Episode 1 Oxford Street Revealed


Episode 1

Observational documentary series following the people who keep Oxford Street running. Police officer Andy wages war against the unlicensed pedicab drivers flouting the rules.


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Transcript


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It's the most famous shopping street in the world,

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in the heart of Britain's capital city,

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a mile and a half long with 30 million visitors each year,

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with some of the world's most famous shops,

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-biggest stars...

-Kate Moss!

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..and busiest stations.

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Sorry, guys, stand back for me.

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What does it take to keep it running 24 hours a day...

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The busiest street in the world, so it needs constant attention.

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-..seven days a week?

-Oi! Clear off!

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You're going to be arrested on suspicion of attempted theft.

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Are you ready, London?

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A street that never sleeps.

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This sort of thing wouldn't happen anywhere else.

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Oxford Street.

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Coming up: The battle of Oxford Street.

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Whose is this one?

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Police and pedicab drivers vie for supremacy...

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I don't give a damn whether you agree or not.

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I'm in charge on the street.

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..there's a pop star at Debenhams...

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# Treats me awfully... #

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..scaffolders fight the elements on the street's tallest building.

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You can just get a sudden gust and it will just knock you off balance.

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One of the biggest problems on Oxford Street

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at the moment are these -

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rickshaw drivers.

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These unregulated cycle taxis converge on Oxford Street

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to pick up tourists, but shops and other road users complain

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they park where they're not allowed to

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and clog up the road, waiting for fares.

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They're also accused of overcharging passengers,

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with some being known to charge £5 per minute per person.

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You!

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We've previously seen this man, Officer Andy Pescott,

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the self-styled sheriff of Oxford Street,

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waging a one-man war on the problem.

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They're actually parked up in the bus lane, double yellow lines.

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But the complaints have kept coming.

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Oi! Clear off!

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So much so, that Andy is now trying a new approach.

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He wants to work with the riders to get the situation under control,

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so he has drawn up a code of practice,

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outlining the rules they must adhere to.

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Most of the riders have signed up. If they break its terms,

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they become liable for a community protection notice,

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which can mean a fine of up to £2,500.

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Those that are adhering to my rules and regulations,

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I haven't got a problem with.

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If they're outside of my rules and regulations, then,

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as the sheriff of Oxford Street,

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I'm going to move them on and kick them out of town.

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Tonight, Andy is going on patrol

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to see if the riders are sticking to his code of practice.

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And it doesn't look good.

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Oi!

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What's that light? Red.

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You're crossing the road and you've got children on board.

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Turn that music down.

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Move on to the footpath cos you're causing an obstruction.

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The rider is clearly not following Andy's rules

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and he's been warned in the past.

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You know the rules and regulations, don't you?

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Do you have your code of practice on you?

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Have you bothered reading it?

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-Yeah, I read it today.

-You read it today?

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Do you want me to ban you from riding on Oxford Street?

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-No.

-That's your one and only warning. OK?

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The next time I rip up your agreement and you will be banned.

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All right?

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Don't let me have to tell you again, my friend,

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I'm trying to work WITH you guys.

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He cut across the junction at the crossing.

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The lights were red to him. He had a female and two children on board.

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The guy's a clown.

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Across the road from Selfridges,

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Andy is covertly watching to see if the

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pedicab writers are obeying the rule forbidding them from parking here.

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One rider has been a persistent offender

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and Andy wants to see if he's here tonight.

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The rider in question has signed the code of practice

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but Andy believes he's flouting its rules.

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We may be here sometime but it'll be worth the wait.

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It's like a little bit of fly fishing. A little bit of bait,

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at the end of it, you're going to catch a nice big trout.

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And, as Andy keeps watch, his trout appears.

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Yes!

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Oh, deary me.

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-You guys are supposed to be working in partnership with me.

-Yes.

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Do you know you shouldn't be here?

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The man seems to suggest that his company supervisor,

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a man named Mavis,

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said it was OK to park here.

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I don't care what Mavis had to say, OK?

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He is a rickshaw supervisor and I am a police officer.

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This is my footprint.

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So, it's another rider ignoring the rules.

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I now intend to serve you a community protection notice,

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-which is the next stage up, OK?

-OK, yes.

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If you do not abide by the rules and regulations set out in this, OK?

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I will summons you to court,

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but unless you are flagged down by a member of the public,

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you will not stop anywhere.

