Observational documentary series. This episode looks at the cunning tactics used by shoplifters, joining the undercover police team as they catch them in the act.
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It's the most famous shopping street in the world,
in the heart of Britain's capital city.
A mile and a half long, with 30 million visitors each year.
With some of the world's most famous shops, biggest stars...
-..and busiest stations...
-Sorry, guys, stand back for me.
..what does it take to keep it running 24 hours a day...
The busiest street in the world, so it needs constant attention.
-..seven days a week?
-Oi, clear off!
You're going to be arrested on suspicion of attempted theft.
Are you ready, London?!
A street that never sleeps.
This sort of thing wouldn't happen anywhere else.
-Coming up... shoplifters on Oxford Street.
-They're trickier than ever.
Burns Night comes to John Lewis.
Gie her a haggis.
And dance, dance wherever you may be -
Lord Of The Dance comes to Oxford Street.
Look at that, it's a stage!
To maintain its position as one of the world's premier shopping
destinations, Oxford Street takes the comfort
and security of its visitors extremely seriously.
Which is why they have a team of specially trained undercover
police patrolling the street, on the lookout for those visitors who
aren't there just to shop.
One of their biggest challenges, according to team member
PC Paul Penrose, is dealing with shoplifters
and their ever-changing tactics.
Got a lot of high-end stores and they're selling very,
very high-value items.
So we're finding people coming in as part of gangs, and they're
getting very, very good, and are taking very high-value items.
They're always trying new tricks.
so we're basically trying to stay one step ahead of them.
Every result we get, when we get one of these guys
and start getting into the gangs, is a great result for us.
Tonight, he and his team are out keeping watch over Oxford Street,
looking for the telltale signs of criminal
behaviour. And it's not long before Paul makes a stop.
He's seen three men acting suspiciously,
-and has been following them.
-OK, we're at St Christopher's Place, on the side of Oxford Street.
We've witnessed a male come round the corner and we've stopped
and had a look at him. We've watched him go into the bookmaker's.
He went straight downstairs. Another male caught my attention.
He was sat just outside the bookie's.
About a minute later, he went down into the bookmaker's.
He was carrying a green rucksack.
He then leaves the bookmaker's, having passed his bag over.
And it's at this point that I follow the male out onto
Oxford Street, where I detain him
to discuss what's happened with his bag.
The green rucksack is now with the man in the grey suit.
Off camera, he passes it to a third man sat in the bookie's,
It's fairly obvious that there's something going on.
We know that the bag is still downstairs.
Paul calls fellow officers Alex and Andy into action.
Andy and Alex then go down into the bookmaker's
and notice another male is sat down there with a big black bag.
And also the green rucksack.
And it's at this point that I come down to detain this third
male and bring the bags up and see what's going on.
He was a little bit chippy, plenty to say.
He was trying to pull away from me,
so I had to give him some words of advice about staying calm,
otherwise he was going to get handcuffed and dragged out.
PC Marsh comes and picks up the second bag.
Paul recognises a common shoplifting technique.
He's seen thieves meeting with an accomplice to hand over stolen
We know that they're involved as a three.
One will go in, put the suits in the changing room.
The chap with the bag will go in and will conceal the items.
And generally the third person is a lookout.
Upstairs, the arrested men aren't happy.
Mate, mate. Whoa! Listen. Yeah, I know.
Stay calm, else you'll go on the floor.
They arrest me for nothing.
They arrest me for nothing.
Whether the men are shoplifters or not will depend on what Paul
finds in the two bags. And in one of them, he's discovered quite a haul.
OK, so what we've got in here is we've got two suits.
This jacket is worth £350.
Got a pair of trousers that is worth £100.
The second suit is more of a nice little pinstripe number.
They're ver... They're large.
They're for a large gentleman.
That's £100 for the trousers again, so what we up to? 350, 450, 550.
And the third jacket is £300.
So there's £850 there.
The men deny having stolen the suits, but there are no receipts.
