Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. A car driver deliberately slams on his brakes so the van behind rams into him.
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Thieves will steal our cash, our cars, our valuables,
just about anything they can get their hands on.
But now, the police are using cutting-edge technology
to catch the bad guys.
CCTV is gold dust.
-Great evidence for the police.
-Going to have him stopped.
Local councils, shops and businesses are fighting crime
with their own tricks and traps.
There's a Eureka moment when you get that evidence.
And the public are using secret cameras
to make sure crooks get their comeuppance.
It makes me feel so angry.
He's paid the price. He's been dealt with.
Yes, we've got her!
So, anyone who's up to no good had better think twice.
They might just get caught red-handed.
a burglar who doesn't care whose flat he's breaking into.
My drawers were wide-open, it just felt really creepy.
I almost felt like there was a presence in there.
But the villain made a serious mistake
because Andrea is a criminologist
and knows a thing or two about catching thieves.
Also today, just after Christmas,
a callous intruder raids a pub and plunders its storeroom
without a thought for anyone else.
Young bar manager Liam is left feeling he's the guilty one.
It was just horrific, to be fair.
I just can't believe I didn't hear anything at all.
And a sports car driver slams on his brakes suddenly
and for no reason at all.
So, the innocent woman in the van behind can't avoid hitting him.
It's exactly what the sports car driver wanted
because this is no accident, this is crash for cash.
To be a lone female in a tunnel and being shouted at
is not a nice situation to be in.
Look down any street and you will see
there are an increasing number of homes with CCTV.
But there are also a lot of hidden cameras around that you can't see.
The London Borough of Croydon.
Home to criminology lecturer Andrea.
She lives in a block of flats with her teenage son
who goes to a nearby college.
I live in a nice neighbourhood.
You do kind of look out for each other.
If anything does happen, we all come out in support.
And when, one day, Andrea's neighbours complained about
someone smoking in the communal hallway,
their landlord sent round some men
to secretly install a camera disguised as a smoke alarm
to help him catch the culprit.
There were two guys out there and they were doing
a little bit too much work for it to be a smoke alarm.
So, I said, "Is that a smoke alarm?"
And they said, "Yes, it's a smoke alarm, definitely a smoke alarm."
I was like, "No, it's not, it's a camera.
They said, "No, no, it's definitely a smoke alarm."
When we came in, we'd dance in front of it and smile and wave at it
because we thought it was quite entertaining.
Not much gets past Andrea.
That's a criminologist for you.
She originally decided to study the world of crime
after landing a job in a solicitor's office.
I ended up going to my local college, where I met this teacher
who told me about criminology and encouraged me to go to university.
I thought, "OK, well, you know,
"I'm pretty smart, let me go and do it."
So, I ended up doing criminology
and I was inspired by one of my lecturers to become a teacher.
But little did Andrea know,
she'd soon have her very own crime case to study.
It's 10am on a week day,
and while Andrea is out teaching about crime at college,
there's a burglar trying to break into her home.
Even though Andrea's door is reinforced, he doesn't give up.
20 minutes later, he's in, and along with an accomplice,
looting her possessions.
At college, Andrea is in the middle of teaching
and normally, mobile phones are banned in class.
I was quite shocked when my own phone started ringing.
I made a bit of a joke at first and I said,
"That's one of you lot's phone, I'm not going to tell you again."
And we all chuckled about it.
But the laughing stopped when Andrea finds it's her son calling
to tell her they've been burgled.
I just felt my legs buckle, I felt as if...
I just didn't get it.
It was almost as if somebody had taken my breath away
and I just didn't know what else to do.
Andrea races to her house, dreading what she will find.
I just don't remember the car journey home.
I was still quite dazed,
so I was quite glad that my neighbour was there.
She records the scene of devastation on her phone.
I just thought, "Well, what's gone on here?"
Because they took the whole door off, including the frame.
It was an awful feeling.
This is my home, this is where I live and I love it here.
And somebody has come in and they've taken that feeling of warmth,
my community feeling away from me,
because I felt this was no longer my home.
A large television is missing from the lounge, and that's not all.
A laptop that my previous employer had given me
had gone and it had lots of memories on it.
