05/03/2012 Inside Out South


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Hello from Sandbanks and welcome to Inside Out. Here is what is coming


up tonight. Me, Cheney, Alexis and Kady, we sleep in that dining room


bit there. Children in poverty, families coping on the breadline.


If this was another part of the world, the trucks to be heading out,


but because it is our world, we seem to ignore it.


Theft by the tankload, the organised forecourt gangs targeting


high price fuel. We get three or four drive-offs a week and they are


not small amounts, they're big amounts.


And caught in the act, texting at the wheel, are smartphones more


dangerous than drink-driving? over. Pull over. You need to be


concentrating on your driving. Anything that distracts you is


likely to give you much higher risk of being in an accident.


First tonight, the South has a reputation for affluence, but away


from the sun, the sea and high rollers lies a very different story,


a tale of families struggling to make ends meet and parents going


without so their children can have something to eat. # Five little


ducks went swimming one day, over the hills and far away.


# A typical domestic scene. keeping a watchful eye as homework


is done. What is one times one? scratch the surface and even the


kids know things do not always add up. My daddy worries about the


bills, us kids and so it is hard being a single parent. When Dad got


custody of his children, he had to give up his job as the manager of a


coffee shop. Now it is almost impossible for him to make ends


meet. I go without so the girls have, basically, which is getting


harder, because the price of everything is going up. They're


talking about cutting benefits, so I have to do that to the best of my


ability, so hopefully yes, they will grow up, go to good schools,


get good jobs, I do not want them becoming part of the benefit nation,


which seems to be around these days. According to the official


government definition, Ollie and his two girls live in poverty.


Money helps you pay, money helps you get the food that you want. It


helps you get whatever you want and stuff. Like toys, food and my


favourite chicken. The family live and go to school in Weston, an


estate of about 5,000 people overlooking Southampton Water. It


is dominated by huge tower blocks and its biggest claim to fame,


being one of the most deprived areas in the country. So in 2012,


what does poverty actually mean? Child poverty today in Britain


means having �12 or less per family member per day for all your


household spending after housing costs. The Bills, the food, the


clothing, transport, everything. For many families, it is an awful


lot less than that. I have got six kids of my own and my niece that


lives with me in a two-bedroom house, private, and it is horrible.


And Amelia's children are all too aware of how tight the family


finances are. I think grown-ups worry about money and bills. And


like spending money in the shops. In the morning at home, when I


sometimes get my clothes on, it is cold. It is freezing and cold.


really is. It is cold there, the heating is rubbish, we do not get


any help at all from the council. We have been told we need to wait


seven to 10 years for a house or even a flat. The poverty we see


here is not down to the individuals living at bad way of life, it is a


way society is. We live in a community that has lost a sense of


being, of worth. It is day-to-day survival. Twice a week, Amelia pays


a minimum to top up her gas and electricity. Can I have �10 on the


key, please? It is the most expensive way to pay and every unit


counts. We have to make sure everything has turned off, the


heating. When you are cooking, I try not to go for a roast, because


I can use up to �3.15 just putting the roast on. We need electric for


our food under cooker under lights, so we can live and so we can't die.


With seven kids and me, it is In Weston, unemployment is high.


There are more single parents and teenage mums than the national


average, and community workers see her coming across a disturbing new


measure of deprivation. For the first time since I've been here,


we're hearing stories of children being hungry, children actually


admitting to adults, who are not their own parents, that they are


hungry and there is something wrong there. That should not be the case


in 21st century Britain. To help some of the dads on the estate, Tim


runs a support club. We had been here four-and-a-half years, and it


has been an interesting time. former betting shop. You can tell


things are serious when even the bookies has shut up shop. This is


home sweet home? This is home sweet home, it certainly is. Always dads


share the same concern, how to bring up their children while


living on the breadline. For the first time in 11 years, it is as


bad as it has ever been. I'm even thinking of getting a second job.


We can only treat our children at Christmas and birthdays. We cannot


take them out to McDonald's, you just cannot afford it. A lot of it


is pushed under the carpet, especially at the schools, because


if a family admits they have issues and are in a poverty state, then


their kids can potentially be bullied in the school by other kids,


so there's quite a lot of secrecy in families down here to keep that


to themselves. But Amelia is happy to show us how her family copes


with nine people and a two-bedroom house. Me, Jamie, Alexis and Cady,


sleep in that dining room bit there. Seven children live here, one of


them is a 15-year-old girl, which is her niece. So there are nine


people living in a two-bedroom house. I sleep on that beds, and my


big brother sleeps here. And we need to be very quiet. Keeping


quiet is crucial, because after seven years on the dole, Dad has


finally got a job. Amelia minds the kids while he works a night shift


at the local supermarket. Even with work, the pay is not exceptionally


great, so you still struggle. The cost of living has gone up


amazingly. Electric charges, we put �20 a week on the electric and gas,


we do not have spare money to play with, we just have enough to get by.


He sleeps downstairs because it is easier to get up any was to work in


the morning and when it is night- time, it is easier to get dressed


and go to work on his motorbike. I was a child and I was living with


mum and dad and seen him struggle day-by-day, I think it would affect


the way I felt about life. You have only got to see as children start


to get older, they lose a sense of, what have I got to hope for?


You're barely scraping to survive and you can see why people think


what is the point going to work to earn what we would be earning sat


on our asses doing nothing, because you get your rent paid for you, and


you get a council tax paid for you and you do not have to do anything.


Whatever money you have left, you can play with it. When you look at


a neighbourhood like this, you will find it is not as people out of


work you are in poverty, it is more and more people around in work. The


nature of work has changed a lot over the last generation, so it is


much harder now for people to get a decent living wage and to get


secure full-time work. Too often it is insecure and temporary jobs.


Breakfast is served. Meanwhile at the dads club, a lot


of the chat is about how to manage and not let debts spiral out of


control. We forgot their rents once because we needed food and we got a


phone call from the housing office saying putting a roof over the


heads more important than feeding your children. My wife said, no it


is not. If we had sent the children to school with nothing to eat, we


would be even more trouble than they already are. What a lot of


parents try to do is give the impression to their kids at


everything is fine. Nothing to worry about, no money worries and


everything is nice. It is just a balancing act to keep the family


ticking over. Amelia has recently had to use a moneylender, adding to


the family's debts. Every week, they pay back what they can. All my


debts all add up to about �8,000. I am in debt with the bank and


everything, because there is no money in it to cover the direct


debits and I get charged 15 each failed to direct debit, then the


charge from the people whose direct debit failed. So that it is just


one big debt at the moment. It is to be hard for her and he wants for


his birthday, he wanted a scooter, �130. He wants PlayStation games,


name trainers, all this lot. The little ones are not too bad,


because they are not conscious of their personality. But he wants all


the good stuff. Before we were on benefits and struggling, but


obviously you have to work, whether you like it or not, but we worked


out can be will be �6 a week more or than when they were on benefits,


but there is no money to play with, to get a kid shoes or if they need


a new coat to something like that, we always have to borrow or get it


off a catalogue. In November last year, 47 families were evicted from


the estate, many in rent arrears. For Darren, protecting his children


means everything, but earning just �24.60 a day leaves him with few


choices. You see these people that are rich that do not deserve it.


And yet you think to yourself, you have done nothing. Have you had


those moments where it has got on top of you? Sometimes it is hard


not to. Christmas time. We just could not afford it and it was hard.


Going to work that might and coming home and listening to my five-year-


old say, daddy there's not a Christmas this year because we


cannot afford it. The Government says it will eradicate child


poverty in Britain by 2020, but to the people living here, that


promise might feel rather empty. know people might sit there and say


they should not have had so many children then, but people have this


thing that we have kids to get benefits and get a council house.


Every money we get close on the kids, not ourselves. Contrary to


what people believe, the only bit we have cigarettes, it's our little


privilege, isn't it? Some of the people that do not have much money,


they cannot have loads of money to buy a lot of stuff. Society has got


to change and see and recognise that child poverty exists. We hear


too many statements from people saying that is not such a thing as


Child poverty and I look around and Given the price of petrol these


days, there is little wonder that criminals are turning their


attentions to fuel. Police tell us there has been an increase in


bilking, that is when motorists are taking petrol and driving off


without paying. It seems that organised gangs are now bilking to


The problem of petrol theft at forecourts is becoming critical for


a garage owners. Many of these places are family businesses,


they're not massive oil drilling corporations, the are franchisees,


and the profit they make on the fuel they sell is actually very


small. With profits at 5p a litre on fuel cells, they have to sell a


lot of petrol to make up for thefts, and customers are also finding it


very tough to afford their weekly fill up, which leads some to make


off without paying. Most sites are probably getting at least one drive


off per week, that is really �400 a month. The care filling up the


tanks, driving off and then you do not see them for a little while.


