Observational documentary series. Oxford Street's police team deal with the problem of rough sleepers at Marble Arch, and John Lewis gets ready for a big announcement.
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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,
..and busiest stations.
Sorry, guys. Stand back for me.
What does it take to keep it running 24 hours a day...
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.
Stay there. Move!
..rough sleepers at Marble Arch.
Guys, do you just want to stay there a second, please?
The police take action.
If you come back here you're going to get arrested, yeah?
There's a countdown to a major announcement at John Lewis.
Four, three, two...
And a guide dog takes on his biggest challenge yet.
Oxford Street and its surrounding area is best
known for its glittering department stores and glamorous shopping.
But recently the end of the street around Marble Arch
has become a landmark destination for recently arrived
groups from Eastern Europe.
And without other accommodation, some have decided to make it their home.
There have been ongoing complaints of antisocial behaviour.
It's fallen to the Oxford Street police team to deal with the problem.
And while plain-clothes officers Paul Penrose and Hetise Ipa patrol,
a call comes through relating to this very issue.
OK. Right, OK.
And the news isn't good.
We're just heading up to Marble Arch...
support uniformed officers.
A section of the Roma community who've been camping
out on Marble Arch and under Park Lane subway.
We don't know how many are up there.
But when we get up there we're going to detain them,
wait for uniform to come along, who'll find out who was dispersed
this morning and if they've come back then they'll be arrested.
Paul and Hetise hurry to the Marble Arch underpass.
It's an area and a problem they know all too well.
When it gets dark, this place, at the moment, has been overtaken by...
uh, by Roma, rough sleeping,
they use the whole place to defecate, urinate.
In the arches you'll come, you'll find human faeces everywhere,
rubbish, everything else.
OK, there they all are. It's the usual place they all gather.
Um, it's just down by the fountain.
There's a large group of people on the right-hand side.
Paul and Hetise take advantage of being in plain clothes
to get a handle on the situation in the park above the underpass.
There's stuff changing hands between those two.
See, I think they're gambling on the floor there.
But even in plain clothes, Paul and Hetise's presence is soon spotted.
Despite being outnumbered, Paul feels he's got no choice
but to move in without backup.
Guys, do you just want to stay there a second, please?
Hi, guys. What are we up to down here?
Paul thinks the men are gambling, which is illegal,
but he's limited in what he can do.
Before he can check on them, many run off.
No, no, no. You don't have to go away. We don't run off, do we?
All right? Let's all stay here.
And you! Oi!
Got about as much chance of keeping this lot under control...
But look at them, they're off.
With no uniform backup, Paul would struggle to make any arrests.
So, for now, he just gives them a verbal warning.
Guys, if you come back here,
or the subway,
you're going to get arrested, yeah?
Go away. Yeah, all of you. All of you.
At the very least, Paul and Hetise
have managed to clear this area of the park.
We've managed to clear them in the space of three minutes.
But their experience demonstrates the difficulty of containing
the rough sleeping problem.
Paul checks through the detritus that's been left.
One of them has kindly left their rucksack.
So, um, what I'm going to do is have a look in there,
see if I can identify who it belongs to, really.
We've got a sleeping bag.
There's a brand-new, um...
Uniformed officers finally arrive, but they're too late.
All Paul can do is hand over what he's found.
They all sprinted off and left this bag.
Paul and Hetise head off. There's nothing more they can do tonight.
What is clear is that there's an ongoing problem with newly
arrived East Europeans
acting anti-socially at key landmarks.
In the glittering West End of London, this is a strict no-no.
Later, handcuffs come out as Paul's called to deal with another
rough sleeper for very different reasons.
You are safe, yeah?
It's evening at John Lewis Oxford Street
and marketing coordinator Steve Cooper is getting the store
ready for one of its biggest events of the year.
The event in question takes place behind closed doors
and there's not a shopper in sight.
But for the chain's 91,000 staff nationwide,
Getting ready for a really big day, a really important day tomorrow.
We reveal this year's John Lewis partnership bonus.
Very exciting event.
Very secretive, in that nobody
and I genuinely have no idea what the amount will be.
