather than a catch and convict,
and prevent this happening in the first place.
It's not just the new technology police rely on.
They also conduct spot checks, searching for things like drugs, weapons and fare evaders.
Definitely is a link between people who don't pay their fare and other offences.
If you look back at places like New York,
they adopted a kind of a zero tolerance to fare dodging,
and realised they brought down most other offences like robbery and things like that.
For us, there definitely is a link.
On both sides of the road, every bus is stopped and checked.
The police also encourage the public themselves
to fight crime with their fingertips.
This card's called see something, say something.
There is a number passengers can text to report any anti-social behaviour.
We do respond to every single call we receive.
So please do use these cards.
It's violence like this that the police are encouraging the public to report straightaway.
This is the bloody face of 14-year-old Jordan Duncan,
and this is his story.
Jordan is sitting just out of view
of this CCTV camera at the back of a bus.
Returning from an ice skating trip,
it's the first time he's been allowed by his dad Craig
to travel into the centre of Hull on his own.
I wanted him to have a bit of responsibility of his own.
So I was trying out him going to town, catching the bus by himself.
And it all backfired.
Jordan is the victim of an assault by a 19-year-old woman.
I was just sat on the back by myself.
I had a £5 note in my hand.
I was rolling it in my hand
and then she stood up and she was saying,
"What's this fiver you've rolled?"
I didn't have a clue what she was on about.
And then she just come up to me and she tried grabbing my hat.
Ripping my T-shirt.
And just slapping me in the face.
I wasn't going to give her the money cos it's not mine, it's change for my dad.
The woman's slaps turn into punches.
Having practised kick boxing for 11 years,
Jordan has the skills to defend himself.
But feels his hands are tied.
I've always grown up being told never to hit a girl.
I said politely, "Can you leave me alone, please?"
And she just wasn't taking it.
I saw blood on my jacket
and I thought, this is getting a bit bad now.
My eye was swollen, it felt bruised.
My jaw was hurting.
The woman eventually walks off with her friend.
Not realising her outburst has been recorded.
Jordan also gets up to leave.
He asks the driver, who wasn't aware of the incident,
to report it and runs home.
My first thought was something really bad had gone on.
Like he'd been run over or something.
Cos there was that much blood and stuff everywhere.
At first, they think it's just cuts and bruises.
But after 24 hours of Jordan complaining about headaches,
Dad knows he needs medical attention.
We went to A&E,
which they told us there and then that he'd broke his nose.
Jordan and his dad face a wait to see if his attacker can be tracked down.
One of the aims of these police searches is to help prevent violent crimes
like the one committed against Jordan.
And also to crack down on other crimes of anti-social behaviour.
Such as passengers carrying and smoking drugs.
Sergeant Brown is just dealing with one of the people that has been taken off the bus.
Got a small quantity of cannabis in his possession.
This is the kind of stuff we're targeting.
People do report to us about anti-social behaviour on transport.
Smoking of cannabis and the smell of cannabis. People don't like it.
The establishment of the safer travel unit has had a marked effect on the West Midlands.
Crime on the bus network is down 65 per cent over five years.
And in the last year there has been a 12 per cent reduction
in the number of offences on trains.
And back in Hull, in an attempt to trap the woman
who assaulted 14-year-old Jordan on a bus,
the police publish the CCTV images of her face in the local press
in the hope that somebody will identify her.
The night it was in the paper I got a phone call off the police
that they'd got her, they'd got this girl.
So it was pretty rapid. And it worked.
The 19-year-old woman pleads guilty to assault
and is handed down a 12-month community order with supervision.
She's also ordered to pay £300 compensation and attend alcohol management sessions.
Of course, some people choose to avoid public transport altogether.
But they can still be affected by crime.
Here's a simple tip for bike owners.
If you're securing your bike with a chain to the railings,
then don't just wrap it through one of your wheels.
-easy for a thief like this
to carry around their own wheel, pop the quick release on yours,
that's tied to the railing,
and then lift away the frame
before replacing it with the wheel they've brought along.
The frame is the most valuable part of the bike
and here it's gone in less than 60 seconds.
So when securing your bike to something,
always put the lock through the frame.