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You will ride until your legs drop off.

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I'm the daddy.

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But the smile is soon wiped off Andy's face.

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Just down the road, his code of practice is being ignored again.

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This is not acceptable, OK?

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One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Clear off!

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All the pedicabs were parked up,

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despite being forbidden from doing so by the code.

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Not on my footprint you don't, gentlemen.

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Tonight, he just moves them on, but Andy is beginning to think

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that his code of practice is falling on deaf ears.

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I'm going to give them a couple of weeks

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and, if there's still minor infringements, I'm just going to

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tear up that local agreement and go back to issuing 48-hour dispersals.

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Later, we hear the pedicab drivers' side of things,

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as they fight back against the sheriff.

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Once upon a time, selling goods on Oxford Street

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meant putting products on shelves and letting customers do the rest.

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But not any more.

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The arrival of online shopping has made it easier than ever

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to shop at home, so to get people to come into store,

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Oxford Street shops more and more need to provide

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an experience you can't get online.

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One chain that's working hard on this is Debenhams.

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They use their flagship Oxford Street store to run events

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to entice in customers, and today, for the first time,

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they're staging a live music performance by a leading pop star.

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Brilliant singer, X Factor finalist, Rebecca Ferguson's going to be

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doing a personal appearance in our store today in Oxford Street.

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Making sure it all goes to plan is the job of the store's PR team,

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led by Chris Morgan.

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This is the first time we've been working with a big star

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to come in and do an in-store performance.

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I guess that the bar is now for retailers not only to offer

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great products but also really exciting experiences

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while people shop as well.

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Five or ten minutes until Rebecca arrives with us.

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I think we are all in shape.

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As well as creating an experience for customers,

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there's another purpose.

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Rebecca will be performing in one of their occasion wear dresses,

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and they're hoping to get priceless coverage

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of her wearing it into the papers.

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Other members of staff are playing a part as well.

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They're being dressed in the same clothing line,

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and will spread out around the store to direct people to the show.

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And, bang on time, Rebecca arrives.

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Rebecca, I'm Chris, the director of PR for Debenhams.

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-Thanks for coming in.

-Thanks for having me.

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It's going to be really exciting event. Don't they look gorgeous?

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-Really?

-You look much nicer in it.

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Rebecca goes off to get ready.

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Meanwhile, the crowd is gathering.

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I'm getting a bit of a buzz

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so should be coming out in the next five or ten minutes.

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Yeah, looking forward for it to start. I want it to get going now.

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But, ten minutes later and Rebecca's not yet out.

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The team were planning on a photo shoot

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and some media one-to-ones before her performance, but itineraries

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are now going out the window for Sophie and Laura from the PR team.

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I think we should just go straight into the performance at 6.15

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-if Rebecca's happy to do that.

-Yeah, yeah, let's do that.

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Laura goes to see what the hold-up is.

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We are just waiting for Rebecca.

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I think that, as always in these situations,

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you have to allow for time.

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We're not if that's what the time's going to be.

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Certainly in ten minutes, she needs to be here.

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I just don't want, yeah, people to get all wound up.

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These things happen.

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I am just OCD with time and I'm probably in the wrong industry.

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Later, the canapes and bubbly emerge, but will Rebecca?

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Yeah, we are fine. We are...

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..fine.

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In 1966, England won the World Cup at Wembley

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and you could have seen the stadium from the top of this building,

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Centre Point, which was completed in the same year.

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At 400 feet high, it's one of the tallest and most iconic buildings

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on Oxford Street, and it's currently undergoing a massive redevelopment.

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It's being converted from business to residential use,

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a multi-million pound renovation job that will take two years.

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But before work can start,

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the building exterior needs to be scaffolded.

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It's then being covered with a specially commissioned artwork.

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Most of the scaffolding and the artwork wrap has been assembled,

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but they've still got the top to do.

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And today is the final challenge.

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Team leader Mick Popov is taking his team to the 33rd floor,

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to build the final level,

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so they can hang the last part of the artwork.

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Before the team can start,

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they always take one particular precaution.

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The first thing we have to do is let out the safety nets.

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These nets are our barrier between where we're working and the ground.

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This high up over Oxford Street, safety measures like that

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are vital, but this job is even remarkable to

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a scaffolder with a whopping 44 years' experience.

