Debt Collector

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Debt Collector

10 years ago, Shaun Smith was fighting a war against a rival drug gang. To win, he introduced urban terrorism to the British underworld. Victims were firebombed with homemade napalm, attacked with grenades, and sprayed up with machine guns. In retaliation, his enemies tried to blow Shaun up with a car bomb, the biggest explosion on mainland Britain between the fall of the IRA and 7/7. Shaun Smith was known as an enforcer.

Today, after five years in prison, he is trying to modify those skills by working as a debt collector in the straight going economy. Often, Shaun's debts fall into the gray area between the legit economy and the underworld, a lucrative market potentially worth 150 billion in Britain. This is a typical debt for Shaun, a dispute between a businessman and a gangster over 300,000 pounds. To recover the debt, Shaun has brought backup on a dog unit. But just in case things get out of control, off camera, there is a notorious gangster with a history of firearms and extreme violence.

Sexual abuse is an unspeakable taboo in the underworld. However, male rape is commonly used as a weapon by gangsters to enforce a debt. This is a less well known form of underworld violence, which acts as a powerful propaganda tool over and above the physical and mental suffering it causes.

Shaun Smith was an extremist who specialized in spreading terror for no rational gain. But the hidden costs of this guerrilla war haunts him to this day. Since filming this, Shaun hit the jackpot, landing the biggest deal of his career, a 1 million pound debt in Portugal. Payoff was a much needed, all expenses paid holiday in the sun. After all, going straight hadn't turned out to be the quiet life he'd once dreamt of.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 7.00/10 from 33 users.
  • dmxi

    gives me goose-bumps seeing me home land portrayed this way by fellow 'northeners' which live the spirit to it's fullest.hope they're 'man-utd' fans!!!

  • DigiWongaDude

    Amaaazing. Shaun has a big heart and plenty of empathy...ironically for the job he does. Tony is his 'right hand man', his 'best friend'. Minutes later we hear Tony $hits on Shaun from a great height, and in his fall from grace Tony is now a 'cockroach' and a 'maggot'. Tony is now also on the run, potentially for his life if Shaun gets hold of him.

    What's so amazing is that there is a code of ethics between these bulldogs based (perhaps) on loyalty, integrity and honour. But these wishful traits being celebrated are nowhere to be found. They talk the talk but with so much violence awash with mental health problems and drug addictions, the tale is of tragic, volatile, self destruction. I wish Shaun could recognise that without removing the volatility that surrounds him, nothing much can change. It's as though he longs for a band of brothers, but being a thug, always gets a band of thugs. I hope the big deal and the overseas trip allows him and his family to rise out of the mire and leave the thug life alone.

    I've met some really great, salt of the earth friends who are just like Shaun. People who would do virtually anything to help you but you would not want to cross. I really wish him well.

  • dmxi

    if you understand the culture then you understand to which measures individuals will go to stay on top of the food chain.products of an environment.i had the luck of embracing but not being sucked in....thats why the sympathy

  • dean

    I think you've hit the nail on the head there DWD. You've made sense of the doc and to some degree, my own experiences growing up. It's interesting that the boxer with the knife wound in his ribs got diagnosed with BPD (or emotionally unstable PD - same thing).

  • TheDanishViking

    Great! And I didnt even understand what they were saying. One of the best Vice productions.

  • dmxi

    i had to watch twice to catch the lingo....& i'm from manchester!!

  • Glen

    Fancy a English Docco needing subtitles init strange china plate.

  • dewflirt

    Maybe being a Midlander gives me an ear for both ends of the country, I like a good accent :) I don't much care for debt collectors, not any I've ever met anyway. Usually just bullying people who'd pay if they could, not going to get much from people in debt. This chap is operating in a different world though, they all know the rules and they choose to play the game. Good luck to 'em ;)

  • John Marus

    This guy is a total douche-bag, it's as simple as that. Some here try to say this two-time loser has a "big heart", empathy, a code of ethics, that is laughable. Shaun is a psychopath motivated by pure ego. Very sad documentary actually, it should be renamed "English white trash". No doubt Shauno will be dead or in prison real soon (the sooner the better).

  • dmxi

    hope you don't owe him cash......>smirk<!!?

  • Lucixir

    I am not sure how this was rated an 8, because it was pretty boring and hard to follow with no meaning. Old time thugs trying to go legit but still doing borderline illegal stuff to get by while imposing their will onto those around them. Good thing they are Britain because these thugs would not last long in the United States.

    Video also had nothing to do or show about his past, was just a poorly made reality show, poorly done at that, about someone - no one cares about or would care about. Don't waste your time with this trash, you will feel dumber afterwards.

  • James Robert Edwards

    I liked it.

  • Eric

    Typical STAGED bullsheet that is fed to the masses. If this clown is this much of a scumbag, why the hell isn't he still behind bars, and why glorify a twisted, violent, low-life freak like this by giving him a show. If we lived in a HEALTHY, NORMAL, CIVILIZED, society, this POS would be ridiculed and villified, no glorified or glamourized. Just going by the documentary, this mentally challenged baboon doesn't impress me in the least. The "cutter" was pretty sad. Maybe Shaun was sexually abused like the "cutter," you always wonder about these over the top abusive thugs like Shaun. What drives them to act like such violent douchebags. The "cutter" explained it allowed him to build up the rage he needed in the ring. Maybe the same thing with Shaun.

  • Richard Neva

    Pretty graphic, not for me.

  • Eric Lawson

    Great Vid I loved It !!!!