Another officer thinks what he's found in the other bag is proof
the men set out to steal.
As he hadn't got any cold drinks in there, I thought he was
putting the jackets into the bag to stop the security alarms going off.
So at the moment, he's been arrested for having articles for going equipped
to steal on him.
All three of the men are taken back to the police station for questioning.
Later, the team are back on the hunt,
and the shoplifters don't like it one bit.
I've told you five times, stay back there!
In the food hall at John Lewis' Oxford Street store,
manager Andy has a big day ahead of him.
He's been tasked with trying to sell large quantities of a foodstuff
that divides opinion at the best of times.
This is haggis.
Scotland's national dish.
It's a mixture of lamb offal, oatmeal and spices.
The offal includes sheep's lungs, liver and heart.
Some people love haggis, others hate it, but today Andy has hit on a plan
to send sales of this Marmite of the meat product world soaring.
He's planning on making the most of a landmark birthday.
Robert Burns, as Scotland's national poet, has a day in celebration
of his life. And Scots across the globe get together to eat
haggis, drink whisky and celebrate
the poetry of their national poet.
And this year, the store is celebrating it in style.
To promote Burns, and obviously our sales of haggis and whisky,
shortbread and all things Scottish,
we're going to process the haggis around the store.
And to help Andy with his procession, the store have hired in a specialist.
'I'm Pipe Major Willie Cochrane, ex-King's Own Scottish Borderers.
'You've got to keep the bag full.
'And every time you take a breath, you squeeze like mad.
They say it's like a good woman - you've got to squeeze her now and again.
Willie, Andy and colleague Fraser will parade the haggis through
all seven floors of the store, before opening it up to a tasting
session for customers.
The event will culminate in the ceremonial recital of Burns'
famous Address To A Haggis.
For the last few years, Scotsman Fraser has executed this duty,
but this year it's all change.
We spoke about it and we decided that Andy would do it this year.
Broad Scots is not, as you can tell, my natural accent.
And doing this poem justice isn't the easiest thing.
The highlight of the address is when I pull out my sgian-dubh here
and stab the haggis.
Willie, Andy and Fraser are due to make not one,
but three pipe parades through the store.
Fraser might not be doing the recital this year,
but he's got an equally important job.
Well, I'm chief haggis carrier this afternoon.
I mustn't drop it.
Later, it's Scotland The Brave in the food hall, as Andy
and the team trench the gushing entrails bright.
Gie her a haggis!
At the east end of Oxford Street stands the Dominion Theatre.
This Grade II listed, Art Deco performance space is
one of the West End's leading theatres.
It was famous for its 12-year staging of the Queen musical
We Will Rock You.
But that closed, and now there's about to be a new show in town.
In three days' time,
Michael Flatley's Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games opens.
David Pearson is the theatre's general manager.
Competition is very high in the West End between theatres.
There's a whole number of theatres in a very close proximity.
So we have to keep on top.
And they're banking on Lord Of The Dance keeping them there.
But for the show to go on, it needs a set.
Bringing Lord Of The Dance into the Dominion is a challenge.
Michael Flatley and all his creative team are perfectionists in what they do.
And meeting their expectations is the job of Sacha Queiroz
and his 20-strong stage crew.
Every single member of the team has to be at the top of their game
to make sure this show works, make sure it opens on time,
and make sure it's safe for everybody concerned.
Today, it's the most important job for the stage team - the load-in.
So we start with a completely empty stage at the moment,
and then by the end of the day we need to have...be in a position where we
can start rehearsals tomorrow for the opening night on Friday night.
It's a big day for Sacha and his team, and with the first
consignment of the load-in at the stage door, they can get started.
I think your video wall has turned up.
The team start unloading the trucks.
All systems go, this truck will be empty in 45 minutes.
The set is to be made up of a giant video screen
covering the width of the stage.
It will hang from a specially designed metal truss, which the team assemble.
This bit's probably the most time-consuming.
I wouldn't say it's the hardest bit,
but, as you can see, I'm perspiring a bit.