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People think, like, scaffolding is high, high, high,

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but this is really high for scaffolding.

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Do you know what I mean? It's normally a lot lower than this.

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And, unsurprisingly,

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the team think quite a lot about their own safety too.

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You can't run around like an idiot,

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you've got to have your wits about you.

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I mean, one false step and it could be, you know, see you later.

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The team are harnessed to the scaffold for safety,

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but, as Mick and his crew start laying the boards,

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they're aware that the wind is getting stronger.

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This is all about restraining the boards for the wind...

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..so nobody gets killed down there.

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The wind is proving a factor for the workers this morning.

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You occasionally get a sudden gust and it'll just knock you

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slightly off-balance and it's a little bit off-putting.

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So, Kevin must make an extra safety check,

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using a feature that's vital on the tallest buildings.

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Yes, it's the wind meter and the anemometer that we have on-site,

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so I'll check this at regular intervals.

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At 20mph, the wind could cause problems.

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30mph or more and work will have to be stopped.

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-What's the wind speed, Kev?

-About 20mph, Kev.

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20 mile an hour wind at 350 feet,

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that's a big change in conditions, isn't it?

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It is from what it was, yeah.

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I'll keep my eye on it.

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At 20mph, the wind is not enough to stop them working,

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but they will only be able to install safely

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the metal framework tubes,

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not the all-important boards needed to make scaffold.

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We are on a tight schedule.

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Obviously we are, to some extent, at the mercy of the weather.

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We lost a few hours yesterday because of the weather,

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and it's not good for us to stop too long.

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There's a reason why the team don't want to stop.

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Tomorrow, a second team will install the final level of sheeting -

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or Monarflex wrap - that's going around the top floor.

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Without the scaffold frame, it can't be put on.

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So the team need to get their poles in at the very least.

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These are... We're putting four-metre tubes on these.

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Almost done.

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This last corner to complete and then we're onto the Monarflex.

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Although the wind has slowed them down, by the end of the day,

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they have built enough scaffold for the wrappers to take over.

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-High-five, Kev! Well done, son. Thanks.

-Good day, Kev.

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Later: Scaffolding up, it's time to put Centre Point under wraps.

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Oi!

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Earlier on, we saw how pedicabs

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had become one of the biggest problems on Oxford Street.

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Four, five, six, seven, eight. Clear off!

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The police and businesses complain they block up roads

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and park illegally, but the pedicab drivers themselves have

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a different view, and one of them wants to put his side of the story.

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Murat is a pedicab driver.

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He also owns a fleet of them and hires them out to other riders.

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He's become something of a voice for the trade.

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It's our empire, the rickshaw, pedicab.

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He says drivers like himself are just working hard to try

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and make a living, with little assistance from the authorities.

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Right now I'm going to Oxford Street

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and it is right now the best place to make some money.

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People might complain about pedicabs,

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but Murat and his fellow rickshaw drivers have gripes of their own.

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Murat would like to see better proper parking facilities

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and even a system of licensing.

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He'd also like better treatment from other key road users.

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Murat says the main problem is the lack of parking for pedicabs.

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Hello, hello. Excuse me.

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Excuse me, can you come to me?

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And on Oxford Street, one of his riders is in trouble

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for stopping where he's not allowed to be.

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I know it is a double line but what is the mistake which is I'm staying

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on a double line? I don't disturb anyone and there's no traffic.

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Murat says without proper parking facilities, his pedicabs

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have no choice but to break the law when they come to a stop.

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We have do stay somewhere to pick up customers.

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If there's nowhere to park, there's nowhere to park.

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That's why we need a park. We want a special rank for ourselves.

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But the PCSO is well aware there's a code of practice in place

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that, in this case, the pedicabs are now breaking.

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Did we not get agreement before with the other officer

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that you're only allowed to do certain things?

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But then, earlier today, there was still three parked outside

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Selfridges on the zigzag line.

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That's why we need a special place for Selfridges as well.

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There's nothing Murat can do. He moves off.

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To compound his frustration, when he makes it up the street to

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Selfridges, it's not a pedicab

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that's stopping where it shouldn't be.

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Look at that, black cabs are parking over there,

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no-one doesn't touch them, or nobody doesn't say, they are still here.

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Murat's so incensed, he stops to make his point, but he's now

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parked illegally himself, and soon drawing police intention of his own.

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What about the black cab, sir? Over there?

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Why don't you move them, then?

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You were there and you saw them, you didn't move any of them,

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you came straightaway for the rickshaw.

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With things getting heated,

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it's not long before a familiar name is brought up.

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Yeah, there you go, Mr Andy is coming.

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It's the sheriff of Oxford Street himself, Andy Pescott.

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And he's not best pleased.

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Why are you parked up here? You know the rules.

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What about the black cabs, though? Why don't you touch them?

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The argument...

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Listen, you know I have done more than anybody else to try

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-and work with you guys.

-Of course.

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It came to a point where we had a working agreement

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and members of your own team as well as members of the other teams

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breached that agreement within a week.

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It's two weeks since we last saw him,

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and Andy's investigations have now shown beyond doubt

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that pedicab drivers are ignoring

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his code of practice on a regular basis.

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There were more people, once our agreement was in place,

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breaching it than there was before the agreement was in place.

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-I had egg on my face, my friend.

-I know.

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Gloves off and every single rickshaw rider

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within our footprint will get dealt with robustly now.

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Andy remains unmoved.

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As far as he's concerned,

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pedicabs still have no right to park up on the street.

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But Murat's convinced that's impractical.

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Murut heads off.

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He still believes he and his fellow drivers work hard

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and have a right to earn a living.

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Later, Andy tears up the code of practice

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and goes back to his traditional methods of policing.

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I don't give a damn whether you agree or not.

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I'm in charge on this street.

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Department store Debenhams is getting ready

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for its first-ever live pop performance.

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Press and public are gathered, but as they wait for guest star

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Rebecca Ferguson, already the schedule is slipping.

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Sophie from the PR team is worried

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the large crowd are getting restless.

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We have spoken about maybe a slight change of plan, just so we don't

0:18:540:18:57

keep the general public waiting for the live performance.

0:18:570:19:01

But, as the minutes tick by, there's still no sign of the singer.

0:19:010:19:05

We're fine.

0:19:070:19:09

Yeah, we are fine. We are...

0:19:090:19:11

..fine.

0:19:130:19:15

Luckily, they don't have to wait much longer.

0:19:150:19:18

I think we're in business, yes. Just this way.

0:19:180:19:21

CHEERING

0:19:230:19:27

Just there.

0:19:270:19:28

While the media get their photo call,

0:19:280:19:30

Chris gets ready to do the introductions.

0:19:300:19:34

Evening, everybody, and thank you for joining us

0:19:340:19:36

this evening at Debenhams on Oxford Street.

0:19:360:19:38

Really pleased and honoured to introduce Rebecca Ferguson,

0:19:380:19:41

so let's all enjoy her performance. Thanks.

0:19:410:19:44

CHEERING

0:19:440:19:46

And then it's time for Debenhams' first-ever live pop performance.

0:19:460:19:50

I love you, Rebecca!

0:19:500:19:52

I love you too. Thank you so much for coming.

0:19:520:19:55

This song's Fine And Mellow from the new album.

0:19:560:19:59

# My man, he don't love me

0:19:590:20:03

# Treats me oh so mean

0:20:030:20:06

# My man, he don't love me

0:20:070:20:11

# Treats me awfully

0:20:110:20:14

# He is the lowest man I've ever seen

0:20:140:20:20

# That boy's going to drive me away

0:20:210:20:23

# Said that boy's going to drive me away. #

0:20:230:20:27

CHEERING

0:20:290:20:31

Thank you.

0:20:310:20:32

Thank you so much.

0:20:320:20:34

The show's gone down well with customers,

0:20:340:20:37

many of whom came specially.

0:20:370:20:39

For others, it was a nice surprise.

0:20:390:20:41

Remember seeing you... Oh, my God, I'm so excited.

0:20:440:20:47

I love Rebecca Ferguson.

0:20:500:20:52

I have all her music.

0:20:520:20:54

I'm huge fan and I almost cried. I mean it was really, really good.

0:20:570:21:02

You just hear this Scouser accent and as soon as she kind of sings,

0:21:020:21:06

like this gorgeous, husky kind of perfect voice that comes out,

0:21:060:21:09

I think she's an amazing singer.

0:21:090:21:12

And with the crowd and media sated,

0:21:120:21:14

Rebecca can finally get a little time for herself.