As Andrea walks into her bedroom, her heart sinks.
I just felt really, really sick
because I noticed my drawers were wide open.
Not all of my drawers, mainly my underwear drawer.
My bed was just all dishevelled because they'd taken my quilt cover.
It just felt really creepy.
I almost felt like there was a presence in there.
Andrea's jewellery box, containing a ring her mother gave her, has gone.
Every time I would look at that ring,
it would just remind me of my mum.
And that broke my heart.
It was just so personal to me.
If they had asked me, they could have had the rest,
just not that one.
But Andrea soon switches back into criminologist mode
and remembers the hidden camera in the hallway.
I said to the police, "Oh, my gosh, that's a camera."
He said, "It's a fire alarm."
"No, no, it's a camera, it's actually a camera.
"Look." He was like, "Well, where's the lens?"
I said, "Look, it's right there," and I showed him.
He said, "OK, who's got the footage?"
I said, "My landlord's got the footage.
"I'm going to phone them."
Andrea's vigilance proves to be a breakthrough.
The police get hold of the footage and can't believe their eyes.
The burglar is caught in the act and so is his accomplice.
The villain wears gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints.
The camera shows how he checks no-one's around
that can hear him break in.
He uses a crowbar to try to lever open Andrea's sturdy front door.
DCI Mick Neville from the Met's forensic image team
realises he's dealing with an experienced thief.
What was unusual about this case
was the determination of the burglar to get in.
Normally, the burglar will try and crowbar the door,
and if that fails, may move on, but for whatever reason,
he really did attack this door
and took some substantial amount of time to access the premises.
This is no casual criminal.
He takes a full 20 minutes to rip off the door frame, piece by piece.
It's rare for a burglar to go to such lengths.
He forces the door open and heads straight for Andrea's belongings.
The thief had gone through all the drawers in the victim's bedroom.
I think that's a real violation of privacy
and it really does make people frightened.
And this is why burglary is such a wicked crime.
The thief uses Andrea's duvet to carry off his ill-gotten gains.
The footage is sent to a special police video unit in Croydon
where it is analysed and then dispatched to other boroughs.
At the Metropolitan Police,
we're very good at dealing with CCTV images,
and particularly passing them across police borders.
Because you can have the best CCTV image in the world,
but unless the right officer, or member of the public,
looks at it and makes an identification, it's little use.
All over London, police officers examine the footage
to see if they can identify the felon.
At home, Andrea is struggling to come to terms with the intrusion.
She fears she was deliberately targeted by the burglars.
It was just really difficult for me to grasp the fact that
I didn't understand why they'd gone into my room.
I guess I thought it was personal at that point.
It was the fear of the unknown.
But soon, Andrea will be able to rest easy.
There's been a further breakthrough in her case.
An officer in Lambeth has identified the crook
and the police pounce.
By the very next morning, they had a warrant,
they raided his home address,
he was quickly arrested and taken to Croydon Police Station.
It's a massive relief for Andrea.
Finding out it was somebody completely random
made me feel so much better about it.
I realised that it wasn't personal.
It was a burglary, and it happens to many people.
But I had to come to that conclusion by myself.
It didn't matter what my friends were telling me.
I had to feel it for myself.
In court, the man pleaded guilty to burglary
and admitted to 18 other offences.
His sentence, four years in prison.
His accomplice pleaded guilty to trespass and theft
and received a youth rehabilitation order.
Andrea, working out that the smoke alarm was nothing of the sort,
and telling the police it was a hidden camera,
was vital in cracking the case.
Without that CCTV evidence,
it's very unlikely that the suspect would have been ever arrested.
But just that chance of the camera there
really did enable us to catch a quite prolific burglar.
With the thief safely behind bars,
Andrea's been able to move on with her life.
Oh, my God. Oh, my gosh!
And regard that traumatic time as a valuable learning opportunity.
It gave me an insight into the experience of the victims of crime.
And I guess, in a sense, it enabled me to teach that particular subject
better to my students.
A lot of people's favourite meal is a big Sunday roast.
Looks like this fella agrees.
But if this rather juddery CCTV footage is anything to go by,
his eyes are a little bit bigger than his belly.
