Episode 14 Call the Council


Episode 14

Series following the work of Wigan's council officers. The council brings together a young offender and their victims in a bid to preserve the peace.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 14. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

From grappling with our daily grind...

0:00:020:00:03

Why have they suddenly decided to dump all this waste

0:00:030:00:06

in other people's bins?

0:00:060:00:08

..to unearthing the extraordinary...

0:00:080:00:10

Wow, it's Wigan's gold mask.

0:00:100:00:12

..battling those blighting the streets...

0:00:120:00:14

It's not acceptable, really.

0:00:140:00:16

..bringing the community together...

0:00:160:00:19

-Hi.

-How are you doing?

0:00:190:00:20

..and being on hand in troubled times...

0:00:200:00:22

I've got kids. We can't even open t'bedroom windows cos of the noise.

0:00:220:00:25

It's affecting everything - sleep, you know.

0:00:250:00:27

Just day-to-day living, really.

0:00:270:00:29

In this series, we follow front-line staff working for Wigan Council

0:00:290:00:33

in Greater Manchester.

0:00:330:00:34

I speak to the waste.

0:00:340:00:36

I sort of say to it, "Come on, talk to me.

0:00:360:00:38

-"How have you got here?"

-Like council officers across the country,

0:00:380:00:41

they're keeping us free from harm...

0:00:410:00:43

You're looking at really serious injury or possible death.

0:00:430:00:46

..stepping in to try and solve our problems...

0:00:460:00:48

I mean, it's constant.

0:00:480:00:49

You will be told today that we will be serving notice.

0:00:490:00:52

..and responding to residents...

0:00:520:00:53

I much appreciate what you're doing.

0:00:530:00:55

-..when they...

-What's the enquiry today?

0:00:550:00:58

..call the council.

0:00:580:01:00

Coming up, council officers bring offenders and crime victims

0:01:080:01:12

face to face...

0:01:120:01:14

-Welcome.

-It's just sort of mindless.

0:01:140:01:16

It got out of control.

0:01:160:01:17

..work around the clock to keep the borough's buildings secure...

0:01:190:01:22

Do it once, do it right.

0:01:220:01:24

..and take on the challenges of a new council career.

0:01:240:01:28

It just felt like there was just no hope.

0:01:280:01:31

That was when I found the training programme.

0:01:310:01:34

Very good.

0:01:340:01:35

There are 433 local authorities across the UK,

0:01:450:01:49

one of which is Wigan Council.

0:01:490:01:52

-Thanks for calling the council.

-Council staff work across

0:01:520:01:54

the 77-square-mile Metropolitan Borough,

0:01:540:01:58

looking out for its 300,000-plus residents.

0:01:580:02:01

If you've got any problems, just give us a call back, OK?

0:02:010:02:04

One of their biggest priorities is doing everything they can

0:02:040:02:07

to keep residents safe and secure.

0:02:070:02:09

'You are being recorded by Wigan Council's CCTV.'

0:02:090:02:14

But, sadly, some people's behaviour blights the community.

0:02:140:02:18

The police are on the front line, tackling the trouble head on.

0:02:190:02:23

But behind the scenes,

0:02:230:02:24

local authorities are working in partnership with them.

0:02:240:02:27

I went out to see Mr Johnson.

0:02:270:02:30

He is the victim of the offence that occurred in July.

0:02:300:02:33

That we do all different panels...

0:02:330:02:35

One way Wigan Council are doing this is through an innovative scheme

0:02:350:02:38

called Restorative Justice, headed up by Graham Doubleday

0:02:380:02:42

in the Restorative Solutions team.

0:02:420:02:44

Restorative justice gives young people

0:02:450:02:48

a chance to meet the person who

0:02:480:02:49

they've committed an offence against

0:02:490:02:51

and try and repair the harm that's been caused.

0:02:510:02:53

This could include meeting them face to face,

0:02:530:02:56

writing them a letter of apology or undertaking some work to benefit

0:02:560:03:00

the Wigan community.

0:03:000:03:01

The team work with children under 18,

0:03:030:03:06

who can be referred to them

0:03:060:03:08

by schools and council antisocial behaviour officers.

0:03:080:03:11

But the majority come from the police.

0:03:110:03:13

It can be young people who'd been in trouble with the police

0:03:150:03:17

for the very first time,

0:03:170:03:19

or it could be young people who are in a pattern of offending behaviour

0:03:190:03:22

that could be going for a number of years.

0:03:220:03:23

Government research suggests that it's win-win,

0:03:250:03:28

with 85% of victims reported as satisfied

0:03:280:03:32

by the Restorative Justice programme

0:03:320:03:35

and a 14% fall in the frequency

0:03:350:03:37

of incidents re-occurring.

0:03:370:03:39

I think...he came out as suitable.

0:03:390:03:42

Today, officers Janet Seddon and Linda Wedge are preparing to visit

0:03:420:03:46

local resident Colin Johnson, whose car, along with others in his street,

0:03:460:03:51

was vandalised by two youths.

0:03:510:03:54

When I first came out of the house,

0:03:540:03:55

there were neighbours looking at their car.

0:03:550:03:59

I was looking at our car.

0:03:590:04:01

There was graffiti on the wall opposite

0:04:010:04:03

and there was graffiti on every single car,

0:04:030:04:06

going all the way up the street.

0:04:060:04:07

We were horrified at what happened, because when we discovered it,

0:04:090:04:15

it was still going on.

0:04:150:04:16

I feel as if the lads have zero respect for any of the community.

0:04:170:04:21

I'd like to know what they thought they got out of this.

0:04:230:04:27

Because it was just simply mindless.

0:04:270:04:29

The police caught the young lads, but rather than pressing charges,

0:04:310:04:34

referred them to the council's Restorative Solutions team

0:04:340:04:38

in the hope that they could better reduce the chance of these incidents re-occurring.

0:04:380:04:42

A lot of these young people can be feeling quite low in self-esteem,

0:04:420:04:46

but we, kind of, help them and guide them and coax them.

0:04:460:04:49

And just show them what is right and wrong.

0:04:510:04:53

In this case, Janet and Linda are hoping that having a meeting

0:04:540:04:57

or conference between one of the boys responsible for the graffiti

0:04:570:05:01

and his victim will benefit both parties.

