Saw an interesting TV programme tonight.
An undercover TV journalist wandered around the most high crime area in London at night actually trying to get mugged. He was carrying a laptop and an expensive mobile phone. Both of these were equipped with tracking devices, microphones etc.
He was wearing stab-proof padding and had a hidden camera and microphone in his coat. He also had some accomplices hidden in a car round the corner in case he got into trouble.
So he just wandered around the darkest alleys and the roughest housing estates in Brixton, acting really dumb, waving his phone around and deliberately talking to the likeliest looking muggers.
Eventually, of course, he succeeded in getting mugged but it took three days and even then he had to be exceptionally naive.
First his mobile got snatched by some kid who ran off. He started chasing the kid but then some other guy on the street said “It’s ok, the kids my cousin, I know where he lives. Give me £10 and I’ll get your phone back”. So the undercover reporter says ok.
Bear in mind this all takes place at 12:30 am.
The guy tells the reporter to come with him and he leads him into a dark (very rough) estate of flats (apartments). Unfortunately by going into this estate the reporter becomes disconnected from his colleagues waiting in the car who have tracking equipment, so he’s now on his own, they don’t know where he’s gone. But the camera and microphones in his coat are still working.
The reporter ends up talking to this guy for about 40 mins, getting on quite well. Suddenly the guy pulls a knife and says “Give me the laptop or I’ll stab you”.
The reporter says “yeah, no problem, take it” and runs away, somewhat shaken.
The next day the reporter manages to find the guy (remember the laptop contained tracking devices) and he confronts him with a camera crew. The guy at first pretends it wasn’t him and then runs away. No doubt he’ll be receiving a visit from the police quite soon.
But it was quite reassuring to see that it took him a whole three days to get mugged in London, bearing in mind he was deliberately trying to get mugged wandering around the roughest areas at night carrying an expensive mobile and a laptop.
Also during those three days many people on the street tried to help him. Homeless people and junkies were telling him to put his mobile away. One homeless junkie girl even escorted him for a while because she was a “known” face in the area and he would be safe with her.
All this was quite touching.
I think it’s an interesting idea though. How quick could you get mugged in your home town if you really wanted to, eg by walking through the roughest areas at night carrying a laptop and a mobile?
In London, apparently, it takes three days.
It goes without saying that this undercover reporter has some cojones.