The 12 days of Local Pressmasness: 11 CCTV jaw droppers


How to get video right remains a subject for debate in the regional press. I don’t think there is a single video editor or video journalist who would disagree that the video which is most likely to guarantee you massive streams/plays (or Hits, if you really have to keep calling anything to do with the web that!) is CCTV.

When I was a reporter (here we go) in the 1990s, CCTV stills were still quite rare. And when we did get them, they were quite grainy. It was rare they could hold a front page in the way this still did on the Manchester Evening News a couple of years ago:

‘Do you have any CCTV?’ should be the first question any reporter has when someone rings up to describe something they’ve seen or something which has happened.

For the 11th day of Local Pressmasness, I’ve dug out 11 examples of CCTV as used in the regional press – either as stills or as video – which are all remarkable, all drove traffic, and all of which prove that if a picture is worth a thousands words, a video is potentially worth a whole lot more…

1. The Bauble Burglar – Birmingham Mail

When it comes to stealing at Christmas, it appears nothing is safe. Maybe this woman didn’t expect to caught on camera, or maybe she just had to have those baubles….

2. Not all is as it seems – Liverpool Echo


This looks quite obvious doesn’t it? There’s a man going mad in a corner shop. Only he’s the victim. And he sees off his attacker with a bottle of vodka. The full story, which is quite remarkable, is here. 

3. The most shocking CCTV you’ll ever see? – Manchester Evening News

Horrifying footage captures the moment the men were sent sprawling as Aqab Hussain, 21, mowed down the group of men after a minor spat outside a club.

CCTV captured 21-year-old Hussain driving the wrong way down Princess Street in Manchester city centre before striking partially-sighted Michael Ward and two of his friends, Paul Hulme and Martin Harris, at the junction of John Dalton Street.

Hussain has now been jailed for 20 years after being found guilty of found counts of attempted murder.

4. Brush with death by chimney – Liverpool ECHO

A good CCTV story stops you in your tracks. Luckily for this pensioner, that’s just what he did as a chimney crashed down inches before his eyes. The video is startling to say the least (click the headline):


5. He did what? – Daily Post

Here’s a story which will stop any news conference: We’ve got CCTV from British Transport Police of man in a lift at a railway station, stripping off, urinating and then falling asleep. Oh yes:

6. He did WHAT? – Lancashire Telegraph

Sometimes, the CCTV is just a still of someone police want to interview. Sometimes, though, it’s the story which goes with it which stops you in your tracks and ask ‘What?’


7. Watching the watchers – Norwich Evening News

Now the headline in this video gives away what’s about to happen, but it’s a great example of watching those who are supposed to watch us … this took place at 4.40am

8. Man becomes human fireball – Liverpool Echo

This needs no more description:

9. When violence takes your breath away – Leicester Mercury

Many of us will have written stories about how quick councils are to rake in the cash from parking offences. Traffic wardens, as a result of the council’s desire for more cash, often find themselves in a difficult position. It’s hard not to get angry when you get a ticket – but nothing excuses perhaps one of the most violent CCTV clips to appear on a news website in the last couple of years.

10. The most famous piece of UGC ever? – Coventry Telegraph

Remember Cat Bin Lady? Her remarkable journey from regular lady to woman with an internet nickname began when a family posted CCTV on YouTube of their cat being put into a wheelie bin by said lady. The Coventry Telegraph spotted the story and the rest, as they say, is history. The lesson here is to always keep an eye on YouTube!

11. You never know when you are being watched – Birmingham Mail

Back to Birmingham for this compilation of awkward moments on escalators at Birmingham New Street station, released by Network Rail to encourage people to have a think before they climb the magic stairs….

Bonus extra:

I can’t find this one covered in a regional newspaper or the media anywhere, but it’s remarkable:


One thought on “The 12 days of Local Pressmasness: 11 CCTV jaw droppers

  1. I’m reading In Town by Mark Steele at the moment (you should check it out, you’d like it) and there is a big mention for Cat Bin Lady. Her fame is so much so that the Coventry Council website lists her as a famous resident of the city. There will be a statue one day.

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