5 live Investigates

BBC  |  Podcast, ±47 min episodes every 1 week, 4 days
Adrian Goldberg presents an entertaining mix of dirt-digging, debunking, and intriguing interviews revealing unreported issues. Investigative news report from Adrian Goldberg’s BBC Radio 5 live programme, broadcast Sundays at 11am.
30
APR
Adrian Goldberg hears from tradesmen who have lost thousands of pounds worth of tools as van thefts have increased by 64% in the last two years. With thieves devising new ways of breaking into vehicles a theft is now said to occur every 25 minutes.
23
APR
Controlling or coercive behaviour was made illegal at the end of 2015. More than a year after it was introduced, 5 live Investigates has new data which reveals how often the new law is being implemented. The programme contacted all 43 police forces in England and Wales to find out how many suspects had been charged with the new offence. 25 of them provided figures - revealing they had charged 202 people. Two police forces say they haven't charged anyone. Critics say not all police officers are have been trained well enough to spot the signs of coercive or controlling behaviour and gather evidence to bring a prosecution. Louisa Rolfe who is deputy chief constable at West Midlands Police and the national police lead on domestic abuse says police forces have been slow to implement the new law but all forces have now had training and she expects to see the legislation used more often.
09
APR
Hundreds of children have been injured whilst being physically restrained in special schools, according to figures obtained by 5 live Investigates. The programme has found cases where youngsters were pinned face-down on the floor, sustained broken bones, were strapped into chairs and in one case had their head covered with a 'spit hood'. A Freedom of Information request to the 207 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales revealed 13,000 physical restraints in the last three years, resulting in 731 injuries. But only 37 local authorities - less than a fifth - were able to provide data, suggesting the numbers could be much higher. The Department of Education told the BBC: 'The protection of children is of the utmost importance and any instances of restraint being used inappropriately must be reported.' They say they plan to consult professionals, parents and carers on new draft guidance on reducing the need for restraint for children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders and mental health difficulties shortly.
02
APR
Prosecution and conviction rates for drivers who cause fatal road crashes have fallen sharply - at the same time as police forces in England and Wales have lost thousands of traffic officers. Figures shared exclusively with 5 live Investigates by the charity RoadPeace reveal a 23 per cent drop in prosecutions in England and Wales in the 5 years to 2015. In the same period the number of convictions has fallen by nearly 30 per cent. The charity blames cuts to the police service with the number of specialist road officers slashed by nearly 40 per cent from 7,100 in 2005 to just 4,350 in 2014.
26
MAR
The response by emergency services to Wednesday's terror attack in Westminster was widely hailed a success. But how would a town or city outside of the capital cope with a similar attack? Just five months ago Lord Toby Harris published a wide ranging review on London's ability to deal with an attack just like the one that unfolded this week. He talks to 5 live Investigates about how the rest of the country might cope. Also Telegraph political editor Christopher Hope, Labour MP Ruth Smeeth and children's author Steve Voake tell how they found themselves at the heart of Wednesday's atrocities.
19
MAR
Adrian Goldberg presents cutting edge investigative journalism. This week, we look at the dozens of cases of skin cream users who have died since 2010 by accidentally setting themselves on fire. The creams contain paraffin and are used to treat conditions like eczema and psoriasis. But unless clothing and bedding are washed regularly, residue from the creams can build up, making fabrics highly flammable. Hear from one woman whose husband died after setting himself on fire in hospital when he went for a cigarette. The medicines regulator the MHRA has asked manufacturers to include warnings on packaging.Download the podcast at http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live.
12
MAR
There are calls for a national database of taxi drivers after 5 live Investigates discover some drivers are still operating - despite having their licences refused or revoked. Local authorities who are responsible for issuing licences currently don't share information. This means that if a council has refused or revoked a driver's licence, it won't necssarily be picked up by another local authority when that driver applies there. This means that predatory and sometimes dangerous drivers are still able to carry passengers. The Local Government Association and Dame Vera Baird - chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners - are now calling for a national database which they say would protect passengers.
05
MAR
Cases of babies born infected with a bacteria which can kill or leave them with life changing conditions are on the increase - even though they are preventable. In the UK two babies die every month and dozens more are left mentally and physically disabled by Group B Streptococcus - sometimes known as GBS or 'Strep B' - a bacteria which affect something like 500 newborns every year. 5 live Investigates has learned that the number of babies born with the infection increased by 12 per cent between 2011 and 2015. Campaigners who delivered a petition with a quarter of a million signatures earlier this year to the Department of Health, say that a simple test to detect GBS would cost the Health Service just £11 for every pregnant mum. The UK National Screening Committee which advises ministers and the NHS say the current test for 'Strep B' can't tell between between women whose babies will be affected and those who won't. They say that as a result, thousands of women would receive antibiotics during labour with unknown consequences.
26
FEB
Transgender children say they're being denied treatment by the NHS because they've sought help from private doctors. Many have resorted to seeking help outside of the health service because they say waiting lists are too long and there are delays in treatment because of lengthy assessments. The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust - which runs the gender identity service for under 18's - says the wellbeing of young people is their prime concern - but they're not able to provide ongoing clinical supervision for the management of hormone treatments prescribed or accessed outside the service. Referrals to the Tavistock have reached a record high - more than 1,500 in this financial year already. There are currently 1,200 families on the waiting list and it's taking them between six and seven months to get a first appointment. NHS England says funding has been increased to meet demand. They say they continue to work with clinicians at the Tavistock and Portman to increase capacity and reduce waiting times 'as a matter of urgency.'.
19
FEB
Firefighters are being delayed in getting to emergencies because of a computerised dispatching system which regularly crashes and often fails to send the closest fire engine. The system, which is called VISION DS and supplied by the technology company Capita, is used by the UK's busiest fire brigade - London Fire Service, as well as brigades in the South West - Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, Devon and Somerset and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Responding to a Freedom of Information request, London Fire Service has told 5 live Investigates that the system crashed 7 times in 2016 and they logged 195 separate problems. In the South West the system crashed 10 times in 2016 and - in some cases - it was down for several hours. One control room operator has told the programme that when the system has gone down, staff have resorted to using AtoZ maps to identify the nearest fire station to an incident.The system failures are putting lives at risk according to the Fire Brigades Union. No deaths are known to be attributable to the system. Capita says there have been 'very occasional problems.' London Fire Brigade says all the issues raised are being dealt with by the Brigade and Capita.
12
FEB
Prescriptions for antidepressants in England have gone up 7 per cent in the year to September 2016 according to figures seen by 5 live Investigates. 63 and a half million prescriptions were issued for the drugs - up four million on the year before and double the number a decade ago. The evidence shows that users are taking them for longer too. One in four people is now using them for 15 months. 20 years ago that was just eight months. There are also concerns that people are having to wait longer to access 'talking therapies' which can be used as well as or instead of antidepressants. The Department of Health says there's no evidence to suggest the rise in use of antidepressant medicines is linked to waiting times in talking therapies.They say they're exceeding the waiting times standard for this kind of treatment with almost 90% of people seen within 6 weeks.
05
FEB
The NSPCC is calling for an investigation into doorstep charity bag collections after evidence emerged that rogue operators are routinely flouting the law. Millions of pounds are raised each year for charity by private companies who post plastic bags through householders' doors and take away donated items. But 5 Live Investigates has discovered that some firms are illegally collecting without a licence. Others hand over only a fraction of the money they generate - sometimes less than 10 per cent. The Fundraising Regulator says it is looking at tightening up regulations in the sector.