05/12/2011 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


Jamie Coulson investigates what police cuts will mean for the public, and Lucy Hester reveals the story behind a painting of the Madonna.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 05/12/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Welcome to inside out from a York. This week, we investigate the havoc


caused by metal thieves. And we ask whether the authorities are


powerless to stop them. He stole 30 yards of cable, and only got �60.50,


while it cost Network Rail over �60,000.


We also ask police officers helped save the public will be after the


cut. People who look at these police cuts, can you say to them,


It's an illegal trade so lucrative that some criminals have turned


their backs on drug dealing to cash in. From raids on bikes and


barbecues in backyards, to the theft of live power cable, stealing


metal is big business. Asha Tanna has been investigating what's


driving the trade and how the These are some of the more extreme


consequences of metal theft. But each day, people are being affected


by the trade in stolen metals in ways you might not expect. If your


train has been delayed recently, you might have trackside thieves to


blame. Tonight, we join the British Transport Police as they patrol


hundreds of miles of track in their crackdown on the cable thieves.


People are risking prison, they are risking their lives, it's just


madness. I wish to God I'd never done it.


Whether stolen or not, all waste metal is likely to end up here, in


a scrapyard. And the trade has never been more lucrative. On


average, metal prices have more than trebled in the last decade.


The UK scrap metal industry turns over �10 billion a year. And 60 %


of that is exported. Scrap metal prices have shot up in value over


the last ten years as demand soared from from emerging economic


superpowers, like China. In our interconnected globalised world,


the effects of China's booming economy can be felt thousands of


miles away. The railway industry is one of the


hardest hit. Thousands of miles of trackside cabling, containing


copper wire, is hard to guard. Cable thefts are equated to �2.9


million of compensation we paid to passengers. We have to replace


Cable, and you can probably double that. And these are the culprits:


Thieves who risk their lives stealing cable with thousands of


volts still surging through it. This man has admitted stealing


trackside cable. He will be sent to Crown Court for sentencing, and


fears the consequences of his crime. I woke up this morning, crying my


eyes out, because thinking of going to jail is not nice. There has been


information that has come in from an anonymous source today.


British Transport Police has specialist cable theft teams. This


night shift, based in West Yorkshire, will patrol one of the


worst areas in the country for the crime. First stop for Detective


Constable Jackie Wilson, and PC Andy Jones, is a visit to two men


suspected of being connected to a spate of cable thefts. The man


living at this address has been questioned as part of an ongoing


investigation into a spate of cable thefts. That was one of the suspect.


He is at home, obviously. friend nearby isn't in though.


Patrolling railway access points from North Yorkshire to the


Midlands is daunting enough in the daylight, but known cable theft


hotspots are more likely to be targets at night. People don't


realise how big an impact it can have on everybody, and that is why


we ask the public to be vigilant, and let us know if they see


anything. Tonight, there are no arrests, but the patrols continue


day and night because the stakes are so high. We had a guy who


nicked 30 yards of signal cable. He got �16.50 for it, and it cost


Network Rail �50,000 plus in delays, costs and repairs. It's almost


impossible for scrap dealers to be 100 % sure whether it's legitimate.


And that's led to the authorities finding new ways of tackling the


problem. Thank you for being here today and assisting us. It's early


morning in the East End of Sheffield. People who are into


criminality elsewhere are doing this because it is more lucrative.


Sometimes it is the same faces. It is a case of stopping vehicles in


the area. It is based on intelligence and shared information.


Some vehicles are more obvious than ours have -- others. Joining the


police are teams from the city council, benefits agency and


vehicle licensing. If it can't be proved that metal is stolen, then


other offences might have been committed. And such action is aimed


at making opportunist metal thieves think twice. It Constable Rodney


McEnery is one of a team of police pursuit officers tasked with


stopping any commercial vehicles that might be carrying metal.


escorting this flatbed truck back to the check site. If he is


unemployed, how can the of border transit van? There's very little


metal on the truck, but thorough checks are now being carried out on


the vehicle and the driver. This young man here, he says he is


unemployed. But he got this than 10 weeks ago, and has just got this


insurance. Meanwhile, police teams are out making unannounced visits


to scrap yards to see if they can find any metal that shouldn't be


there. Officers are looking for metal that has been marked with


SmartWater - a security spray that, once applied, can only be see under


UV light. But there's nothing here to arouse suspicion. I spoke to the


boss of this yard about how best to combat the trade in stolen metal.