This guy has taken himself down to the supermarket
to get the Sunday joint.
But as we're about to see, he isn't too keen on paying for it.
It also looks like the security camera is a bit faulty.
Either that, or this chap is an expert break dancer.
Or maybe he's about to do a belly dance for the cameras,
because this beef thief chooses the biggest portion in the store...
..shoves it up his jumper...
..and skedaddles out of the joint, or with the joint.
And before the security staff can catch him.
But the police are hot on the trail of this man,
who decided to risk it for some brisket.
They've got a bone to pick with him.
We'd all feel terrible if we drove into the back of another motorist,
and our natural reaction would be to take the blame.
But what if it was no accident in the first place,
but a case of crash for cash?
The City Of London Police Headquarters
is in the centre of the capital.
Based here is Detective Constable Kate Sibley.
Kate's investigated fraud for over two decades.
She works in a department specially set up to deal with insurance scams.
Insurance fraud is on the increase.
That makes a big difference in the insurance world
and at the end of the day, it adds money onto policies.
The insurance industry has estimated that premiums in general
go up by at least £50 a year because of fraudsters.
We are all victims of this crime.
That's £50 out of your personal pocket
and that's per insurance policy.
And we all hold a number of insurance policies at home.
Bogus claims can yield millions of pounds.
So, it's no surprise organised criminal gangs are in on the act.
And one type of scam known as crash for cash
can be especially profitable.
Crash for cash is basically an induced accident.
So, you're driving along quite happily as a member of the public,
suddenly someone in front of you slams on their brakes
for no reason whatsoever.
You then hit the rear end of that vehicle.
Claims are then made by the vehicle in front, for personal injury,
which amounts to quite a lot.
Bogus passengers suddenly appear, putting in claims.
You have credit hire, ie hire of another vehicle.
Storage for that damaged vehicle.
And the list goes on and on and on.
Kate's recently dealt with a case that even she finds shocking.
This traffic camera footage is from an underpass
in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
At first, everything seems normal.
There was traffic ahead, it's moving quite well, it's not braking,
it's not stopping.
But Kate points out a black Porsche sports car,
whose driver is up to no good.
Suddenly, he slams his brakes on, for no reason.
And that van then hits the rear end.
The driver of the white van is a female council worker,
and an ideal victim for the fraudster in the flashy car.
Anybody committing this sort of crime
will tend to go for company vehicles,
because they know they are insured
and they will be covered by insurance.
The sports car and van ease onto a cycle path to allow traffic
to pass more safely.
Then the man gets out and aggressively blames
the totally innocent van driver for the collision.
The victim kept get shouted at by the driver,
"Didn't you see the brake lights? Didn't you see the brake lights?"
And she felt quite intimidated by him
because he was putting the entire blame on her
when it wasn't her fault.
And I think she believed it wasn't her fault,
she knew it wasn't her fault.
But to be a lone female in a tunnel
being shouted at by a Porsche driver
is not a nice situation to be in.
Surprisingly, the sports car isn't as badly damaged as the woman's van,
which has a cracked radiator.
So, the driver sets about wrecking his own car some more.
Saying he wants to get away from the bend in the road,
he careers into the tunnel wall, scraping it along the concrete.
The driver of the Porsche stopped and she said to him,
"What are you doing?"
And he said, "You've knackered my steering.
"My steering is knackered
"because of when you hit me in the rear end of the vehicle."
The crook in the car takes the van driver's details
and then makes a rapid exit,
miraculously overcoming his knackered steering.
But little does he realise,
the entire incident has been caught on camera.
This is why it is so important, these cameras.
It could be seen this car was driveable,
he was driving it perfectly fine out of the tunnel.
Soon after he gets home,
the sports car scammer starts a sizeable insurance claim.
And sends the van driver's insurers an engineer's report
and photos of his car.
It now looks like it's been hit by a ten-ton truck,
and surprise, surprise, it's a write-off.
That does not compare to that.
That, to me, looks like somebody's taken a sledgehammer
to the rear end of the car after the accident and caused severe damage,
because there is no way
that was caused from the accident in that tunnel.