0:21:140:21:17

Knowing me, I won't get a minute, but we'll see.

0:21:180:21:21

Hopefully I'll get to have a little, little spree.

0:21:210:21:25

But while Rebecca gets busy with some retail therapy,

0:21:250:21:28

the store's press team are working the publicity side,

0:21:280:21:31

hoping to get some coverage into the newspapers.

0:21:310:21:34

We always like to, when we do things like this, is to get

0:21:360:21:39

the photo caption out as soon as possible on, like, the evening of.

0:21:390:21:43

And with pictures appearing in a number of key news

0:21:440:21:48

and celebrity websites, the team can consider it a job well done.

0:21:480:21:52

Back at Centre Point, and a two-year programme

0:22:020:22:05

of refurbishment is going on for Oxford Street's biggest building.

0:22:050:22:08

It's taken an amazing nine months just to build the scaffolding.

0:22:080:22:13

As soon as each level of scaffolding is built, a second crew have

0:22:140:22:18

been covering it up in a Monarflex wrap, plastic sheeting specially

0:22:180:22:22

designed to keep the elements out

0:22:220:22:24

so work can continue in all weathers.

0:22:240:22:26

Together, each level of wrap will

0:22:260:22:28

form a specially commissioned artwork called Private View.

0:22:280:22:32

And today the wrap team are at the crucial final phase.

0:22:320:22:36

It's the last bit of the wrap that we're attaching today

0:22:360:22:39

and we've got the day to finish it.

0:22:390:22:42

The wrap is designed by the Eley Kishimoto studio, who based their

0:22:420:22:46

design on the look of the building's original 1960s architecture.

0:22:460:22:51

I mean, we've been here for, like,

0:22:510:22:54

a couple of months putting the sheeting on, the wrapping,

0:22:540:22:57

which is really important to get it right aesthetically.

0:22:570:23:00

So, it's time to finish wrapping up a London icon.

0:23:010:23:04

Each one of these rolls has a specific design.

0:23:070:23:10

The team must position each one correctly to display the pattern.

0:23:100:23:14

Yeah, that's about 30 metres long and about 100 foot,

0:23:140:23:18

so when we're ready to pass the roll out, we've got the boys,

0:23:180:23:22

as you can see, we've got the team ready.

0:23:220:23:24

The sheets are now hung over the side of the building.

0:23:240:23:27

At this point, there is no room for a mistake from the crew.

0:23:270:23:30

So, as you can see, we're just sort of working the sheet

0:23:320:23:35

along the outside of the scaffold now.

0:23:350:23:38

Working together nicely as a team.

0:23:390:23:41

The crew can't let that wonderful view distract them.

0:23:430:23:46

There's still no room for any mistakes.

0:23:460:23:50

Keep it coming then.

0:23:500:23:52

Hurray, here we go.

0:23:540:23:56

That's it, you lot, that's enough.

0:23:580:24:00

The Monarflex is rolled out and lined up in the right position,

0:24:000:24:04

and a very low-tech method will be used to keep it in place.

0:24:040:24:08

Bungees.

0:24:080:24:09

But these sturdy rubber cords have a surprising design feature.

0:24:090:24:13

This is what you tie the Monarflex to the scaffold with,

0:24:130:24:15

and if there's too much wind, that could pull the scaffold.

0:24:150:24:18

So they're designed to break,

0:24:180:24:19

so if it is too windy, the Monarflex will go,

0:24:190:24:21

rather than take the scaffold with it.

0:24:210:24:24

These bungees will now have to stay in place for two years,

0:24:240:24:27

whilst the full building work is completed.

0:24:270:24:30

The team make the finishing touches and Centre Point is now wrapped

0:24:310:24:35

and hidden from view.

0:24:350:24:37

It's been a long journey.

0:24:380:24:39

We're ready for a beer and it's a great sense of relief. Yep.

0:24:390:24:43

So we are just ready to receive the big bonus now.

0:24:430:24:46

And, on a warm sunny afternoon, the man that designed the wrap,

0:24:490:24:53

Mark Eley, has come to inspect his work.

0:24:530:24:56

It's very impressive.

0:24:580:24:59

Just the way that they've lined it up, like the scaffolders,

0:24:590:25:03

they work it like artisans themselves.

0:25:030:25:05

I know my name's not on it,

0:25:050:25:07

but in my heart I know they're looking at my work.

0:25:070:25:09

It's an honour to do something so significant in my city

0:25:090:25:12

that I work and live.

0:25:120:25:13

Whose is this one?

0:25:190:25:21

On Oxford Street, battle lines continue to be drawn

0:25:210:25:24

between pedicabs and the authorities.

0:25:240:25:27

This is not acceptable.

0:25:270:25:30

Andy Pescott's trying to work with the pedicab riders,

0:25:300:25:33

but has seen his code of practice roundly ignored.

0:25:330:25:36

-I had egg on my face, my friend.

-I know...

-The gloves are off.

0:25:360:25:40

So today, he's returning to issuing penalties.

0:25:400:25:43

These include Section 35 dispersal orders,

0:25:430:25:47

which can ban drivers from the area for 48 hours.

0:25:470:25:51

And every single rickshaw rider within our footprint will get dealt

0:25:510:25:54

with robustly now.

0:25:540:25:56

And back on patrol, immediately there are problems.

0:25:560:26:00

-You've got three outside Gap and two on Stratford Place.

-All right, OK.

0:26:000:26:03

Andy's alerted by an Oxford Street ambassador to more pedicabs

0:26:030:26:07

parked up where they're not allowed to be.

0:26:070:26:10

And this time, Andy's finally had enough.

0:26:100:26:13

-Turn that down! Now!

-MUSIC CEASES

0:26:130:26:15

Andy's code of practice comes with stiff new penalties if breached.

0:26:170:26:21

And you all have a copy of the codes of practice, is that correct?

0:26:210:26:24

Yet again, you've failed to comply with it and as a result,

0:26:240:26:28

you four gentlemen are going to be issued a Section 35 dispersal.

0:26:280:26:32

That means, when I've finished your paperwork, you will leave.

0:26:320:26:36

You will not return to Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street,

0:26:360:26:40

Davies Street or Marble Arch for 48 hours.

0:26:400:26:42

If you return within that time, you'll be arrested.

0:26:420:26:46

It's Andy's ultimate power to ban the riders

0:26:460:26:49

from an area for 48 hours.

0:26:490:26:51

You will leave in that direction...

0:26:510:26:53

It's rarely been used before on pedicab riders

0:26:530:26:56

and marks a major escalation in Andy's one-man war.

0:26:560:27:00

Chastened, the pedicabs leave. But Andy's not finished yet.

0:27:010:27:06

Just confirm your name for me.

0:27:060:27:08

One rider is in another level of trouble.

0:27:080:27:11

Earlier, we saw him given a formal warning

0:27:130:27:16

by Andy for parking up illegally.

0:27:160:27:18

FUZZY VOICE ON RADIO

0:27:180:27:20

-Oh, I don't remember.

-Let me show you. I have one here for you.

0:27:200:27:24

And he's just gone and done it again.

0:27:240:27:26

As a result of me issuing you that community protection notice,

0:27:260:27:30

I'm informing you, OK? You do not have to say anything,

0:27:300:27:32

but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned

0:27:320:27:35

something you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

0:27:350:27:38

The man is cautioned and given a court summons,

0:27:380:27:41

with a serious financial implication.

0:27:410:27:44

You will get notification from the courts to attend.

0:27:440:27:47

Then you are likely to receive a fine up to £2,500.

0:27:470:27:53

For being an extremely naughty boy.

0:27:530:27:56

Leave, don't return.

0:27:570:27:58

The man rides off. For today at least, he and the others are gone.

0:27:590:28:04

But Andy knows they'll be back.

0:28:040:28:06

And as long as they're around, he will be too.

0:28:060:28:09

I'm in charge, and they will adhere to my rules and regulations.

0:28:100:28:13

So for the foreseeable future,

0:28:130:28:15

they will get dispersal notices for 48 hours every single week,

0:28:150:28:19

all the time there is ongoing antisocial behaviour.

0:28:190:28:22

Now, I guarantee they will be back. So will I.

0:28:220:28:25

The battle of Oxford Street - police officer Andy Pescott wages war against the unlicensed pedicab drivers flouting the rules.

Department store Debenhams gets ready for its first ever live in-store pop performance from soul singer Rebecca Ferguson.

Scaffolders fight the elements 400 feet up as the street's tallest building, Centre Point, undergoes a renovation.


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