Quarter past nine tomorrow morning, we reveal all.
Every year, the national chain reveals the size of the year's bonus
when they open an envelope in the Oxford Street store.
The percentage figure is the amount every member of staff,
or partners as they're known,
will get on top of their regular salary.
The unveiling will take place in the store's seven-storey atrium.
As well as managing the event, Steve will be in charge of
the all-important announcement envelope.
This'll be my 38th bonus.
I've had as high as 24%, I've had as low as 8% during that time.
But before Steve can count his money,
he's got to make sure everything's in place for this key event.
They're putting up banners, erecting a stage
and the chain's own choir is going to be on hand
to entertain the gathered partners.
So, choir there. Manvinder will be there.
Yeah. I think they're going to have a camera over there as well.
Probably be partners on the stairs there.
-I've got to get all the way...
-So we are stopping them?
-Stopping the escalators.
-And a press pen here.
The event's also important media-wise.
Many business commentators judge the company's success over
the last 12 months on the size of the bonus.
-Quarter past nine now.
-Quarter past nine.
-12 hours time...
all will be revealed.
That's my lot for tonight.
I'll be in, probably, quarter past, half past seven in the morning
to see the result of all the efforts and then move onto the next phase.
But I think I need my beauty sleep.
And the next morning, beauty sleep in the bag,
Steve is back for the big event.
-Yeah, we've relocated.
And he's brought something with him.
This is the envelope that actually contains the figure,
which I'm not tempted to look at because it's actually
a nice surprise. I don't want to ruin it for myself either.
I need to take this up to management office,
then that'll come down with the head of branch and the people
opening the envelope at 9:15, which is rapidly approaching.
-This is it.
-It's now over to you.
-The main one.
-I'll catch you later. Cheers.
No-one knows what this number is, apart from a select few,
that are mainly the board members. Slightly anxious.
We've got a lot that we've been organising,
a lot of press, a lot of media
and, of course, partners from across the whole partnership
have joined us today, so a big audience
and I now need to ensure that
the managing director is ready for the presentation.
Morning, Karen. It's arrived.
Later, the nerves are kicking in as staff count down to bonus time.
Five, four, three,
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And you! Oi!
Earlier, we were with the Oxford Street police team,
as they grappled with the problem of East European rough sleepers.
Hi, guys. What are we up to down here?
A few weeks later,
we're filming at the West End Central police station, when a call
comes through to Paul Penrose about another East European visitor.
One of the Safer Transport Teams have...
found someone who is in the country illegally.
Um...I'm just going out
to support them, check if they are.
If they are then we'll arrest them, bring them back to the station.
The suspect's being held on Oxford Street,
and Paul heads out there as fast as he can.
The information he has is that the man is in the country illegally
and wanted by the immigration authorities.
A Safer Transport PCSO has got the male detained.
We'll come in and take over. They can't arrest anyone, you see.
So, what's the issue?
Yeah, OK, take him to West End Central, if we can get a...
-Don't do it.
-I'm a police officer. I'm a police officer, yeah?
You're going to be arrested,
-all right, for immigration offences?
For immigration, because it's come back that immigration would like to
-talk to you about your current status.
-It's no problem.
So, you do not have to say anything,
but you may harm your defence if you do not mention
when questioned something which you later rely on in court.
Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
The man may be wanted by the immigration authorities
but it soon becomes apparent that, bizarrely, it was the man
himself who approached the PCSOs and asked to be arrested.
-So, how did you come across this guy?
How did you come across him?
We were just walking down and he just approached us. He stated that,
"I've got a problem and I need to get back in my country."
Right. Where are you from, friend?
-I'm from Albania.
-From Albania, yeah?
Paul searches the man, who begins to become agitated.
Mate, you need to stand still. Yeah, all right, you need to...
Right, listen to me, though, you need to stand still.
You have to stay still for me.
Paul will now escort the man back to the station
to confirm that he is indeed here illegally.
Come with me. We'll pop in the van.
He claims to be an Albanian national, so has no right to residency,
but why would he turn himself in?
It's OK, sir, you are safe, yeah?
Ah, right, OK.