The fraudster also sent a £22,000 bill
for hiring a replacement vehicle,
even though his doctored report states he can't drive
because he's so badly injured.
But thanks to Kate and her camera evidence,
the swindler in the sports car
is about to get a crash course in justice.
The suspect was summoned to court and he decided to plead not guilty.
So, he was sent to the Old Bailey for trial.
But on day one of the trial, he decided to plead guilty
to the charges put before him.
And at a later hearing,
he was ordered to pay the insurance company £34,000 in compensation
and more than £7,500 prosecution costs.
The fraudster was sentenced to six months in jail,
suspended for two years,
and 140 hours of unpaid work in the community.
To us, it was a good result.
Everything was stacked against him.
He didn't really have a leg to stand on.
His sneaky scam to get banged in the back
ended up with him being banged...
Any motorist could be a victim of crash for cash,
so what should someone do if they're involved in an accident which, well,
doesn't seem very accidental?
Anybody involved in a crash is going to be traumatised or upset.
If somebody looks really calm,
you have to ask yourself, "Why is that?"
Crash for cash investigations have shown that it's not just about
the car in front jamming on the brakes,
there are circumstances and cases
where a vehicle has rammed the victim from behind,
or alternatively, they've been sideswiped
as they've gone round a roundabout.
Usually with expensive cars,
people are quite protective of their asset.
If they are driving in an unusual manner,
perhaps swerving in front of you or braking harshly,
then they're not really doing a good job of that,
so alarm bells might start to ring.
If you do feel that you're a victim of crash for cash,
then it's important you call the police as soon as possible.
But there are other, a few things you can do
while waiting for police to attend,
and that could just be recording the mannerisms of the person involved,
or it could be recording any witness details
if they can't wait for police to attend.
If it's a tiny bump
and then somebody suddenly starts falling about
as if they're desperately, badly injured,
you need to wonder what's going on.
If they look like they're acting, they probably are.
The Horse & Jockey pub in Pontypool
has served thirsty locals for hundreds of years.
Its latest owner is experienced landlord Leighton,
who also has another pub close by.
I've been in the pub trade all my life.
A second pub was a challenge I wanted to take on,
and when it was The Horse & Jockey that came up,
it was certainly something I wanted to look into.
It's been a personal favourite of mine since I was old enough
to frequent the premises.
I'm led to believe it's a 15th-century building.
We've got a resident ghost, apparently.
Leighton hired a barman, Liam, who lives above the pub.
Liam isn't scared of ghosts,
and when Leighton asked him to become manager
of The Horse & Jockey, he jumped at the chance.
We sat down and we had a chat and he said,
"Would you like to go up to manager?"
So, I said, "Yeah, I'll have a go."
He's given me a massive opportunity
and massive responsibility of the pub.
It's nice to live upstairs,
it's just walk down the steps and you're in work.
But Liam's managerial career almost fell at the first fence.
It all starts with a somewhat weary Liam waking up at around 10am
on New Year's Day after a big pub party the previous night.
My girlfriend was upstairs with me, so she said,
"Can you go get my handbag?"
Liam goes downstairs to fetch the handbag she left next to the till,
but it isn't there.
I was like, "Your handbag's not behind the bar.
"It's nowhere to be seen."
She was like, "I left it there last night."
They both go downstairs to look.
She came round and said, "Your fire exit's open."
And my stomach sank a little bit.
I was like, "It shouldn't be."
Before going to bed,
Liam had checked the fire exit and shut all the windows.
But now, two of the back windows are open.
I just felt physically sick.
Of all days, New Year's Day, we've just got broken into.
It was just going through my head,
thinking, "What do I do, what do I do?"
He checks the pub's CCTV recording.
As I was going through it, it went to daylight, more or less.
So, I was like, "Surely no-one could come in here in the daylight?"
Next thing I see, the guy's out the back.
Liam phones his boss to break the news.
The first thing was to make sure Liam was OK
because it's not a good experience to go through.
Then it was, "Jump in the car and just get up here."
Everything's racing through your mind, thinking what's been stolen
and what's been damaged.
When Leighton arrives,
Liam tells him the pub's storage units have been ransacked.
A considerable amount of food stock, spirits, wines, ciders had gone.