-The truss will sit in the rafters.
-I'm going up. Just saying.
To get it up where it needs to be,
electric winches must be assembled above the stage.
And that's the job of Ben Love.
We're off to the booth
to put some points in.
AKA electric hoists.
So that the people downstairs can lift stuff up and I can go home.
Despite its hi-tech nature, much of the work of the stagehands
comes down to toil, sweat, and a dollop of elbow grease.
-Is that the next one?
-Yes. Yeah, I've got you, lover.
Despite his job, Ben's no fan of Irish dancing.
Lord Of The Dance is on for six months,
and the video wall will hang there throughout the run.
Which means Ben can't afford any mistakes.
Yeah. Close enough!
You're installing stuff which is
hanging tonnes of stuff over people's heads.
So if you don't do your job properly, or don't
have any pride in your work, then, frankly, you shouldn't be here.
While Ben's winch is almost ready to raise the truss,
other stagehands move on to the all-important video wall.
These LED screens will be joined together in rows to create
the huge stage-wide screen.
The first row is always a bit slow.
Once we get the first row up, and it's all in line,
then every row after that is much faster.
-Half an hour.
-Half an hour.
-When this one is ready, we can start with the other one.
But while the video wall is taking shape nicely,
the same can't be said for other key parts of the set.
Another truck, due this afternoon, is yet to arrive.
What's left on the truck?
-More deck for that.
I see a lot of crew standing around.
It's just a little bit frustrating, knowing that we're paying them
quite a lot of money to stand there and do nothing.
-Later, the deck arrives way behind schedule.
Can they get the stage ready, and will it meet the exacting
standards of the Lord of the Dance himself?
The undercover ORB police team are fighting an ongoing
war against the shoplifters of Oxford Street.
But catching thieves is difficult,
and every day of the week the team perform a complex game of cat
and mouse to identify their targets and try and catch them in the act.
Today, Paul Penrose and Hatice Iper are scanning hundreds of passers-by
and it's not long before two men arouse their suspicions.
We've seen a couple of guys who have piqued our interest.
Seemed to slow and take a good long look into shops. Nice.
One goes in, one waits outside.
He is nervous, he's jumping round on his toes.
He is keeping an eye out...
These are the clues that the undercover team are trained to
recognise. And Paul decides to follow the men.
They are moving now.
He calls in another member of the team.
And together the three of them begin to track the men.
Paul knows what he's looking for.
And he thinks he recognises a few tricks of the trade
in the movements of the men.
They've gone upstairs
and then they've turned round very quickly and run down the escalators.
That's classic counter surveillance, where they'll go up an escalator
and then come down and see who's going back up.
From that, they can see who's moving around with them.
Coming back out.
Further down the street, the men enter another fashion retailer.
Paul follows, while Hatice watches the exit.
-Moments later, Paul's out.
-They're shoplifting. All right.
They've looked at a jacket, they've picked one up,
and then next minute you hear the tinkle, the tag's gone,
both tags are on the floor.
Hatice goes to observe the men and alerts the store security guards.
But it looks like the men have spotted the guards,
as soon afterwards they exit the shop.
Paul's seen enough.
He can't risk them giving him the slip, and moves in to make a stop.
Later, Paul gets his men, and turns up more than he bargained for.
Oh, mate, whose is that?
At the John Lewis food hall, Andy, Fraser and Willie are about
to parade the haggis throughout the store's seven floors.
And without further ado...
Ready for these escalators?
BAGPIPES PLAY ..it's Scots Wha Hae.
Once we get on the escalator and get customers' attention,
they seem to enjoy it. Lots of photographs taken.
We were just happily minding our own business in the bath section
and we heard a piper coming down the escalator.
Being a responsible, informative parent,
popped over here just to show her.
The piped procession has drawn quite a crowd,
just in time for Andy's big moment.
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Aboon them a' yet tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm...
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
-An' cut you up wi' ready sleight...
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch...
Gie her a haggis!
