Car Crime UK: Episode 3

Tuesday, 4 August 2009, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

The programme features the work of three specific car crime teams: The Burglary Task Force from Tameside, East Manchester. The ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) Intercept Team based in Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and the Neighbourhood Task Force in Stockport, who focus in on how drug dealers are using cars to transport drugs.

The drugs trade in the UK is worth an estimated eight billion pounds a year, and drug dealers and traffickers use the nation’s road network to transport the majority of their drugs

In Tameside the film follows PCs Roger Galt and Lee Butterworth, who are on patrol when they’re called to assist their colleagues in an attempt to stop a car which is driving erratically. Despite repeated requests from PC Galt, and an officer trying to smash his car’s windscreen, the driver continues to try to evade capture, driving at over 60mph in a 20mph residential zone. The police helicopter joins the pursuit and eventually the driver crashes. Police on scene detain the innocent passengers but the driver is nowhere to be seen. Eventually he is found by police dog Leo and handler John Rogers, along with a bag of white powder.

In Stockport Sgt Andy Torkington and PC Colin Mason spot what looks to be a broken down car and the driver appears to be heavily intoxicated. The car has lost its front wheel but the driver is so drunk he hasn’t even realised. The officers find the wheel and arrest the man, who is taken to the station to be breathalysed.

In Cornwall a car with a drugs “marker” has driven past an ANPR camera. PC Steve Millar is at the base in Launceston and feeds intelligence to the mobile unit. He then joins them to provide back up on the road side. Back at base the car is searched by the team and drug sniffer dog Copper. They find quantities of what is believed to be ketamine, cocaine and also an offensive weapon.

The programme also follows PCs Galt and Butterworth on the tail of a gang of teenagers seen riding round a local estate on a suspected stolen motorbike. When they arrive on the scene the gang have gone but a tip off from a local resident alerts them to the whereabouts of the stolen bike. They find it in a back garden and search the house, but it’s empty. They catch a break when the suspect is spotted near the scene of the crime – he’s arrested and back at the station PC Butterworth goes through his extensive criminal history, which started at the age of just ten years old

Back in Stockport officers raid a huge cannabis farm – bigger than any of them had ever seen. Three men are arrested and plants with a street value of over half a million pounds are seized. It’s one of the biggest drugs seizures in Greater Manchester Police’s recent history.

And PC Galt and PC Mark Barker spot a drunk driver – who dumps his car and denies anything to do with it, even saying he can’t drive. He then gets abusive with the cops, who know they need to find some evidence before they can pin anything on the man. Thankfully they find the keys in a nearby garden and paperwork tying the man to the car – so he’s arrested.

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