-No, that's right.
What I think is happening, and it's sometimes all too common,
at the moment, is you can't find work,
doesn't have the money to get home, so believes by handing himself in,
he'll get a free flight back, which sometimes may send out
the wrong message that you can come illegally and,
when you've had enough, we'll just pay for you to go home.
But that's on a much higher pay scale
than mine to sort that problem out.
For Paul, as part of the team struggling to cope with
so many East Europeans looking for a place to sleep in London,
helping one go home marks a refreshing change.
Illegal entry into the UK is obviously quite a big problem.
Dare I say, this is a good result because, obviously,
the chap has decided he wants to go home.
What we sometimes find will happen is people come here, they can't find
work, they obviously, naturally, become desperate as a result.
That's when they'll resort to criminality,
and, more often than not, that will end up on Oxford Street.
The man is booked in and will eventually be passed to
the immigration authorities.
-Do you have some
-ID? No, I don't.
For Paul, it brings one of his more unexpected arrests to a close.
I asked the police to stop me, man. Why are you saying you arrest me?
Well, because I officially have to bring you into custody.
And, since we filmed, it turned out the man wasn't just
wanted by immigration,
he was also wanted in Leicester for shoplifting offences,
so was taken up there, where he's since served time in prison.
-Later, problems continue with rough sleepers at London landmarks.
-The police go to tackle it head on.
If you return within 48 hours, you will be arrested.
This is Stanley.
He's currently in training to become a guide dog.
It's an important job.
One day, a blind or partially sighted person will rely on him
for their every step.
Sit. Good boy.
To get ready for that day is a rigorous and intensive process,
taking 24 months and costing over £30,000.
So far, Stanley's been trained for six months
and he's about to have his biggest day yet.
He needs to learn how to cope in large crowds of people
and how to deal with escalators.
Good boy. Sit.
To get him ready for doing both, today, his trainer, Elliott,
is taking him to Oxford Street.
I think he's ready for the challenge today.
I wouldn't do it if I didn't think he was.
We'll take it slowly and if at any moment we need to,
Every year, Guide Dogs For The Blind train 780 dogs,
but demand is massive,
so it's vital they all get through the training.
Leading a blind owner into any sort of collision, or becoming disturbed
in noisy crowds could be calamitous.
It amazes me every time I train one of these dogs that they can
take me down a busy road and I can miss every single person.
It's really phenomenal what they can do.
Today, Stanley will be expected to lead Elliott through the crowded
shopping streets without hitting other pedestrians or obstacles.
And, for Stanley,
that means getting to grips with Europe's busiest shopping street.
Good boy. Touch. I'm going to try and make it as pleasant
an experience as possible. Good lad.
He's never encountered this many people, or this much noise, before.
It's just a really difficult environment.
So busy and so many different places you can go wrong.
A blind or partially sighted person would be looking for Stanley now to
be confident in his movements
and not be jumpy at sounds, sights or smells.
First up, Stanley needs to show confidence in tracing a path
for Elliott along the busy street and through the pedestrians.
He's dropped his speed down nicely
to navigate round the busy environment. Good boy.
Basically, they have a critical area which they know, self-preservation,
they're going to move if they're going to walk into an obstacle.
We teach them appreciation for us,
so he will move left and right and incorporate me into it.
Good boy. And, then, if there's no space through,
like now, he'll just stop. Good boy, well done.
Then Stanley's got to safely lead Elliott across the road.
Stanley's coping well.
Yeah, good boy!
So, I'm just teaching him that he can use the whole pavement.
Looking to me a little bit more than he would normally.
It's an intense environment. I think there's a bit more uncertainty.
If he's to lead a blind person, he'll have to cope with buskers.
But, as they get closer, Stanley is getting hesitant.
Good boy. Forward.
This is where Elliot's role as trainer is crucial.
He needs to teach Stanley not to be afraid of street commotion like this.
And, to do that, he uses a cheesy treat your reward him.
Wow. Good boy!
So, now, hopefully, he associates
human beatbox with good things.
Stanley is looking like a star pupil. Elliott's happy
he's handled his first day in a place like this so well.