0:05:010:05:04

The conference process is about getting the harmed person

0:05:050:05:11

with the harmer,

0:05:110:05:13

so that the harmed person can express their views,

0:05:130:05:17

explain how the behaviour has affected them,

0:05:170:05:21

and the young person taking responsibility

0:05:210:05:23

and acknowledging that what they've done has harmed someone else.

0:05:230:05:28

Janet and Linda are aiming to bring Colin and one of

0:05:280:05:32

the lads who vandalised his property together, but before they can,

0:05:320:05:36

Janet wants to address an earlier concern.

0:05:360:05:38

When I first saw Mr Johnson, he was quite angry about this case.

0:05:400:05:44

So, the hope tonight is to ensure that he's calmed down so that

0:05:440:05:48

he's able to attend the conference tomorrow without any problems

0:05:480:05:53

and to make sure that he's safe and feels safe at the conference tomorrow.

0:05:530:05:58

The meeting today will determine whether the conference will go ahead.

0:05:580:06:02

When we do our assessment with the young person and the victims,

0:06:020:06:06

we do assess whether we think they are suitable for a conference.

0:06:060:06:10

If we feel they are not, then we don't go ahead with the conference.

0:06:100:06:13

It's got to be a safe environment for everyone.

0:06:130:06:16

Thanks for seeing us.

0:06:180:06:20

So, Mr Johnson, how have things been?

0:06:250:06:27

-Yeah, I've been OK, thanks.

-Yeah?

0:06:270:06:29

It's been a while since I've seen you, a couple of weeks, hasn't it?

0:06:290:06:32

Yeah, yeah.

0:06:320:06:34

I know at that time you were feeling quite angry about the incident.

0:06:340:06:37

"Annoyed" were your words.

0:06:370:06:38

-Yes, yes.

-Tell me how you're feeling about it now.

0:06:380:06:42

Basically, we wanted to...

0:06:420:06:43

..find out why it happened, but also,

0:06:450:06:49

to give options to the people that actually did this

0:06:490:06:52

-to do something different in the future.

-OK.

0:06:520:06:55

You are aware that the process is voluntary?

0:06:550:06:57

-Yes.

-And that you're prepared to go in it on a voluntary basis?

0:06:570:07:01

Yes. I'm quite happy to.

0:07:010:07:02

It will be an unbiased event.

0:07:020:07:06

From that, I've been reassured that people have taken it seriously.

0:07:060:07:10

-Excellent.

-And...

0:07:100:07:11

..we think

0:07:130:07:15

this is due justice, basically.

0:07:150:07:17

Any other concerns? Anything at all?

0:07:170:07:19

No, no concerns whatsoever.

0:07:190:07:21

All right, well, thank you again for seeing us.

0:07:210:07:23

-Thanks very much.

-We'll see you tomorrow.

0:07:230:07:25

-OK, thank you.

-OK.

0:07:250:07:26

Satisfied with the situation,

0:07:260:07:28

Janet can now concentrate on tomorrow's conference.

0:07:280:07:31

He was quite open to seeing us.

0:07:320:07:34

His anger had obviously gone a lot lower than it was previously.

0:07:340:07:39

He is keen to take part.

0:07:390:07:41

And, hopefully, I feel that he'll gets quite a lot out

0:07:410:07:44

of the Restorative Justice conference tomorrow.

0:07:440:07:47

-A very positive experience for them both.

-Absolutely.

0:07:470:07:50

Coming up,

0:07:540:07:56

Janet prepares for the all-important meeting.

0:07:560:07:59

Names on the seats.

0:07:590:08:01

-Yes.

-Sorted.

0:08:010:08:02

But will justice be restored?

0:08:030:08:05

Is he going to manage this?

0:08:060:08:08

Because this is a massive process for him.

0:08:080:08:10

There are over 22,000 residential council properties

0:08:230:08:27

in the borough of Wigan. It's the council's responsibility

0:08:270:08:30

to ensure that the properties they look after are safe and secure

0:08:300:08:34

for their residents.

0:08:340:08:36

It's a never-ending maintenance mission.

0:08:370:08:40

Right, we'll start in the kitchen.

0:08:400:08:43

Fixing things has always been council joiner Scott Howarth's forte.

0:08:430:08:47

I wanted to be a joiner from when I was about 13.

0:08:490:08:51

At school, I decided that's what I wanted to do.

0:08:510:08:53

So, I followed it up.

0:08:530:08:55

And then it's just gone from there.

0:08:550:08:57

I've had a few different... Worked for a few different companies.

0:08:570:09:00

I enjoy working here. The variety is good.

0:09:000:09:02

Scott's official title is Multi-Skilled Operative.

0:09:050:09:08

He works in Building Services.

0:09:080:09:11

On to a gate latch...

0:09:110:09:13

He's a one-man maintenance machine,

0:09:130:09:16

with ten years' experience under his tool belt.

0:09:160:09:18

This week, as well as his normal shift...

0:09:220:09:25

See you later, pal.

0:09:250:09:26

..Scott has opted to be on 24-hour call-out.

0:09:260:09:30

I'll be on call all night.

0:09:300:09:31

I'm doing Tuesday till next Monday.

0:09:310:09:34

So, all weekend, 24 hours, I'm available.

0:09:340:09:38

It's a voluntary option for maintenance staff like Scott,

0:09:380:09:41

at least from the council's point of view.

0:09:410:09:43

My wife doesn't mind me doing it.

0:09:430:09:45

I think she likes the money more than me.

0:09:450:09:47

So, I'll be sent to work if the phone rings.

0:09:470:09:50

It's almost five o'clock

0:09:530:09:55

and Scott's been called to a case that the day team

0:09:550:09:58

haven't managed to complete before clocking-off time.

0:09:580:10:01

This job has come in.

0:10:010:10:03

It's a faulty back gate slamming.

0:10:030:10:06

It was meant to be done in the day, but the lads got stuck on a job.

0:10:060:10:10

So they've asked me to go and have a look, see if I can sort it.

0:10:100:10:13

All right, love? I'm from the council. Sorry we're late.

0:10:170:10:19

For Scott, fixing a broken back gate is a standard job.

0:10:190:10:22

Well, that's not locking, for starters.

0:10:220:10:25

-Oh.

-So, I'll get it adjusted. I'll make it fab.

