Toby Foster investigates why increasing food prices are fuelling a rural crime wave. Plus, Lucy Hester meets some South Yorkshire locals planning to be frozen when they die.
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Hello and welcome to Inside Out. This evening, we are in Chevrolet.
Marks & Spencer in the firing line. �1 million fine for ASBOs stock --
for asbestos. It is reasonable to assume that it would have been
licensed to as best as removal company. The thieves cashing in on
high food prices and targeting our farmers. It is a combination of
deer food, economic recession and a relatively soft target. We can set
-- Storrar whole body so you are going to have four whole body is.
We meet the people who believe they can be frozen into the future.
few things the alternative is oblivion, what have you got to
lose? It was established over a century
ago in meets now Marks & Spencer is one of our most trusted brands. In
2011, the company was fined �1 million over health and safety
breaches when handling asbestos in one of its stores. The judge said
M&S had turned a blind eye to complaints and could have put
shoppers at risk. Were these problems confined to just one
store? We investigate. Richard worked as a joiner and shop
fitter in the 1960s. A lot of his work was with ASDA stores in Marks
& Spencers in the North including Barnsley, Worksop and Hull. When he
was cutting up the ports and shipping them to size, he describes
how much asbestos dust was released into the atmosphere. In 2010, he
died of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by breathing asbestos. His
former employer paid compensation. M&S says his exposure could have
come from many sources. It is impossible to say the link to
working in M&S is the cause because these people work for long time
over a variety of different projects in many buildings. It is
unfortunate that many of the people who worked in the building trade at
that time were exposed to asbestos. There are also staff members to its
claim to developed asbestos related diseases from working at M&S. Peter
Jackson was a warehouseman at M&S for almost 30 years. Seven years
ago, he was diagnosed with Jesus and -- mesothelioma. The doctors
kept saying you must have worked with asbestos. He said, I haven't.
Them p to record a 12 week period in 1977 when the Ashton store has
been refurbished. He was breathing dust from some working tiles.
could see the dust in the air, men doing the work, him boiler suits
and masks what I wore my ordinary clothes and didn't have any
protection. The dust contained asbestos. Peter died of
mesothelioma him to win -- 2008 and was paid compensation by M&S.
you look back to the 60s, 70s and 80s, it is possible staff were
exposed to asbestos in our stores. Society didn't understand the risks
back them. It is tragic our staff were affected in this way. Any
illness relating to asbestos is terrible and we did pay
compensation which is a right. Our society has learnt and we have
learnt and our policies have become industry leading. But retailers
have stores that contain asbestos. Some have been fined for breaching
the regulations. They include House of Fraser, the top, Topshop and
John Lewis. Evidence we have of how Ellis, and some of its come from
actors handle asbestos in the stores is worrying. It suggests
that the risks to customers, staff and contractors may not have been
fully acknowledged. One case in particular is concerning. In 1988,
M&S refurbishes its store in Marble Arch in London. William Wallace, a
health and safety officer, is horrified by what he sees. There
were minefields, asbestos mine fields for want of a better
expression. You could not have guaranteed the safety of anybody.
He says he flags up the problems with little effect so he begins
copy him pages from reports left by the day and night shifts for the
construction manager. This report from April 1998 says that a shift
has done it again. Cladding has been stripped with a sledgehammer.
Asbestos is everywhere. It's the third occasion in a week where
they've had to clear up after a dangerous occurrence. Somebody has
to control the day shift if they don't want the store closed and the
HSE crawling all over them. Horrendous, shocking, scandalous. I
recommend it that in areas where there was asbestos, it be handed
over to the licensed asbestos removal company. He rides Everest
chairman Sir Richard Greenbury and meet senior managers. Come the Met
says it takes the matter seriously and is taking the appropriate
action. What action did it take? the face of it, the allegations are
of worrying but our team thoroughly investigated it on the day, they
resent -- investigated it three months afterwards, and we could
find no case whatsoever to say that any member of staff or member of
public was put at risk. M&S says William Wallace was mistake about
what materials may have contained asbestos. We understand there was
not asbestos everywhere. We invited Mr Wallace in. We met him in a
third party location. His claims were discussed, he went away, we
think, happy. At the same time, he was not taking this to the agency.
There was a case to answer. Wallace begins working as a safety
manager added Moss and Spencer store and is horrified again.
was very little control on various contractors who were being asked to
work on or with him as a ceiling voids. There were other reports of
incidents that had occurred as very frightening. By Marina tip-off, the
Health and Safety Executive swoops on the Reading store. M&S is
prosecuted. This building worker gave evidence. He fears been
blacklisted by the industry so we've disguised his identity. He
described the goal stacking sand wedge packs. You could see the dust
for him Dail on to this girl. We asked her to move somewhere else.
