CCTV Cities

Wednesday 12 November
10pm

Donal MacIntyre presents this new documentary series from the frontline of urban crime. With unique access to control rooms and police forces across the UK, CCTV Cities reveals how operators and police combine around the clock to catch criminals in the act. In this edition, Donal sees the ugly side of the Scottish capital.

In the fight against antisocial behaviour, more and more British cities are turning to sophisticated CCTV systems in a bid to tackle crime. This series presents the shocking footage captured on camera, showing how UK towns have become nightly battlegrounds for drunks and hooligans. With 185 cameras being monitored round the clock, Edinburgh Council works with Lothian and Borders Police to make the streets a safer place in this popular tourist spot.

It is Saturday night and CCTV operator Sheena is on shift. “I’m a people watcher,” she admits. “It’s a job that I enjoy.” Sheena is adept at scanning footage for any signs that trouble may be imminent. It is not long before she spots a fight brewing outside a pub. She zeroes in on a young man in a blue jacket who knocks another boy to the ground. When the offender flees the scene, Sheena fears he may get away, but fortunately he stops to take a breather in a bus shelter. “Don’t you move from there, pet,” she says to the screen. Before long, the police arrive and the boy is promptly arrested and fined £320 for a breach of the peace.

Later that night, police are alerted to a couple causing a disturbance in a pub. The male and female run down the high street, only to be apprehended before they can get very far. While the man is arrested and taken to the police station, his girlfriend is left behind – much to her chagrin. After unleashing a barrage of abuse on the police, PC Derek Barbour grants her wish to be handcuffed and loaded into the police van. The pair later both plead guilty to breach of the peace. “When I went out drinking it was sociable,” reflects PC Barbour. “But now it seems to be a competition. Everybody just wants to get drunk as quickly as possible.”

It is a busy night for Sheena as she spots yet another drunkard – this time lying on the street. Police arrive to find that he is barely conscious, but he begins to come to when they ask him to try out his legs. The reveller manages to move off down the street, but later that evening he reappears on Sheena’s radar. As the man loiters in the middle of a busy road, the oncoming traffic slows down to avoid him. Eventually he falls into the path of a bus, but a good Samaritan steps in and drags him to safety just in time.

Elsewhere, a frightening assault is spotted by CCTV operators. Police rush to a pub, where a man has been seen wielding a meat cleaver. Suddenly, a dozen men descend on the pub brandishing other weapons, including a bar stool and a traffic cone. A massive brawl ensues, which police eventually get under control. However, the meat cleaver has gone missing. Back at CCTV headquarters, operators watch footage of the fight in slow motion in an attempt to locate the missing knife. Sure enough, they see it being thrown from the fray and out of sight. The man brandishing the ghastly weapon was later convicted and sentenced to 187 hours of community service for his offence.

The night ends in a comical fashion when CCTV operator Izzie sees a young man urinating on a police car while his friends film the moment on their mobile phones. The offender does a runner from the scene, but he cannot evade the police van – or the £40 fine that follows. “I was offered ten quid to urinate onto a police car,” the boy admits.

Donal MacIntyre presents this documentary series from the frontline of urban crime. With unique access to control rooms and police forces across the UK, CCTV Cities reveals how operators and police combine around the clock to catch criminals in the act. This edition documents how state-of-the-art surveillance equipment is used by police to quash football violence on match day.

In the fight against antisocial behaviour, more and more British cities are turning to sophisticated CCTV systems in a bid to tackle crime. This film presents shocking footage of the violent scenes that occurred when Leeds and Millwall football fans met. As part of the Leedswatch CCTV programme, the West Yorkshire Police force has in place a series of surveillance operations designed to pinpoint key offenders and pour water on any potential trouble spots.

It is match day in Leeds. As 600 Millwall fans descend on the central train station, police officers are there to greet them. The cops’ main objective is to keep the two sets of supporters apart, so they have arranged for the Londoners to be temporarily confined to a pub directly opposite the station.

Later, Millwall fans will board buses that will ferry them the two miles to Elland Road. Meanwhile, the activity in the city centre is being monitored by ‘spotters’ – police cars fitted with cameras that cruise the streets looking for local troublemakers. “Intelligence gathering with CCTV is very important because we can build up a picture over a number of matches of who’s with who and what they’re doing,” says Detective Inspector Phil Wright.

Match day is ranked as a category C, which means that violence is inevitable. Keeping an eye on crowds before the game kicks off is crucial – prematch footage can help pinpoint the most volatile hooligans and avoid unnecessary arrests. “We will identify offenders who are causing the most serious offences,” says PC Derek Falkingham.

As well as helping build a database of criminals, the cameras also act as a deterrent. The video van is one of the more visible signs that fans are being watched. The specially equipped vehicle is parked outside the stadium where it will be right in the thick of things. It is fitted with advanced recording equipment, including a roof-mounted camera that can extend on its arm to a distance of five metres.

Supporting the video van is the eye in the sky – a helicopter capable of observing activity that cannot be easily seen from the ground. The chopper continues to watch proceedings post-match, when the atmosphere is more aggressive than ever. Pictures reveal that approximately 15 Leeds fans are making their way back to Elland Road after having left the match early. As they approach the stadium, their numbers are growing. Suddenly they begin to hurl missiles at police. Then the thugs move to a bridge above a busy motorway where they set about pelting the passing traffic with projectiles.

Once the troublemakers reach the residential area on the other side of the highway, they look set to disappear into the rabbit warren of streets. The video van rushes to the scene in an attempt to capture CCTV images of key offenders. But then the fans turn on the van. “In my time, I’ve been bricked four or five times,” says video van operator Paul.

Back at the stadium, police have made sure that Millwall fans are locked firmly inside the grounds until Leeds supporters disperse. Aside from 12 minor injuries to police, the mission ends in success.However, the hard graft is not over yet as officers prepare to trawl through the 53 hours of CCTV footage recorded by the helicopter, video van and spotters. Fourteen arrests were made on match day, but an additional 29 are made after the perpetrators are identified on film. “CCTV captures everything,” says Chief Inspector Steve Bennett. “We want to send a message out to the hooligan element that they will be arrested and they will be prosecuted.”

Wednesday 26th November
10:00pm on five

Donal MacIntyre presents this documentary series from the frontline of urban crime. With unique access to control rooms and police forces across the UK, CCTV Cities reveals how operators and police combine around the clock to catch criminals in the act. This edition documents how state-of-the-art surveillance equipment is used by police to quash football violence on match day.

In the fight against antisocial behaviour, more and more British cities are turning to sophisticated CCTV systems in a bid to tackle crime. This film presents shocking footage of the violent scenes that occurred when Leeds and Millwall football fans met. As part of the Leedswatch CCTV programme, the West Yorkshire Police force has in place a series of surveillance operations designed to pinpoint key offenders and pour water on any potential trouble spots.

It is match day in Leeds. As 600 Millwall fans descend on the central train station, police officers are there to greet them. The cops’ main objective is to keep the two sets of supporters apart, so they have arranged for the Londoners to be temporarily confined to a pub directly opposite the station.

Later, Millwall fans will board buses that will ferry them the two miles to Elland Road. Meanwhile, the activity in the city centre is being monitored by ‘spotters’ –police cars fitted with cameras that cruise the streets looking for local troublemakers.

“Intelligence gathering with CCTV is very important because we can build up a picture over a number of
matches of who’s with who and what they’re doing,” says Detective Inspector Phil Wright. Match day is ranked as a category C, which means that violence is inevitable. Keeping an eye on crowds before the game kicks off is crucial –pre-match footage can help pinpoint the most volatile hooligans and avoid unnecessary arrests. “We will identify offenders who are causing the most serious offences,” says PC Derek Falkingham. As well as helping build a database of criminals, the cameras also act as a deterrent. The video van is one of the more visible signs that fans are being watched. The specially equipped vehicle is parked outside the stadium where it will be right in the thick of things. It is fitted with advanced recording equipment, including a roof-mounted camera that can extend on its arm to a distance of five metres. Supporting the video van is the eye in the sky –a helicopter capable of observing activity that cannot be easily seen from the ground. The chopper continues to watch proceedings post-match, when the atmosphere is more aggressive than ever. Pictures reveal that approximately 15 Leeds fans are making their way back to Elland Road after having left the match early.

As they approach the stadium, their numbers are growing. Suddenly they begin to hurl missiles at police. Then the thugs move to a bridge above a busy motorway where they set about pelting the passing traffic with projectiles.

Once the troublemakers reach the residential area on the other side of the highway, they look set to disappear into the rabbit warren of streets. The video van rushes to the scene in an attempt to capture CCTV images of key offenders. But then the fans turn on the van. “In my time, I’ve been bricked four or five times,” says video van operator Paul.

Back at the stadium, police have made sure that Millwall fans are locked firmly inside the grounds until Leeds supporters disperse. Aside from 12 minor injuries to police, the mission ends in success.

However, the hard graft is not over yet as officers prepare to trawl through the 53 hours of CCTV footage recorded by the helicopter, video van and spotters. Fourteen arrests were made on match day, but an additional 29 are made after the perpetrators are identified on film. “CCTV captures everything,” says Chief Inspector Steve Bennett. “We want to send a message out to the hooligan element that they will be arrested and they will be prosecuted.”

Donal MacIntyre presents this series from the frontline of urban crime. With unique access to control rooms and police forces across the UK, CCTV Cities reveals how operators and police combine around the clock to catch criminals in the act. In the last episode of the series, Donal visits Blackburn, where the latest in field-surveillance technology combines with round-the-clock CCTV monitoring to help police zero in on criminals during the festive season.

In the fight against antisocial behaviour, more and more British cities are turning to sophisticated CCTV systems in a bid to tackle crime. This series presents shocking footage showing how the urban streets of the UK have become nightly battlegrounds for drunks and hooligans.

The last episode comes from Blackburn, which has one of the busiest policing units in the north. The local council has joined forces with police to invest in a multimillion-pound CCTV control room which is housed in the East Lancashire police headquarters. This highly sophisticated operation is handled by two operators who monitor 90 cameras trained over the districts of Blackburn and Accrington.

It is a cold December night in Blackburn, and locals are celebrating the end of the working week. But it is not just any Friday – it is what police call ‘Mad Friday’ because it falls on the last weekend before Christmas. Many people knocked off from work at midday and revellers are out in force. “The clubs seem to open much earlier and consequently we’re gonna have a lot of drunken people a lot earlier than usual,” says James Moore, one of the CCTV operators.

Fortunately for the on-duty officers, some new technology is being trialled that will help them catch offenders. Several officers are fitted with a headpiece consisting of a camera and microphone. The camera is attached to an LCD screen which not only shows exactly what the wearer sees, but also records audio. In the control room, James notices a man behaving aggressively outside a pub. When PC Chris Sanderson arrives at the scene, he discovers that the real trouble is not happening outside the pub, but inside, where a known offender is lurking.

While some of the officers go into the pub, others wait outside in case the man tries to escape via the back exit. Sure enough, the man makes a run for it, only to be apprehended in the car park. Because there are only eyewitness accounts of what happened inside the pub, the man is let off with a warning. But as he departs the scene, he gives PC Sanderson an offensive parting gesture which proves to be the nail in the coffin for the hapless troublemaker. His actions have been caught on camera and he is promptly arrested.

PC Sanderson is able to corroborate this evidence with the images recorded at headquarters. Not only do the cameras provide concrete proof in this way, they also cut down on paperwork. PC Sanderson sings the praises of the new field technology, saying, “Pictures speak a thousand words, don’t they?”

Also this week, as a busy shopping arcade gears up for the last-minute Christmas rush, the centre’s own surveillance team have their eyes peeled for opportunist thieves. It is not long before cameras are trained on a well-known serial shoplifter who is browsing in a children’s clothing store. After a few minutes, she tips the entire contents of a rail of clothing into her bag. The woman has been working as a petty thief for ten years and knows how to avoid further detection. She quickly disappears into the crowd and cannot be located by any of the arcade cameras. But once out on the street, she is no longer able to escape the eagle eye of CCTV technology.

Donal MacIntyre presents this series from the frontline of urban crime. With unique access to control rooms and police forces across the UK, CCTV Cities reveals how operators and police combine around the clock to catch criminals in the act. In the last episode of the series, Donal visits Blackburn, where the latest in field-surveillance technology combines with round-the-clock CCTV monitoring to help police zero in on criminals during the festive season.

In the fight against antisocial behaviour, more and more British cities are turning to sophisticated CCTV systems in a bid to tackle crime. This series presents shocking footage showing how the urban streets of the UK have become nightly battlegrounds for drunks and hooligans.

The last episode comes from Blackburn, which has one of the busiest policing units in the north. The local council has joined forces with police to invest in a multimillion-pound CCTV control room which is housed in the East Lancashire police headquarters. This highly sophisticated operation is handled by two operators who monitor 90 cameras trained over the districts of Blackburn and Accrington.

It is a cold December night in Blackburn, and locals are celebrating the end of the working week. But it is not just any Friday – it is what police call ‘Mad Friday’ because it falls on the last weekend before Christmas. Many people knocked off from work at midday and revellers are out in force. “The clubs seem to open much earlier and consequently we’re gonna have a lot of drunken people a lot earlier than usual,” says James Moore, one of the CCTV operators.

Fortunately for the on-duty officers, some new technology is being trialled that will help them catch offenders. Several officers are fitted with a headpiece consisting of a camera and microphone. The camera is attached to an LCD screen which not only shows exactly what the wearer sees, but also records audio. In the control room, James notices a man behaving aggressively outside a pub. When PC Chris Sanderson arrives at the scene, he discovers that the real trouble is not happening outside the pub, but inside, where a known offender is lurking.

While some of the officers go into the pub, others wait outside in case the man tries to escape via the back exit. Sure enough, the man makes a run for it, only to be apprehended in the car park. Because there are only eyewitness accounts of what happened inside the pub, the man is let off with a warning. But as he departs the scene, he gives PC Sanderson an offensive parting gesture which proves to be the nail in the coffin for the hapless troublemaker. His actions have been caught on camera and he is promptly arrested.

PC Sanderson is able to corroborate this evidence with the images recorded at headquarters. Not only do the cameras provide concrete proof in this way, they also cut down on paperwork. PC Sanderson sings the praises of the new field technology, saying, “Pictures speak a thousand words, don’t they?”

Also this week, as a busy shopping arcade gears up for the last-minute Christmas rush, the centre’s own surveillance team have their eyes peeled for opportunist thieves. It is not long before cameras are trained on a well-known serial shoplifter who is browsing in a children’s clothing store. After a few minutes, she tips the entire contents of a rail of clothing into her bag. The woman has been working as a petty thief for ten years and knows how to avoid further detection. She quickly disappears into the crowd and cannot be located by any of the arcade cameras. But once out on the street, she is no longer able to escape the eagle eye of CCTV technology.

Donal MacIntyre presents this series from the frontline of urban crime. With unique access to control rooms and police forces across the UK, CCTV Cities reveals how operators and police combine around the clock to catch criminals in the act. This week, Donal travels to the City of London where cameras are used to break up antisocial activity. CCTV operators help foil an armed gang with designs on a restaurant; and police launch a major operation to crack down on car crime in the Square Mile.

In the fight against antisocial behaviour, more and more British cities are turning to sophisticated CCTV systems in a bid to tackle crime. This series presents shocking footage showing how the urban streets of the UK have become nightly battlegrounds for drunks and hooligans.

The third episode of the series comes from the City of London. The world-famous Square Mile is under constant surveillance. Buzzing with bankers during the day, by night the City becomes a playground for hard-partying office workers. Cameras originally set up to protect London’s financial centre from the IRA are now used to help police prevent crime and antisocial behaviour.

CCTV Cities follows the police and operators as they begin Operation Giant. Under this plan, officers take action to stop anyone they think might be driving illegally – no matter how big or small the potential offence.

But the surveillance equipment is used for more than just car crime. On a busy Friday night, the cameras pick up armed men creeping into a restaurant in Smithfield. From the control room, the CCTV operators guide firearms police who manage to catch two of the gang. One robber escapes by jumping out of a window. He breaks his leg on the railway tracks below, but is still able to flee – and is captured on film in the process.

Donal also watches on as the cameras record flashpoints outside the City’s many nightclubs; operators catch ATM fraudsters in action; and vulnerable shopkeepers are protected against the menace of young raiders on scooters who think they can outwit the law.

Donal MacIntyre presents this brand-new series from the frontline of urban crime. With unique access to control rooms and police forces across the UK, CCTV Cities reveals how operators and police combine around the clock to catch criminals in the act. The first episode is based in Leeds, where Donal watches on as officers monitor violent behaviour in the city centre and keep a watchful eye on drunk revellers who are in danger of attack.

In the fight against antisocial behaviour, more and more British cities are turning to sophisticated CCTV systems in a bid to tackle crime. This series presents shocking footage showing how UK towns have become nightly battlegrounds for drunks and hooligans.

The first episode of the series comes from Leeds, where some 350 cameras keep watch on an area of 240 square miles. Donal visits the headquarters of Leedswatch, where nine specially trained operators monitor the feeds, directing police to catch petty criminals, violent drunks, ram-raiders and car thieves. “When they spot trouble, they can zoom in and direct police straight to the scene,” says Donal. “They’re providing instant intelligence in the fight against crime.”

The first catch of the day comes as the CCTV crew spots a purse snatcher in action. This clever customer believes he can outwit the police by changing into another set of clothes; but operators see through his plan and are able to direct a team to pick him up. “It’s a buzz,” admits operator Dave Illingworth. “You get a buzz from actually getting somebody arrested for a crime that they’ve done.”

Elsewhere, Halloween festivities are keeping the law busy. As Dave helps police identify and arrest those responsible for the alcohol-fuelled fights that are breaking out in the city centre, his colleagues keep an eye out for those who are incapable of looking after themselves. Lynda Crowshaw spends an hour watching one inebriated clubber to make sure that he is not preyed upon before the police can pick him up. “A lot of people when they’ve had a lot to drink, they don’t realise just how vulnerable they are,” says Lynda.

Elsewhere, the operators face a real emergency when they receive a call about a man who is threatening to jump off one of Leeds’s highest bridges. Cameras can clearly see the man poised to throw himself into the icy waters some 40 feet below. The feed is relayed to police headquarters, where the officer in charge gives guidance to two policemen on the scene. Finally, when it seems the man is on the verge of letting go, the officers seize him and haul him back over the rail.

As Donal gets to see the practical uses of CCTV, he also learns about its role in settling disputes and establishing the truth of criminal activity. Inspector Mark Jessop explains that video footage provides an independent version of events, allowing police and the courts to see matters for themselves. “CCTV’s there really to protect everybody,” he says. “It’s truly independent and it gives a good, accurate version of events.”

Later that week, a hectic Bonfire Night kicks off with a gang of kids on an estate starting fires and launching fireworks at people and property – as well as CCTV cameras. The estate is covered by nearly 40 cameras, and beady-eyed Lynda puts out an alert after spotting some kids dumping a stolen vehicle near one of the fires. As the police arrive, she is able to identify potential suspects by the way they are behaving.

Nearby, officers respond to a call from a woman on the estate claiming she has been beaten up by her boyfriend. Police arrest the suspect but Lynda’s cameras have already recorded the shocking truth: the woman is caught on camera convincing a friend to assault her at least twice to make the injuries look serious. This valuable footage means that police can drop charges against an innocent man who would otherwise have faced a court appearance.

Donal MacIntyre presents this brand-new series from the frontline of urban crime. With unique access to control rooms and police forces across the UK, CCTV Cities reveals how operators and police combine around the clock to catch criminals in the act. The first episode is based in Leeds, where Donal watches on as officers monitor violent behaviour in the city centre and keep a watchful eye on drunk revellers who are in danger of attack.

In the fight against antisocial behaviour, more and more British cities are turning to sophisticated CCTV systems in a bid to tackle crime. This series presents shocking footage showing how UK towns have become nightly battlegrounds for drunks and hooligans.

The first episode of the series comes from Leeds, where some 350 cameras keep watch on an area of 240 square miles. Donal visits the headquarters of Leedswatch, where nine specially trained operators monitor the feeds, directing police to catch petty criminals, violent drunks, ram-raiders and car thieves. “When they spot trouble, they can zoom in and direct police straight to the scene,” says Donal. “They’re providing instant intelligence in the fight against crime.”

The first catch of the day comes as the CCTV operators spot a purse snatcher in action. This clever customer believes he can outwit the police by changing into another set of clothes; but operators see through his plan and are able to direct a team to pick him up. “It’s a buzz,” admits Dave. “You get a buzz from actually getting somebody arrested for a crime that they’ve done.”

Elsewhere, Halloween festivities are keeping the law busy. As CCTV operator Dave Illingworth helps police identify and arrest those responsible for the alcohol-fuelled fights that are breaking out in the city centre, his colleagues keep an eye out for those who are incapable of looking after themselves. Lynda Crowshaw spends an hour watching one inebriated clubber to make sure that he is not preyed upon before the police can pick him up. “A lot of people when they’ve had a lot to drink, they don’t realise just how vulnerable they are,” says Lynda.

Elsewhere, the operators face a real emergency when they receive a call about a man who is threatening to jump off one of Leeds’s highest bridges. Cameras can clearly see the man poised to throw himself into the icy waters some 40 feet below. The feed is relayed to police headquarters, where the officer in charge gives guidance to two policemen on the scene. Finally, when it seems the man is on the verge of letting go, the officers seize him and haul him back over the rail.

As Donal gets to see the practical uses of CCTV, he also learns about its role in settling disputes and establishing the truth of criminal activity. Inspector Mark Jessop explains that video footage provides an independent version of events, allowing police and the courts to see matters for themselves. “CCTV’s there really to protect everybody,” he says. “It’s truly independent and it gives a good, accurate version of events.”

Later that week, a hectic Bonfire Night kicks off with a gang of kids on an estate starting fires and launching fireworks at people and property – as well as CCTV cameras. The estate is covered by nearly 40 cameras, and beady-eyed Lynda puts out an alert after spotting some kids dumping a stolen vehicle near one of the fires. As the police arrive, she is able to identify potential suspects by the way they are behaving.

Nearby, officers respond to a call from a woman on the estate claiming she has been beaten up by her boyfriend. Police arrest the suspect but Lynda’s cameras have already recorded the shocking truth: the woman is caught on camera convincing a friend to assault her at least twice to make the injuries look serious. This valuable footage means that police can drop charges against an innocent man who would otherwise have faced a court appearance.

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