Carjack City

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Marcel Theroux, published by Channel 4 broadcasted as part of CH4 Unreported World series in 2014 - English narration

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Image: Carjack-City-Cover.jpg

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At least 30 vehicles are carjacked every day in South Africa. The country's cars are routinely fitted with satellite trackers, so that if they're carjacked by thieves an armed response unit can track them. Reporter Marcel Theroux and director James Brabazon visit the country's capital, Pretoria, where this type of crime is acute. They go on patrol with Andries Hlongwane - who works for a private security firm - as he chases the gunmen and recovers stolen cars. It's dangerous work in a private security industry that now accounts for seven per cent of all jobs in South Africa. Theroux and Brabazon begin the film in hot pursuit of a carjacked vehicle. Andries and his partner find it abandoned, but they keep their guns drawn: there's a good chance the carjackers are still watching to see if anyone has followed the car's satellite tracker. The team waits for police officers to arrive to help out, but suddenly they hear the cries of a woman being robbed across the road. Andries races to help her, his gun drawn, and chases of the robbers. A few minutes later a passing driver warns the team he's just driven through a gang of armed carjackers at a junction less than 100 yards away. The police arrive and almost immediately there's a fusillade of shots. Just five minutes from the South African parliament, the carjackers have no compunction about firing automatic weapons to make good their escape. Next Andries scrambles into action to track down a hijacked delivery van. He finds it abandoned in a poor township. The shocked driver says he's convinced the gunmen were going to murder him. The hijackers eventually fled with the equivalent of around £30 in cash and a few loaves of bread. The police turn up to investigate, but locals say it's rare to see the police in this township. The lack of police protection in many areas is one reason that explains the 400,000 private security guards in South Africa: more than the whole of the country's police and armed forces combined. Andries has a young family and, with a quarter of the population out of work, he risks his life for £1.25 an hour. He's concerned that criminals he grew up with, who still live in the same township as him, may target his family, so he makes the difficult decision to move his family into a tiny garden outhouse in a safer suburb. The team arranges to meet a gang of carjackers who steal vehicles in the area Andries patrols. They say that they steal to order and export the cars to other African countries. They tell Theroux that they carry guns, baseball bats and knives, and if anyone tries to stop them, they often disable them with two shots to the stomach.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L3.1
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 22 (~1551Kbps)
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Video Resolution: 1024x576
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: Q=0.42 VBR 48KHz (~129Kbps)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 23 mins
  • Number of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 283 MB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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