Then a weaker so later, more turn up. All of a sudden, it will hit


you, do will get three or four amounts, they are bigger mines.


Over the last year, this officer Some garages are seeing a surge in


bilking. And many of these places are family businesses. A customer


has left without paying for �80 worth of fuel. This is all captured


on CCTV? Fantastic. He has made no attempt to pay or whatever? I will


run the plates through a database and see who owns the car.


driver of the white BMW may or may not have known what he was doing.


Either way he has joined the ranks of the nation's bilkers. Bilking,


to thwart, cheat or deceive, especially to avoid making payment.


It is like not paying the bill at a cafe. Is bilking a crime? With this


kind of crime they have to be an element of intent to show they


intended to steal the fuel. there is no evidence to suggest


that criminal intent was in place at the time there is a problem


proving it happened. They often use false number plates. Someone will


steal a set of number plates from a vehicle and use them to steal fuel.


Normally they would stop at a pump and most of them would probably


look at the nearest point to the exit and the furthest away from the


point of sale cashier so they cannot see them. They would


possibly try and hide from the CCTV systems and act as though they are


going to pay and then jump back in the car and drive away. The victims


are not just garage owners, they are also drivers like John Francis


who found that his number plates were being used by bilkers and that


he personally had to find the money to replace them. You never believe


it is going to happen to you. You presumably did not get the money


back. No, I did not. That is money out of my pension. To avoid your


plates being stolen, you can have anti-theft screws fitted for free.


You can normally do a pair of front and rear numberplates in around of


two minutes. This is a normal one and this one you can do it up but


she cannot undo it unless you have the special tool. Petrol retailers


are finding that these criminal gangs are really quite brazen and


CCTV does not put them off. In Greater London there were 12,000


reported bilkings in the last year, costing garages over �1 million. As


petrol is such an expensive commodity, more organised criminals


are becoming involved. This man runs a busy petrol station in


Slough with a garage and small shop. One year ago he noticed a surge in


drive offs. The cars involved were unusually fancy. Bilking has


traditionally been a problem with our business. What we were finding


is that the number of bilkings just escalated and the type of customers


that we were seeing that were doing it were with brand new cars.


scale and number of crimes at the garage and others in Slough


indicated to the police that there was a serious and organised gang


involved. They launched Operation Colt to catch them. This is an


investigation into theft from a motor vehicles. I will introduce


you to our team leader. We want to make lots of arrests and stop lots


of vehicles. Why did bilking pop up on your radar? We noticed


numberplates were going from all over Slough. How prolific were


these guys? Very prolific. This is someone coming to a garage in a


Range Rover. On the vehicle the sun visor is down over the driver's


face. On this video you can see he has his back to the cameras. We


calculated they took about �40,000 worth of fault from garages in the


area. Away they go. They leave the garages and then go and remove the


plates so it is difficult to find them. Over six months Penfold and


his accomplice stole petrol to order nearly 300 times. So after


months of surveillance and undercover research, simultaneous


raids were planned in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and involving more


than 70 officers. The bilkers were caught red-handed. Penfold was


actually filling a car when police cornered him. Eventually what were


they charged with? Both men were charged with conspiracy offences.


Mr Penfold was sentenced to 18 months in prison. We have these two


criminals jailed, incidents of bilking dropped dramatically across


Slough and the surrounding areas. In the raids police also arrested


13 civilians that were supplied with stolen petrol and 15 cars were


seized. It later transpired that the clients had been paying half


price for the fuel but no charges were bought because they maintained


they had no idea that the fuel had been stolen. A number of them were


seeking a bargain rather than being involved in criminality. After


consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service it was felt


that it would not be helpful to charge those people. Now the fear


is that with the petrol prices at an all-time high, other gangs were


also get involved in bilking. Remember when mobile phones were


mobile phones? Now they are your camera and your diary and your


social life and there is one place where trying to be so well


connected could cost you dear. It could even cost you your life. From


the moment you get up in the morning, it is always in your hands.


Do you Facebook when you are having your fry-up? Do you shop while you


are chained to the sink? Are you are probably part of a growing


number of the population who are addicted to their phones. Are you


addicted to your phone? Not really, no. I talk a lot. I wouldn't say so


but obviously I use it a lot. I am using it now, yes. Could you live


without it? Probably not nowadays. In a recent survey by Ofcom, 60 per


cent of teenagers were classed as being addicted to their smart phone.


Surfing the Web while walking down the street is not dangerous but


there is one place where using a phone is coming into conflict with


the law and safety. Out on the road the use of smart phones is making


driving more dangerous than ever. We will start on the motorway first


because we have a good chance of seeing people on the phone on a


motorway. This policeman has seen an increase in drivers who like to


text or surf. It seemed that we went through a phase where there


was a lot of awareness and that if you were caught on the phone you


would get stopped and you would get points on your licence and now that


seems to have tailed off. People seem to have got a bit complacent.


It tends to be tradesmen who are trying to sort things out because


they are busy people and so on and so forth. You have everybody below


that who needs to stay in touch, phoning the wife or the husband and


running their busy lives and they feel the need to be on the phone.


After just 10 minutes on the M27 near Southampton we spot a driver


who seems to be using his mobile. What we will do is drop in here and


see if he will come past us. He is texting at nearly 70 miles per hour.


I generally find that it people on the phone because they are not


concentrating, their speed comes down and they are not aware. As


they come up behind slower moving traffic, they do not move up to


overtake, they brake and brake and sit behind it so they can carry on


with their call. To see how dangerous it is using a smart phone


at the wheel we have come to the Transport Research Laboratory to


find out and the results are shocking. Please start the engine


using the ignition key and start to drive. This simulated test is


designed to record my driving ability and awareness of when using


a smart phone. Your friend Daniel twisted his ankle when playing


tennis please send him a private message saying sorry about your


ankle and get well soon. I am being instructed to send messages to my


friend Daniel who is fictitious while I am driving. Oh, my word. I


think we have got to get the message over that making a call or


taking a call or concentrating on the phone rather than concentrating


on the driving is just as dangerous as using a hand-held mobile phone


which is what the police have been stopping people for for many years


now. For example we found that when you drive with no distractions the


drivers are looking down about 10 per cent of the time but when they


are interacting with a smart phone they look down for 60 per cent of


the time and that could lead to a crash which could be avoided by not


looking at a smart phone. Tests show that using a smart phone is


more dangerous than driving after a few drinks. Please send a private


message saying Happy birthday and have fun at the party. When people


are doing this kind of thing and their chance of an accident


You are 23 times more likely to have an accid ent and when you're


using a smart phone. It is hard to imagine why anyone would attempt to


surf at 70 mph. Meanwhile back on the M27 the police officer is


having trouble attaching our phone user's attention. So it might well


be that he is so caught up in what he is doing he has not realised we


are here. He is still doing it. Pullover. That is a classic example


of how even with lights, sirens and a police car right beside you


you're not paying attention. driver caught using their mobile


faces a hefty fine and three points on their licence. Obviously you


know why we have stopped you. Who were you texting? My girlfriend who


is depressed?. Do you think lane two of the motorway is the place to


be doing that? No. I take it that until you came alongside you with


the silence on he did not know we were there. All right. I put the


blue lights on and had police eliminated and we were following


you and you did not react which was where had to come alongside the


year. That is why we say do not use your mobile phone. In the long run,


in the next decade or so, we will see phones and cars able to shut


down that kind of communication once you are in the car and the car


is moving. At the moment we can just raise the issue and tell


people this is just as dangerous as having a drink and driving. It is


just as dangerous as cannabis use and driving. Some of the smart


phone users we spoke to in Southampton have their own ways of


avoiding temptation. I just put my phone away into my pocket. I kee it


in my boot when I am driving so that I do not text or even now when


I it and driving. You actually put it in the brood out of temptations


way? Yes. I lock it I cannot get into it. You take away the


temptation altogether. There are far too many police cars on the


road waiting to pull you over. But why should you feel that you can


just use your mobile phone in your car at and potentially cause a


serious, if not fatal crash? Is Russian roulette at that point.


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