0:10:250:10:27

-Right.

-Is that all right?

-Yeah, that's excellent.

0:10:270:10:29

But to Gillian Gaskell and her autistic son, Danny Lee,

0:10:290:10:32

it's much more significant.

0:10:320:10:34

He's not allowed out, because he's not got no road sense.

0:10:340:10:37

He can't go to the shop, he can't go anywhere on his own.

0:10:370:10:40

So, he's only really got the back garden.

0:10:400:10:42

There's a busy road nearby, and if the gate isn't secure,

0:10:420:10:46

Danny Lee could wander out and put himself in danger.

0:10:460:10:49

It's a very real risk for concerned mum Gillian.

0:10:490:10:52

-He has been out.

-I know.

0:10:520:10:54

I go out every time and play with my scooters and play on my tractors.

0:10:540:10:57

I know, but you've not to, really, have you, Danny?

0:10:570:10:59

-There's cars coming in, isn't there?

-I need to be careful this time.

0:10:590:11:03

You do, yeah.

0:11:030:11:04

We're on our way here. It's just a problem with the back gate

0:11:040:11:06

and you think, "It's not an emergency, is it?"

0:11:060:11:09

But, obviously, when you see the circumstances, it is an emergency.

0:11:090:11:13

That little lad can't go out.

0:11:130:11:15

A five-minute job now could save his life, at the end of the day.

0:11:150:11:19

With a youngster's safety at stake,

0:11:200:11:22

Scott cracks on with the job in hand.

0:11:220:11:25

The hinge has dropped a little bit,

0:11:250:11:27

so I'm just going to prepare this side first and then realign

0:11:270:11:30

that side in a minute.

0:11:300:11:32

It's a minor adjustment,

0:11:380:11:40

but it makes a big difference to Danny Lee and his mum.

0:11:400:11:43

That's it. That's better, isn't it?

0:11:460:11:48

I've adjusted everything on it so it's all nice and easy.

0:11:480:11:50

Excellent. Thank you very much.

0:11:500:11:52

All right. If you've got any problems,

0:11:520:11:54

you know where we are, ring up, we'll come out.

0:11:540:11:56

-Yeah, will do.

-Right, see you later. See you, mate.

0:11:560:11:59

-See you.

-See you later.

0:11:590:12:01

Job done.

0:12:010:12:02

Danny Lee can play safely and his mum has peace of mind.

0:12:030:12:08

All secure now, nice.

0:12:080:12:09

I can just let him play now.

0:12:090:12:11

Yeah, he's got more freedom to play now.

0:12:110:12:14

-It's so much better.

-I'm happy and very excited.

0:12:140:12:18

Two happy customers.

0:12:180:12:19

Four missed calls.

0:12:210:12:23

But there are more waiting in need of help.

0:12:230:12:25

Coming up, Scott's nonstop,

0:12:270:12:29

as his calls continue into the night with an emergency break-in.

0:12:290:12:32

They'll take anything. If it's not nailed down, they'll have it.

0:12:320:12:36

With a workforce of over two million people,

0:12:470:12:50

local councils are amongst the biggest employers in the country.

0:12:500:12:54

Whether it's a desk job or a dirty job,

0:12:540:12:57

if you can get your foot in the council's door,

0:12:570:12:59

you might just land your dream role.

0:12:590:13:02

I've really wanted to be a refuse collector since I was about

0:13:020:13:05

nine or ten years old.

0:13:050:13:07

Last year, Wigan Council made Adrian Speakman's dream a reality.

0:13:090:13:13

When I found out that I got the opportunity

0:13:160:13:20

to go on one of the rounds,

0:13:200:13:22

I was really excited to

0:13:220:13:24

have a try at my dream job, what I've always wanted to do.

0:13:240:13:29

Adrian, who had struggled to find work,

0:13:290:13:32

won a 12-month paid placement with the council,

0:13:320:13:35

thanks to their Confident Futures scheme.

0:13:350:13:37

This is your future, and Wigan Council want to support you as much as possible.

0:13:380:13:43

The scheme is designed to help young people who have faced

0:13:430:13:46

challenging starts in life get hands-on work experience.

0:13:460:13:50

What we want is to set them up for a future,

0:13:500:13:53

help them to progress in their lives,

0:13:530:13:55

you know, where they're earning a salary,

0:13:550:13:58

and be able to support themselves in accommodation

0:13:580:14:01

and, you know, their future lives ahead.

0:14:010:14:03

So, it is very important.

0:14:030:14:06

Around half a million young people in the UK aged between 16 and 24

0:14:060:14:11

are not in education, employment

0:14:110:14:13

or training.

0:14:130:14:14

And it's reported that long-term youth unemployment could be costing

0:14:140:14:18

taxpayers more than £20 million a week.

0:14:180:14:21

This one? OK, got it.

0:14:230:14:24

So, Adrian made sure he made the most of the opportunity.

0:14:270:14:30

There you go. Not a problem, it's my pleasure.

0:14:320:14:35

-Can you manage, yeah?

-Yes, yes.

-Brilliant. All right, no worries.

0:14:350:14:38

Very helpful. He went out of his way to be pleasant.

0:14:380:14:42

His big heart and determination wasn't lost on the council bosses.

0:14:420:14:47

I've got through, Mum.

0:14:470:14:48

'Fantastic!'

0:14:480:14:50

I got through.

0:14:500:14:52

And guess where I've been put?

0:14:520:14:54

-'Waste.'

-Waste. Yeah, waste.

0:14:540:14:56

-Yes, I got through!

-Whoo!

0:14:580:15:00

Nine months into his paid placement, Adrian's training is going well.

0:15:000:15:06

And now he's out on the bin wagon with the very men who inspired him,

0:15:060:15:10

Brian Rigby and Ian McMillan.

0:15:100:15:13

I've known him since he was that high.

0:15:150:15:17

Yeah, they've known me since I was small, yes.

0:15:170:15:20

We used to empty the bins every week in Shevington.

0:15:200:15:22

He used to come out as a little lad, didn't he?

0:15:220:15:24

Yeah. We tried to encourage him, didn't we,

0:15:240:15:26

to try and get on to the agency and that?

0:15:260:15:28

You was phoning all different agencies, weren't you?

0:15:280:15:30

-Yeah.