Yes, it does seem obvious,
but this thief wouldn't bother to carry round a wheel
if he didn't know a lot of people forget.
We've often seen the authorities catch our offenders on camera.
But in Nottingham, Tony here used a great deal of persistence
to turn the tables on a pair of officials
that he thought had crossed the line.
The yellow lines, to be precise.
Two years ago, on this street,
a long-running saga was kick started
when Tony witnessed an event that compelled him to tackle the traffic wardens.
It was the end of November 2010.
And Britain was in the grip of a big freeze.
Nottingham was no exception.
It was the worst night for snow for a long time
and people were abandoning their cars north of the city.
That was the reason I was still at work because staff couldn't get in.
Just gone 8pm,
Tony is interrupted by a knock on his office window.
There was a member of staff who said rather colourfully,
"Have you seen what these are doing out here?"
These are these two traffic wardens
taking an extra special interest in two parked cars.
The top half of this road you are allowed to park on.
Halfway down, you are not. And the double yellow lines start,
though it's seemingly impossible to tell that at the moment.
The cars that were outside were not covered with snow at the time but the road was
so the motorists had obviously come after the snow had fallen.
Not realising that there were double yellow lines there.
Before issuing a ticket,
a traffic warden has to have clear pictures of a vehicle on double yellow lines.
Of course, when you can't see the lines, this isn't possible.
But the warden solves the problem by doing a little shuffle
in the snow to wipe it away.
So a nice snap can be taken.
I thought this is just not on.
Angry, Tony starts to take some snaps of his own.
He also films the feed from the building security camera
as the wardens spend nearly 20 minutes circling these two cars.
This is part of it, they took so long.
They appear to have all the time in the world.
And this warden comes back.
She's not happy, I don't think, with the pictures she's taken,
because watch what she does now.
Removes more snow.
Another concerned passer-by!
I doubt very much they'll be saying, "Good on you, get on with it."
Eventually, having slapped two tickets on two windscreens,
the wardens leave.
But if they thought that would be the end of it,
they were sorely mistaken.
The wardens were out there as predators almost, taking advantage of the situation.
I thought, well, you can't deny this.
You've been caught red handed, really.
But deny it they did.
Tony decided to write a letter to Nottingham Council
complaining about the traffic wardens' actions
and saying the tickets should be revoked.
When the council wrote back in defence, Tony sent another letter.
This is one of the letters I received in the early part of the campaign.
"Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the above.
"I am sorry that you feel disappointed with my response..."
The letter went on to say that the private contractors
who provided parking enforcement for the council
had been spoken to and...
"They have informed me that they did not sweep snow away from the double yellow lines."
The wardens denied it and the Nottingham City Council were quite happy to go along with it.
I actually had evidence on film.
Tony sent in the footage.
Even so, the council wrote back saying that despite the pictures,
as both motorists in question had already paid the fines and hadn't appealed,
then as far as they were concerned, the case was closed.
Possibly some people would have been scared off
by the tone of some of the letters.
So I wrote back and said,
as far as I'm concerned it's a breach of public trust.
And I was angry enough to say, I don't care how long it takes.
I'll pursue this to the bitter end.
A cold war developed.
Tony sent a flurry of correspondence to the council
every time they tried to put the issue on ice.
Eventually, snowed under,
the council passed the matter over to their legal department,
and finally, 19 months after Tony's first letter,
the resistance melted.
The Nottingham City Council legal department wrote back to me.
They fully supported what I'd done.
They also added that they would refund the motorists.
They also gave me the fact that the company that was involved, which was a private company,
no longer had the contract for the wardens
so I'm thinking that this will not happen again.
Due to the persistent efforts of somebody they'd never met,
two probably rather surprised drivers
hopefully received a refund in the post.
I thought, good!
It just shows that if the little man does pursue things,
if he's prepared to pursue them
and has the time and resources to pursue them,
then you can get justice.
That's it for today.
Join us next time when the police and the public catch more criminals red handed.
A knife-wielding masked intruder terrifies shop staff - but police use vital visual clues to identify him, and a 14-year-old boy is badly beaten on a bus, but his attacker is caught on camera.