Liam's bedroom window looks over the storage units.
Knowing he slept through the burglary has hit him hard.
I just can't believe I didn't hear anything at all.
I was like, "I've just taken this role on,"
I think the responsibility is too much for myself, so, to be honest,
I was just going to call it all a day.
It hurt me that badly, it was just horrific, to be fair.
It's a serious blow so early in Liam's pub management career.
His girlfriend is also shellshocked.
Her expensive handbag
had been one of her favourite presents on Christmas Day.
She was so upset.
She had £200 worth of make-up in there.
And for a Christmas present to be gone
five days after you've had it ain't nice.
Leighton knows the burglary has knocked Liam's confidence
but is convinced they can find the intruder.
After alerting the police,
he calls an IT expert friend, James, and asks his advice.
It was a shock because I'd been there the night before
for New Year's Eve and seen what a great success it was.
James rushes round to the pub and closely examines the footage.
I saw the perpetrator drive in initially
with a dark-coloured vehicle.
The burglar enters the car park at 7:50am.
The CCTV cameras only record when they sense motion
and they pick the man up a few moments later in the back yard.
He's arrived with the largest pair of bolt crops
I've seen in a long time.
The intruder seems to know what he's doing.
He was very careful not to make a noise.
The way he used his head to stable the cold storage door.
But the thief makes a crucial error.
He doesn't notice the security cameras overlooking the yard.
Unaware his every move is being filmed,
he starts to steal selectively from the storage unit.
He clearly knew what he was looking for.
He bypassed the chicken nuggets
in order to go for the quite exotic foods.
The thief then raids the second storage unit,
taking more valuable stock.
The cost price to us, around £5,000 worth of food alone.
It was a massive loss to us,
as a new business trying to get our name out there.
We didn't want people to go away and say,
"I just went to The Horse & Jockey and they don't have any stock."
The burglar then vanishes from sight.
But minutes later, reappears inside the pub.
He's got in through one of those small windows.
Immediately, he went straight for the bar.
Recognising the bar had had a big night, good night before perhaps,
quite naively believing
that anybody would keep any money in the till area.
The intruder spots Liam's girlfriend's handbag.
As well as expensive make-up and cash, it contains her car keys.
The burglar goes back to his own vehicle
and drives up to the cars left overnight
to see which one opens with the stolen keys.
Once he identifies the car, he looks inside.
But there's nothing to steal, so he heads off with his ill-gotten gains.
James and Leighton devise a plan to bring him to justice.
Gwent Police have got quite an active social media programme
they call "caught and in court".
And that gave me the idea that we should take advantage
of social media to try and find him.
James thinks he'll have more chance of success if snapshots of the thief
are posted online straightaway.
This was New Year's Day at 5:15
and by 5:28, the first people had started to reply back.
Soon, there's an avalanche of messages identifying the burglar.
The online feedback was incredible.
By that night, we'd had more than 100 posts,
mainly giving the same name.
The phone didn't stop and it didn't stop the next day
and it was just going and going and going.
The police have the man's name,
but the burglar becomes aware of the online campaign
and goes into hiding.
It was only a matter of time before the police caught up with him.
The suspect is finally found a few weeks later
in a nearby town and arrested.
For Liam, still haunted by the burglary happening
while he's in charge, it's a big relief.
Really good feeling. It was always playing on your mind,
just in case he came back.
And now he's arrested, it's quite a weight lifted off the shoulders.
In court, the thief pleaded guilty to a number of crimes
including the burglary at The Horse & Jockey.
He was sentenced to seven months in prison.
The pub's locals were crucial in helping crack the case.
You can go around believing that you live in a nice place,
but it's not until something like this happens
that brings out the best in communities.
And there's more good news.
Despite his early setback,
Liam's decided to continue holding the reins at The Horse & Jockey.
I just had a sit down with my boss.
We just had a chat and I thought, "I do want it.
"I'll make sure everything is perfect
"and I promise you, it won't happen again."
That's it for today.
And that's it for a few more criminals
who've been caught red-handed.
A car driver deliberately slams on his brakes so the van behind rams into him, and a criminologist is burgled by a thief, but he soon discovers he has chosen the wrong victim.