5 live Investigates

5 live Investigates

United Kingdom

Adrian Goldberg presents cutting edge investigative journalism, as well as taking on listeners' campaigns and consumer issues


Cage fighting, Military rents  

The cage fighters jeopardising their health by rapidly losing weight in the run up to a fight. They risk kidney damage - and an increased chance of brain injury. Also - the military families paying more for living in married quarters at a time when repairs and maintenance are not being carried out properly.


Adrian Goldberg presents cutting edge investigative journalism, as well as taking on listeners' campaigns and consumer issues.

Child Trafficking  

An investigation by BBC 5 Live has revealed that 239 unaccompanied, asylum-seeking children went missing from care in England and Wales in 2015, leading to speculation that some were under the control of organised trafficking gangs. Many of the kids disappeared after being smuggled into the UK. Experts say the trafficking gangs have a detailed knowledge of how the care system works and they instruct their victims what to do if they are discovered and placed with foster parents or in a reception centre. It is believed that some of the young people will end up being trafficked to cannabis farms, the sex industry or sweatshops.

Ambulances and Leaseholder Bills  

With demand for emergency care on the rise, can the ambulance service cope? A rise in serious untoward incidents, some of which affect patient safety suggests the service is under strain. And new figures show the proportion of ambulance staff taking stress leave continues to rise. How are ambulance trusts responding to the growing pressure? And, some home owners who bought council flats under the right to buy scheme say they are facing unexpected maintenance bills running into thousands of pounds.


Councils have spent nearly £1/4 billion over the past 5 years on settlement agreements with staff leaving their jobs. Many of the legally-binding agreements contain gagging clauses, preventing former employees from speaking out about poor performance or bad management. Also - the allegations that women at an anti-fracking protest were grabbed and groped inappropriately by police - a claim denied by the force concerned. But the demonstrators say it was technique that was designed to intimidate them.


On average, 2 teachers every school day call a Government hotline over fears that school and college students may be at risk of becoming radicalised. But are some teachers over-reacting? Some pupils subject to misplaced concerns have ended up being questioned by police and social workers. From last year, teachers have been under a legal duty to take safeguarding action if they believe a pupil is in danger of becoming radicalised. The kids reported to the police following misplaced concerns they're at risk of extremism.

Care Homes and Timeshare  

As care home owners are squeezed by falling fees, rising wages and tougher regulations some are deciding to call it a day. What will that mean for families seeking to find a place for their elderly relative. And - we examine the increase in the number of fraudulent companies cold-calling timeshare owners. Are people who are keen to find a way out of their long-term timeshare agreements becoming more vulnerable to scammers?

Police Abuse of Powers  

New figures relating to 'abuse of powers for sexual gain', suggest some police officers target vulnerable victims of crime in order to sexually exploit them. In some cases the victims were women who had turned to the police for help with domestic abuse, or even rape. Are police forces doing enough to spot and stop repeated sexual misconduct by rogue officers? And - the driving instructors offering lessons without being properly authorised. One customer paid out hundreds of pounds to an unqualified instructor. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency reveal new figures about the extent of the problem.

Young Offenders and VAT fraud  

New figures reveal levels of disorder in Young Offenders Institutions. The programme hears from the brother of a young offender about conditions inside and also from the Prison Officers Association which is concerned about growing levels of violence. And the UK internet traders who claim that they are being put out of business by foreign rivals who can evade paying VAT. Is the taxman doing enough?

Ticket Resale Market  

Some ticket resale companies allow customers to get tickets they wouldn't have otherwise been able to obtain, at a fair price. But others charge inflated prices for poor seats, and in some cases tickets fail to arrive on time - or at all. So how is the ticket resale market policed? Critics say new legislation brought in last year isn't working and is openly flouted by some companies. The programme reveals a loophole meaning some foreign firms are illegally selling football season tickets. With fans booking travel, hotels and family celebrations around these events, what's the redress when things go wrong? Fans ask for answers, and ticket resellers and those who police the sector respond.


Chancellor George Osborne promised £150million for a scheme across the Northern Powerhouse cities but progress has been slow and commuters are still waiting for a joined up system The programme also reveals a previously unknown legacy of World War II. In order to prevent enemy invasion Churchill decided to lay hundreds of pipe mines at 33 airfields within 15 miles of the East coast in case of mass landings by the Luftwaffe. They were never properly cleared and most of the former airfields were subsequently sold off and built on. Bomb disposal experts involved in this 1980s operation are concerned about the risks posed by the un-cleared mines.


