05/03/2012 Inside Out South


05/03/2012

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Transcript


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

:00:03.:00:09.

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

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

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

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

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Theft by the tankload, the organised forecourt gangs targeting

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

:00:32.:00:37.

not small amounts, they're big amounts.

:00:37.:00:40.

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

:00:40.:00:50.
:00:50.:00:50.

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

:00:50.:00:52.

concentrating on your driving. Anything that distracts you is

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

:00:57.:01:07.
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First tonight, the South has a reputation for affluence, but away

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:01:52.:02:01.
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bills, us kids and so it is hard being a single parent. When Dad got

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

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

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

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

:02:20.:02:24.

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

:02:24.:02:27.

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

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

:02:31.:02:41.
:02:41.:02:41.

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

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

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

:02:53.:03:03.
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helps you get whatever you want and stuff. Like toys, food and my

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

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

:03:15.:03:18.

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

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

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what does poverty actually mean? Child poverty today in Britain

:03:28.:03:31.

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

:03:31.:03:37.

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

:03:37.:03:42.

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

:03:42.:03:50.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:05:24.:05:33.
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our food under cooker under lights, so we can live and so we can't die.

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

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There are more single parents and teenage mums than the national

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:10:44.:10:51.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:25.:12:35.
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not to. Christmas time. We just could not afford it and it was hard.

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

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

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cannot afford it. The Government says it will eradicate child

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:13:20.:13:25.

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

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

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

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

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

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days, there is little wonder that criminals are turning their

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

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

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

:14:06.:14:16.
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The problem of petrol theft at forecourts is becoming critical for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:16:47.:16:57.
:16:57.:16:57.

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

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

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

:17:08.:17:12.

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

:17:12.:17:16.

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

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

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

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

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

:17:31.:17:38.

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

:17:38.:17:45.

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

:17:45.:17:51.

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

:17:51.:17:57.

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

:17:57.:18:01.

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

:18:01.:18:06.

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

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

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are finding that these criminal gangs are really quite brazen and

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

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

:18:29.:18:31.

petrol is such an expensive commodity, more organised criminals

:18:31.:18:39.

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

:18:39.:18:44.

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

:18:44.:18:49.

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

:18:49.:18:53.

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

:18:53.:18:56.

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

:18:56.:19:06.
:19:06.:19:07.

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

:19:07.:19:10.

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

:19:10.:19:13.

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

:19:13.:19:23.
:19:23.:19:23.

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

:19:23.:19:26.

investigation into theft from a motor vehicles. I will introduce

:19:26.:19:32.

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

:19:32.:19:38.

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

:19:38.:19:43.

numberplates were going from all over Slough. How prolific were

:19:43.:19:48.

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

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

:19:58.:20:08.
:20:08.:20:13.

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

:20:13.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:25.

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

:20:25.:20:30.

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

:20:30.:20:37.

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

:20:37.:20:38.

months of surveillance and undercover research, simultaneous

:20:38.:20:41.

raids were planned in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and involving more

:20:41.:20:51.
:20:51.:20:52.

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

:20:52.:20:57.

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

:20:57.:21:02.

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

:21:02.:21:12.
:21:12.:21:12.

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

:21:12.:21:14.

criminals jailed, incidents of bilking dropped dramatically across

:21:14.:21:20.

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

:21:20.:21:23.

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

:21:23.:21:31.

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

:21:31.:21:34.

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

:21:34.:21:41.

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

:21:41.:21:46.

seeking a bargain rather than being involved in criminality. After

:21:46.:21:48.

consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service it was felt

:21:48.:21:54.

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

:21:55.:21:58.

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

:21:58.:22:07.

also get involved in bilking. Remember when mobile phones were

:22:07.:22:12.

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

:22:13.:22:16.

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

:22:16.:22:24.

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

:22:24.:22:29.

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

:22:29.:22:32.

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

:22:32.:22:38.

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

:22:38.:22:42.

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

:22:42.:22:49.

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

:22:49.:22:55.

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

:22:55.:22:59.

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

:22:59.:23:04.

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

:23:04.:23:07.

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

:23:07.:23:10.

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

:23:10.:23:17.

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

:23:17.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:27.

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

:23:27.:23:36.

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

:23:36.:23:39.

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

:23:39.:23:43.

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

:23:43.:23:46.

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

:23:46.:23:51.

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

:23:51.:23:54.

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

:23:54.:23:58.

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

:23:58.:24:01.

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

:24:01.:24:06.

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

:24:06.:24:09.

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

:24:09.:24:18.

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

:24:18.:24:23.

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

:24:23.:24:26.

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

:24:26.:24:30.

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

:24:30.:24:33.

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

:24:33.:24:36.

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

:24:36.:24:43.

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

:24:43.:24:46.

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

:24:46.:24:52.

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

:24:52.:24:57.

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

:24:57.:25:00.

designed to record my driving ability and awareness of when using

:25:00.:25:05.

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

:25:05.:25:07.

tennis please send him a private message saying sorry about your

:25:07.:25:15.

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

:25:15.:25:22.

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

:25:22.:25:26.

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

:25:26.:25:29.

taking a call or concentrating on the phone rather than concentrating

:25:29.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:35.

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

:25:35.:25:42.

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

:25:42.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:49.

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

:25:49.:25:52.

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

:25:52.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:10.
:26:10.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:17.

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

:26:17.:26:27.
:26:27.:26:28.

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

:26:28.:26:31.

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

:26:31.:26:34.

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

:26:34.:26:37.

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

:26:37.:26:42.

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

:26:42.:26:47.

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

:26:47.:26:50.

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

:26:50.:26:55.

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

:26:55.:27:01.

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

:27:01.:27:09.

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

:27:09.:27:18.

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

:27:18.:27:25.

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

:27:25.:27:29.

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

:27:29.:27:32.

blue lights on and had police eliminated and we were following

:27:32.:27:35.

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

:27:35.:27:39.

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

:27:39.:27:43.

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

:27:43.:27:47.

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

:27:47.:27:50.

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

:27:50.:27:59.

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

:27:59.:28:05.

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

:28:05.:28:08.

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

:28:08.:28:16.

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

:28:17.:28:21.

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

:28:21.:28:24.

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

:28:24.:28:31.

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

:28:31.:28:35.

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

:28:35.:28:39.

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

:28:39.:28:42.

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

:28:42.:28:45.

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

:28:45.:28:49.

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