That's the first haggis stabbed, killed and plucked.
With the haggis open for business,
customers can finally get a taste
of the great chieftain of the pudding race,
which is the whole point for manager Abbie.
A lot of it is about sales, but it's also about getting people trying some new things,
so lots of people who are quite nervous about haggis.
We will sell a couple of thousand haggis over the weekend.
Mm. To die for.
Even better with the whisky.
With the tasting in full swing, there's no let-up
for Andy, Willie and Fraser.
I've only got to do it twice more now.
With three parades to perform,
for Andy that means the Address to the Haggis three times, as well.
-An' cut ye up wi' ready sleight...
His accent is quite authentic.
It's very, very good for an English person reciting that poem.
Not too bad. A bit Glaswegian.
But it seems they've not won over everyone.
We don't eat haggis. We've seen what goes into it.
We don't fancy it.
He may not fancy it, but over 2,000 other shoppers have.
Sales are up year on year.
We've had loads of people come down, lots of comments,
lots of tweets, so it's been really exciting today.
Andy, Fraser and Willie can feel satisfied
that they've done their bit to both entertain the crowd
and celebrate the memory of Scotland's national poet.
At the Dominion Theatre, the stage crew are awaiting a truck
with more of the Lord Of The Dance set.
It's now four hours late and they can't move on until it arrives.
I see a lot of the crew standing around.
It's just a little bit frustrating knowing that we're paying them
quite a lot of money to stand there and do nothing.
-'We're going to turn up on the door any second.'
Ooh. Ooh, success. Copy that. We're on our way.
At 6.30pm, two hours before they were meant to finish,
it finally shows up.
Four. Four hours. I'm doing him a disservice.
He was due at half past two. Never mind. Never mind.
The crew swing into action once again.
Can you just help get everything off the stage floor?
One of the biggest challenges for the team is the stage floor.
In its usual form, it has a slight slope,
but that's no good for Irish dancing, which involves heavy footwork
and a need for the audience to see the feet moving.
So, the team are having to install a special surface to make it flat.
But, despite their hard work,
Sacha is going to have to face the fact that it will now be too late
to get it all ready in time for tomorrow's rehearsals.
He calls it a day,
still confident he'll have Michael Flatley dancing tomorrow.
It started off really well, but, unfortunately, we got to a point
where the truck was delayed and delayed and delayed.
The next day, the team are up and working bright and early
and there are plenty of jobs to keep them busy.
Yeah, we're getting there. I hope.
The video screen's up and being tested,
but by going into a second day,
the team are now having to work around rehearsals.
-How's that one, Richie?
Definitely near the finish line now, and that's a relief.
Another hour's worth of finishing off the last bits
and we should be able to get fully into the rehearsal process.
And, with the finishing touches completed,
Sacha and his team have finally got there.
Look at that! It's a stage.
-When did that happen?
Dress rehearsals for the West End's latest mega-show
can get fully underway.
LORD OF THE DANCE MUSIC PLAYS
And just in time for none other than the Lord of the Dance himself.
Michael Flatley has arrived.
Mr Flatley is here and he seems happy.
He's a man of exacting standards and it's great that he's walked on stage
and he hasn't had any major complaints and any major problems.
It looks fantastic. It's all done.
I'm very, very pleased about it all.
And with that, the Lord Of The Dance is finally ready
to strut its stuff on Oxford Street.
The Oxford Street police team have been tailing
two suspected shoplifters.
PC Paul Penrose says he witnessed them
interfering with security tags in a clothing store.
He and colleague Hatice have decided it's time to make a stop.
Just come and stand on the side, please.
I've been watching you. I've seen you with that jacket.
You took the tag off, so you're going to be searched.
The men didn't actually take the jacket.
Paul thinks that store security got too close and spooked them.
He's now looking for a magnet or other device that could have
been used to remove the security tag.
Right, who's got the de-tagger?
Instead he finds phones - lots of phones.
OK, you've got two phones. Yours?
-No, one is one of a friend.