-And they wouldn't give him a chance, would they?

0:15:300:15:33

It was like they were just...

0:15:330:15:35

It just felt like there was just no hope.

0:15:380:15:41

And that is when...

0:15:430:15:44

That was when I found this training programme.

0:15:440:15:49

-He's blossomed from there.

-Never looked back, have you, lad?

0:15:490:15:52

Never looked back.

0:15:520:15:54

It may have been a battle to get his dream job on the bins, but now

0:15:540:15:58

Adrian is going from strength to strength.

0:15:580:16:00

Welcome to the lovely view of Aspel.

0:16:020:16:04

What I love about this job is the people who I work with.

0:16:060:16:09

I enjoy face-to-face conversation

0:16:090:16:11

with members of the residents on some of the rounds.

0:16:110:16:15

Hiya, are you all right?

0:16:150:16:17

Thanks for waiting.

0:16:180:16:20

I'm thankful to Wigan Council

0:16:200:16:22

for giving me such just a great opportunity on the dream job

0:16:220:16:27

of what I wanted to do for such a long time, since I was small.

0:16:270:16:33

So, I really enjoy it.

0:16:330:16:36

The work is very good. It's excellent.

0:16:360:16:38

He's hard-working, conscientious,

0:16:420:16:44

He's got a good rapport with all the customers and that.

0:16:440:16:48

-It's great having him on.

-Welcome to Coronation Street!

0:16:480:16:52

Oh, he's like a breath of fresh air.

0:16:550:16:56

You know, he's like, he's keen.

0:16:560:16:58

He's a grafter, Adrian. He gets stuck in.

0:17:010:17:04

As well as building Adrian's self-reliance and getting him

0:17:060:17:09

used to the world of work,

0:17:090:17:10

the council's programme pays him a training salary.

0:17:100:17:14

When my first wage came in,

0:17:150:17:17

I was like,

0:17:170:17:19

"Yes! My very first wage."

0:17:190:17:21

And I had a smile on my face.

0:17:210:17:23

For Adrian, working on the wagon with the men who inspired him

0:17:250:17:28

has been a dream come true.

0:17:280:17:30

But the scheme also includes one day a week in the classroom.

0:17:310:17:34

He needs to pass exams in maths, English and IT

0:17:350:17:39

before the council can offer him a permanent position.

0:17:390:17:42

And Adrian finds academic study a challenge.

0:17:420:17:46

It's the training that will help me succeed.

0:17:460:17:50

If I've done everything,

0:17:500:17:52

-that means it'll be a full-time...

-Position.

-..position on here, yeah.

0:17:520:17:58

Coming up, Adrian turns teacher to spread the word about recycling.

0:18:050:18:10

I'm really enjoying the different atmosphere of work.

0:18:110:18:16

It's really, really good.

0:18:160:18:18

Council officers Janet Seddon and Linda Wedge are out in the community

0:18:270:18:32

trying to help a resident who fell victim to a graffiti incident.

0:18:320:18:36

I know at that time, you were feeling quite angry about the incident.

0:18:360:18:39

-"Annoyed" was your words.

-Yes.

0:18:390:18:41

Colin Johnson and his neighbours had their cars and street

0:18:410:18:45

sprayed with graffiti.

0:18:450:18:46

The responsible party were youths.

0:18:460:18:48

So, rather than being charged,

0:18:480:18:50

police referred them to Janet's Restorative Solutions team.

0:18:500:18:54

Under the council's Restorative Justice scheme,

0:19:000:19:02

Janet is planning to bring Colin and one of the young people together

0:19:020:19:06

at a council conference in the hope of a mutual resolution.

0:19:060:19:10

The conferences can be highly emotional,

0:19:120:19:14

and although the council have done many of these, it's Janet's first.

0:19:140:19:19

Feeling a little bit worried now.

0:19:200:19:22

Not worried, apprehensive.

0:19:220:19:23

No, I am feeling a little bit worried, I'll be honest.

0:19:230:19:26

I'm wanting this to be right.

0:19:270:19:29

I want the victims to get something out of this.

0:19:290:19:31

And I want the young person to feel...

0:19:310:19:34

I don't want him to become a victim.

0:19:340:19:37

I just want them to all gain something.

0:19:370:19:38

It's quite... It's just the waiting now.

0:19:400:19:44

After a short wait, Colin arrives

0:19:450:19:48

with one of the other vandalism victims

0:19:480:19:50

who didn't want to be identified.

0:19:500:19:52

Hi, Mr Johnson. Nice to see you again.

0:19:540:19:56

But that's only half of the equation.

0:19:560:19:58

Attendance today is voluntary.

0:19:580:20:00

Will the boy turn up?

0:20:000:20:02

I'm now thinking about the young person and how he's feeling.

0:20:040:20:08

Is he going to manage this?

0:20:080:20:10

Everything and anything is going through my mind at this moment.

0:20:120:20:15

If the young person doesn't turn up,

0:20:190:20:22

it's a huge backward step in building towards a resolution.

0:20:220:20:26

The conference will be cancelled and everyone stands to lose.

0:20:260:20:30

But, a few minutes late, he arrives.

0:20:300:20:33

He has agreed to take part in filming, but not to be identified.

0:20:350:20:38

Janet has just gone outside with the young person and his mum and nan.

0:20:400:20:44

She's just explaining what's going to happen

0:20:440:20:46

so that he feels comfortable before he comes into the room.

0:20:460:20:50

Welcome.

0:20:540:20:56

Thank you all for attending.

0:20:560:20:57

I know that this may be difficult for all of you,

0:20:570:21:01

but your presence will help repair the harm that has been done.

0:21:010:21:04

So, would you talk us through what happened?

0:21:060:21:08

Yeah. One night,

0:21:100:21:11

we found some spray paint cans and I suggested spray-painting.

0:21:110:21:18

The first thing I spray-painted was someone's car.

0:21:180:21:21

This conference follows a strict script,

0:21:210:21:24

with the boy who did the graffiti talking first.

0:21:240:21:27

And then, when I realised we had been caught,

0:21:270:21:30

I thought to myself, "Stupid,"

0:21:300:21:32

like a stupid idea. I shouldn't have done it.

0:21:320:21:35

By recounting the details of the incident,

0:21:350:21:37

he shows the victims he's taking responsibility for his actions.

0:21:370:21:41

Thank you. OK, Mr Johnson.

0:21:420:21:47

OK.

0:21:470:21:49

I thought at the time

0:21:490:21:50

it was one or two cars and it was just sort of mindless.

0:21:500:21:55

And I felt as if it got out of control.

0:21:550:21:59

We had nearly four or five police cars in Tyldesley that evening.

0:21:590:22:03

Thank you. What were your thoughts and feelings about what happened?

0:22:040:22:09

It just made me angry and mad.

0:22:090:22:11

By talking about how the incident affected them and their family,

0:22:110:22:14

the hope is that the realisation shocks and shames the young person

0:22:140:22:18

into feeling remorse.

0:22:180:22:20

It doesn't feel safe to them any more.

0:22:200:22:23

So, we may end up selling the house.

0:22:230:22:25

Thank you for that. Is there anything you want to say at this time?

0:22:250:22:30

Yeah. Erm, I want to apologise to both of you.

0:22:300:22:35

And, obviously, if there were other victims here,

0:22:350:22:38

I'd apologise to them as well.

0:22:380:22:40

And sorry for the upset it's caused between your families

0:22:400:22:44

and all the worry and the bother that it's caused to both of you.

0:22:440:22:48

I'm really, really proud that you've actually come here and sat with us today.

0:22:500:22:53

Thanks. And that really takes a man to sit and do that.

0:22:530:22:57

So, it shows that, one, you are sorry for what you've done, and two,

0:22:570:23:00

you've realised the impact that it's had.

0:23:000:23:03

Is there anything else?

0:23:030:23:04

OK, so thank you.

0:23:060:23:08

And well done to all of you for the way you have worked together

0:23:080:23:12

in dealing with a difficult matter and the issues that were raised.

0:23:120:23:16

Thank you.

0:23:160:23:17

I'll shake your hand.

0:23:180:23:19

-I'm sorry.

-Well done for actually coming.

0:23:190:23:21

That's all right. Sorry for what I did.

0:23:210:23:23

No problem. Well done, lad.

0:23:230:23:25

An apology accepted means a productive experience for all concerned.

0:23:250:23:30

I think it's very, very positive.

0:23:300:23:32

And we've tried to make the situation better.

0:23:320:23:36

He's a bright lad. I feel as if he'll make something of himself,

0:23:360:23:39

if he is given the opportunity.

0:23:390:23:41

I think it went great.

0:23:420:23:44

I think the victims got what they needed.

0:23:440:23:46

They asked the questions that they wanted to ask,

0:23:460:23:48

they got the answers that they wanted.

0:23:480:23:51

The young person, as well, he managed to say that he was sorry.

0:23:510:23:56

I think now he'll able to move on.

0:23:560:23:59

And that's what the restorative conference is all about,

0:23:590:24:02

it's about repairing the harm.

0:24:020:24:03

It's one win, and Janet and Linda will continue their team's effort to

0:24:050:24:09

reduce crime in the borough, making it a safer and better place to live.

0:24:090:24:13

From building bridges, back to domestic DIY.

0:24:250:24:28

One-man maintenance machine Scott Howarth is out on call.

0:24:300:24:34

All right, love? Sorry we're late.

0:24:340:24:36

After his first stop to secure a back gate...

0:24:360:24:40

If you've got any problems, you know where we are -

0:24:400:24:43

-ring up and we'll come out.

-Yeah, will do.

0:24:430:24:45

..he's swung straight back into action.

0:24:450:24:47

-Done.

-Oh, that's really fast work.

0:24:500:24:52

-See you later, mate.

-See you.

0:24:540:24:56

All right?

0:24:570:24:59

-Problem with your front door?

-Yeah.

0:24:590:25:01

-It's all sorted anyway.

-Right, see you.

-See you again, mate.

0:25:050:25:08

HQ is ringing him with job after job.

0:25:080:25:11

Have you tried ringing me once or twice?

0:25:110:25:13

-'Yeah.'

-I had a couple of missed calls.

0:25:130:25:15

I was in a property.

0:25:150:25:17

-'You're a busy boy!'

-You're not kidding.

0:25:170:25:19

But one call has left him cold.

0:25:190:25:22

-PHONE RINGS

-Hello?

0:25:220:25:25

Hello?

0:25:270:25:29

PPI!

0:25:350:25:36

Scott's got no time for nuisance calls.

0:25:380:25:41

Problem with two windows?

0:25:430:25:45

As well as a full list of tenants to attend to,

0:25:470:25:50

he's also got an empty stomach.

0:25:500:25:52

I'm starving. And seeing how all I've had today

0:25:520:25:55

is a steak pie and a barm cake and an iced finger...

0:25:550:25:59

so, I'm due for my tea.

0:25:590:26:02

When Scott is on call, he has to take his breaks when he can.

0:26:040:26:08

So he returns to the ranch.

0:26:080:26:09

But there's no rest for the wicked.

0:26:110:26:13

If a call comes in, Scott has to respond, regardless of the time.

0:26:130:26:18

It's just gone 9.30.

0:26:190:26:22

This job has just come in.

0:26:220:26:24

We don't get many of these. It's a building control job.

0:26:240:26:28

It's... I think it's an old pub, which has been left derelict.

0:26:280:26:34

It's not just residential properties owned by the council

0:26:340:26:37

that Scott has a responsibility to secure.

0:26:370:26:40

He must make safe any building that could be putting

0:26:400:26:43

the public at risk.

0:26:430:26:45

These jobs, they come in every now and again.

0:26:460:26:49

You get, like, drunk drivers into buildings.

0:26:490:26:52

And you've got to go.

0:26:520:26:54

They can be big jobs. I've had...

0:26:540:26:56

I've had a lorry put into a sunbed shop...

0:26:560:26:58

..after some...

0:27:010:27:04

some dispute.

0:27:040:27:06

Tonight, Scott doesn't know exactly what he'll be facing.

0:27:060:27:10

All he's been told is that a derelict building

0:27:100:27:12

has been broken into and needs securing.

0:27:120:27:16

The building inspector's on site and just rang and asked me,

0:27:160:27:19

could I come out?

0:27:190:27:20

All right, pal? We meet again.

0:27:240:27:25

-Oh, are you all right?