Later, Stanley's mastered Europe's busiest shopping street,
but how will he cope when he comes face-to-face with
the escalators at the UK's busiest station?
It's 9am at John Lewis Oxford Street,
and the store's atrium is being prepared for senior management,
hundreds of staff and the national media,
for a major annual announcement.
In a few minutes' time, the chain's 91,000 employees will find out
how much this year's bonus is going to be.
Anything over 10% is considered good. Over 15%, exceptional.
Steve Cooper is the man responsible for making sure the show goes to plan
and getting the store ready to open to the public just minutes later.
So, quarter to nine, half hour to go, I say half hour to go,
really it all starts in about quarter of an hour
when everybody starts to gather round.
The choir should be rehearsing now.
Conductor and John Lewis partner Manvinder is overseeing the choir.
Don't strain it, whatever you do.
But you can afford to give a little bit more.
Tenors, if there's anything more to be had, that would be good.
Michael, if there's any moment where the tenors
might need a bit of moral support, don't be shy.
It's now about getting everyone, staff, press and top brass,
into place for Steve.
Three or four over there, thank you.
Um... Do you want to sort of go up the escalators and be around there
This is quite fun, trying to get them to evenly spread around
so there's a good mix of people. Yeah, give it a good atmosphere.
It seems to be happening.
All the press are here, everybody's here today,
waiting for the announcement of our bonus. We've worked hard all year.
I think we're all working out what to spend it on. I'm saving mine!
And with just a few minutes to go, it's time for the show to start.
To get you in the mood, I'm going to introduce Manvinder
and the Cavendish Singers.
# If you have a minute why don't we go
# Talk about it somewhere only we know?
# This could be the end of everything
# Somewhere only we know. #
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Next up, the main event.
-Are we all ready for the big moment?
We're ready for the countdown, so, please join me,
as we begin the countdown from ten, nine, eight...
ALL JOIN IN: ..seven, six, five,
four, three, two, one!
Go, go, go!
Have a wonderful rest of the day, guys, thank you.
Really happy, yeah, it's a lovely result.
I've just got back from holiday
and I'm definitely feeling the holiday blues
so I might be booking myself another one.
Our colleagues are happy for that,
the massed halls around the building were happy with 11%.
For Steve, the bonus is one thing,
but his focus is now on getting the shop ready
to open in five minutes' time.
Dismantle the stage, and away we go.
Five minutes later, someone will come in and never know it's happened.
And then, it's all over for another year.
I'm going to get on with my day now. Hear those tills ringing.
We've got to start working for next year's bonus.
Hi, guys, what are we up to down here?
Earlier, we saw the Oxford Street police team trying to deal with
the problem of newly arrived East Europeans
making a home for themselves at Marble Arch.
If you come back here, you're going to get arrested, yeah?
And since then,
complaints of antisocial behaviour have continued to flood in.
So today, PC Andy Pescott is leading another operation
to stop them sleeping rough in Oxford Street or the West End of London.
Today's intention is to go out and issue a 48-hour dispersal
to alleviate the problem for at least 48 hours.
This morning, Andy will lead a team of police, interpreters
and an immigration team.
They're being dispersed
on the grounds of ongoing antisocial behaviour,
through begging, littering,
urination, defecation, etc, etc.
Andy's is one of three teams in the area today,
launching similar operations to disperse this kind of rough sleeping.
Ready to go?
What a beautiful morning(!)
Andy and the team head out to the underpass in question
and in the van, just how serious the problem is becomes apparent.
There was reports that have just come in
that there was 50 to 60 in the tunnels overnight,
so we'll take a look and see if they were there and if not,
then we'll start sweeping back along the side streets.
Rough sleeping is a complicated problem at the best of times.
Recently arrived immigrants from EU member states
have the right to live and work in the UK.
But they don't have the right to sleep rough
at famous London landmarks, as they're about to find out.
Don't let him go, make sure he doesn't go anywhere.
-THEY RESPOND IN ROMANIAN
Stay there, move.
At the far end of the tunnel, some of them try and dash off.
Oi! Stay there.
But Andy is not letting them get away.
The problem is all too clear.