-Oh, that's interesting. OK.
These are both your phones?
-Oh, mate, whose is that?
-That's yours, as well, is it?
There's no contacts in the phone. There's nothing.
It looks like the phone has been reset.
Paul is disappointed not to have found a de-tagging device.
But five phones between two men is still of interest.
I'm arresting you on suspicion of theft of a mobile phone.
You're also under arrest on suspicion of criminal damage
to the tag in the item that you de-tagged,
and you're also under arrest for attempted theft of the jacket.
As soon as you've de-tagged that jacket, that's an attempt,
The man's companion has convinced Hatice both his phones
really are his, as they do at least contain his contacts and information.
As Paul only saw the other man remove the security tag
from the jacket, this one is free to go.
You're going home now. Don't come back to Oxford Street, OK?
That man leaves and the team radio for transport
to take the other man to the police station.
He'll be interviewed with a solicitor and a translator.
The suspect heads off to the station, but the team's job is far from done.
Patrols continue into the night.
We're filming with Paul when a call comes through
that PC Darren Bond has made a stop at the other end of the street.
He and a colleague have identified three men acting suspiciously
and stopped them.
A search has uncovered bottles of perfume concealed in their clothing.
We noticed these three acting suspiciously.
They were looking into the store, but not apparently to shop.
They were looking at where the staff were
and where any security people were.
We decided to do a stop and search on them under Section 1 of Pace.
This guy had one bottle of perfume stuffed underneath his pants.
Matey here in the woolly hat didn't have anything,
but the third guy had three bottles of perfume, two in his pockets,
the other one stuffed underneath his pants, as well.
And one of the men has the best excuse for having
bottles of women's perfume in his pants that the team has ever heard.
The men's story gets even more unbelievable.
They claim they found the perfume in the street.
Darren's search, however, has turned up something else deeply suspicious -
an oddly shaped lump of metal.
Pliers that are used for removing security tags.
These tools are commonly used by shoplifters to help them steal.
Carrying them can be a criminal act.
Perhaps no surprise, then, the suspects are less than pleased.
SUSPECT SPEAKS OWN LANGUAGE
Don't you point your hand at me, in my face, OK?
You are...man. Not me.
Don't point your hand at me, OK?
Darren's thorough investigation is making one of the men jumpy.
Mate, I've told you repeatedly to stay there, OK?
If you're going to be like that... I've told you five times.
No, it's camera. It's TV.
I haven't got enough handcuffs for you. Your friends are in handcuffs.
I've repeatedly asked you to stand there, OK?
Stay still. Don't raise your hands and no problems, OK?
-Do you understand? Right.
The team run a check on the men's names and get a hit.
Two of the men are known to the police for shoplifting
and one has previous for carrying weapons.
But there are no outstanding warrants against them.
Darren decides to take one of the men in for questioning.
The other two men are let go.
Yeah, so I'll bring in the one with the de-tagger and pliers.
He's the one with the three bottles of perfume anyway.
So, you're under arrest.
You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention
something which you later rely on in court.
-Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
The suspect is taken to the station, booked in and later charged.
He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.
The perfume was returned to the store it belonged to.
In the earlier attempted theft, no further action was taken
as the store's CCTV did not cover the removal of the tag from the jacket.
However, the iPhone discovered on the man was found to be
an illegal counterfeit.
In the bookie's case, after questioning and further analysis
of the CCTV, this man was charged
with handling stolen goods and going equipped to steal.
However, he failed to answer bail
and police believe he has left the country.
A warrant for his arrest has been circulated.
The other two men were not charged,
and both have also returned to Romania.
They'll keep coming, we'll keep taking them out,
and we'll win. We always do.
This episode looks at the cunning tactics used by shoplifters, joining the undercover police team as they catch them in the act.
Burns Night comes to John Lewis, with a piped parade planned for the store.
Plus the Lord of the Dance comes to Oxford Street as the Dominion Theatre gets ready for the opening of the latest West End blockbuster.