-Yeah, not too bad.

0:27:250:27:29

Because the building is in a public place,

0:27:290:27:32

police have called in Scott's council colleague,

0:27:320:27:34

district building surveyor Keith,

0:27:340:27:37

to assess the damage and any risk posed to residents.

0:27:370:27:40

There's this one here that is, shall we say, open to access?

0:27:410:27:45

We need to get rid of the broken glass...

0:27:450:27:49

There's one at the front as well.

0:27:490:27:52

The building is empty and already boarded up at both levels.

0:27:520:27:55

But someone has ripped off the boards and smashed the windows

0:27:550:27:58

to get inside, leaving the building unsecured

0:27:580:28:01

and sharp, broken glass strewn across the street.

0:28:010:28:05

The urgency with this job, it's just because of health and safety.

0:28:050:28:08

If anybody comes past and a bit of broken glass falls out,

0:28:080:28:12

obviously, people could get in now it's open.

0:28:120:28:14

They could cause a fire,

0:28:140:28:16

which would be a knock-on effect on the properties joined to it.

0:28:160:28:19

Scott must make the area safe and board over the broken windows,

0:28:230:28:27

to stop people getting in again.

0:28:270:28:30

Unoccupied buildings like this are magnets for opportunist thieves.

0:28:380:28:42

They normally go in looking for scrap.

0:28:420:28:45

They'll take anything.

0:28:450:28:47

If it's not nailed down, they'll have it.

0:28:470:28:49

So Scott's not taking any chances.

0:28:490:28:52

I was going to just over-board where they've boarded in the past, but,

0:28:530:28:57

obviously, you can get your fingers behind it and just pull it off.

0:28:570:29:01

To make sure history isn't repeated,

0:29:010:29:03

he secures his boards inside the window frame.

0:29:030:29:06

Scott's maintenance motto is simple...

0:29:070:29:10

Do it once, do it right.

0:29:110:29:13

It's an extra, what, five minutes?

0:29:130:29:16

So I might as well just do it now and then I don't have to come back

0:29:160:29:18

another hour, another night.

0:29:180:29:21

And, of course, the building inspector's here watching me!

0:29:230:29:27

Scott seals the final window under Keith's watchful eye.

0:29:320:29:36

And he likes what he sees.

0:29:360:29:37

I think everything is sorted now, everybody is safe.

0:29:390:29:43

And it's onwards and upwards to the next one, I suppose.

0:29:430:29:47

That might be true for Keith, but Scott is heading home.

0:29:470:29:50

That's it for now. Heading towards home.

0:29:530:29:55

Shower and bed.

0:29:550:29:57

Night or day, councils are responsible for keeping the peace in their borough.

0:30:090:30:14

Whether it's dogs barking,

0:30:140:30:16

cockerels crowing or neighbours playing loud music,

0:30:160:30:20

if a noise problem persists,

0:30:200:30:22

it's up to the council to step in and sort it out.

0:30:220:30:25

Noise complaints are amongst the most challenging

0:30:250:30:28

for public protection officers like Arron Hanson.

0:30:280:30:32

It's never going to be easy to

0:30:320:30:34

achieve what the residents want all the time.

0:30:340:30:38

And it's difficult and frustrating,

0:30:380:30:40

but you're trained to help and get the best service you can.

0:30:400:30:43

Good afternoon. Arron speaking. How can I help?

0:30:430:30:46

Today, Arron and his colleague Steve have been called to

0:30:460:30:50

a normally quiet corner of Wigan.

0:30:500:30:53

Five days ago, a travelling fair arrived.

0:30:530:30:57

You can hear how loud it is.

0:30:570:30:59

WHIRRING

0:30:590:31:00

And the complaints are that it's running during the day,

0:31:000:31:05

but all night as well.

0:31:050:31:07

So, that's when the problem is really affecting people.

0:31:080:31:12

The residents are complaining they're getting quite distressed

0:31:120:31:16

that there's music and shouting and the generator going on.

0:31:160:31:21

So, erm, we'll see what we can do.

0:31:210:31:26

Arron is responding to five calls to the council...

0:31:300:31:34

I'm Arron and this is Steve from the environmental health.

0:31:340:31:37

We're coming about the funfair.

0:31:370:31:39

..one of which was from Alan Jones.

0:31:390:31:42

What problems are you having?

0:31:420:31:44

Noise. We've got a generator there what is blowing a big 100-foot...

0:31:440:31:47

well, 50-foot inflatable slide up.

0:31:470:31:50

That's on during the week until nine or ten o'clock at night.

0:31:500:31:53

All you can hear is that generator.

0:31:530:31:54

It's on all day Saturday, all day Sunday.

0:31:540:31:56

We've got music blaring out.

0:31:560:31:58

It's just disgusting.

0:31:580:32:00

It's too close. We've got old folks' homes here, we've got young families.

0:32:000:32:04

It's just... We shouldn't have it, really.

0:32:040:32:06

It's the second time this year that this funfair has been set up on this land.

0:32:060:32:12

It runs every day for three weeks.

0:32:120:32:15

And Arron received complaints the last time it was here, too.

0:32:150:32:19

They seem to have a lot more rides than they did before.

0:32:190:32:22

It was only small last year.

0:32:220:32:23

They seem to have brought everything this time.

0:32:230:32:26

-OK.

-If it moved that way... we can't shift them.

0:32:260:32:29

But if it moves that way a bit, at least it won't be so close.

0:32:290:32:32

So, how's it been affecting you and your family?

0:32:320:32:36

Well, Saturday night, we went out because it was that bad.

0:32:360:32:39

And it shouldn't happen at all.

0:32:390:32:40

I've got kids. We can't even open t'bedroom windows

0:32:400:32:43

because of the noise.

0:32:430:32:44

You know, if I'm working early in the morning...

0:32:440:32:46

My missus works early.

0:32:460:32:48

She goes to bed early. She has to get up early.

0:32:480:32:50

She starts at six. She can't, cos of that.

0:32:500:32:53

So it's affecting everything -

0:32:530:32:54

sleep, just day-to-day living, really.

0:32:540:32:56

Are we OK to have a listen and come inside?

0:32:560:32:58

Yeah, of course you can, yeah.

0:32:580:33:00

Councils nationwide receive around

0:33:020:33:05

150,000 noise complaints every year.