But the manager went ballistic at us. He told us not to tell her
where to go. The gaps in the ceiling are sealed with hardboard.
These fell Dereham, merrily missing a child. You would have to say that
trials would have had asbestos fibres am dust. As would the mother
and everybody else. M&S tried to blame contractors for their
problems. We will make sure that never happens again. We checked
Dorothy -- thoroughly the policies and we are clear the policy to date
is a leading standard in industry and probably in the world.
firms were switched on the weather was potentially asbestos which
could have been taken into the rest of the store. This was regrettable.
The implementation was not good. We are sorry about that and we have
taken steps to make sure it never happens again. M&S was fined �1
million and ordered to pay �600,000 in costs. The judge said there had
been a systemic failure by M&S management. Their response to
asbestos a year -- complaints was to turn a blind eye because the
asbestos work was already costings the company too much. To keep
profits as high as reasonably possible, insufficient time and
space were allocated to asbestos removal. M&S has never put profit
before safety. There was no blind eye. Investigations were full and
thorough. We had a good policy which the judge said was sensible
and practical. The implementation was not good. We regret that. We
are disappointed by those judge's comments. The judge said that
everybody had no right to be anxious about whether they breathed
about the -- asbestos fibres and what effect that might have about
their well-being in the future. But M&S disagrees. I think him expert
testimony in Reading, there was no risk to customers or staff for.
contractors will also find and the company was a not guilty of
asbestos breaches in Plymouth and Bournemouth. Every year, more than
4,000 people die of mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.
It can take decades to develop. The pace of the disease means many
people never know when or where they were exposed to asbestos. Full
Marks & Spencer and the whole of the retail industry what happened
10, 20 or 30 years ago may still have an impact today. Any
suggestion that contractors, shop workers will customers were put at
risk deserves to be re-examined. We meet the people preparing for life
Now, sheep rustling may be seen as an old-fashioned crime but cases
have doubled since 2010. It's thought the rise is due to land be
more expensive so the stolen ship are being sold illegally as food.
Now it is a battle in the countryside to stay one step ahead
of the thieves. The north of England boasts miles
upon miles of stunning countryside. As well as beautiful views, it
provides a living for those who raise animals and work the land.
But this vast countryside also provides a great hiding place for
people who aren't so keen on an honest day's work. The thieves who
are targeting farmers and their stock. We take our ship away for
winter grazing. We went back a month later to take more of way and
we fouled 32 of them stolen. Martin Mitchell is a hill farmer in County
Durham. All his sheep were insured but the loss of them is more than
just financial. Not all sheep are the same. The sheep on your land,
they will stay in the area that you own. So, you can't just go out and
buy a sheep and put them on your land because they will wander off
and go. Martin's animals disappeared without trace. He's now
rebuilding his flock and stepping up security, especially during the
winter months. Thefts might be easier during long, winter nights
In the last two years, cases of rustling have more than doubled and
it's a costly business. And that his �800 of my money that has been
taken from me. Kevin Wilson knows what's it's like
to be on the wrong end of the rural crime wave. He farms out of the
small village of Blubberhouses in North Yorkshire, but rents fields
all over the county to graze his sheep. We go round on Sunday
morning, checking stock. I realised that a vehicle had been through a
gateway. In this field, there were 200 feeding lambs. I gathered the
lambs up in the field and counted them and realised approximately ten
had gone missing. Kevin, though, is luckier than
Martin and amazingly, within a few days, the police had tracked down
his sheep. It was just in that area between those trees and the river
where the sheep were recovered. It's less than two miles as the
crow flies from where they'd gone. Down there, they're well out of
public view. For me to recognise one of my sheep, at a distance, you
can see the red mark that is on the side of the animal. Also, the
Shipard tag, everyone has to be, so they have individual numbers -- the
animal has a tag. So I can go into a flock of sheep and identify my
lambs by that. So job done. But what happened to
the thieves who stole them? They did a flit, they'd gone the
following morning. Word had got out that we had
identified the site of interest to All the same, Mark has an idea
about who stole Kevin's sheep and today, he's making enquiries in the
Tadcaster area, near York. I am from Knaresborough, just doing some
inquiries into suspect vehicles. you give us the details, we do it...
Pay Cichon, which is what we want. So it is time to hit the road again.
But why have sheep become such a popular target for thieves?
price of meat is going up, so when you have hard times and the food
costs going there but you have effectively all of this food in the
countryside, fairly nightie protected, then you would expect
the rustling situation to increase -- likely protected.
Stolen sheep are ending up on our dinner plates, but there's a
warning for anyone who thinks black market meat is a bargain. Some
people may be thinking it they get offered cheap meat, it is very
tempting at the moment, but it has been butchered in the core of a
field or in the back of a truck, that is the hygiene situation. It
is not a good a deal as you might think.
Back in North Yorkshire and the hunt is still on for the rustlers.
Mark Ayre is off to Clitheroe market to follow up reports of
sheep thieves trying to do business there. I wondered if you could just
to check your computer records to see if this individual has carried
out any transactions. We have won just over the top here.
Mark compares notes with a colleague from Lancashire police,
who hit the headlines with their first conviction for sheep rustling
in 100 years. We traced them to County Durham and
then we got them on a DNA and traced them back to a small village
called Chipping. And those sheep belonged to farmer
Robin Dean, who farms just outside Chipping, near Preston.
When did you first notice you were missing 55 sheep? I'd gone at seven
o'clock in the morning to feed them and there were only two left in the
field. So I immediately knew there was something amiss. So you phoned
the police. Did you ever think you'd see your sheep again? No, I
have to admit I didn't, really. Even though they were in lamb, I
thought they'd be slaughtered and used for meat. If that had happened,
there'd be no trace of them. And that's where DC Elaine Smalley
comes in. Officers attended a farm in Durham, where Mr Dean was able
to identify his sheep. That led to the arrest of two people for the
theft of them, but one of the people was maintaining that he'd
bred them. So what we did was we DNAed the sheep and some of the
parents of the sheep, which proved that they'd been bred at this farm.
Were you surprised when the police suggested DNA testing? Yes, I was,
actually. It was quite funny that we had to go to those lengths.
I initially mentioned it to the victim in this case, I think he
thought I was bonkers but I explained it was something we had
to do to get that to court, so that someone would be brought to justice
as a result of the theft. Over in North Yorkshire, PC Mark
Ayre has made an unexpected breakthrough.
While making his enquiries, he's come across a local resident who
has some useful information. The man wishes to remain anonymous.
certainly substantiates the sightings of the vehicle in the
area. And which was what we were trying to set out to do in the
first place. Mark does make an arrest and a man
is charged but a few months down the line, the case is dropped at
court. And neither of the two thieves who
stole Robin Dean's sheep received custodial sentences either. For
stealing �15,000 worth of sheep, there'll be some farmers who think
those sentences are nowhere near stiff enough. That's right. Having
spoken to some of the farming community, they've said, "Will that
deter would-be sheep thieves?". I think not. It is always at the back
of your mind, we did leave some stock in the field, or you take
them away, you always think that they be, will they be there when
you come to load them back up? You just have to keep your fingers
crossed and hope you are not targeted again.
Now, for a group of people in South Yorkshire, planning for the future
has taken on a whole new meaning. Here in Sheffield is where UK
Cryonics has its headquarters. Members want to be frozen when they
die, in the hope that they can be brought back to life again in the
future. Lucy Hester has been to meet them.
On a quiet suburban street in Sheffield, in a garage, a small
group of people are working together to try and cheat death.
if you bring the arms ban. They're in the resurrection
business. It sounds like sci-fi stuff, but they are deadly serious.
This dummy is fondly known as Bob, but the procedure these people are
practising now will eventually be carried out for real - on one of
them. They're cryonicists. They want to
be frozen when they die in the hope that, at some point in the future,
the medical technology will exist to bring them back to life again.
And this ordinary house in Sheffield is the countrywide
headquarters for UK Cryonics - a group of likeminded people who
promise to help get each other's dead bodies in tip-top condition
for the deep freeze. The point of UK Cryonics is to be
there when the person dies. As soon as death has been pronounced, we
can cool them down, carry out the initial procedures, so they can be
shipped to America without any further degradation of the body
during the transport period. America and - recently - Russia are
the only places where you can be specially stored and frozen
indefinitely, so this is a timed trial of the pre-freezing
preparations. Lopes, wrong one. idea is that if someone's going to
live again, they need to preserve the brain as well as they can. So
they cool the body, inject a cocktail of preserving chemicals
and start mechanical CPR to keep oxygenated blood pumping around.
None of these people are medically trained, and there has been no one
to practice on for real, because none of their members have died in
suitable circumstances. It is one thing to work on a dummy,
it is another thing to work on a person that you know. I know, it is
quite scary. You just have to say that the best thing you can do for
this person is to get them preserved in the best possible way,
and then just putted out of your mind and get on with doing the job.
That put it out of your mind. you think about that? Yes, it is
scary. What's going on in there is really
a gamble. Not just a gamble that the technology will ever exist to
resurrect them, but a gamble that they'll be able to make what they
call a good preservation. Ever optimistic, though, parked on
the driveway is the cryonicist's so called "ambulance to the future".
We have got a ramp at the back for wheeling the patient in on the
trolley, and the suspension lowers the so we can get them in quite
easily. The ambulance would be despatched
from Sheffield to the deathbed of one of their members, manned by a
team of volunteers ready to start the preservation process
immediately that person is pronounced legally dead. And if
necessary, we can work on them in the ambulance as we are driving to
the undertakers. It sought to strikes me as a bit of a gamble.
is a gamble. But if you think, the alternative is a Bolivian, then
what have you got to lose? -- oblivion.
I've come to the Hunterian Museum in London. It's a kind of temple to
mortality and the frailty of the flesh. It's the 18th-century
collection of one surgeon, full of preserved specimens of human and
animal body parts. This is precisely what Garret Smyth wants
to transcend by being cryo- preserved. I don't see it as being
dead. More like suspended de- animation. An interlude. So you're
going to be frozen and shipped off to America? Yes, but just my head.
That can make make people think "Ugh". How can you live without a
body? You couldn't - they'd have to grow you a new set of limbs and
organs. For anybody who is news to cryonics, they would listen to that
and say it is fantastical, it is not real. Every step has a
scientific basis to it. But it is all on the edge of research, so I
can't show it you working now. If you had said to someone before the
first heart transplant, "We'll cut your heart out and replace it with
one from a dead person", you'd have just been laughed at. I have, as
yet, to hear a good argument put forward for being dead.
Leaving the museum, I'm struck by how much of the cryonicist's plans
are built on hopes and dreams - and I wonder if a dead body could ever
be brought to life. At the Institute of Nanotechnology in
Glasgow, scientists say freezing a brain would be unlike freezing any
other human organ. The brain's complexity means any cell damage
could be catastrophic. The brain is a complex three-dimensional map of
nerve cells that are connected to each other. And you don't have to
change much of that to alter someone's personality, memories,
behaviour. You just have to see what happens with people who have
dementia or who have had strokes. To say you can take all the fluid
out and just replace it with cryo- protectant and expect most of it to
This is Arizona. It's the final destination for most of the UK's
cryonicists. In the heat of the desert, they'll be deep frozen at
Alcor's life-extension facility. Inside is a gallery - photos of the
113 people stored here already, silently waiting to start the
second of many life cycles. When the bodies arrive - or in Garret's
case, his head - they're brought here to the lab, to be cooled to
very low temperatures. We're going to do the separation, take the head,
place it into here, tighten it down, and then use the medical grade
antifreeze and flush out the head, rather than the entire body. It's
also cheaper to have the head - or neuro - option, $80,000. A full
body preservation will set you back around $200,000. Most people pay
through life insurance. We got a full tour of Alcor. This
is where the so-called patients are stored - in a kind of giant thermos
flask full of liquid nitrogen. The temperature is minus 196
Celsius. They are divided into four quadrants. For different sections.
In each section, we can store a whole body. If a person chooses a
new row, we can actually get 10 containers within the size and
space -- a neuro. We also do pets. But we require that the members are
also signed up, we won't take a pet and thus their owners are being
preserve. For Alcor, it's a waiting game for
science to perform a miracle and make it all possible.
I really have very little idea of when we will bring back our
patients. Of a surprise to be takes more than a century, it may take
less. But when we do come back, the people there will well-preserved
will come back first. It may not even require highly advanced
technology, we just need to fix what killed them, fix the ageing
process. For other people, it may be a lot longer but we really have
to look into how we can repair damaged parts of the brains, it can
be very challenging. And there will be many patients, probably, under
none ideal conditions, who we won't be able to bring back. Alcor is no
stranger to controversy. In 2009, an ex-employee made gruesome
allegations concerning the treatment of bodies in Alcor's care
- although he retracted these following court action. Despite
that, 1,000 people worldwide are signed up, and counting.
Back in Sheffield, they're all set for the future. Stored in the
garage, Mike shows me the transport box which will be used for their
members' final journey to the US. There is space all around which we
can fill up with dry ice. This is science fiction. It's not
possible to bring a long-dead body back to life. But the cryonicists
believe it will be possible in the future - and this represents their
best chance yet of living forever. Well, that is it from us for
tonight. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook, the details
Toby Foster investigates why the rising price of food is fuelling a rural crime wave. And Lucy Hester meets a group in South Yorkshire who are planning to be frozen when they die.