Dozens of people sleeping rough in a public underpass
right next to the world-famous shopping areas of London's West End.
We've probably got about 50 here.
This was a bit of a shock. Does anybody speak English?
Andy gathers the rough sleepers.
If I can have one interpreter
and one immigration officer with me on this side.
With the help of a translator,
he's now going to serve every one of them with a dispersal order.
Because of the ongoing antisocial behaviour...
WOMAN TRANSLATES INTO ROMANIAN
..this morning, you will be issued with a 48-hour dispersal notice.
On the dispersal notice,
it gives you a map that tells you the area that you cannot come into.
In other words, you will leave central London.
If you return within 48 hours, you will be arrested.
So, no Marble Arch, no Oxford Street, no London.
And as they go through each individual's details,
they find someone who might end up being banned
from more than just central London.
Newcomers to the UK have a time limit on how long they can stay
without funds or employment or a course of education.
And Andy thinks this man is in breach of it.
Under the EU treaty rights, he has of maximum of three months
to show that he has integrated
and that he's got a job, he's got accommodation.
He obviously hasn't done any of that.
He's expired by four days over those three months.
It takes 90 minutes,
but finally Andy's got the details of everyone and moves them on.
Andy returns to the surface and checks in with the other teams.
There's been a number of Roma from three different teams
where they've moved on at least ten each.
Plus the 40-odd that we've moved on,
that's at least 70-odd Roma this morning
that have been disbursed for 48 hours.
For now, Andy's happy,
and the problem, at this underpass at least, is dealt with.
But Andy knows the likelihood is the rough sleeping problem
at Marble Arch isn't over.
Others are likely to try their luck,
but if they do, they can be sure Andy will be there too.
Earlier, we saw trainee guide dog Stanley
getting to grips with Oxford Street's crowds of shoppers.
But now, an even bigger challenge awaits.
They're in the Tube and Stanley's about to try leading trainer Elliott
up and down moving escalators.
First of all, to acclimatise,
they get used to Tube trains by riding up and down the network.
Yes. Good boy!
It's not a natural thing for a dog to want to come on the Tube.
The lights, sounds, the noises, the movement.
It's all unnatural for a dog.
So we take a lot of time preparing them, taking them,
sitting on the platform, letting trains come and go.
'The next station is Oxford Circus.'
Elliott's got special permission from London Underground
to train Stanley at the station.
It's vital guide dogs can cope in the most inhospitable environments.
A wrong step amongst so much moving machinery could be disastrous.
And there's no bigger test than the escalators
on the busiest station on the Underground network.
First, Stanley will have a go on a static escalator to get him started.
To a dog, these huge mechanical stairs must look daunting.
After a few goes, Elliott is happy enough at Stanley's performance
to move him onto the first real, working escalator.
It's a big moment for both of them.
Good boy, yes. And hop on, stand.
Good boy! And wait.
So, that was a little bit of a messy step-on.
The first time he's done it. May have been over-focused on me.
He just sometimes stares so much at me
that he doesn't always watch where he's going.
So I'll try and take the focus off me later.
It's a good start for Stanley and he gets a reward.
Then he's got to try going down.
Wait. Hop on. Yes, good boy! Well done.
Good boy. Wait. Ready, and hop!
Wheyyy! Good boy! Sit. And wait. Wait. Hop on. Yeah, stand.
He's now been on quite a few
and I'm really chuffed to bits with how he's getting on.
With the practice, Stanley is now focusing on the escalators
and not his trainer. He's passed this test.
So, Stanley's done absolutely amazing here,
better than I could have even hoped for.
It just shows the preparation has really paid off.
Stanley still has a year and a half left
before he'll be ready to be given to a blind person.
But if he can cope with Europe's busiest shopping street
and the UK's busiest station,
there can be little doubt he's made of the right stuff.
And if his new owner likes shopping on Oxford Street,
he can be sure Stan's his man.
Oxford Street's police team deal with the problem of rough sleepers at Marble Arch.
John Lewis gets ready for their biggest announcement of the year, live in store.
And a trainee guide dog is on the street to take on his biggest challenge yet.