Robin, how can you be so sure that the scrap metal that's coming to


you isn't stolen? You can't beat 100% sure. There is a certain


amount of clouding of the material's origins, but we try to


negotiate with people. What would you do if someone came in with


material you thought would be stolen? We would ask them to leave


the premises. Perhaps if it was voluntary, we would follow suit.


This fabrication firm, on a Sheffield industrial estate, deals


in aluminium, but it's the theft of lead that's threatening the


business. You can see where the thieves have climbed on the roofs,


and pinched all the lead. Consequently, in this building here,


you have got water running on the inside on to the electric.


these men caught on CCTV can be seen carrying off the lead from


every roof on the industrial estate. We can't produce anything because


of the health and safety risk. Over the last two months, we have had


three to four days of production that have been lost. We can't have


a sign saying the sale, because that is like putting an advert in


the paper saying, this is where we are, come and get it. Meanwhile,


back at Operation Rapier, there have been no arrests this time, but


the spot checks have served as a shot across the bow. Nine scrap


dealers were visited, nearly 200 penalties were issued for traffic


offences, and three vehicles were seized. The Department for Work and


Pensions is continuing investigations into a number of


cases. There is a need far higher at legislation. If someone is


offering new cable, frankly, they will not have got hold of it


honestly. Should there be a change in the law? Or I don't think so.


What has got to be stopped is the trading at the lower levels.


change in the law may never happen and might not even solve the


problem. But while prices remain high, there's nothing to stop


criminals cashing in on stolen Coming up: An art detective story.


The Madonna, who started life in a prisoner-of-war camp and ended up


in York. Police forces are facing cuts of 20%, so do it -- what does


that mean for our safety? I have been speaking to officers from one


forced to see what they think. This is a tough time for the police.


They are getting less money, but Humberside police are making cuts


which will lead to fewer police officers. Tough decisions have to


be made on what we can stop doing and it is wrong to say to the


public they would get same service because they will not. The sums do


not add up. Things have got to change. In a secure police compound


south of the Humber, especially as training exercise is about to begin.


-- a specialist training exercise. These are firearms officers


learning how to deal with an armed attack. Right now, the heart rate


should be elevated. They do not know what they will be facing.


Heart rate slightly higher now. This is a frontline policing and


these officers are paid to make life-and-death decisions. But it


comes at a cost. It is a huge concern. We are a busy department


and firearms is a responsible area of policing. The unit will lose an


instructor and could face further cuts as well. I didn't know where


the budget would take us, if we will lose some of our authorised


fire arms officers as well. We are in a state of flux as most of the


force is. A happy baby full of smiles but she was stamped on and


killed by her mother's boyfriend because she was ill and would not


stop crying. She has no life but he will be a young man with he comes


up. One of the most senior detectives dealing with murder,


rape and kidnap says she can't promise to keep delivering the same


level of service. If I had 50 detective officers yesterday and in


the new world I would have 35, those 35 detectives cannot cover


the work but 50 detectives were covering. It is an impossible


situation. So, there will be a short ball. Without a doubt. What


do you think? It worries me. As a police officer for 30 years I have


seen a lot of change and we do make things work but at the risk of


burning out the staff we have now. She's worried if current crimes


have to take priority, old unsolved cases will not be investigated.


team are dealing with a 10-year-old there was raped in 1984 and we do


have a full DNA profile. That is not a victim of today but she is


still a victim and deserves a service. For the past 15 years,


Humberside police have had their own helicopter, that will change


with helicopters shared between forces. A national agency would


decide which call-outs get priority. It's another difficult choice but


the chief constable believes a cheaper service can still work.


They are expensive items of kit. The plans... We are confident we


will still have an aircraft in Humberside, are not owned by the


force but we will get the benefit of it when we need it. It will cost


less for the same benefit. That means there is more money to invest


in operational policing locally. has round to the police than.


helicopter costs �2 million a year, this crime fighting is not cheat.


We have been policing Humberside for over 160 years. You can get


policing without a helicopter. I do not want to go without it. Savings


have to be found but government wants operational policing to stay


the same. There are fears with police cuts, crime rates will go up.


How can you assure people that were not be the case. I cannot give that


assurance. The police cuts is part of the chemistry, the cumulative


effect of the cuts across the whole of the service make impact on


Whilst -- last summer there were riots across the biggest cities.


Police forces from Humberside were called to London when crowds got


out of control. The future of the force's mounted section is only


guaranteed for one more year. How beginning she would it be if you


lost the mounted section? A huge loss to operational policing in


Humberside. The flexibility it provides in terms of public order


and neighbourhood policing support would be irreplaceable. A decision


about the mountain section will be made after the Olympics next summer.


Speaking from my own experience, two officers on horseback into the


job of a team of up to 25 Police Support Unit staff. They are


invaluable. I would hate to see the This is the West Cliff estate in


Scunthorpe, crime has dropped dramatically because of patrols by


police Community Support Officers. But the number of officers in the


force could drop by a third in the next three years. If they were not


in the area they will be a vast difference to the community. They


know we are around as a deterrent. They are not openly smoking in the


streets. I have a family and I am quite worried. Humberside police


has to look and see whether they will keep all of us on or keep some


of us on. I am worried about my job like everybody else in the country.


On the estate, police work with housing officials to cut crime. So


far, it's going well. It means reduced costs so they could be


similar partnerships in future. can see the good work, we can see


the impact we are having which is positive and we can also foresee


what will happen if we have to reduce the staff in the area.


What I don't want to do is get the public. We will deliver the best


service we can with the staff we have. But what I am saying is that


cannot be the same level of service that we offer now. Just finally,


those people who look at the police cuts coming, can you say to them


they have no reason to worry? can't. I will always be honest. You


cannot take 20% out of the budget that having impact on operational


policing. Now an amazing art detective story


that involves a nun, a bedsheet and a prisoner of war and a remarkable


painting. Lucy Hester has been on She stands in the ruins of a city,


surrounded by desperate people in ragged clothes. But this Madonna


has been on an incredible journey. It's a journey that started in a


prisoner of war camp in Castleford, and ended here, in a house in York.


Not in an art gallery or museum. It's in here. This massive painting


is hanging on Al and Dave Milnes' Hello, Al. Wow! That's amazing. So,


that's huge. How big is that? think it's about 8 foot tall and 5


foot wide. Because I'm looking at doors in your house. How on earth


did you get it in? Well, with difficulty. When they bought it in


1997, they didn't know what it was about, or who painted it. They had


meant to buy a table. I have a habit of Yorkshire Post on a


Saturday, back page it has all the auctions in it. I saw this sale of


the contents of a convent over in Lancashire. There were a lot of


people in the auction rooms. The top part was visible. There were a


lot of people in the auction rooms, it was very crowded, and the top


part of it was visible, and it looked like a medieval painting. It


was quite dark and it was sort of it was just odd, and it made me


feel a bit uneasy really. Some sort of religious figure in it, and


other people around her. So, sort of ignored it really. Until the


crowds thinned out, and my husband was able to come round to the


foreground, and see these figures, and realised that it was actually a


modern painting. Suddenly, it was sort of like, oh my God, you know


that's actually a fantastic composition. That's not been


painted by someone who's trained at Dulux or something like that. This


is a proper painting. So I just popped my hand up,


perfect timing, bid over there, that chap, anyone else in? No, it


went down, slap. And we'd bought it. And it was like yes, that's amazing.


I asked the auctioneer, do you know anything about the painting, it's a


very unusual painting. He said that we think it was done by a prisoner


of war. We didn't know from which country, didn't know from which war,


it was just the rumour it was done by a prisoner of war, that's what


the auctioneer knew. Dave made contact with the nuns who


had sold the painting, and astonishingly, one of the sisters


who had worked with prisoners of war in Castleford was still alive


and living in London. Sister Petrona is now 96, but still has


vivid memories of the war and how she was treated as a German nun


living in Britain. I had a passport. Do you know what my status was?


Come here I tell you. Enemy alien! And I was teaching all the time in


an English school. Sister Petrona revealed that the artist was also a


German, a prisoner of war called Arthur Braun. She still has one of


Arthur's wartime paintings, created like the Madonna, in a prison camp


in Methley. It was the sisters who asked Arthur Braun to create his


masterpiece. One of the big front rooms was a


very big room, at least twice as big as this room, and wider. And we


had that frame of a mirror, it was a huge mirror. And we thought: we


would like to have a picture in the chapel. And Arthur Braun caught the


idea and said yes, a wartime picture would be wonderful. Now the


nuns had a problem. Arthur had accepted the commission for the


huge painting, but the materials he needed were in short supply,


especially for a German prisoner of war. Luckily Sister Petrona taught


art here, at St Joseph's primary in Castleford. From the school she


brought children's powder paints, and the sisters donated a huge bed-


sheet for Arthur to use as a canvas. Arthur would have mixed the powder


paint with linseed oil. But he needed a studio in the prisoner of


war camp. I wanted to find out about the conditions Arthur and the


other prisoners lived in. So we asked the Methley archive group to


help us out. They appealed for people who remembered the German


POWs imprisoned here at Methley. Although he was only a boy, Terry


Waite remembers the German prisoners of war. I can remember I


was only very small looking down on these prisoners, there would have


been probably about ten of them, walking past each morning because


they used to go work in the fields. All dressed in their grey coats.


And they used to talk to me and I thought it strange, I can't


understand what these guys are saying to me. The prisoner of war


camp was at Methley hall, a 16th century stately home used by the


Army during the war. Terry offered to show me the place where Arthur


Braun painted the Madonna. house was here, this was the front


along here, stretching right back to behind there where the bales are.


The hall was demolished in 1964. All that's left of the prisoner of


war camp are the bases of the huts where they lived. And in fact, this


is one of the pads that we're stood on now. Is it really? So I mean,


the huts are actually quite small aren't they? And probably fairly


cramped. Do you think Arthur would have painted that painting in one


of these huts? Well, it's possible, but I reckon it's going on for 8


feet tall, so we wondered if he actually did it in the Hall? You


know, was allowed to paint it in the Hall? Arthur Braun now had his


materials and a sort of studio. But what was the subject of the


painting going to be? For the nuns, he chose a traditional religious


composition the Madonna and Child but in a wartime setting. He calls


it Our Lady of the Ruins, I think. And you see all the poor people,


the cripples, praying to the mother of God. But Arthur also wanted to


include his own, tragic story. got a letter from an old POW


colleague of his who had been in America with him, in which he


described Arthur Braun's experience of learning that his wife had died


in Freiburg. And I suppose for me, it instantly became to look like a


painting that a part of its content was grief. I've always took it that


the actual Madonna is an image of his wife. When we first saw the


painting actually that was one of the unusual things about it, in


that you have quite a young woman, almost like a next door neighbour,


stood in this biblical scene of devastation. The painting's called


Maria in the Ruins, and so they represent the damage that war can


do. The nuns certainly felt that they were meant to represent the


buildings of Freiburg and this figure here is the artist himself.


When Arthur Braun painted the Madonna in the Ruins, he was a


prisoner of war. But here in Methley, the young Germans weren't


treated as enemies. Many of them became friendly with the villagers,


something they demonstrated very movingly one Christmas Eve, here in


St Oswald's Church. # Silent Night (Stille Nacht) original performance


I'd be about sixteen. I was in the congregation. It was full of course


because it was Christmas Eve. And during the service they were asked


to sing Silent Night in German, which they did and it really did


And a lot of the prisoners were very upset at the time I remember.


Quite a few of them broke down crying, in tears. Something you


don't forget. I can't even tell you who preached that night, but I can


remember the prisoners singing It was fabulous, it was home to me,


the agony of the sufferers of war. -- it brought home to me. The last


incident, the last thing they could do was appeal to a supernatural


power. To stop it. If you want to contact us about the stories you've


seen tonight, you can on Facebook or Twitter. That is all from the


York. Join us for next week's programme.


Asha Tanna goes on the trail of the metal thieves, Jamie Coulson investigates whether police cuts will lead to less protection for the public and Lucy Hester finds out the amazing wartime story behind an amazing painting of the Madonna.

Download Subtitles