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5 Live Investigates

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

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The Children 'Vanishing' From Schools

Thousands of children with special educational needs are disappearing from education with ‘concerning’ consequences, Ofsted has told 5Live Investigates. Inspectors have admitted that when pupils are ‘off rolled’, they vanish from official records. ‘Off rolling’ is when schools put pressure on pupils to leave without permanently excluding them, in order to reach tough academic targets or save money. 5 Live investigates hears from the parents of children with conditions like autism who say their children are being forced out of schools and are having to be home schooled or taught in inadequate ‘alternative provision’ settings. Photo Credit; Boston Globe / Getty


18 Nov 2018

Rank #1

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Domestic Abuse

More than half of all domestic abuse cases investigated by the police result in no action being taken against the offender according to figures obtained by 5 live Investigates. Thirty-three of the forty-three police forces in England and Wales responded to a Freedom of Information request which reveal that 118,000 of the 223,000 domestic abuse cases investigated by those forces went 'undetected.' The programme also has an exclusive report from a pilot scheme in Hampshire where abusers undergo rehabilitation.


23 Nov 2014

Rank #2

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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?


20 Dec 2015

Rank #3

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Police Strip Searches

5 live Investigates reveals startling new figures on the number of strip searches carried out by police. The Metropolitan Police alone carried out more than 76 thousand strip searches in the last three years - that's one every 20 minutes. Among them were 4,000 children.The programme has uncovered cases across England and Wales where searches appear unjustified, rules for children haven't been followed and even apparently racially motivated searches. The Home Office is now looking at whether extra safeguards are needed because it says many police forces don't have sufficient records to show if they're being carried out fairly or adequately supervised. Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, says the figures are worrying and police need to demonstrate whether so many searches are justified. Only 13 of the 45 forces in the UK we contacted could tell us how many strip searches they'd carried out.


30 Oct 2016

Rank #4

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Disappearing online daters

Customers of online dating sites owned by Cupid plc voice their suspicions about the flirty daters who mysteriously disappeared once they paid their subscriptions.Presenter Adrian Goldberg talks to men who received flirty messages from attractive daters claiming to live near them after signing up for free membership of online dating sites owned by Cupid plc. But when the men took out subscriptions in order to reply to the messages, the women, who once appeared so keen to meet, mysteriously lost interest. Some customers suspect that the website itself was behind the messages. Cupid plc owns over 30 different dating websites including cupid.com, benaughty.com, flirt.com, cheekylovers.com and maturedatinguk. It recently bought Uniform Dating and the right to operate Friends Reunited Dating.Plus, dog meat in Spanish dog food: the latest discovery in the contaminated meat story.


24 Feb 2013

Rank #5

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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.


17 Apr 2016

Rank #6

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Football Academies & Retail Fraud

5 Live Investigates finds out what clubs in Leagues one and two really think of reforms to the football academy system. As two clubs close their academies, could the new system be hurting lower teams at the expense of growing Premiership talent?Plus as fraud costs the UK economy an estimated £73 billion a year, small businesses complain that police are failing to investigate the crime.


28 Apr 2013

Rank #7

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Dementia Care

5Live Investigates examines the routine care people with dementia receive when in an acute hospital. Previously unseen research which was commissioned by the NHS's National Institute for Health Research paints a desperate picture of life on our hospital wards, including a "culture of restraint and containment" in response to resisting care, as well as staff burnout and dehumanisation of patients. The Department of Health says it aims to make England the best place in the world to live with dementia.


22 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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False Accusations

Why would anyone make a false accusation of sexual abuse? We hear from someone who did just that and from another man who's life was ruined when he was wrongfully accused. In the wake of the Jimmy Savile allegations, police and politicians are now seeking to redress the balance back in favour of the victim. But Five Live Investigates asks whether there is any danger in assuming the accuser is always telling the truth?


20 Jan 2013

Rank #9

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School Transport Cuts

Education Secretary Justine Greening orders a review of council policies around school transport provision for disabled children after 5 live Investigates presents the Department for Education with evidence of widespread cuts. A survey of 2,500 parents by the charity Contact reveals that nearly half of them have had to give up work completely or cut down their hours - just so they can get their kids to school. The Local Government Authority says councils are being forced to make hard choices in the face of 'sustained financial challenges.'.


10 Sep 2017

Rank #10

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Emergency Care Pressures

Thousands of hours of emergency ambulance time each week is lost because crews have to queue to offload patients at A+E. It means they can't respond to new 999 calls. Also, the companies that have had their corporate identity stolen by fraudsters. And... the cancer patients being forced to pay for part of their treatment.


12 May 2013

Rank #11

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The Men Who Go Missing

Teenager Thomas Jones went missing on a night out with friends during his first week at university in Worcester. His body was recovered from the River Severn more than a week later. 5 Live Investigates has been told that Thomas's death and dozens more like it could have been prevented - if only certain safety measures were put in place. 150 young men have died after going missing on a night out over the last nine years. 5 Live Investigates has seen new research which reveals between 10 and 20 men die every year after going missing in towns and cities across the UK – the majority of them under the age of 35. Practical safety measures like late night transport to get people home, improved lighting and barriers between footpaths and waterways could all help prevent similar tragedies in the future, according to campaigners and charities.


3 Mar 2019

Rank #12

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Teachers on Social Media & Sport Supplements

Social Media being used by some teachers to form improper relationships with pupils. Also, the call for tougher regulation of body building supplements. Some supplements have been linked to health scares. There is not requirement for them to vetted by the authorities unless the manufacturer declares that they contain medicinal compounds or novel foodstuffs.


25 Nov 2012

Rank #13

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Prison violence and A&E waiting times

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?


7 Feb 2016

Rank #14

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Mental Health & Steroid Use

Mental health services need to get the same investment, planning and attention that is given to physical health says NHS England. The admission comes after a 5live investigation reveals thousands of mental health beds have been lost and psychiatrists have not been paid for carrying out assessments.Young men are increasingly using dangerous steroids to help them get the 'ripped' look. A 5live investigation reveals thousands are injecting steroids - and putting their health at risk. Some are as young as 15. Steroids can affect the heart, liver, kidneys, and lead to prostate cancer.


2 Mar 2014

Rank #15

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Supermarkets Misleading Shoppers

5 Live Investigates has discovered three of the UK’s leading supermarkets are misleading customers by selling food which is high in salt or fat in the healthier choices sections of their stores. The British Dietetic Association says the supermarkets are being ‘unhelpful’ and the practise is ‘confusing’ for customers. Researchers visited the top five supermarkets in the UK and found Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco were all selling products high in salt and saturated fat in areas marked as containing healthy or healthier choices food. The Royal Society for Public Health says the findings raise the possibility of the introduction of a supermarket regulator. Tesco has told 5 Live it’s sorry some of its products were mistakenly included under a ‘Healthy and Diet Meals’ sign. Morrisons says their 'Healthier Choices' section gives customers the option to buy an item that is healthier than a product that meets a similar need – even though it might still carry a red traffic light label. And Sainsbury’s say it’s going to update its signage to reflect that vegetarian and plant based meals are now stocked alongside their range of healthier meals.Photo credit: Helen Clifton


24 Feb 2019

Rank #16

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Obesity Fire Rescue Costs

Fire and Rescue services in the UK are called out to assist severely obese people more than ten times a week. Each incident can cost up to several thousand pounds. Adrian Goldberg hears the stories behind the rescues and the calls by fire officers for special training and equipment to deal with the problem.


11 Nov 2012

Rank #17

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Deprivation of Liberty Orders

Care and health workers are failing to follow proper procedure before curtailing the freedoms of patients suffering from brain injuries or dementia. Also - the training company accused of cashing in on the rush to update IT skills.


7 Apr 2013

Rank #18

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Fake Self-Employment in the Work Programme

Why would welfare to work advisers tell the long-term unemployed to become self-employed? Adrian Goldberg hears from a range of jobless people who've been told to turn their hobbies into businesses and top-up their incomes with Working Tax Credit - even when they'll not earn a living. But, while Work Programme providers hit their targets, and the unemployment figures fall, is the taxpayer simply being ripped off?


3 Feb 2013

Rank #19

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Restraint in special schools

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.


9 Apr 2017

Rank #20