Last night's viewing: Burgled, Channel 4
The Man Who Ate Himself to Death, Channel 5


The Cutting Edge documentary Burgled opened with a sobering statistic – a burglary takes place every 47 seconds in the UK. In order to delve deeper into the life of crime, Channel 4 followed the West Yorkshire police to the home of some of the most burgled neighbourhoods in Britain: Leeds. The documentary adopted Cops-style filming, following police officers on duty as they attempted to catch thieves. This led us to believe that we were in for some fast-paced, real-life action. We weren't.

The most challenging piece of detective work involved an officer reviewing CCTV footage from a burgled home. Although the shrewd robber had the foresight to cover his hands to avoid leaving fingerprints, he neglected to avoid looking straight into the camera, allowing the officer to quickly determine him as a known criminal.

Another highlight involved the officers visiting a burglar's home to arrest him, but for some (disappointingly unexplained) reason, his sister had padlocked the door from the outside. Lacking their adversary's breaking-and-entering skills, the police couldn't get in, and had to wait for the sister to return and open it. More Inspector Gadget than Morse.

Things then turned farcical when an officer attempted to work out if a suspect was stealing from a house or genuinely lived there. The officer called his mother and asked for distinguishing features. "A tattoo? Or blond hair?" he asked. "Some say it's ginger," came her response. Even those on camera couldn't help but laugh at that one.

Anyone who's been burgled knows it's extremely traumatic. And as it's likely that most of us have either been robbed at some point, or know someone who has, it would have been helpful to find out a little more about the crime. Should we get that fake CCTV camera, a "Warning: dangerous dog" sign, or, indeed, buy a dangerous dog and train it to catch thieves? The only insight offered was that student homes are an easy target, something we could probably have worked out for ourselves.

Although the officers seemed to genuinely care about their duty, little understanding was offered as to why burglary is so common. Opportunity? Poverty? They assumed it was greediness: "They're just lazy. It's easy money," commented one. An offender astutely pointed out that there are many reasons why people turn to burglary. Some to feed a drug addiction, some through sheer boredom, and others purely to find some food, as they can't afford it. He also compared the process of finding something of worth to receiving a Sega Megadrive at Christmas. A profoundly depressing statement (although perhaps more so if he'd actually taken a Sega Megadrive from a kid at Christmas…).

We were left with several unanswered questions: How much money can they make? Who do they sell the stuff to? How likely are they to be sent down? How long will they spend behind bars? And, vitally (as the title suggested), how does it affect the victims?


With so many programmes covering the topic of obesity, it takes a lot to stand out. Channel 5 attempted to do so by following one of the world's most obese men, Ricky Naputi of Guam, as he tried to lose weight in time to have surgery in The Man Who Ate Himself to Death. The documentary dealt with the issue with more tact than the title would suggest, although the theatrical music was too dramatic to cover the last few months of someone's life.

Having spent seven years at home, all day in bed, unable to move, Ricky's desperation was clear to see. The parting message of the documentary was an important one: he was not the only one in that tragic situation, and far more preventative measures need to be taken before food addiction takes over people's lives.

Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power