5 live Investigates takes a look behind bars via a series of leaked prison incident reports from a five day period in January this year. With over a hundred incidents, prison officers and staff question whether safety can be assured. And the number of central call outs to control instability; so called 'Gold Command Incidents' have also been steadily rising over the last 3 years. Ex prisoners and their families say levels of violence are unprecedented. The programme also reveals, for the first time, the full extent of long waits in accident and emergency departments in England. New figures obtained from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, reveal how many patients spent more than 12 hours in casualty in the last three years. The devolved nations of the UK already regularly publish this information, but the NHS in England does not. What do the figures show about the state of our emergency departments?

A&E Waits and Criminal Checks  

Delayed transfers of care from hospital wards means beds aren't available for patients waiting in accident and emergency. The programme hears from an NHS trust in England about the extent of the problem. The proportion of patients spending more than 12 hours in A&E is also on the rise in Wales, the programme hears about the problems there. And delays in criminal record checks mean some workers are left unable to work pending their application being processed. Some employers say its also affecting business.

Twelve-hour waits in A&E  

The number of patients facing delays of more than 12 hours in A&E is on the rise. The current NHS target is for 95% of patients to be discharged, transferred or admitted into hospital for treatment within 4 hours. But new figures, obtained under Freedom of Information powers, reveal that many patients in England are waiting for longer, in some cases, more than 12 hours. The programme hears how for some patients, the delay can be disastrous. And, new research shows the extent to which women and girls in England face violence and abuse. Many of these women have a mental disorder, but are unable to obtain support or counselling. As society comes to terms with the aftermath of notorious abuse scandals, is there enough help for the victims who need it? And what happens to those who don't get it?

How safe are Maternity Units?  

1000 baby deaths a year could be avoided if UK maternity care matched the best in Europe. Statistics for 2013 show that 5,700 babies died either before, during or shortly after birth. The UK has a mortality rate for babies that lags behind that achieved in Sweden and Norway. 5Live Investigates asks - why is the UK doing so badly in comparison? The programme finds some babies have died because of a failure to adequately monitor mum and baby during the final stages of pregnancy and during labour. Figures from the hospital regulator, the CQC, reveal that of the 95 maternity units they inspected in England last year - 38 were below the required standard.

Anxiety Drugs and Fundraising  

The programme investigates deaths linked to benzodiazepines, addictive drugs used to treat stress and anxiety. While they are available via prescription, they should only be given for short periods of time, but patients who have been on them for years claim its difficult to get off them and there's little NHS support. There is growing concern about their availability online, one family tells how their son tragically died after ordering pills on the internet. And, the professional fundraisers who claim to be raising money for charity but keep the majority of the proceeds themselves. How can you tell where your money is really going?

Chaos in Calais and Counterfeit Christmas  

Hauliers complain of rising violence in Calais as desperate migrants try and stowaway on lorries heading for the UK. We've been to the French port to see problems on the ground. Also - the trade in counterfeit goods in the run up to Christmas. But what are the risks to the public - we test one device which exploded in the laboratory.

Referee Abuse and Hacking  

Football referees blow the whistle on the levels of abuse they face on the pitch. A new survey reveals widespread verbal aggression and the levels of physical assault against referees. Is the FA's Respect Campaign doing enough to tackle unacceptable behaviour? As the roll call of commercial companies affected by computer hacking grows, the programme investigates the industry which is prepared to hack companies on your behalf, or even train you how to do it yourself- for a fee. Why are they able to openly offer their services? Is enough being done to stop this growing threat to businesses and consumers alike?

Accident and Emergency  

New figures reveal the scale of problems with the quality of care at A&E departments. 5 live Investigates reveals that there were over a quarter of a million patient safety incidents in A&E and other casualty departments over the last three financial years. The majority of these incidents did not involve harm to patients but over the last three years, there have been thousands of patient safety incidents linked to patient deaths or serious harm. 5 live Investigates has also discovered that more than half the A&E departments in England and Wales have been rated as either "inadequate" or "requires improvement" by the health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.

Prison Sentences & Mental Health  

Indeterminate sentences were abolished three years ago but thousands of prisoners remain locked up, unsure when - or if - they will ever be released. Although designed to protect the public from serious violent or sexual offenders, 5 Live Investigates finds they were also applied to some much lower risk prisoners, who have served up to five times their original tariff. Some wonder whether they will ever be released. And the geographical gaps which mean some new mothers with psychiatric problems are having to travel hundreds of miles to access the specialist healthcare they need. The Government has promised a cash injection of £15 million a year over the next five years - but is it enough?

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