0:33:050:33:08

And around 3,000 are about leisure premises, such as funfairs.

0:33:080:33:12

Fairs must abide by council bylaws on opening hours,

0:33:130:33:17

but there is no power to regulate their distance

0:33:170:33:20

from residential housing.

0:33:200:33:22

In this case, noise nuisance and neighbours

0:33:220:33:25

stand just ten metres apart.

0:33:250:33:27

It's clear to Arron

0:33:290:33:31

that no amount of double glazing

0:33:310:33:33

is going to block out this noisy problem.

0:33:330:33:35

It was really prominent.

0:33:350:33:37

Even turning the telly up, you can still hear it above the telly.

0:33:370:33:41

To me, that's a problem for them, isn't it?

0:33:420:33:45

Because it's just

0:33:450:33:47

ridiculously high in the house.

0:33:470:33:49

In the worst cases of noise nuisance,

0:33:510:33:53

councils have the power to serve an abatement notice,

0:33:530:33:56

meaning that if amusement premises, like the fair,

0:33:560:33:59

refuse to respond to their requests, they can seize their equipment.

0:33:590:34:04

But Wigan prefer to explore other options before it gets that serious.

0:34:040:34:08

You know, Steve...

0:34:080:34:10

It's time to get tough.

0:34:100:34:12

With no time like the present,

0:34:130:34:15

Arron and Steve decide to pay the owner of the fairground a visit.

0:34:150:34:19

We've had several complaints about the noise, mainly about the generator.

0:34:200:34:24

Because of where it's situated, it backs on...right onto them houses.

0:34:240:34:27

Can you move it?

0:34:270:34:28

The first job is to get the noisy generator moved.

0:34:280:34:31

We've established there is a problem.

0:34:310:34:33

We're not talking about other times.

0:34:330:34:35

Tonight, there's a problem with that generator.

0:34:350:34:37

And their demands haven't gone down well with the owner.

0:34:370:34:39

As long as you're not causing a nuisance, we don't have an issue.

0:34:390:34:43

Arron's diplomatic skills are tested to the limit,

0:34:430:34:45

as negotiation stretches into the evening.

0:34:450:34:48

We just want to control the noise, that's all we want to do.

0:34:480:34:52

The noise-busting duo have done all they can for one night.

0:34:530:34:57

-What do you think?

-We can't expect them to do it right now,

0:34:570:35:00

-but give them the chance to do it.

-No, I know.

0:35:000:35:02

And then we'll see where it goes.

0:35:020:35:04

He said he's not going to open tomorrow or Wednesday either,

0:35:050:35:08

so the residents have a bit of a reprieve.

0:35:080:35:10

That should give him the chance to move the generator for us.

0:35:100:35:13

And we pointed out that the music was also a problem and that he needs

0:35:130:35:16

to do checks and ensure that he keeps the volume down.

0:35:160:35:19

So it's just seeing how it goes.

0:35:190:35:20

As long as he's making an effort and it's having an effect.

0:35:200:35:25

Cos, he said himself,

0:35:260:35:28

wherever they go, they're going to be heard.

0:35:280:35:31

And I did make the residents aware that, you know,

0:35:320:35:35

there is going to be a bit of noise.

0:35:350:35:37

But it's just finding that balance

0:35:370:35:39

of them being able to enjoy their home

0:35:390:35:42

and them trying to put on a business.

0:35:420:35:44

Adrian Speakman's dream of becoming a bin man has become a reality.

0:35:550:36:00

I really enjoy it. The work is very good.

0:36:000:36:04

-It's excellent.

-He won a paid placement with Wigan Council

0:36:040:36:08

through their Confident Futures programme.

0:36:080:36:11

I've got through, Mum.

0:36:110:36:12

But it only lasts 12 months.

0:36:120:36:15

Adrian, who has mild learning difficulties,

0:36:170:36:19

is set on securing his beloved bin round as a permanent job,

0:36:190:36:23

and wants to show the council his commitment to the programme

0:36:230:36:26

by taking on extracurricular activities.

0:36:260:36:30

Today, he's accompanying Ellen from the waste management team

0:36:300:36:33

on a local school visit

0:36:330:36:34

to teach children about the importance of recycling.

0:36:340:36:37

I'm feeling very excited.

0:36:380:36:40

It's a nice Friday morning, isn't it?

0:36:400:36:41

Not a bad way to spend the day.

0:36:410:36:43

Although not mandatory within his paid placement,

0:36:430:36:45

doing visits like these are helping Adrian build confidence and develop

0:36:450:36:49

important communication skills,

0:36:490:36:52

which will benefit him on his quest

0:36:520:36:54

to become a full-time council employee.

0:36:540:36:56

Where would you like this?

0:36:560:36:58

To keep the children interested,

0:36:580:36:59

Ellen and Adrian have prepared a presentation

0:36:590:37:02

and some interactive games they hope will get the kids raving about recycling.

0:37:020:37:07

It's great having somebody tall.

0:37:070:37:09

6'2".

0:37:090:37:11

I'm usually struggling with these, but this is...

0:37:110:37:14

-All right?

-Yeah. Perfect.

0:37:140:37:16

-Yeah, all right.

-Thank you, Adrian.

-OK.

0:37:160:37:19

Adrian will have to stand up and address the children,

0:37:190:37:22

which he hasn't much experience of,

0:37:220:37:25

but he is determined to show Ellen what he can do.

0:37:250:37:27

-You can introduce yourself.

-Yeah.

-OK? And jump in,

0:37:280:37:31

if you feel like you want to say something to them.

0:37:310:37:33

One thing I don't want to do is just to take over the whole lot.

0:37:330:37:35

If you want to take over, that's fine. That's absolutely fine.

0:37:350:37:38

You jump in as you need to, Adrian.

0:37:380:37:40

-Morning, everyone.

-Good morning.

0:37:410:37:43

As the children take their seats, Adrian takes the stage.

0:37:430:37:47

Morning, Year 6.

0:37:480:37:49

-Are you all right?

-ALL:

-Yes.

0:37:490:37:52

Very good. My name is Adrian.

0:37:520:37:54

I am one of the loaders, who empties one of your recycling...

0:37:540:38:00

..dustbins every fortnight.

0:38:010:38:04

You might have actually seen Adrian at some point,

0:38:040:38:07

when you put your bins out.

0:38:070:38:08

Having got the children's attention, Adrian's confidence is climbing.

0:38:080:38:13

I want to hear if Year 6 is very good at recycling.

0:38:130:38:17

-ALL:

-Yes!

0:38:170:38:19

As well as telling them about recycling,

0:38:190:38:21

Adrian wants to show them how it's done and test their knowledge.

0:38:210:38:25

All right. Can everyone see them, yeah?

0:38:250:38:27

Can we move this out of the way?

0:38:270:38:29

Adrian has four colour cards, each represent a recycling bin.

0:38:290:38:34

And he wants to see if the children put the correct rubbish

0:38:340:38:37

with the correctly coloured cards.

0:38:370:38:40

Right, guys.

0:38:400:38:42

Are we all sorted on here?

0:38:450:38:47

-Yeah.

-Yeah, very good.

0:38:470:38:49

Which one does that go in?

0:38:490:38:50

Green.

0:38:500:38:52

Do you think you've got it right?

0:38:540:38:55

Yeah? Very good.

0:38:550:38:58

The children are learning a lot, and so is Adrian.

0:38:580:39:01

I'm really enjoying the different atmosphere of work.

0:39:020:39:07

It's really, really good.

0:39:070:39:09

I would really enjoy to come into schools again

0:39:090:39:12

and teach them recycling.

0:39:120:39:14

Are you happy with that?

0:39:150:39:17

Yeah? Well done to you all.

0:39:170:39:18

After some more recycling games,

0:39:180:39:20

it's time for Adrian to see if his knowledge of rubbish

0:39:200:39:23

has rubbed off on the kids.

0:39:230:39:24

Hmm, I'll start with this table first.

0:39:240:39:27

Empty bottle. Brilliant.

0:39:270:39:30

-And then the chocolate box.

-Plastic.

0:39:300:39:33

Can you spot something that should have been there, Adrian?

0:39:330:39:36

Yeah, OK, guys, I know it is plastic,

0:39:360:39:39

but it's different kinds of plastic.

0:39:390:39:42

-Where should it go?

-Where should it go?

0:39:420:39:44

-The blue one?

-No.

-The blue one?

0:39:440:39:46

The black one?

0:39:470:39:49

The black, yeah.

0:39:490:39:51

Do you think, Year 6, that to help me with my job,

0:39:510:39:56

do you think that you can do more recycling for me?

0:39:560:40:00

-Yes.

-Yeah?

0:40:000:40:01

Very good.

0:40:010:40:03

Adrian hopes his dedication to helping with such council schemes

0:40:030:40:07

will assist in his permanent application for a job

0:40:070:40:10

once his placement ends.

0:40:100:40:11

And he has certainly impressed Ellen.

0:40:130:40:15

For working at Wigan Council, this is the kind of people we need.

0:40:150:40:18

You know, we need that...being on the front line.

0:40:180:40:20

We need energy, we need that positive message coming through.

0:40:200:40:23

And he just, you know...

0:40:230:40:25

You can see, he sells it, which is really, really great.

0:40:250:40:28

Did you enjoy it?

0:40:280:40:29

Yeah.

0:40:290:40:31

Satisfied his recycling message has been received,

0:40:310:40:34

Adrian leaves happy.

0:40:340:40:37

It's been perfect. I really enjoyed it.

0:40:370:40:40

The kids really enjoyed it.

0:40:400:40:42

But, personally, myself, I really enjoyed it.

0:40:420:40:45

The atmosphere with all the school kids was brilliant.

0:40:450:40:48

Public protection officer Arron and colleague Steve

0:40:570:41:01

are dealing with a noise complaint after the funfair came to town.

0:41:010:41:05

The fair is running every day for three weeks,

0:41:050:41:08

and local resident Alan is far from amused.

0:41:080:41:11

It shouldn't happen at all.

0:41:110:41:13

I've got kids and we can't even open t'bedroom windows because of the noise.

0:41:130:41:16

Seizing offending machinery would be a last resort for the council,

0:41:160:41:20

so Arron looks for a diplomatic solution,

0:41:200:41:22

balancing the wishes of business and residents.

0:41:220:41:25

They ask the owner to move a loud generator and lower the noise levels.

0:41:250:41:30

We've had several complaints about the noise, mainly about the generator.

0:41:300:41:34

Cos of where it's situated, it backs on...right onto them houses.

0:41:340:41:38

Can you move it?

0:41:380:41:39

Seven days later, and the fair is back in full swing.

0:41:410:41:45

The generator has been moved to the other side of the field,

0:41:450:41:48

as Arron requested.

0:41:480:41:50

But has this solved the problem for Alan and his neighbours?

0:41:500:41:53

Well, I'm a bit annoyed, really, because Wigan Council

0:41:550:41:58

have come along, they've done their bit,

0:41:580:42:00

but there's not a lot they've actually done,

0:42:000:42:02

apart from move a generator.

0:42:020:42:04

It's probably around the same as it was when I first complained,

0:42:040:42:07

if not worse, because of the constant music and blaring lights.

0:42:070:42:12

This is only a Monday night, and listen to the noise.

0:42:120:42:15

WHIRRING SHOUTING

0:42:150:42:18

You try living near all this.

0:42:180:42:20

You try listening to this all day and seeing that all day.

0:42:200:42:22

You're trying to watch telly and all you can hear is noise.

0:42:220:42:25

You go to bed, you try to open your window - noise, lights flashing,

0:42:250:42:29

kids coming and going, everything what's going on.

0:42:290:42:32

Whoever is on the microphone, it's like listening to a rave most weekends.

0:42:320:42:37

So, yeah, one more week, two more weeks... I don't want it.

0:42:370:42:39

Not even one more night.

0:42:390:42:41

Alan may not be satisfied, but Arron feels he's done all he can.

0:42:450:42:49

Although the residents might be dissatisfied,

0:42:510:42:55

I know that we've done as much as we can and that,

0:42:550:43:01

at the end of the day, we've got to find a balance

0:43:010:43:04

where businesses can work and residents can live.

0:43:040:43:07

Wigan council brings a young offender and their victims together in a bid to preserve the peace, investigates complaints about a noisy fairground and helps a young man fulfil a lifetime's ambition.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS