[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
Crime videos posted on internet
Online footage of burning car
Car thefts and arsons have been filmed and put on the internet
Teenagers are filming crimes including arson and car crime and posting footage on the internet, a BBC Wales investigation has found.

Footage shot in Cardiff by a car thief as he carries out crimes is among clips posted on video sharing site YouTube.

BBC Wales' Week In Week Out programme found other examples of films of crimes being committed placed online.

YouTube said it was a self-policing online community and its rules about content are clear.

Week In Week Out spoke to a Cardiff teenager who repeatedly filmed himself committing a series of crimes and posting the footage online.

In one clip, he gives a running commentary as he and a friend drive around the city in a stolen vehicle at one point stopping to hot-wire the ignition to restart it.

Still of phone footage a youth stealing a car
Mobile phone footage taken of a youth stealing a car

In another clip, he laughs as he watches a different stolen car blazing in a field.

He told the programme he carried out the offences because he was bored.

He said: "I've got nothing else to do really, I haven't got a job and I'm not in college.

"There's nothing to do around here and anything that there is to do costs money and no one's got money. We just do it and if anything funny is happening we can look back and laugh."

'Shown up'

Other footage found online shows a teenager being attacked on the streets of Cardiff.

Victim James Pilcher, 18, was chased through four lanes of traffic and is then cornered in a garden where he is seen being beaten.

The attack was filmed by a group of youths before uploading it to YouTube under the "entertainment" category.

Mr Pilcher said he did not know it had been filmed until someone told him they had watched the attack on YouTube.

Hundreds have since viewed the footage online as well as people in his own neighbourhood who have been passing clips from phone to phone.

James Pilcher
An attack on teenager James Pilcher was put online

Mr Pilcher said: "I feel a bit shown up because everyone in the world can see it.

"It's alright for people who are doing silly stuff like for fun, but when they stick things on there, fighting and stuff like that, it's stupid isn't it."

Criminologist Keith Hayward, who has studied the phenomenon of posting crime footage online, said people doing so were often motivated by gaining notoriety.

Dr Hayward, of the University of Kent, added: "People just don't think there's going to be any consequences when you are shooting this material.

"It's really about technology driving this - you can film it, you can distribute it, you can be your own producer/director, and you can go on YouTube and get your few minutes of fame.

"You can actually re-live these moments, make them available to millions of people."

The US-based site YouTube said it was a self-policing online community and its rules were clear about content.

The footage concerned has since been removed.

Week In Week Out is broadcast on BBC One Wales at 2235 BST on Tuesday.

"He posted the video..never thinking he'd be traced."

Help call on video attack films
14 Apr 07 |  South East Wales
Chip shop 'attack' posted on web
13 Apr 07 |  South East Wales
MP urges YouTube violence debate
19 Oct 06 |  UK Politics
Mobiles have 'key role for young'
22 Oct 06 |  Technology
Violent attacks filmed on phone
22 Feb 06 |  London


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific