File On 4

Award-winning current affairs documentary series

Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20210601Award-winning current affairs documentary series
A Deadly Prescription2018013020180204 (R4)There were a record 3,744 drug related deaths in England and Wales last year. While many were linked to street drugs such as heroin, a growing number also involve prescription medicines such as benzodiazepines and Fentanyl.
Fentanyl addiction has swept across North America where the drug and other synthetic opioids have been blamed for thousands of deaths. It hit the headlines here when it was linked to a spike in fatalities in certain parts of the UK after being mixed with heroin.
Allan Urry travels to Stockton on Tees where ten deaths have been linked to Fentanyl and its derivatives. He meets users and their families and the medical professionals and police dealing with the problem.
But while Fentanyl is currently in the spotlight, it is tranquilisers and other sedatives often used by heroin users to dull withdrawal symptoms which are contributing to many more deaths. Nowhere is the problem more acute than in Scotland where benzodiazepines contributed to nearly half of all drug deaths.
Many of the pills known as "street valium" or "blues" are made in back street laboratories run by organised crime gangs. Users gamble with their lives as the ingredients and strength of the tablets are often unknown.
But File on 4 has discovered that organised crime gangs have also become involved in diverting significant numbers of highly addictive medicines from the legitimate supply chain onto the black market.
Regulators say there is an extensive network of criminality involving businesses such as wholesale dealers and registered pharmacies. Some in the pharmaceutical industry such as drug manufacturers are repeating calls for supply chain regulation to be reviewed to ensure medicines reach their intended target.

Reporter: Allan Urry
Producer: Paul Grant
Editor: Gail Champion.

As deaths involving prescription drugs increase, who is supplying demand on the streets?

A Greek Tragedy2017011020170115 (R4)File on 4 sets off on a new series to find the forgotten children of Europe's refugee crisis.

As winter sets in, Phil Kemp heads to Greece in search of the teenagers who have arrived alone from Syria and Afghanistan, living by their wits on the streets of Athens.

The controversial deal struck between the EU and Turkey to return migrants who don't claim asylum or who have their claims rejected - and the closing of borders with Greece - has been blamed for making the situation worse for many migrants who now find themselves in limbo in Greece. The millions pledged by the EU don't seem to be bringing relief on the ground either.

The programme hears from the lucky ones who have found spaces at shelters for unaccompanied children in Greece's capital. Here they are fed, clothed and supported in their legal cases.

Others, on the island of Samos, are celebrating securing asylum in Greece. But most children on the island are not celebrating. They feel stuck in a system that cannot cope and held in a country that was meant to be a transit point, not a place to stay.

Increasingly the locals in Samos don't want them to say either. Tensions are flaring in the area around the vastly overcrowded camp, with Golden Dawn active nearby. Around 3,000 residents turned out to protest about their sense of abandonment by the Greek government and the EU. Local officials describe the island as 'trembling on a bridge above troubled water.'

With an estimated 2300 unaccompanied migrant children in Greece, more than half of whom are on the waiting list for shelter, File on 4 asks whether the EU is doing enough to care for those most in need of protection.

Reporter: Phil Kemp
Producer: Sally Chesworth
Editor: Gail Champion.

The plight of unaccompanied child migrants arriving in Greece. Is the EU doing enough?

A Load Of Rubbish2019052820190602 (R4)Households in Britain are recycling more than ever, with millions of us dutifully sorting through our rubbish every week in an effort to help save the planet. But when the blue, green and brown bins are taken away, what really happens to our waste?

File on 4 goes digging through Britain’s multi-million pound recycling industry - and discovers it’s a dirty business.

The UK sends more than half its recyclable packaging overseas, selling our sorted plastics and paper to countries which need the raw material and will recycle it. But when File on 4 tracks where shipments are being sent - we discover they can have a devastating effect on the developing communities where they end up.

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Mick Tucker
Development Producer: Oliver Newlan
Researcher: Deniz Kose
Editor: Gail Champion

Failures in the way recycling is set up in the UK is contributing to pollution in our seas

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Mick Tucker
Editor: Gail Champion

An investigation into what's really happening to the recycling we send overseas.

Failures in the way recycling is set up in the UK is contributing to pollution in our seas

A Place Of Safety?2018032020180325 (R4)Simon Cox investigates a series of failures in a mental health trust. Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust was formed last year from two former trusts.

It provides mental health and community services to patients. Some of whom say there are serious problems at the trust. Some say they don't feel safe on wards, there have been a series of suicides and now there are serious new allegations emerging.

The trust says safety is its top priority and its making progress and improving.

But the programme hears from patients and their families who feel they are being let down.

Reporter: Simon Cox
Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Gail Champion

Assistance for Patients:
The Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust has set up a helpline for any patients or concerned families. The number is is 01268-739182. It will be available from 8pm on Tuesday 20 March 2018.

There are also other organisations which can assist via the BBC Actionline:

Addiction:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1kS7QTDB16PWkywhsXJLzxz/information-and-support-addiction-alcohol-drugs-and-gambling

Emotional distress / suicide:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4WLs5NlwrySXJR2n8Snszdg/emotional-distress-information-and-support

Mental health:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1NGvFrTqWChr03LrYlw2Hkk/information-and-support-mental-health

Sexual abuse:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/22VVM5LPrf3pjYdKqctmMXn/information-and-support.

An investigation into standards in an NHS trust providing mental health care.

A Year Of Covid2021012620210131 (R4)A year ago this week, the first reported case of Covid-19 was recorded in the UK. Within weeks frontline medics faced their toughest ever test. Doctors and nurses in intensive care units recorded diaries for a powerful and insightful episode of File on 4 which illustrated the true scale of the challenge they faced. So one year on, how do they think they coped? What have they learned about themselves and the National Health Service which many warn could be overwhelmed by the current second wave of Covid 19 which continues to claim tens of thousands of lives. Reporter Jane Deith revisits some of those doctors and nurses to find out how they themselves survived the biggest challenge of their careers. And she asks whether when they recorded their original diaries, did they envisage they’d be where they are now in battle against the pandemic?

Jane Deith talks to the medics who fought the first wave of Covid-19 in England's ICUs.

About A Boy - The Hidden Victims Of Grooming2017071820170723 (R4)What happens when your teenage son is targeted by abusers?

File on 4 tells one family's story of fighting the authorities to get support and justice after a 13 year old boy was aggressively groomed by scores of men, aged from their 20s to their 50s. It is a shocking story of opportunities missed, meaning the boy endured assaults by multiple men for years. We look at the impact of that sustained abuse on him and his parents, who were desperately trying to shield him from harm. He says he was dismissed, and even blamed by authorities responsible for protecting him.

Why were they so let down? And have the police been slow to get to grips with cases of child sexual exploitation when they involve boys?

One safeguarding expert tells the programme: "Policy is not matching practice on the ground. It was completely missed that this boy was a child. We need to lift the lid on what is going on when the victims are boys."

Are boys on the radar of authorities or are they grooming's hidden victims?

Reporter: Alys Harte
Producer: Sally Chesworth.

Are teenage boys let down by the system when they report being targeted by paedophiles?

Adoption: Families In Crisis2017092620171001 (R4)Adoption can transform lives. Today, most children available for adoption have had a difficult start. Removed from birth parents and taken into care, many have experienced abuse and neglect which can leave them with complex mental health and/or developmental needs. Adoption can provide them with stable and loving homes.

But what happens when the challenges the adoptive family faces become overwhelming? And is there enough support available to the families who give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in society?

File on 4 hears from adoptive parents struggling to cope with their children's complex problems - and battling with the authorities to get the help they desperately need.

The charity Adoption UK thinks as many as a quarter of all adoptive families are in crisis and in need of professional help to keep their family together. But are adoptive parents given enough information about the challenges they are likely to face and when they do encounter problems, is there enough help available?

Two years ago, the government set up a special fund designed to help adoptive families in England access a range of post-adoption therapeutic services. To date, more than £52 million has been spent via the Adoption Support Fund. But where is the money going and are the treatments on offer proven to be effective?

The truth is that no one really knows how many adoptions are 'disrupted' or end up in full break down when the child is permanently returned to care. But when they do, it is devastating for everyone involved. We speak to families fighting to get the help they need to stay together.

Reporter: Alys Harte
Producer: Jane Drinkwater.

Is there enough support available to struggling adoptive families?

After The Flood2020012120200126 (R4)Few who saw the pictures of the devastating floods which hit the Yorkshire village of Fishlake will forget those images of houses and fields sunk beneath the waters of the River Don. But who knows what life looks like for the residents after the water has receded? Reporter Anna Cavell discovers a village fighting not only to get back into their homes, but also trying to find out what can protect them if the waters return.
Delays to insurance claims and businesses struggling to get back to work are some of the everyday tasks facing the village. But with many not expected to return to their homes for many months, will the close knit community of Fishlake village ever recover?

Reporter: Anna Cavell
Producer: Rob Cave
Editor: Carl Johnston

What happens to those families hit by devastating floods when the waters recede?

Few who saw the pictures of the devastating floods which hit the Yorkshire village of Fishlake will forget those images of houses and fields sunk beneath the waters of the River Don. But who knows what life looks like for the residents after the water has receded? Reporter Anna Cavell discovers a village fighting not only to get back into their homes, but also trying to find out what can protect them if the waters return.
Delays to insurance claims, land contaminated with oil and sewage and businesses struggling to get back to work are some of the everyday tasks facing the village. But with many not expected to return to their homes for many months, will the close knit community of Fishlake village ever recover?

After The Floods - A Tale Of Two Cities2016020920160214 (R4)Could York learn from its Dutch counterpart about flood protection?
All Sewn Up2020101320201018 (R4)An investigation into a network of companies involved in VAT fraud within Leicester's garment manufacturing industry.

After questions were raised in the summer about slave wages and unsafe working practices, File on 4 has now found a network of companies involved in a cash laundering scheme.

Insiders say VAT fraud is endemic among garment suppliers within the city and there are concerns that millions in tax revenue are being lost each year.

So how does it operate and why isn't more being done to prevent fraud within the fast-fashion supply chain?

Reporters: Paul Kenyon and Ashni Lakhani
Producer: Oliver Newlan
Editor: Gail Champion

An investigation into VAT fraud within Leicester's garment manufacturing industry.

An Unsafe Conviction?2016052420160529 (R4)Thomas Bourke has served more than 20 years for murder, but is his conviction safe?
Anatomy Of A Fraud2019111220191117 (R4)Dodgy diamonds, missing millions - and the victims failed by justice.

It starts with a phone call. Cynthia Tuck, a retired nurse and widow in her 80's, is charmed by a man offering her the chance to help put her grandchildren through university. All it would take is a small initial investment. Fast forward three years and Mrs Tuck has lost her entire life savings - hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Three years on, in 2019, her fight for justice has hit a dead end. No charges. No trial. Everyone involved still at large. What went wrong? And why is the system failing millions of fraud victims like Cynthia Tuck?

Reporter: Dan Whitworth
Producer: Simon Maybin
Editor: Hugh Levinson

Dodgy diamonds, missing millions - and the victims failed by justice.
It starts with a phone call. Cynthia Tuck, a retired nurse and widow in her 80s, is charmed by a man offering her the chance to help put her grandchildren through university. All it would take is a small initial investment. Fast forward three years and Mrs Tuck has lost her entire life savings - hundreds of thousands of pounds. Three years on, in 2019, her fight for justice has hit a dead end. No charges. No trial. Everyone involved still at large. What went wrong? And why is the system failing millions of fraud victims like Cynthia Tuck?
Reporter: Dan Whitworth
Producer: Simon Maybin
Editor: Hugh Levinson

At Risk? Children In Residential Care2019052120190526 (R4)Children's homes offer sanctuary to young people whose childhoods have been disrupted by abuse, neglect or family breakdown.

More than 2,200 homes are spread across the country providing young people the opportunity to get their lives back on track.

For many, a residential home provides much needed stability and care when there had previously been none, and a vital opportunity to experience a settled childhood.

But with pressure on the children's social care sector mounting, File on 4 investigates whether some homes are failing to give young people the second chance they need. New research suggests concerning levels of police involvement in the lives of care home residents, and growing concerns about children absconding. Where do they go, and who's looking out for them?

As young people in residential care are particularly susceptible to grooming for sexual abuse and county lines activity, how can care home staff prevent predators from gaining access to them – and when a child is intent on absconding, what options do staff have to keep them safe?

Reporter: Paul Connolly
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo credit: Sam Thomas\Getty

Where do they go? Why vulnerable young people are going missing from children's homes.

Reporter: Paul Connolly
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Gail Champion

Back Home From Isis2018061920180624 (R4)For years, the so-called Islamic State has managed to attract thousands of wannabe jihadis and jihadi brides to join their caliphate. The extremist propaganda, online videos and recruiters have seen thousands of people from all over the world flock to Iraq and Syria to join IS; including 850 men, women and children from the UK.
The brutality of the terror group is now well known, partly due to their own publicity online. Videos and stories of beheadings, floggings and sex slaves have been released to the public, drawing in a new wave of foreign fighters.

IS has since had setbacks, losing ground in it's strongholds in Iraq and Syria and its administrative capital Raqqa. But the caliphate has not admitted defeat, instead promising more attacks in the West.

It's thought 50% of UK citizens who left to join IS, have now returned home- the rest are dead, detained or missing. What happens to these returnees when they come back? With only a minority being prosecuted and imprisoned, what efforts are being made to de-radicalise the rest?

This investigation explores the danger posed by UK returnees, the efforts to de-radicalise and reintegrate them and the difficulties of proving they were ever part of the caliphate once they've returned home.

Reporter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Kate West
Editor: Gail Champion.

What risks do returning jihadis from IS in Iraq and Syria pose in the UK?

Behind Closed Doors2016102520161030 (R4)Are foreign domestic workers the forgotten victims of modern slavery in Britain?
Bent Cops?2016011220160117 (R4)Allan Urry investigates claims of dirty tricks in one of Britain's biggest police forces.
Beyond Grenfell: The Cladding Lottery2019062520190630 (R4)Last month, the government announced a £200 million pound fund to remove and replace Grenfell style cladding on 170 privately owned tower blocks.
But there are many more high rise residential buildings covered in other types of cladding which are also flammable and not covered by the bailout.

One of the most widely used is High Pressure Laminate or HPL which is currently undergoing fire safety tests ordered by the government. Some experts say the cladding is very likely to fail the test.

File on 4 speaks to the families facing bills of more than 20 thousand pounds to remove HPL cladding and make their homes safe. They live in fear of a fire breaking out and since the hazard is no fault of their own, they believe the developers, the building owners or the Government should pay the cost of putting it right.

Public buildings, such as hospitals, are also having to pay to remove dangerous cladding. Eight hospitals had the same Aluminium Composite Material or ACM cladding as Grenfell tower. Only one has completed the work, while others are still taking it down or have closed wards while they decide how to deal with the problem.

The programme hears concerns that the disruption could have compromised patient safety.

Reporter: Melanie Abbott
Producer: Paul Grant

The families and hospitals facing huge bills to replace dangerous cladding.

Last month, the government announced a £200 million pound fund to remove and replace Grenfell style cladding on 170 privately owned tower blocks.
But there are many more high rise residential buildings covered in other types of cladding which are also flammable and not covered by the bailout.
One of the most widely used is High Pressure Laminate or HPL which is currently undergoing fire safety tests ordered by the government. Some experts say the cladding is very likely to fail the test.
File on 4 speaks to the families facing bills of more than 20 thousands pounds to remove HPL cladding and make their homes safe. They live in fear of a fire breaking out and since the hazard is no fault of their own, they believe the developers, the building owners or the Government should pay the cost of putting it right.
Public buildings, such as hospitals, are also having to pay to remove dangerous cladding. Eight hospitals had the same Aluminium Composite Material or ACM cladding as Grenfell tower. Only one has completed the work, while others are still taking it down or have closed wards while they decide how to deal with the problem.
The programme hears concerns that the disruption could have compromised patient safety.
Reporter: Melanie Abbott
Producer: Paul Grant

The families and hospitals facing huge bills after missing out on the cladding bailout.

Bitter Brew2019070920190714 (R4)With the rise in ethical consumerism, File on 4 explores the hidden suffering of tea workers in Africa. Attacked because of their tribal identity, reporter Anna Cavell hears harrowing stories of murder, rape and violence and asks whether their employers, Unilever, could or should have done more to protect them from the violence.

Update 30 July 2019: The Supreme Court has now refused the tea pluckers leave to appeal against earlier judicial decisions which didn’t go in their favour. This was the last legal avenue open to them in England. Lawyers acting for the workers say they now plan to discuss the case with the UN Working Group for Business and Human Rights.

Producer: Nicola Dowling
Reporter: Anna Cavell
Editors: Gail Champion & Andrew Smith

Photo credit:; carefullychosen\Getty Images

Bitter Brew: The harrowing story of rape, murder and violence on a Kenyan tea plantation.

With the rise in ethical consumerism, File on 4 explores the hidden suffering of tea workers in Africa. Attacked because of their tribal identity, reporter Anna Cavell hears harrowing stories of murder, rape and violence and asks whether more could or should have been done to protect them when trouble broke out.

Breaking Into Britain2017011720170122 (R4)Revealed: the secret UK immigration dodges on offer on the high street.

Theresa May has promised to stick to a promise to bring down net migration to the tens of thousands, and post the vote for Brexit, is under pressure to be tough on immigration.

But File on 4 has found a market in fake documentation is helping some migrants who aren't eligible to come here, to get the necessary visas.

High street immigration advisers, and even a solicitor tell the programme's undercover researcher how to buy their way in using fake documentation.

The programme asks what the authorities are doing to catch the crooks.

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Paul Grant
Editor: Gail Champion.

An expose of firms offering to produce fake papers to enable migrants to get into the UK.

Britain's Ghost Companies20210511Tens of thousands of men and women in some of the poorest parts of the Philippines are being recruited to be directors of companies based in the UK. Companies which have no offices or full time staff, they don't buy or sell anything, in fact they only exist on paper. But as Angus Crawford has discovered they form part of a complex web which may be costing Britain tens of millions of pounds in lost tax. A web designed by experts in order to shield firms from the full costs of employing their workers. His investigation reveals a trail which leads from a single mother in the Home Counties, via the backstreets of Manila, to workers at Covid testing stations across the UK.

Reporter: Angus Crawford
Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Gail Champion

Why thousands of foreign directors head up UK firms they actually have little to do with.

Award-winning current affairs documentary series

Britain's Ghost Companies2021051120210516 (R4)Tens of thousands of men and women in some of the poorest parts of the Philippines are being recruited to be directors of companies based in the UK. Companies which have no offices or full time staff, they don't buy or sell anything, in fact they only exist on paper. But as Angus Crawford has discovered they form part of a complex web which may be costing Britain tens of millions of pounds in lost tax. A web designed by experts in order to shield firms from the full costs of employing their workers. His investigation reveals a trail which leads from a single mother in the Home Counties, via the backstreets of Manila, to workers at Covid testing stations across the UK.

Reporter: Angus Crawford
Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Gail Champion

Why thousands of foreign directors head up UK firms they actually have little to do with.

Award-winning current affairs documentary series

Can Sex Offenders And Violent Criminals Be Rehabilitated In Prison?2019100820191013 (R4)The decision to scrap the Sex Offender Treatment Programme raised major concerns about the rehabilitation of prisoners and the impact on victims. The scheme was replaced five years after initial research suggested it wasn’t working - and might even increase the risk of re-offending. There are now calls to ensure that other courses, including those which cater for violent offenders, are properly evaluated.

Campaigners claim the system for assessing the effectiveness of such programmes is too secretive and needs to be made more open. Some experts believe there’s been an over-reliance on treatment schemes as a way of calculating the risks posed by prisoners. Victims say some prisoners are playing the system – accessing programmes to convince the authorities they’re safe to be released. Former inmates say education and training are more likely to stop offenders returning to a life of crime, while there’s emerging evidence that providing newly-released prisoners with support in the community is the key.

Reporter Danny Shaw
Producer Nicola Dowling
Editor Carl Johnston

Photo credit; Motortion\Getty

Can sex offenders and violent criminals be rehabilitated in prison?

The decision to scrap the Sex Offender Treatment Programme raised major concerns about the rehabilitation of prisoners and the impact on victims. The scheme was replaced five years after initial research suggested it wasn’t working - and might even increase the risk of re-offending. There are now calls to ensure that other courses, including those which cater for violent offenders, are properly evaluated. Campaigners claim the system for assessing the effectiveness of such programmes is too secretive and needs to be made more open. Some experts believe there’s been an over-reliance on treatment schemes as a way of calculating the risks posed by prisoners. Victims say some prisoners are playing the system – accessing programmes to convince the authorities they’re safe to be released. Former inmates say education and training are more likely to stop offenders returning to a life of crime, while there’s emerging evidence that providing newly-released prisoners with support in the community is the key.

Can We Fix It? The Inside Story Of Match Fixing In Tennis2019020520190210 (R4)Last month, law enforcement officials in Spain said they had broken up a major match fixing ring in tennis. The Guardia Civil said 28 players competing at the lower levels of tennis were implicated. It's alleged that a group of Armenians had bribed the players to fix matches.

File on 4 reveals the inside story of how players and betting gangs are seeking to corrupt the lower tiers of the sport. In many cases, a player only has to lose a set or certain games - not the whole match - to get paid. Players and fixers communicate on social media as matches get underway to ensure the correct outcome is achieved. The rewards can be significant with players sometimes being paid thousands of pounds - often much more than they can earn in prize money. For the betting gangs who have placed money on a guaranteed outcome, the pay off can be much greater.

Two years after File on 4 first revealed concerns about match fixing in the game, the programme looks at how the tennis authorities have responded to the issue and examines the measures put forward by an independent panel to reduce the risk of corruption.

Reporter: Paul Connolly
Producer: Paul Grant
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo credit: AFP / Getty Images

The inside story of how players and betting gangs are fixing matches in tennis.

The inside story of how players and betting gangs are fixing matches in tennis

Car Emissions - Coming Clean?2017071120170716 (R4)Volkswagen Group faced a 15 billion fine after the US environmental protection agency found it had fitted cars with software designed to cheat official pollution tests.

Their engines seemed clean in laboratory tests; on the road they emitted much higher levels of nitrogen oxide gas which can damage our health.

Although 8.5 million VW engines in Europe were fitted with the same so-called 'defeat devices', no EU state has yet to take any action against the manufacturer.

File on 4 tells the story of how the emissions scandal has spread to manufacturers beyond Volkswagen.

Europe's MEPs have voted for a new 'real driving emissions' test, but critics accuse European Council ministers of watering it down to please their domestic car industries. A proposal for an independent EU agency to oversee emissions tests and issue sanctions was blocked.

And the manufacturers have been given breathing space before they must meet the legal emissions standards - the new legislation lets them emit beyond the pollution limits for years to come.

Diesel cars were supposed to bring down emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2. But have those plans now gone up in smoke?

The programme asks whether this is the next emissions scandal and whether Europe has the power to make cars as clean as they say they are.

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Rob Cave.

After the US diesel scandal, does Europe also need to come clean about car emissions?

Changing Tides: Can The Uk Keep Its Renewable Energy Promises?2016101820161023 (R4)Holding back the tide: will the UK keep its renewable energy promises?
Child Protection2016061420160619 (R4)What will it take to improve failing children's services - and is change fast enough?
Children With Me2017062720170702 (R4)File on 4 investigates claims that parents whose children suffer from a crippling illness that leaves them sick and permanently exhausted have been falsely accused of child abuse.

Parents of children with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) reveal how they have been investigated and referred for child protection measures on suspicion of a rare form of child abuse known as Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII).

FII, also sometimes known as Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy, is extremely rare and occurs when a parent or carer exaggerates or deliberately causes the symptoms of a child's illness. One charity says FII is being used inappropriately by education and health professionals. We talk to families who claim the stress caused by this accusation has made their children worse.

With doctors divided over the best way to treat children, what's the impact on families?

Reporter: Matthew Hill
Producer: Nicola Dowling.

Families of children with a severe fatigue condition say they have been accused of abuse.

Citizenship For Sale2018060520180610 (R4)Selling passports. It may sound illicit but 'citizenship-by-investment' is a global industry worth billions - and it's completely legal.

The idea is simple - invest huge sums of money and in return acquire residency rights or citizenship, even visa-free access to all European member states.

The UK offers residency in exchange for an investment of £2 million - or for £10 million, the possibility of British citizenship within two years.

And across the world, countries are vying to attract the super-rich through these schemes. But they are attracting attention for the wrong reasons.

European MEPs have launched an investigation into a 'Golden Passports' programmes across Europe - including the UK - amid concerns that they pose a corruption risk. In the US, government financial investigators say individuals are buying citizenship to hide their true identity, in an attempt to flout economic sanctions against Iran.

Tonight, File on 4 examines the trade in passports and visas for the wealthy and asks whether they deliver any real value for the countries that sell them, and assesses the evidence that they are being used by criminals.

Reporter: Alys Harte
Producer: David Lewis
Editor: Gail Champion.

An investigation into the lucrative trade of selling citizenship to the world's rich.

Construction In Crisis?2018071020180715 (R4)In January, Britain's second biggest construction firm, Carillion, spectacularly collapsed under a £1.5 billion debt pile. Thousands of jobs were lost, pensions were put at risk, and around 30 thousand smaller subcontractors, who'd already completed work on projects, were left being owed a total of £2 billion.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called it a 'watershed' moment, and a report by MPs slammed the government contractor's 'rotten corporate culture', claiming those at the top treated suppliers with 'utter contempt'. There was also a stark warning that a similar collapse could happen 'again, and soon'.

But whilst Carillion shone a spotlight on some of the 'reckless' and 'greedy' financial practices used by those at the top of large-scale construction, and left accountants and ministers with questions to answer, has anything changed six months on?

File on 4 investigates an industry treading a financial tightrope - a world of huge turnovers but tiny profit margins, spiralling debts and late payments. Alistair Jackson speaks to subcontractors who say they're still working in 'a climate of fear', and are being pushed to the brink, financially and emotionally, by their bigger construction counterparts.

Reporter: Alistair Jackson
Producer: Mick Tucker
Editor: Gail Champion.

Are construction giants exploiting their suppliers to balance their books?

Coronavirus - Stories From Behind The Mask2020051220200517 (R4)Candid diaries of doctors and nurses recorded over two months of the coronavirus pandemic

They’re the intensive care staff we see on the TV news. In their protective equipment, we can’t see their expressions – even their own colleagues find it hard to recognise them behind their masks. We can’t read their faces, but we can hear their thoughts - as they record a series of diaries as the weeks in the grip of the virus go by.
In these recordings for File on 4, doctors and nurses take off their masks and reveal their private emotions and professional fears. They talk from the heart, sharing how they feel about their patients and the emotional toll on them and their families. For the diarists, it’s a rare moment to stop and reflect, to mourn the losses and hold on to the glimmers of hope.

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Paul Grant
Editor: Carl Johnston

Coronavirus: Stories From Behind The Mask20200512
Coronavirus: The Care Homes Catastrophe2020051920200524 (R4)Did the authorities react quickly enough to the threat to care homes from Covid-19?

The awful impact of Covid-19 on the lives of care home residents and staff is now well understood. But many in the industry believe the authorities, both local and national, didn't recognise the threat of the virus on the most vulnerable elderly early enough and didn't react quickly enough to stop it spreading through their homes.
File on 4 hears from those who say opportunities to collect and share information were missed, that vital PPE supplies weren't secured quickly enough and that a policy of discharges of untested patients into care homes was ill thought-out and badly executed. The effect this has had on residential elderly care, they say, isn't just measured in the deaths of those who went too soon, but also in the threat the virus now poses to the survival of the whole private care industry.
With testimony from those at the front line at the very beginning of the crisis, File on 4 examines the fight to keep care home residents safe on the frontline and investigates the circumstances which led to care homes becoming one of the most significant crucibles for the virus.

Editor; Ciaran Tracey
Producers; Rob Cave and Helen Clifton
Reporter; Jane Deith

Councils In Crisis2017032120170326 (R4)There's a quiet revolution going on in our Town Halls. With funding slashed, Local Government is tasked with finding new ways to raise money and deliver services, or face failing to comply with its legal obligations. As councils in England are tasked with becoming more self sufficient, File on 4 examines the different approaches councils are taking in an effort to balance the books.

As some invest in commercial property others are spinning off traditional council departments into new companies with commercial divisions. The aim is to plough profits back into services.

But as the programme discovers these plans don't always work out. What happens when there is no profit? As the pressure on adult social care grows, some councils now face the twin struggles of meeting demand, with the need to turn a profit. Is this too much of a gamble in services which can mean the difference between life and death?

Allan Urry investigates the scale of the challenge as local authorities grapple with rising demand, falling income, and new ways of doing business.

Reporter: Allan Urry
Producer: Laura Harmes.

The local councils turning to commercial investments to balance the books.

Counting The Cost: Antidepressant Use In Children20180724More antidepressants than ever before are being prescribed to young people in Britain, despite fears that they can cause harm in some cases.

What are the driving factors behind the increase? Is there any merit to claims the drugs are ineffective - and, in some cases, have serious side effects in children? And is the NHS providing the proper support to young people affected by mental illness who are turning to medication to cope?

This, however, is not the first time a surge in the rate of antidepressants being prescribed to young people has been deemed a cause for concern. In 2005, in response to public concern, prescription guidelines were introduced. They included step-by-step instructions for medical professionals who treat patients under 18 years of age; providing, for the first time, standard treatment protocols. In turn, the number of antidepressants being prescribed across the UK declined for a period. But, now, some thirteen years later, the numbers have surpassed pre-NICE guidelines levels - and show no signs of slowing. And there's evidence that the guidelines themselves are being ignored in some cases.

Paul Connolley investigates the causes and risks of an increasing reliance on medication.

Reporter: Paul Connolley
Producer: Carl Johnston
Editor: Gail Champion.

Why are more children than ever being prescribed antidepressants and what are the risks?

Covid 19: Doctors And Deniers2021020220210207 (R4)When Prime Minister Boris Johnson said three households would be allowed to mix for 5 days over Christmas, experts and NHS bosses warned the health service would be overwhelmed by cases of Covid 19. Editors of the Health Service Journal and the British medical Journal BMJ said they believed the relaxation of the rules would cost many lives. Three days before Christmas the government was forced to scrap the plans for London and much of South East England when scientists revealed a new coronavirus variant was spreading more rapidly. In other regions the 5 day plan was reduced to Christmas Day – but only for those in the same bubble. In this episode of File on 4, frontline medics chart the rapid rise in Covid cases and deaths post-Christmas, via personal audio diaries which reveal their innermost thoughts, concerns and experiences as they battle the pandemic. The NHS has never been in a more precarious position, with 75 per cent more patients than there were at the April 2020 peak.

Stories from the frontline in the fight against Covid-19.

Covid 19: The Long Road To Recovery2020090820200913 (R4)After Coronavirus, the survivors left with life-changing and long term conditions. The physical and psychological aftermath of Covid 19 and the pressure on rehabilitation services. Nearly 3 million people in the UK have had symptomatic coronavirus. More than one hundred thousand so severely, they needed hospital treatment.
This is a new disease, so doctors are guessing when it comes to the symptoms people will have long term.
But it's clear this virus has a sting in its tail. The sickest patients have damage to their lungs and kidney which could be permanent. Some research shows the risk of heart attack or stroke is high. File on 4 talks to people living with the after effects of Covid 19 who say surviving was just the beginning. There are a multiotide of physical after effects - and many more have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. People describe flashbacks to the ITU, seeing people die, overhearing their last goodbyes with loved ones on phone or the internet.
Patients who were hospitalised get follow-ups, and referrals for rehabilitation and possibly, counselling.
But what of the hundreds of thousands of other people who fell ill and who, if it weren't a pandemic, might have gone to hospital, but were told to stay at home?
Researchers say there are at least 300,000 people who have had symptoms of Coronavirus for more than a month – so called Long Haul Covid.
Many are young and previously fit. They say they had a mild case of the virus. But they have been floored by the symptoms that followed – breathlessness, racing heart, weakness. And they're struggling to get care and support.

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Helen Clifton
Editor: Carl Johnston

After coronavirus, the survivors left with life-changing and long-term conditions.

After Coronavirus: the survivors left with life-changing and long term conditions. The physical and psychological aftermath of Covid 19 and the pressure on rehabilitation services. Nearly 1 million people in the UK have had Coronavirus. More than one hundred thousand so severely, they needed hospital treatment.
This is a new disease, so doctors are guessing when it comes to the symptoms people will have long term.
But it's clear this virus has a sting in its tail. The sickest patients have damage to their lungs and kidney which could be permanent. The risk of heart attack or stroke is high. File on 4 talks to people living with the after effects of Covid 19. Surviving was just the beginning.
Doctors say many patients who survived intensive care are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. People describe flashbacks to the ITU, seeing people die, overhearing their last goodbyes with loved ones on phone or the internet.
Patients who were hospitalised get follow-ups, and referrals for rehabilitation and possibly, counselling.
But what of the hundreds of thousands of other people who fell ill and who, if it weren't a pandemic, might have gone to hospital, but were told to stay at home?
Researchers say they are at least 700,000 people who have had symptoms of Coronavirus for more than a month – so called Long Haul Covid.
Many are young and previously fit. They say they had a mild case of the virus. But they have been floored by the symptoms that followed – breathlessness, racing heart, weakness. They say the tail end of Covid is ruining their lives and their livelihoods.
They say they're met with scepticism by medical professionals and being denied follow-up care. They're creating their own ‘survivors' communities. Some are buying drugs from abroad to self-medicate.
File on 4 investigates what services local NHS services are putting in place for people who suffered Covid 19 at home.

Covid Crime2020060220200607 (R4)File on 4 examines how the global pandemic has shaped organised crime.

The covid-19 pandemic continues to have a profound effect on society - including the world of serious organised crime.

The closure of international borders and global lockdown has made some criminal activities impossible while at the same time creating opportunities for new ones.

While law enforcement around the world grapple with this new challenge, criminals seek to profit from the pandemic.

In this episode of File on 4, reporter Paul Connolly examines how the global crisis has changed organised crime - with some unexpected consequences.

Covid-19: 20212021020220210207 (R4)When Prime Minister Boris Johnson said three households would be allowed to mix for 5 days over Christmas, experts and NHS bosses warned the health service would be overwhelmed by cases of Covid 19. Editors of the Health Service Journal and the British medical Journal BMJ said they believed the relaxation of the rules would cost many lives. Three days before Christmas the government was forced to scrap the plans for London and much of South East England when scientists revealed a new coronavirus variant was spreading more rapidly. In other regions the 5 day plan was reduced to Christmas Day – but only for those in the same bubble. In this episode of File on 4, frontline medics chart the rapid rise in Covid cases and deaths post-Christmas, via personal audio diaries which reveal their innermost thoughts, concerns and experiences as they battle the pandemic. The NHS has never been in a more precarious position, with 75 per cent more patients than there were at the April 2020 peak.

Stories from the front line in the fight against Covid-19

Crash Landing - The Demise Of Thomas Cook2019102220191027 (R4)To its thousands of employees left unemployed or 150,000 holiday makers stranded overseas, the collapse of Britain’s oldest travel firm came as a bitter, unexpected shock.
File on 4 takes a forensic look at the demise of the 178-year-old company, revealing how it came about, the warning signs that were ignored and why a last, desperate attempt at a bail-out came too late. Speaking to Thomas Cook insiders, the programme uncovers how senior executives made millions while loading the company with debt, and were unable or unwilling to change course. It also follows the progress of some of those pilots, cabin crew and shop staff who lost their jobs as they pick up the pieces and try to find their way back into the workplace.

Reporter: Howard Mustoe
Producers: Dan Box, Alys Harte and Luke Denne
Editor: Carl Johnston

Photo credit; Hassenstein, Alexander\Getty Images

File on 4 charts the rise and fall of travel firm Thomas Cook.

Criminal Records?2018052920180603 (R4)Knife crime in England and Wales rose by a fifth last year, with stabbings in London at their highest level for a decade. So far this year, there have been more than 30 fatal stabbings in the capital - with knife injuries amongst young people also on the rise.

What lies behind the rise in violence is complex with cuts in police numbers, use of stop and search, rise in mental health issues and a lack of youth services being cited as contributing factors.

But Britain's most senior police officer, Cressida Dick, also says that social media is also partly to blame, with sites like You Tube, Snapchat and Instagram "allowing young people to go from 'slightly angry with each other' to 'fight' very quickly"

Relatives of victims - and judges in murder trials - also claim a form of hip hop, where rappers make threats to other gangs - and keep scores of killings - is helping fuel the bloodshed. It's called Drill.

When announcing a new strategy to tackle serious violence, the former Home Secretary Amber Rudd asked musicians to have a "positive influence" on young people, and to move away from lyrics which glamorise violence.

File on Four investigates this world of violence playing out online - and on our streets.

Reporter: Paul Connolly
Producers: Emma Forde and Mick Tucker
Development Producer: Oliver Newlan
Editor: Gail Champion.

What part is social media playing in the rise in violent crime in the UK?

Criminal Waste2018102320181028 (R4)It’s been called “the new narcotics”, a crime that promises high-rewards with little fear of being detected, and it is attracting criminal gangs usually associated with drugs and violence.

“Waste crime”; the illegal disposal of the UK’s mountains of often hazardous rubbish, and those involved are finding new and inventive ways of cashing in.

File on 4 investigates how gangs hide hundreds of tonnes of waste in fields and makeshift tips around the country, and goes out with enforcement officers as they raid factories and depots around the country. The crime costs the UK an estimated 600 million pounds a year, as it’s escalated from opportunist fly-tipping to a dangerous and competitive criminal industry.

One farmer tells the programme how he was confronted by hooded men when he went to investigate suspicious activity on his land. The gang dumped 100 tonnes of waste before switching their lorry number plates and driving off. Three days later, a nearby farm was also hit, with another 100 tonnes, and again the gang escaped.

Others use their own premises to hide hazardous waste. They set up a legitimate operation, with licenses to process harmless rubbish. But that’s just a front, a technique to trick to investigators from the Environment Agency. Behind the legal piles of rubbish are hundreds of tonnes of hazardous material.

The authorities are trying to fight back. But do they have the resources they need?

Reporter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Sally Chesworth
Editor: Gail Champion

The millions to be made from serious waste crime - the 'new narcotics' for organised gangs

Critical Condition: Allegations Of Failings At Great Ormond Street2020031720200322 (R4)Great Ormond Street Hospital in London has a global reputation for providing outstanding care to children with the most complex medical conditions who need expert help.
The hospital, known as GOSH, boasts more specialist services for children under one roof than any other and employs some of the country's leading doctors to staff them.
The vast majority of the 43,000 children who stay at GOSH every year receive care which befits its reputation.
But when things go wrong, is the hospital being transparent about its failings and does it do everything it can to prevent mistakes being repeated?
When serious mistakes happen hospitals are duty-bound to launch serious incident investigations to understand what exactly happened and report them to external bodies.
But File on 4 investigates claims that in some cases the hospital has failed to declare serious incidents despite evidence of harm.
Reporter Michael Buchanan began investigating how the hospital deals with errors after attending the inquest of 14-year-old Amy Allan, from North Ayrshire, who died following elective back surgery.
Michael returns to Scotland six months later to investigate how the hospital responded to Amy's death and meets other families who say they cannot get the answers they're seeking.

Producer: Ben Robinson
Reporter: Michael Buchanan
Editor: Carl Johnston

Are allegations of failings at Great Ormond Street properly investigated?

Crossing The Line - Britain's Teenage Drug Mules2017102420171029 (R4)Drug dealers from big cities are exploiting thousands of teenagers to traffic Class A drugs to smaller rural towns in what's known as County Lines.

Children - some as young as 9 -are being used as runners to move drugs and cash from cities like London and Manchester hundreds of miles away to other areas of the UK.

It's a massive problem which until recently was being ignored.

File on 4 hears from some of the exploited young people who spent their teens travelling around the UK for months at a time living in drugs dens selling heroin and
crack cocaine.

They do this by taking over the homes of vulnerable people - drug users or the elderly - to sell drugs from and then refuse to leave -a practice called 'cuckooing' which can have tragic consequences.

These trafficked children often find themselves trapped by the gangs unable to escape because of the threat of violence or in order to pay back debts.

Are the authorities are doing enough to protect children from being exploited in this way? Or are they being let down by being viewed as criminals themselves rather
than the victims of organised crime?

Reporter: Simon Cox
Producer: Emma Forde
Editor: Gail Champion.

The urban gangs using children to flood rural Britain with drugs and violence.

Debt Killed My Dad2018092520180930 (R4)In August, Jessica Hurst wrote to the media asking them to investigate how her dad’s debts of just under £12,000 became a bill of just under £73,000. Nigel Hurst killed himself a year ago after learning that bailiffs were to repossess his family home. It was the bailiff who found him.

Student, Jessica, was left with a pile of debt recovery letters and bank statements which she hoped would hold the clue to his financial troubles. File on 4 reporter Helen Grady takes up Jessica’s challenge.

Her findings include the fact that councils are increasingly enforcing council tax debts, often using aggressive tactics which have been outlawed or become outdated in the private sector. And that bankruptcy can trigger a series of punitive charges - including some paid directly to the Government - which can make a manageable debt unmanageable.

The charities interviewed for this programme that provide free debt advice are …
www.stepchange.org
www.nationaldebtline.org
capuk.org

If you are feeling emotionally distressed and would like details of organisations which offer advice and support, visit BBC Action Line or you can call for free, at any time, to hear recorded information 0800 066 066

You can also get help from …

https://www.samaritans.org/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/

Presenter: Helen Grady
Producer: David Lewis
Editor; Andrew Smith

Helen Grady investigates the high cost of bankruptcy.

Degrees Of Deception2018011620180121 (R4)File on 4 exposes a multi-million pound global trade in fake diplomas.

A complex network of online universities sells degrees, doctorates and professional qualifications - for a price. Some of the buyers have gone on to trade on these credentials, including them on their CVs and gaining jobs in public life.

Others, after making an initial purchase, were blackmailed by the sellers, who threatened to expose them unless they paid out huge additional sums of money.

Despite criminal investigations in numerous countries, why is there still a thriving trade in dubious qualifications and are institutions and companies taking the issue seriously enough?

Reporter: Simon Cox
Producers: Matthew Chapman and Helen Clifton
Editor: Gail Champion.

How thousands of people in the UK have obtained fake and worthless degrees.

Dementia: What Do We Know?2016022320160228 (R4)Has a drive to increase the diagnosis of dementia and find a cure been effective?
Dirty Oil?2016051020160515 (R4)Did UK firms win multi-million pound oil contracts through bribes to corrupt officials?
Disclosing The Truth2018022720180304 (R4)The Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been accused of failing to disclose important information in several recent high profile sexual assault cases.

But Allan Urry asks if the current disquiet about disclosure should also extend to the Magistrates' Courts where almost all criminal cases start off. Some defence lawyers say evidence that could be helpful to their clients' cases is being with-held and are they're concerned that justice isn't always being served.

Reporter: Allan Urry
Producer: Alys Harte
Editor: Gail Champion.

How are disclosure of evidence failures affecting justice in the magistrates' courts?

Drug Shortages2019111920191124 (R4)Medical professionals say shortages of commonly prescribed drugs are currently worse than ever before - impacting on patient care and potentially costing lives.

The government has banned the export of some medications from the UK in an attempt to protect dwindling supplies but desperate patients are still travelling abroad to get the medication they need or, rationing their supply or going without treatments entirely.

File on 4 examines the complex supply network behind the medication we’re prescribed and finds out how a single broken link in the fragile chain can impact patients, doctors and pharmacists alike. Speaking to worried insiders, exasperated clinicians and patients left too frightened to leave the house, the programme uncovers a long-running crisis at the very centre of our health care system.

Reporter: Adrian Goldberg
Producer: Steven Hobson
Editor: Carl Johnston

Image credit: Hiraman\Getty

Medics say drug shortages are worse than ever \u2013 putting the lives of patients at risk.

Dying On The Streets2018021320180218 (R4)The homeless being denied end of life care.

File on 4 hears the stories of the terminally ill left to die in hostels and on the street.

An estimated 4751 people will sleep rough tonight in England. Many are seriously, even terminally ill.

If you're living on the streets, who will care for you when the end comes?

File on 4 hears from homeless people living with life threatening illness, who can't find a regular bed for the night, let alone a place where their medical needs can be met.

A bed in a nursing home or hospice is usually not available to them. Hostels are left to do their best for the dying. But they say they aren't trained or equipped to give people a dignified death.

We speak to those battling to get homeless people basic medical care. And hear how when services fail, people are left to die on the street.

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Emma Forde
Editor: Gail Champion.

Why does life on the street also mean death on the street for some rough sleepers?

Elderly Patients In Hospital - Who Cares?2017101020171015 (R4)How well do NHS hospitals look after their elderly patients? Allan Urry investigates concerns about a lack of basic care. Is it proving fatal for some? Why are bedsores, repeated falls, malnutrition and dehydration still featuring among the complaints of families who've lost loved ones? The programme also assesses how well the NHS responds when mistakes are made.

Reporter: Allan Urry
Producer: Nicola Dowling.

Who cares? Are elderly patients being left to suffer and die from neglect in hospital?

Expecting Alone: The Isolation Of Pregnancy During Covid2020092220200927 (R4)Six months since Britain was instructed to ‘stay at home', File on 4 examines the decisions that affect new mothers and their babies and asks if the potential for long term damage outweighs the risk of spreading the virus.

For pregnant women, many of the hospital restrictions implemented at the height of the pandemic remain. Many women must attend antenatal scans or go through early labour on their own, while their birth partners wait outside. Others have had to receive the worst possible news about their pregnancy alone.

Once the baby arrives, the landscape remains uncertain.

Health visitors are seen by many as a frontline defence against child health problems; a lifeline for new mums and their babies who are trained to spot early signs of illness, harm or neglect. Yet, the decision to redeploy many health visitors to the frontline during lockdown left countless families without the support they needed – a decision seen by some as ‘unnecessary' and ‘dangerous', one that could lead to a ‘second pandemic' of child protection issues.

Now, professionals are reporting ‘an explosion' in mental health problems amongst new mothers and their partners, while those suffering are struggling to get help.

Reporter: Alys Harte
Producer: Mick Tucker
Editor: Gail Champion

Has the reduction of services for new mums and their babies caused long-term damage?

Extreme Measures: Can Extremists Be De-radicalised?2020031020200315 (R4)Usman Khan was released from prison in 2018 for plotting a terror attack. He'd undertaken two de-radicalisation programmes designed to turn him away from violent extremism. Yet despite efforts to rehabilitate him, Khan launched an attack near London Bridge - killing two people. It was the first of two violent attacks involving convicted extremists in a little over two months. So just how effective are schemes designed to de-radicalise offenders? For the first time, File on 4 hears from those at the heart of these programmes - the 'intervention providers' tasked with turning offenders away from violence. Some say offenders are able to cheat the system and convince the authorities they've changed their ways. So how can these intervention providers ever know when their work has been successful? The programme hears from a serving prisoner in a maximum security jail who says convicted terrorists are "gaming" the system by pretending to comply with "de-radicalisation" courses - and he warns that non terrorist offenders are being dangerously radicalised.

Reporter: Adrian Goldberg
Researcher: Luke Radcliff
Producer: Helen Clifton
Editor: Carl Johnston

Can convicted extremists be de-radicalised?

Extremism: Hidden In Plain Sight2017100320171008 (R4)Manveen Rana uncovers hate speech, sectarianism and even support for Jihad in some of Britain's Urdu language newspapers, radio stations and TV channels.

While we are often told the internet and social media have accelerated the fermentation of extremist ideas, File on 4 reveals how widely-available 'old media' is also disseminating sectarian and anti-Semitic messages, as well as support for Pakistani militant groups, through newspapers and TV channels accessible in Muslim communities across the UK.

A common theme is content about the Ahmadiyyah community, who are considered by some Muslims to be heretics. A persecuted community in Pakistan, such violence came to the UK in 2016 when shop keeper Asad Shah was fatally stabbed by a man accusing him of blasphemy. Despite this shocking sectarian murder, British Urdu media continues to publish insulting material targeting the Ahmadiyyah community - included campaigns calling on readers to boycott Ahmadi-made goods.

But at what point do these media outlets cross the line from bad taste to criminal behaviour? And are media regulators doing enough to prevent and punish the offenders?

Producers: Richard Fenton-Smith & Sajid Iqbal
Editor: Gail Champion
Sound Engineer: Neil Churchill.

Manveen Rana uncovers hate speech and sectarianism in British Urdu media.

Facial Recognition2020012820200202 (R4)File on 4 has been tracking the roll-out of facial recognition tech across Britain’s streets, shopping centres and football grounds.
The Metropolitan Police has announced it will use live facial recognition cameras operationally for the first time on London streets. The force sees the technology as a vital tool in the fight against crime. But privacy campaigners say it's a 'serious threat to civil liberties.'

The pace is frenetic – new computer systems can watch thousands of people at once, with the most powerful able to operate at distances of over a mile.
They can do all of this in “real-time ?, meaning everyone who passes by the camera can be scanned against a “watchlist ? of suspects.

But technology like this means more and more innocent people are affected. Yet the public are not always explicitly warned, and neither are the regulators.

File on 4 has been given new details of a trial at Meadowhall shopping centre in South Yorkshire in which police and retailers worked together to scan millions of shoppers, looking out for three suspects and a missing person (the latter was found as a result).
It was one of several trials conducted by police and private companies, which went ahead despite requests from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner for police to ask him before implementing such schemes.

The legislation surrounding facial recognition is new and mostly untested, leading to calls for stricter, more specific laws to be passed.

Meantime, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner has called for a regime of inspections of the technology for both public and private bodies; a call backed by the veteran Conservative MP David Davis.

Facial recognition may be new, but it still begs an urgent answer to an age-old question: who watches the watchers?

Reporter: Geoff White
Producer: Helen Clifton
Editor: Carl Johnston

Facial Recognition: Who's watching you?

The pace is frenetic – new computer systems can watch thousands of people at once, with the most powerful able to operate at distances of over a mile.
They can do all of this in “real-time”, meaning everyone who passes by the camera can be scanned against a “watchlist” of suspects.

Meantime, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner has called for a regime of inspections of the technology for both public and private bodies; a call backed by the veteran Conservative MP David Davis.

Adopted by shopping malls and airports and used at public protests and football matches, facial recognition technology is creeping into every aspect of our lives. But there are concerns it’s flourishing in a ‘wild west’ landscape of weak regulation and complex and little-understood legislation. The Information Commissioner's Office has already warned businesses who use the technology they could face action if they don't comply with the law. And controversial trials by police forces have failed to convince most that the software is currently capable of working properly.

Concerns facial recognition is flourishing in a 'wild west' landscape of weak regulation

Failed By Forensics?2018061220180617 (R4)File on 4 investigates mounting concern about forensic science in England and Wales - hearing the cases of two men who almost went to prison for rape because the police failed to properly investigate crucial evidence on mobile phones.

Forensic science is increasingly important both in finding criminals and successfully prosecuting them. It's used for everything from investigating fires like Grenfell to huge terrorist cases. And it covers checking phone records, CCTV, DNA and fingerprinting. It's painstaking, time-consuming work but it can often turn up vital evidence.

The programme hears that a criminal investigation is underway into one company providing forensic evidence, another has gone bust and a third has had to be financially bailed out. Meanwhile some police forces carry out their own forensic work but incredibly some do so, without the official accreditation that forensic companies are expected to obtain. And the regulator says she can't do anything about it as the Government won't give her the powers she needs.

Presenter: Melanie Abbott
Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Andrew Smith.

Are failings in forensic science leading to more miscarriages of justice?

Fair Game2016053120160605 (R4)Should English football clubs take a closer look at who they turn to for investment?
Fair Game? The Secrets Of Football Betting2020021820200223 (R4)In recent years, betting companies have invested millions in Britain's professional football leagues through sponsorship deals and blanket advertising campaigns. The ever-increasing collaboration between the two has been labelled as the ‘Gamblification of professional football' – a term which, for many, raises serious concerns. File on 4 puts this controversial relationship under the microscope, asking if football's public endorsement of gambling companies is helping to normalise, even encourage, a pursuit which, for those most vulnerable, can lead to addiction, financial devastation and suicide in extreme cases.

In addition, we investigate the failure of gambling companies to stop millions in stolen money from being wagered on the beautiful game by customers involved in criminality. Firms should carry out anti-money laundering checks when large sums of money are lodged, won or lost by customers. But File on 4 has learned that some betting companies ignore these obligations, opening the door for the proceeds of crime to be gambled - and potentially laundered. In hearing the testimony of industry whistle-blowers, and that of problem gamblers who stole hundreds of thousands to fuel their addiction, we lay bare the sometimes darker matters associated with the fusion of the football and gambling industries.

Reporter: Paul Connolly
Producer: Paul Grant
Editor: Carl Johnston

The potential harms of the ever-increasing sponsorship of football by gambling companies

Falling Short - Fake News And Financial Markets2018062620180701 (R4)If fake news is poisoning public debate, then what is it doing to the financial markets?

Short-sellers - investors who bet on a company's shares falling, not rising- have a mixed reputation. For some they play a vital role, exposing weak companies - and can make big profits as a result. But others accuse them of using fake information to deliberately damage otherwise healthy businesses.

File on 4 looks into the hidden world of the short sellers, the researchers who give them the information to make their bets and the companies who fall victim to what they publish. Are the shorters overstepping the stock market's rules on fairness and transparency?

Reporter: Geoff White
Producer: Rob Cave
Editor: Gail Champion.

Is financial fake news damaging business? Geoff White reports.

Families Versus The State: An Unfair Fight?2019100120191006 (R4)Julie Montacute-Carter (pictured left) was found drowned in a lake after suffering from depression for many years. But when it came to the inquest into her death it fell to her daughter Becky Montacute to represent the family at the start of the inquest process - and then find and fund a lawyer herself. All because the family could not get Legal Aid. The mental health trust responsible for Julie's care however was able to spend tens of thousands of pounds in legal representation. Critics call this an 'inequality of arms' and there are concerns vital lessons aren't being learned because many families can't afford to pay for legal representation to challenge state bodies like the NHS, the police and the prison service.

Reporter: Hayley Hassall
Producer: Mick Tucker
Development Producer: Oliver Newlan
Editor: Carl Johnston

Are lives being put at risk because families are refused funding at inquests?

Finding Freedom - The Fight Against Modern Slavery2019012220190127 (R4)Modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK are more prevalent than ever before.

Police estimate tens of thousands of victims are hidden in towns and cities across the country; many kidnapped then subjected to forced labour or sexual exploitation, often under the threat of violence.

But what happens to victims after they escape or have been rescued?

File on 4 investigates the government system designed to identify and support victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

Victims say they haven’t been properly looked after by the authorities, have been left in limbo - some waiting years for decisions on their status.

File on 4 investigates allegations that a failure to adequately protect victims means some face being drawn back into exploitation by the very gangs from whom they escaped in the first place.

With the Prime Minister describing modern slavery as "the great human-rights issue of our time" is enough being done to tackle the root causes and protect those unable to protect themselves?

Reporter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Alys Harte
Development Producer: Oliver Newlan
Editor: Gail Champion

Are victims of modern slavery and trafficking being let down? File on 4 investigates.

Fit For Football2020092920201004 (R4)MPs and supporters are calling for an overhaul of the way English football is governed after a series of clubs were hit by financial problems. Bolton wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Charlton have all flirted with financial disaster while Bury FC were expelled from the Football League altogether after problems with creditors. File on 4 hears claims that the root of the problem is the Owners' and Directors' Test used to assess those who want to take control of football clubs

Reporter: Adrian Goldberg
Producer: Kate West
Editor: Carl Johnston

MPs and supporters call for an overhaul of the way English football is governed

Fuelling The Future?2018101620181021 (R4)Five years ago the UK's biggest bioethanol plant opened in Hull as part of a £1 billion investment in renewable biofuel. Last month, the Vivergo site ceased production with the loss of more than 100 jobs. The knock-on effects have been felt by hauliers and some 900 farms across the region, which supplied the plant with wheat to be converted into fuel.

The closure comes just 5 months after ministers set new, ambitious targets to double the use of sustainable fuels - like bioethanol - by 2020.

The government says it's committed to green energy - its recent ‘Clean Growth Strategy' claims plans are in place to cut greenhouse gases by more than half of 1990 levels by 2030. And yet, research shows investment in green energy fell 56% last year, the biggest drop of any country - with policy change, subsidy cuts and 'stop-start' support from ministers being blamed.

So, do Britain's plans for a greener future add up? File on 4 takes to the road to find out. On a trip around the North East of England, Simon Cox asks why, when the offshore wind industry has grown, other cheap, renewable energies like onshore wind, solar power and now biofuels are struggling to survive. He examines whether changes in policy are hitting crucial investment, and if ambitious climate targets will really be met.

Reporter: Simon Cox
Producers: Mick Tucker and Oliver Newlan
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo: Thanet wind farm. Credit: Reuters.

Does Britain's green energy strategy stack up?

Gain Without The Pain: Legal Drugs In Sport2017053020170604 (R4)Painkillers in sport: a form of legal doping or an excessive reliance on medication that puts the long-term health of athletes in jeopardy?

With evidence of widespread use of over the counter anti-inflammatories to support performance or recovery at amateur level, File on 4 looks asks if there is enough regulation of painkilling drugs in sport across the ranks.

About half of players competing at the past three World Cups routinely took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, according to research carried out by FIFA's former chief medical officer, Prof Jiri Dvorak.

For him, this clearly constitutes the abuse of drugs in football, one which risks player's health and could "potentially" have life-threatening implications.

But is the sports community taking these warnings seriously enough? Professor Dvorak first warned about the long-term implications of players misusing painkillers in 2012 - has anything changed?

Industry insiders their concerns about pain killer use in professional sport - including one former rugby international who says he developed serious long-term health problems as a result.

And with evidence that even paracetamol can have a performance enhancing effect, how can sports regulators control substances that can give a competitive advantage but are widely available over the counter?

With tales of athletes receiving pain relief in order to compete with broken toes or even a fractured bone in their back, we explore the lengths some may go to in order to stay in the game and ask if some sports are risking long-term harm by chasing short-term goals.

Producer: Alys Harte
Reporter: Beth McLeod.

Painkillers in sport - the legal doping risking the long-term health of athletes.

Game Changer: How The Uk Played On During Coronavirus2020052620200531 (R4)Did allowing the sporting events to continue help spread Covid-19 and put lives at risk?

From the Olympics to Euro 2020, the world’s biggest sporting events have fallen like dominoes because of coronavirus. But as the global pandemic was declared and most European countries closed their sports stadiums, the UK allowed events to carry on with hundreds of thousands of fans coming together to watch everything from Champions League football to the Cheltenham Gold Cup. File on 4 casts a forensic eye over the decisions that were made before the UK went into lockdown, speaks to those at the heart of these big events and asks whether allowing them to go ahead, enabled the virus to spread and put more lives at risk.

Reporter: Adrian Goldberg
Producer: Mick Tucker
Editor: Carl Johnston

Going Back: The People Reversing Their Gender Transition2019112620191201 (R4)An increasing number of people are questioning their gender identity. Waiting lists for specialist clinics treating both children and adults with gender dysphoria are increasing, with some having to wait years to been seen. Many who transition to a gender different to the one they were assigned at birth live happy lives. But, File on 4 has spoken to some who now regret the taking of cross-sex hormones or undergoing surgery, and who are now detransitioning. They and experts working in the field of gender identity fear that other mental health issues are not being adequately explored before life-changing decisions are made and have told the BBC more help is needed for this vulnerable group.

Image credit; Natasaadzic\Getty

The people reversing their gender transition

An increasing number of people are questioning their gender identity. Waiting lists for specialist clinics treating both children and adults with gender dysphoria are increasing, with some having to wait years to been seen. Many who transition to a gender different to the one they were assigned at birth live happy lives. But, File on 4 has spoken to some who now regret the taking of cross-sex hormones or undergoing surgery, and who are now de-transitioning. They and experts working in the field of gender identity fear that other mental health issues are not being adequately explored before life-changing decisions are made and have told the BBC more help is needed for this vulnerable group.

Groomed, Abused And Put In Prison: Rochdale's Untold Story2020071420200719 (R4)How does an abused teenager get a criminal record while her abusers walk free? This is untold story of the Rochdale grooming scandal - how one young woman has been denied justice and how her attackers are still at large. For the very first time, 'Daisy' tells her harrowing story to File on 4. How, from the age of 12, she was groomed, raped and abused by a gang of men. The abuse led her to be involved in some criminal behaviour - but when the police investigated and she told them what was happening, she says she was ignored. She was sent to prison, where, for the first time since the abuse started, she says she felt safe. But when she was released, it started again. The police have admitted some failures but, a decade after they launched their investigation into systematic and organised abuse, Daisy and two other young women, who were also abused, are now taking civil action against Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Producer: Sally Chesworth
Reporter: Alys Harte
Editor: Carl Johnston

Jailed for being abused? The untold story of Rochdale's grooming scandal.

Harassed Students 're-victimised' By Universities2019091720190922 (R4)File on 4 exposes serious flaws in the way many universities mismanage reports of sexual assaults and harassment and how some students believe they’re re-victimised and bullied into keeping their complaints quiet.

Up until three years ago the guidelines for universities said sexual misconduct should never be investigated internally. But in 2016 guidelines published by Universities UK, encouraged universities to take on these cases in-house as civil matters, with allegations to be examined on ‘the balance of probabilities’, rather than the criminal court standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. But students tell reporter Fiona Foster how they believe universities are more interested in protecting their reputation than their students and serial offenders are still at large. Even when perpetrators are dealt with, they’re often given derisory punishments.

The Office For Students says it has invested more than two million pounds in initiatives to work out ways of addressing the issue and that it has seen evidence of some universities managing complaints effectively. The organisation says if it sees evidence of a university not dealing with complaints it has the power to intervene.

Reporter: Fiona Foster
Producer: Kate West
Editor: Carl Johnston

Image credit; Christopher Furlong\Getty

Harassed students \u2018re-victimised' by universities.

Hidden Figures? The True Scale Of Military Sexual Allegations2019071620190721 (R4)Ten years ago the alleged rape and subsequent suicide of Royal Military Police Corporal, Anne-Marie Ellement, highlighted problems with the way the British military handles allegations of sexual offences against female service personnel. File on 4 investigates ten years on, what has changed?

There's no doubt that the top echelons of the armed forces take such cases very seriously indeed. Speaking about recent allegations, the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith said it was unacceptable and in stark contrast with everything the British Army represents. But how far has that attitude filtered down the ranks in reality?

File on 4 hears from current and former female service personnel who alleged that they were sexually harassed, assaulted or raped, about how they feel they were let down by their chain of command when they reported their ordeal. We hear their criticism of the official Services Complaint system. And why they think the incompetence of the service police undermined their attempts to gain justice.

We also hear from former members of the service police itself who explain why they think that their former comrades are not fit to investigate serious crime and why the system must be reformed. For its part, the Ministry of Defence tells the programme it accepts there are shortcomings and that changes are on the way,

Presenter: Paul Connolly
Producer: Paul Waters
Editor: Andrew Smith

Photo credit: MoD

Criticisms of the way allegations of sexual assault are handled in the armed forces

'high Way' To Hell2016090620160911 (R4)'High way' to hell: File on 4 investigates the lethal highs coming to the UK from China.
Homes Not Hospitals2016091320160918 (R4)Has care for people with learning disabilities improved since Winterbourne View?
How Safe Is Your Pension?2016101120161016 (R4)As the scandal over the collapse of BHS rumbles on, how safe is your pension?
Inside The World Of The Class A Student2019012920190203 (R4)
20191110 (R4)
Tom Wright investigates the normalisation of drug taking amongst Britain’s students. A recent graduate, he says Class A drugs like MDMA are bought and sold with impunity by students across the country. The student bubble, like a music festival, has become an almost decriminalised space - where the chances of getting caught are perceived to be almost non-existent. Drug dealers brazenly target student areas, handing out business cards with a la carte menus of Class A and B drugs.

Unlike music festivals, where on-site drug testing is rapidly becoming the norm, universities do little to engage with harm reduction. Those that do risk widespread criticism for ‘normalising’ drug taking. Meanwhile Universities proclaim "zero tolerance" drugs policies and the police say they have neither the resources or the inclination to punish casual drug use.

Tom Wright investigates whether universities are doing enough to help their students and asks, could campus drug testing help keep our students safe?

If you’ve been affected by addiction, help and support is available:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1kS7QTDB16PWkywhsXJLzxz/information-and-support-addiction-alcohol-drugs-and-gambling

Presenter: Tom Wright
Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Andrew Smith

Students say drugs are as common as alcohol.

Killings In Care Homes2017052320170528 (R4)Headlines involving abuse in care homes normally centre on allegations against staff, but is aggression among residents being overlooked?

With homes increasingly taking care of those with more complex needs such as dementia and other mental health disorders, are staff able to cope with some who have challenging behaviour?

File on 4 has found evidence that some residents are suffering serious assaults by others living in the same home. Some have died from their injuries. Allan Urry investigates the unsolved killing of one dementia patient.

Are workers skilled enough to recognise and deal with aggression, before it becomes violent, and should the NHS and local authorities be doing more to support them?

When the perpetrators themselves often have little understanding of what they have done due to the nature of their illness-are they also being let down? The programme reveals failures in the system that could have cost lives.

Reporter: Allan Urry
Producer: Emma Forde
Editor: Gail Champion.

Are care homes able to protect frail and vulnerable elderly residents from violence?

Little Brother's Big Secrets2016092720161002 (R4)Is the UK's alternative investment market, known as 'little brother', open to fraud?
Locked Up In Lockdown2020102720201101 (R4)Are court backlogs creating miscarriages of justice? When the UK locked down, so did its court system, adding to a backlog that’s left defendants, witnesses and victims facing long waits for trials. Helen Grady speaks to people inside the justice system to find out how it’s coped with the pandemic - from delays in making courts covid-secure to a lack of PPE and overcrowding in prisons. We hear stories from prisons under lockdown and talk to lawyers who fear delays are leading to abuses of the criminal justice system.
Producer: Rob Cave

Are court backlogs creating miscarriages of justice? Helen Grady investigates.

London Calling2016110820161113 (R4)Is the UK doing enough to tackle corruption and prevent money laundering in the capital?
Lost On The Line: The County Lines Gangs Recruiting Girls2019101520191020 (R4)New figures have revealed at least four thousand young people are currently caught up in county lines – meeting orders for heroin and cocaine placed on mobile phone ‘deal lines'. They're transporting drugs from cities to rural and coastal towns, and carrying weapons too – knives, hammers and acid.

Many find themselves selling drugs in a strange town. Trapped, too scared to leave. Increasingly, when police raid the ‘traphouses' where the drugs are held, they're finding girls. But how many young women are caught in the county lines? Some are being recruited online for their ‘clean skins' - a lack of a criminal or gang connection – so they're less likely to be known to police and stopped. Others are used to launder money or facilitate travel and accommodation.

The focus on boys working for the lines means girls have often been overlooked. Police chiefs guess 10 to 15% of children involved are girls. But they admit they have no real idea of the number of girls trapped in this violent world.

File on 4 hears the female view from the county line, told by girls and women who've lived the life and witnessed serious violence. They reveal the particular reasons gangs want girls involved, as county lines become more sophisticated. Girls are less likely to be stopped, or undergo intimate searches by police. They are trapped through sexual violence and threats to kill. But with few projects offering specialist support to female members of county lines, are girls more at risk of being dragged back into the gangs?

Reporter, Jane Deith
Producer, Emma Forde
Editor, Carl Johnston

Image credit; cindygoff\Getty

Lost on the Line: The county lines drugs gangs recruiting girls

Me And My Trolls2020100620201011 (R4)During the pandemic, more and more of our lives have been lived online. But that has also led to a sharp rise in the number of people being targeted by internet trolls. According to one survey, nearly half of women and non binary people reported experiencing online abuse since the beginning of COVID-19 and a third said it had got worse since the pandemic.
So who are the people behind these often anonymous attacks? Journalist Sali Hughes has been a target of trolls herself. She sets out to find what motivates them and how they justify their actions. She speaks to other women who have been targeted and hears about the devastating impact it can have on people’s lives. With a proposed online harms bill not now due until next year, she investigates what social media and other platforms are doing to tackle the issue and what individuals can do to try to stop the abuse

Journalist Sali Hughes goes on a personal journey to discover what motivates online trolls

Mental Disorder And Killings That Could Have Been Prevented2020091520200920 (R4)Last month Alex Sartain took a homemade gun and shot his neighbour James Nash dead in his front garden.
The 34 year old then fled on his motorbike before he lost control and fatally crashed on a winding tree-lined road. His family had made repeated requests to mental health services for help as they saw his condition deteriorate. But they say no help was forthcoming and days later he killed 42-year-old James, a popular artist and children's author. Alex Sartain's family say the mechanic suffered paranoid schizophrenia and had become acutely unwell in the run-up to the killing.
File on 4 investigates whether mental health support is always available when people need it most. And reporter Paul Connolly hears concerns that mental health professionals are not always quick enough to act on evidence a person suffering severe mental illness may be intending to harm others - with tragic consequences.

Reporter Paul Connolly
Producer Ben Robinson
Editor Carl Johnston

Are people with severe mental illnesses being failed when they need help most?

Mental Health Killings - A Crisis In Care?20200915
Mental Health Parity: Progress Or Pipe Dream?2017070420170709 (R4)In 2015, reporter Adrian Goldberg investigated the state of England's mental health provision and measured the promise of equal treatment for psychiatric patients against the reality on the wards of psychiatric hospitals and in the community. The notion of "parity of esteem" has been enshrined in law in 2012, and has been promoted by successive Prime Ministers, but was found in many areas to be sadly lacking.

So, two years on what progress has been made? And what more needs to be done to help patients in crisis?

Adrian talks to former NHS executive Lord Crisp, nurses and the families of those who have lost their loved ones as a result of failures in the system. Are mental health patients still regarded as equal but somehow different to those with physical ailments.

Radio 4's investigative current affairs documentary series.

Mental Health: The Next Pandemic?2020070720200712 (R4)Lockdown is easing now as worries about physical ill-health recede. But could the stress and anxiety of the last few months lead to a second wave of the epidemic - one centred on the nation's mental health? File on 4 investigates the impact coronavirus has had on those already diagnosed with serious mental illness, and others for whom depression and anxiety are entirely new experiences. The programme looks at provision of mental health services during the crisis, hearing stories of early release from mental health wards and of sudden shifts in how help is provided. Reporter Claire Bolderson examines this quiet revolution in mental health provision prompted by Covid-19 and asks whether the changes are here to stay - and whether services, which many say are already stretched to breaking point, will be able to cope.
Reporter: Claire Bolderson
Producer: Imogen Walford
Editor: Carl Johnston

File on 4 investigates the impact of coronavirus on the nation's mental health.

Lockdown is easing now as worries about physical ill-health recede. But could the stress and anxiety of the last few months lead to a second wave of the epidemic - one centred on the nation's mental health? File on 4 investigates the impact coronavirus has had on those already diagnosed with serious mental illness, and others for whom depression and anxiety are entirely new experiences. The programme looks at provision of mental health services during the crisis, hearing stories of early release from mental health wards and of sudden shifts in how help is provided. Reporter Claire Bolderson examines this quiet revolution in mental health provision prompted by Covid-19 and asks whether the changes are here to stay - and whether services, which many say are already stretched to breaking point, will be able to cope.
Reporter: Claire Bolderson
Producer: Imogen Walford
Editor: Carl Johnston

My Homeless Son2018103020181104 (R4)What happens when you’re 17 years old and you suddenly find yourself homeless?

As a child, you would expect that social services and other authorities would find you a warm and safe place to live.

What you wouldn’t expect is to be put somewhere on your own, in the cold, and at risk from serious harm.

File on 4 tells the shocking story of one teenager's experience when he found himself without a roof over his head.

His mum tells the programme he would contact her in the middle of the night, depressed and lonely; “He would text me saying I’m cold, I’m hungry”. She says the fight to get her son the care and support that he needed has left them broken.

We explore the impact on both his physical and mental health and ask why he was let down? Is his case one of a kind? Or are other local authorities failing in their duty to provide the right care and support for homeless young people?

Reporter: Emma Forde
Producer: Matthew Chapman
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo credit; Photofusion\Getty

Are homeless teenagers being let down by the very people meant to protect them?

Neglect: The Story Of Uk Homecare2017022820170305 (R4)With an ageing population the need for carers to help elderly people stay healthy and safe in their own homes has never been greater.

From making a meal, to help getting out of bed or having a shower, domiciliary carers provide a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people. But what happens when things go wrong and carers inflict serious abuse and neglect on the people who depend on them?

Lesley Curwen speaks to the families of elderly people who have been neglected in some cases left for days without proper medication or attention to personal hygiene - with devastating results.

Experts say cuts to local authority care funding, unmanageable workloads and poor training are contributing to the toll of abuse. So how can families be assured that their family member is in safe hands?

And after File on 4 previously uncovered evidence of widespread sex abuse in care homes, we ask whether enough is being done to protect the most vulnerable people in society in their own homes.

Reporter: Lesley Curwen
Producer: Ben Robinson.

An investigation into the state of home care services in the UK.

Nhs Contracts: Tender Issues2016012620160131 (R4)File on 4 investigates the collapse of one of the NHS's biggest healthcare contracts.
No Place Like Home - The Inside Story Of Supported Living2019021220190217 (R4)Transforming Care is the NHS policy which should be moving learning disabled people out of hospital units and into their own supported homes.

But File on 4 asks if the growth in the supported living sector is really providing the happy, safe and secure homes it was meant to.

While the NHS has struggled to get its money into the hands of the councils who provide supported living, councils have gone their own way; commissioning services from care companies and homes from private landlords to give learning disabled adults their own front doors and their own independence.

But with little in the way of inspection and councils under budgetary constraints, File on 4 asks if the push to build supported living risks repeating the mistakes of the past, with some of the country's most vulnerable people housed in institutions far from public scrutiny.

Reporter: Claire Bolderson
Producer: Rob Cave
Editor: Gail Champion

(Photo Credit: MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

File on 4 looks at the growth in supported living homes for learning disabled adults.

On The Critical List? Britain's Ageing Hospitals2018022020180225 (R4)Can the NHS afford to run and replace its ageing hospitals?

Many hospitals are crumbling and have huge backlogs of required maintenance work. It affects patients - sometimes life-saving operations are being cancelled due to lack of capacity - or practical problems such as leaks or faulty air conditioning.

Money from capital budgets has been used to plug gaps in day to day spending - meaning an ever growing black hole of building work is backing up. So where to get the money?

The Government is adopting plans which would encourage NHS trusts to sell off spare land and try to get money for new buildings from the commercial sector.

But private finance initiatives are no longer an option. Trust deficits make borrowing difficult and hospital leaders say its difficult to get access to the money they need - like wading through treacle, one says - because of perverse rules and regulations.

So how should we pay for much needed life support for our hospitals?

Reporter: Lesley Curwen
Producer: Rob Cave
Editor: Gail Champion.

Can the NHS afford to run and replace its ageing hospitals? Lesley Curwen investigates.

On Whose Authority?2019060420190609 (R4)The law says decisions about care for people who can not decide for themselves should be done collaboratively with the person’s best interests always at heart. So why do family members, feeling ignored and even intimidated, often find themselves in open conflict with councils and care providers?

In Scotland and Northern Ireland issues of who makes decisions about the best interests of a person who can’t make that decision themselves is covered by different laws. In practice, when the family or friends of a learning disabled person in Scotland don’t agree with how their loved-one is being cared for or treated, the law makes it easier for the dispute to go to court, with the parents or siblings more likely to be given guardianship. More than 2,700 families exercised this right in 2018-19.
Northern Ireland is waiting for its own legislation to come into force, who makes decisions for learning disabled adults is governed by common law and is a more informal process.

Campaigners say poor training, lack of understanding of the law and shrinking budgets mean too often the legitimate concerns about care for people with learning disabilities, autism or mental health problems are being ignored. Claire Bolderson investigates.

Producer: Rob Cave
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo credit: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz

Who really decides what care is best for those who can't make their own decisions?

Online Grooming2017061320170618 (R4)File on 4 reveals the true scale of child sexual grooming and abuse online and asks whether social media companies are doing enough to prevent paedophiles from targeting children. The investigation follows the rape and murder of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood from Leicestershire who was groomed online before meeting her killer in person. File on 4 reveals the number of children being groomed online and who are subsequently abused is increasing. Child abuse experts say some social media platforms have ignored repeated calls for better child protection measures and Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee has accused them of putting profit before safety.

File on 4 investigates the true scale of child sexual grooming on social media.

Opioids: A Painful Prescription?2019051420190519 (R4)Opioids like morphine, tramadol and fentanyl are super-strength painkillers. They’re often prescribed by doctors for chronic pain, despite little evidence to say they’re helpful in it's treatment. Now, there is a growing recognition that over-prescribing of these drugs has led to addiction, harm or even death.

Reporter Anna Cavell examines what's led to the increase in the prescribing of these powerful painkillers in the absence of good evidence to say they work in the long term – and investigates whether cynical marketing tactics by pharmaceutical companies could have helped to fuel the UK market.

As a government review into the growing problem of prescription drug addiction in England hits delays, we hear from those caught up in opioid fuelled addiction, as well as those tasked with helping people hooked on painkillers to come off them safely.

Producer: Alys Harte
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo credit: Getty images

Did marketing help fuel the UK's opioid addiction 'crisis'?

Outclassed: The Kids Excluded From School2017013120170221 (R4)
20170226 (R4)
Over 300,000 children were excluded from school in England and Wales last year - almost 6 thousand of them permanently.

Many of these children will end up in "alternative provision", sometimes known as pupil referral units (PRUs) - schools for kids that the mainstream can't handle.

But five years on from the Taylor Review, a report that found 'a flawed system' that failed to provide good education and accountability for 'some of the most vulnerable children in the country' - has anything really changed?

File on 4 hears allegations of a system under pressure; of illegal exclusions, 'missing kids' and how some schools are controversially manipulating league tables through 'managed moves'.

We also hear from whistle-blowers from one school who claim an overburdened system and a rise of referrals of kids with extreme and complex needs have led to an increase in the use of physical restraint to manage escalating violent behaviour in classrooms."

Reporter: Adrian Goldberg
Producer: Alys Harte.

An investigation into standards in pupil referral units for children excluded from school.

Paradise Papers: Profits From The Poor2017110720171112 (R4)What does the leak of files from offshore law firm Appleby reveal about how money is transferred out of the developing world and into the pockets of the rich?

Using leaked documents obtained by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and working with the Consortium of Investigative Journalists, File on 4 delves into the records to find out how the rich use secretive tax regimes and corporate structures to divert money via the offshore jurisdiction of Mauritius.

Producer: Anna Meisel
Reporter: David Grossman
Editor: Gail Champion.

An investigation into international offshore finance.

Paralympic Sport - Fair Play?2017091920170924 (R4)The ethos of the paralympic movement is fair and equal competition. At its heart is the classification system designed to ensure people of equal impairment compete against each other.

The International Paralympic Committee has warned that some athletes are exaggerating their disability - known as intentional misrepresentation - in order to get into a more favourable class. It said this was in "grave danger of undermining the credibility of the sport."

File on 4 has spoken to athletes, parents and coaches who say they too are concerned the system is being abused. They claim less disabled athletes are being brought into sports in the quest for medals. Some athletes have decided to quit competing altogether as they no longer believe there is a level playing field. They claim more disabled athletes are being squeezed out of para competition.

The first ever athletes forum for the paralympic movement was held this summer. It too says there is a lack of trust about classification among competitors and called for greater transparency saying athletes should have the ability to raise concerns about fellow competitors.

Is doubt about the current system threatening trust in the paralympic movement?

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Paul Grant.

Are some countries cheating the paralympic classification system in the pursuit of medals?

Paralympics - Gaming The System?2018091820180923 (R4)Last year, File on 4 investigated whether some athletes and coaches game the paralympic classification system in order to win medals. We heard allegations that some competitors had gone to astonishing lengths such as taping up their arms to make their disability appear worse. A parliamentary select committee hearing followed into the way British paralympic athletes are classified and questions were raised over whether the system was fit for purpose.

In this programme, we examine further claims of athletes exaggerating or even faking a disability to get ahead in para sports. We look at the case of an athlete where concerns have been raised after they competed in several different disability classifications.

A paralympic gold medallist tells File on 4 of his concerns that young athletes are being manipulated by coaches to think they are more disabled than they actually are in order to get them classified into a more favourable category.

The programme also hears claims that UK athletes cheered a competitor from a rival country because they believed one of their teammates was cheating. Such suspicions have grown in recent years, the programme is told.

Reporter Simon Cox speaks to a former international classifier – the people responsible for ensuring athletes are placed in the right category – who reveals how it is possible for classifiers to be fooled and the pressure placed on them to put athletes in the most disabled categories.

The concerns raised by the programme come as a report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee into sports governance which has examined classification in para sports is due to be published.

Reporter: Simon Cox
Producer: Paul Grant
Editor: Gail Champion

Are some paralympic athletes gaming the classification system to win medals?

Paying The Price - Private Hospitals2018100920181014 (R4)For many NHS patients, being referred for private treatment can sound quite appealing; you'll often be seen and treated quickly, with a more luxurious menu option to peruse in the comfort of your private room.

But when it comes to the medical treatment, are patients getting the same level of care? Are private patients just as safe as those in the NHS? And when things do go wrong, how willing is the private sector to admit to mistakes?

In this programme we hear from families whose loved ones died following surgery in a private hospital that was paid for by the NHS. The deaths reveal how some private hospitals have no emergency cover for when things go wrong.

To secure a contract with the NHS, private providers must deliver services to an equal standard of care. In this episode, File on 4 asks whether the NHS can be sure its patients are safe in private hospitals.

Photo credit - Getty Creative Images.

Reporter: Alistair Jackson
Producer: Kate West
Editor: Gail Champion

File on 4 investigates standards of care in some UK private hospitals.

Police Firepower2016051720160522 (R4)Do the plans to recruit more armed police go far enough? Danny Shaw investigates.
Police Protection? The Murder Of Kevin Nunes2017101720171022 (R4)Fifteen years ago, promising young footballer Kevin Nunes was shot dead on a country lane in Staffordshire. Five men were convicted of his killing, and jailed for life. But just four years later, their convictions were quashed, following concerns about the way police handled a key prosecution witness.

The Court of Appeal Judge said it appeared to be "a serious perversion of the course of justice," and an investigation was launched into misconduct claims against four of the UK's most senior officers.

Now, as the report into the police investigation is finally released, File on 4 speaks to those at the centre of the saga. Will the family of Kevin Nunes will ever get the justice they seek, and what does the case tell us about police transparency and accountability?

Reporter: Phil Mackie
Producer: Laura Harmes.

Questions remain about alleged police misconduct in a 15-year-old murder investigation.

Policing The Police2017051620170521 (R4)From the Hillsborough Inquest to Plebgate, from the revelations about undercover officers to the shooting of Mark Duggan, the last few years have been as controversial as any in the history of British policing. The government has introduced a range of new measures to try and make the police service more accountable. These have included the strengthening of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, measures to crack down on officers retiring when under investigation, and a new openness surrounding police disciplinary hearings. But have these new ideas really worked or is there, as some claim, real resistance to accountability?

File on 4 investigates a series of cases of alleged wrongdoing brought against the police by both members of the public and by serving officers. We look at some of the tactics police forces still appear to be using to avoid scrutiny, and we ask : despite the new measures, how much has really changed?

Reporter : Mark Gregory
Producer :Sally Chesworth
Editor: Gail Champion.

Are the police really open to scrutiny when people complain about misconduct?

Potters Bar, Ukraine's Stolen Billions And The Eurovision Connection2018020620180211 (R4)UK companies are being used to launder dirty money as new transparency rules are flouted. One, registered in a Hertfordshire commuter town, helped the circle of Ukraine's disgraced ex-president profit from last year's Eurovision Song Contest, a File on 4 investigation has found.

Billions of pounds of dirty money is alleged to have passed through opaque UK companies in recent years, over 100 of them registered at the same Potters Bar address. Tim Whewell follows the trail of one company linked to the regime of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country for Russia four years ago after anti-corruption protests in Kiev's Maidan square.

Can new transparency requirements for British firms help find the people really behind the company?

Presenter: Tim Whewell
Producer: Simon Maybin
Editor: Gail Champion.

Power Games2018111320181118 (R4)Northern Ireland has some of the highest rates in Europe of pollution linked to agricultural waste – the by-product of intensive pig, poultry and cattle farming. One solution is to turn the waste into energy through green recycling schemes that attract multi-million pound subsidies. But is the system being ‘gamed’ by industry?

An investigation by BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme has found that some waste-to-energy schemes are receiving public cash despite operating without planning approval. Their aim was to reduce harmful emissions and pollution, but there are mounting concerns that some schemes have exacerbated environmental harm. The energy regulator OFGEM is responsible for administering the waste-to-energy schemes. Are they doing enough to protect the public's money and has yet another green subsidy effectively back-fired?

Reporter: Lesley Curwen
Producer: David Lewis
Editor: Gail Champion

Are companies \u2018gaming' the system of green subsidies designed to reduce farm pollution?

Preventing Tb2017060620170611 (R4)Around 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis each year. The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine was introduced nearly a hundred years ago, but is only partially effective against the bacterium that causes TB.

With so many infected and the BCG vaccine only 60% effective, a race is on to develop a better way of preventing TB. Hundreds of millions of public and philanthropic money has been poured into this quest. For researchers, the competition for this pot of money is fierce.

A new vaccine called MVA85A developed by scientists in Oxford as a booster to BCG was heralded as a possible solution. But when it was trialed on nearly 3000 infants in South Africa it didn't offer any further significant protection.

File on 4 investigates the outcome of tests carried out on monkeys and asks to what extent animal trials are used to help decide whether to go on to test in humans.

How do regulators and ethics committees decide to give their approval and who is looking out for the people who volunteer to take part?

Reporter: Deborah Cohen
Producer: Paul Grant.

TB remains a killer disease, how effective are attempts to find a better vaccine?

Prison, Drugs And Debts - Who's Paying The Price?2018071720180729 (R4)File on 4 goes inside Altcourse Prison in Liverpool to meet the staff trying to stem the supply of drugs into the jail.

Perimeter security has been tightened, searches have been stepped up and new technology is being trialled as officers deal with the influx of new psychoactive substances, such as spice, and more 'traditional' banned drugs, including cannabis and heroin.

More widely, across England and Wales, the availability of drugs in prisons is posing huge challenges to their stability, as well as the health and safety of inmates and officers.

Some prisoners are so desperate to feed their addiction they secrete drugs inside their bodies to by-pass security; others persuade or pressurise friends and family to bring them in.

The demand for contraband is so great that a lucrative trade has developed behind bars, co-ordinated by criminal gangs who use threats, violence and exploitation.

In some cases, vulnerable people are coerced into smuggling drugs, acting as "mules", at great risk to themselves. Offenders who've been let out on licence have been known deliberately to breach the conditions of their release, so they can take supplies into jail when they're sent back there. Some drug-dependent prisoners rack up massive debts which their families are expected to pay off. The BBC's Home Affairs Correspondent Danny Shaw meets those who've got caught up in the sophisticated markets in operation inside the system and reaching out into communities.

The Government has promised to tackle the problem by improving intelligence, investing in new serious and organised crime teams and separating ringleaders from other prisoners.

But ministers are also being urged to improve provision for those who are in the grip of addiction by offering treatment, rehabilitation and opportunities when they leave custody.

Reporter: Danny Shaw
Producer: Sally Chesworth
Editor: Gail Champion.

Prison, drugs and debts - who's paying the price of the thriving drug trade in our jails?

Racism In The Police2020063020200705 (R4)Racism in the police: do the UK police treat black and ethnic minority officers fairly?

With the words ‘I can’t breathe’ reverberating around the world, the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK has put the issue of racial justice at the top of the political agenda. Twenty-one years after the Macpherson inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence labelled the Metropolitan Police ‘institutionally racist’, File on 4 explores concerns black, Asian and ethnic minority officers still face discrimination in the service.

Police forces in England and Wales are in the middle of an unprecedented recruitment drive, to add 20,000 new officers by March 2023, providing an opportunity to improve diversity. There is work to do, as Home Office figures for 2019, seen for the first time by File on 4, reveal many specialist positions continue to be dominated by white officers. There were only two ethnic minority officers among 184 in the mounted police; 15 out of 734 dog handlers; and 11 among 426 detectives in special investigations teams.

File on 4 asks whether the way black and Asian officers are currently treated is likely to be a barrier to attracting suitable candidates and if the changes will affect representation at senior ranks, where there are very few ethnic minority officers. The programme reveals data, collected by the National Black Police Association, that ethnic minority officers represent 14% of all officers under misconduct investigation and over 20% of inquiries that had progressed to a misconduct meeting or gross misconduct hearing, despite representing less than 7% of all officers. File on 4 hears from ex police inspector Mark Dias who was put under surveillance illegally by Cleveland Police and found to be the victim of racial discrimination.

Reporter: Danny Shaw
Producer: Oliver Newlan
Development Producer: Jane Andrews
Editor: Carl Johnston

Racism The Police20200630
Reynhard Sinaga: Britain's Most Prolific Rapist2020110320201108 (R4)In January, Reynhard Sinaga was convicted of 159 sexual offences against 48 different men over the course of four trials. But according to police, there's evidence he abused more than 200 men whilst living as a student in Manchester. He preyed on vulnerable young men, drugged them until they were unconscious and raped them while recording most of his abuse on his phone. Most of his victims woke up with no memory of what had been done to them - oblivious until the police turned up at their doors to explain the horrific truth.
As police renew their efforts to identify more of Sinaga's victims, File on 4 has been given exclusive access to those at the centre of the police investigation and hears from many of those who knew him and who have never spoken before. The programme hears how how the softly spoken and highly intelligent student played Good Samaritan to lure victims to his flat in central Manchester - then plied them with drinks laced with the date rape drug GHB. How one man fought off Sinaga and called police, triggering the biggest rape inquiry in British history. The programme also hears about the moment the police realised they were dealing with a monster when they accessed his phone and discovered a catalogue of videos he'd made of himelf abusing his unconscious victims. Police then painstakingly trawled through hours and hours of video and numerous trophies found in Sinaga's flat to help identify his victims. Having never shown any remorse for his crimes, the Court of Appeal is now reviewing Sinaga's sentence. So will he become the UK's first non-homicide criminal to die behind bars?

Reporter: Hayley Hassall
Producer: Sally Abrahams
Editors: Carl Johnston

How a 999 call from a Manchester flat led to the discovery of over 200 male rape victims.

Rogue Hauliers2017030720170312 (R4)In January a haulage boss and his mechanic were jailed for a tipper truck crash which killed four people. The brakes on six of the truck's eight wheels weren't working properly. The expert examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said Grittenham Haulage's vehicle would have been taken off the road if it had been stopped in a roadside check.

But are there sufficient roadside and on-site checks to detect safety breaches?

File on 4 uncovers cases where unsafe vehicles and drivers were allowed to remain on the roads, despite known concerns.

So does the current system of regulation and punishment go far enough to deter rogue operators who drive some of the most dangerous vehicles on our roads?

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: David Lewis.

An investigation into how lethal lorries posing a danger to the public remain on the roads

Second Class Citizens: The Post Office It Scandal2020021120200216 (R4)In December last year, the Post Office agreed to pay nearly £60 million to more than 550 of its workers and former workers, after losing a High Court battle. It was a key victory for sub-postmasters after a 20-year fight for justice. Many hold the Post Office responsible for destroying their lives by falsely accusing them of theft and fraud. Some ended up in prison, others completely bankrupt - and many have been left with their health and reputations in ruins.

File on 4 investigates how the Horizon computer system, brought in to Post Office branches in 2000, could have led to accounting shortfalls at branches - and asks why for years the Post Office denied this was possible, instead pursuing its own sub-postmasters for the money, which may have never been missing in the first place.

Reporter: Hayley Hassall
Producers: Mick Tucker and Nick Wallis
Editor: Carl Johnston

How the Post Office IT fiasco destroyed the lives and careers of hundreds of postmasters.

In December last year, the Post Office agreed to pay nearly £60 million in compensation to more than 550 of its workers and former workers, after losing a High Court battle. It was a key victory for Subpostmasters after a 20 year fight for justice. Many hold the Post Office responsible for destroying their lives by falsely accusing them of theft and fraud. Some ended up in prison, others completely bankrupt - and many have been left with their health and reputations in ruins.

File on 4 investigates how the Horizon computer system, brought in to Post Office branches in 2000, could have led to accounting shortfalls at branches - and asks why for years the Post Office denied this was possible, instead pursuing its own Subpostmasters for the money, which may have never been missing in the first place.

How the Post Office IT fiasco destroyed the lives and careers of hundreds of postmasters

Separated Siblings2020011420200119 (R4)When Sophia was growing up, she had an imaginary friend. It was only later she learned that the little girl she played with in her mind was not imaginary at all, but a distant memory of an older sister.

The two had been separated when they were in care, and contact between them was soon lost.

It might sound like a Dickensian tale of misery, but it’s not rare for siblings to be forced apart whilst in the UK’s care system.

In England alone, there are currently more than 78,000 children living in foster care or children’s homes.

Many have brothers and sisters, but keeping them together is difficult.

File on 4 hears from the children and young people who have been split up, and hear how it has affected the rest of their lives.

When they can’t be placed together, experts agree that robust plans should be put in place to maintain contact between them. So why is it not happening?

If one child goes on to be adopted, maintaining contact with their brothers and sisters is far from straight forward.

And for the families who do adopt sibling groups, there’s concern that they’re not getting the right help to support those relationships.

Some experts argue that keeping siblings together shouldn’t always be the default intervention.

For some, placing them apart might be in their best interests but are the views of children always being taken into account when these decisions are being made and is the importance of sibling relationships sometimes being overlooked?

Reporter - Paul Kenyon
Producer - Emma Forde
Editor - Carl Johnston

The brothers and sisters separated by the care system

Sewage Sludge2020020420200209 (R4)For decades sewage sludge from waste treatment works has been used as a fertiliser on agricultural land. But File on 4 hears serious concerns over whether it could pose a risk to human health and whether tougher regulation is needed.

The practice is perfectly legal. Treated sewage known as 'sludge' or 'biosolids' provides a rich and cost-effective source of nutrients for soil which is then used to grow crops. The process saves more than three and a half million tonnes of human waste going into landfill or being incinerated.

But reporter Claire Bolderson hears from scientists worried about the chemicals, plastics and medicines that could be damaging soil and making their way into the food chain. And she investigates the process of regulating the treatment, storage and use of sludge, amid claims from experts that rules are outdated and oversight lacking.

Recycling sewage as fertiliser fits today’s environmental agenda for waste. But do we know enough about what the potential impact of the practice might be in the future?

Reporter: Claire Bolderson
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Carl Johnston

An investigation into the use of sewage sludge as fertiliser on agricultural land.

But reporter Claire Bolderson hears from scientists worried about the chemicals, plastics and medicines that could be damaging soil and making their way into the food chain. And she investigates the process of regulating the treatment, storage and use of sludge, amid claims from experts that rules are outdated and oversight lacking.

Reporter: Claire Bolderson
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Carl Johnston

Sex Offenders Fleeing Abroad2019091020190915 (R4)Every year thousands of offenders are convicted of sexual offences and subjected to a monitoring regime designed to minimise their risk to the public. But critics claim the system for managing offenders in England and Wales is flawed and allows offenders to slip through the net and flee abroad. File on 4 has discovered there are 559 sex offenders who are currently missing. One of them is Daniel Erickson-Hull – a self-styled pastor who was convicted of downloading hundreds of indecent images of children. On his release from prison he was subject to an order banning him from having unsupervised contact with children, unsupervised use of the internet and from travelling abroad without informing the authorities. But he ignored the restrictions and fled abroad. File on 4 tracks Erickson-Hull down to Bulgaria where he’s immersed himself in a Roma community and posted videos of himself with dozens of children online. File on 4 asks whether the laws designed to keep the public safe from convicted sex offenders are fit for purpose.

Reporter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Carl Johnston

How some runaway sex offenders are evading justice

Sexual Abuse In Schools2021052520210530 (R4)In 2016 the House of Common's Women and Equalities Committee published a report into sexual harassment and abuse between pupils in British schools. In concluded that the scale and impact was such that urgent action was needed by the government.

Five years on, it took thousands of disturbing anonymous posts by teenagers on the website Everyone's Welcome to prompt the government to announce a new safeguarding inspection regime from Ofsted and an Department for Education/NSPCC hotline for young people.

In this investigation Hayley Hassall assesses how common this abuse is, whether schools are brushing the problem under the carpet, to what extent the availability of online porn plays a role and whether teachers are getting enough training.

Reporter: Hayley Hassall
Producer: Jim Booth
Editor: Carl Johnston

Peer on peer sexual harassment and abuse between pupils in Britain's schools.

Award-winning current affairs documentary series

In 2016 the House of Common's Women and Equalities Committee published a report into sexual harassment and abuse between pupils in British schools. In concluded that the scale and impact was such that urgent action was needed by the government.

Five years on, it took thousands of disturbing anonymous posts by teenagers on the website Everyone's Welcome to prompt the government to announce a new safeguarding inspection regime from Ofsted and an Department for Education/NSPCC hotline for young people.

In this investigation Hayley Hassall assesses how common this abuse is, whether schools are brushing the problem under the carpet, to what extent the availability of online porn plays a role and whether teachers are getting enough training.

Reporter: Hayley Hassall
Producer: Jim Booth
Editor: Carl Johnston

Peer on peer sexual harassment and abuse between pupils in Britain's schools.

Award-winning current affairs documentary series

Sheltered From Harm2018012320180128 (R4)There are more than half a million people living in sheltered housing, accommodation that offers additional support to the elderly, disabled or vulnerable.

But currently, in England, these schemes aren't overseen by the independent regulator of health and social care the Care Quality Commission and councils aren't required to record cases of abuse and neglect in sheltered housing.

It is leading to growing concerns that many vulnerable residents are hidden away and left to suffer without the authorities ever knowing there is a problem.

With a move to care being provided via direct payments, its likely the demand for sheltered accommodation will grow. But there's concern that new developments are being shelved due to ongoing uncertainty over funding.

File on 4 speaks to people who have been taken advantage of while living in sheltered accommodation, who feel they were sitting ducks for people looking to prey on the vulnerable.

And when things do go wrong, with an absence of regulation are there sufficient mechanisms to prevent the same things from happening again?

Reporter: Brigitte Scheffer
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Gail Champion.

Who protects the residents of sheltered housing schemes from abuse or neglect?

Shipping's Dirty Secret2021030220210307 (R4)File on 4 lifts the lid on the dangerous and polluting world of international shipbreaking
Something In The Air?2020022520200301 (R4)In January 2020, a British Airways flight from Athens to London issued a "Mayday" emergency call when the pilot flying the plane became incapacitated during a "fume event". The airline industry does not reveal how often fume events happen, but according to some estimates they occur every day on airlines worldwide.. They are thought to be caused by air containing chemicals from engine oil passing into the cabin.

Pilots and cabin crew say that sudden fume events and long term low level exposure to toxic cabin air can make them seriously ill. In some cases they claim exposure to affected air has caused premature death.

The industry insists that serious leaks of toxic gas into cockpits and cabins are relatively very rare, given the number of flights each day. And that no causal link between toxic cabin air and health problems has yet been proven.

But the industry faces multiple court cases this year. On File on 4 one representative of the airline industry agrees to face questions on fume events, claims of a lack of transparency and claims that the health of hundreds of pilots, cabin crew and frequent fliers is being affected.

We reveal confidential airline and Coroners' reports in connection with fume events and so called "aerotoxicity". We hear about pilots and crew who say they've been poisoned by toxic cabin air. And from scientists about research being done on potential links between airline cabin contamination and neurological health.

Presenter: Mike Powell
Producer: Paul Waters
Editor: Andrew Smith

How safe is the air inside airline cabins?

In January 2020, a British Airways flight from Athens to London issued a mayday emergency call when the pilot flying the plane became incapacitated during a "fume event". The airline industry does not reveal how often fume events happen, but according to some estimates they occur every day.
Pilots and cabin crew say that sudden fume events and long term low level exposure to toxic cabin air is making them seriously ill and in some cases causing premature deaths. The industry insists that serious leaks of toxic gas into cockpits and cabins are relatively very rare, given the number of flights each day. And that no causal link between toxic cabin air and health problems has yet been proven. But airlines faces multiple court cases later this year.
For the first time, on File on 4, a representative of the airline industry agrees to face questions on fume events, lack of transparency and claims that the health of hundreds of pilots, cabin crew and frequent fliers is being put at risk.
We reveal confidential airline and coroners documents in connection with fume events and so called "aerotoxicity". We hear from pilots and crew who say they've been poisoned by toxic cabin air. And from scientists about research being done on potential links between airline cabin contamination and neurological health.

Speaking Up - Whistleblowing In The Nhs2017020720170212 (R4)Two years ago the first independent report into the treatment of whistle-blowers in the NHS was published.

The Freedom to Speak Up report was commissioned by the government amid concerns not enough progress had been made to create a more open culture within the NHS following the Mid Staffs inquiry which unearthed the poor care and high mortality rates at Stafford Hospital.

The report - which considered evidence from 600 individuals and 43 organisations across the country included chilling accounts of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals whose lives and careers had been destroyed after trying to raise legitimate concerns about patient safety.

Whistle-blowers said they'd been left financially ruined, blacklisted and sent to the brink of suicide after being branded snitches and trouble-makers.

Revealing a continuing culture of secrecy with trusts demonising whistle-blowers instead of welcoming and investigating their concerns, it was hoped the report would herald a new era of openness and accountability.

File on 4 investigates what has happened since and asks whether measures put in place to protect those speaking out about patient safety are fit for purpose.

Doctors who have spoken up since say they've faced the same catalogue of bullying and abuse by their employers, and in some cases, the focus remains on protecting reputations of Trusts, rather than addressing poor care. So is the culture changing quickly enough?

Reporter: Simon Cox
Producer: Nicola Dowling.

How are whistleblowers who report unsafe care in the NHS treated?

Special Guardianships: Keeping Things In The Family?2016030120160306 (R4)Placing children with relatives is an alternative to adoption. But does it always work?
Squalid Prisons - Who's To Blame?2018031320180318 (R4)The collapse of the construction giant Carillion has focused attention on the contracts it had with the Government, one of which involved cleaning, landscaping and maintenance at 50 prisons in the south of England.

The prison contract came into effect in 2015, but within months major problems started to emerge, as prisoners, staff and inspectors reported long delays in getting cells, windows and toilets repaired.

The Ministry of Justice acknowledged that Carillion was under-performing and ordered the company to pay back millions of pounds - but its contract was allowed to continue until the work was taken in-house after the firm folded last month.

There've also been growing concerns about another contractor, Amey, which has a maintenance contract at 61 prisons in the north of England, the Midlands and Wales.

Amey's work came under the spotlight at Liverpool Jail which was described in a recent report as "squalid", with prisoners living in damp, dirty and cockroach-infested conditions.

The contracts, which are worth £200 million over five years, were intended to deliver savings of £115 million.

But Ministers have admitted that the Government won't achieve the economies it wanted to because it under-estimated how much it costs to maintain jails.

They say the new government-owned facilities management company which has taken on Carillion's work will secure "significant improvements" and have pledged to strengthen the management and oversight of its contract with Amey to deliver a better service.

But the Prison Officers Association says the failure to maintain prisons properly has fuelled frustration behind bars, contributed to increasing levels of violence and endangered the health and welfare of inmates.

File on 4 explores the background to the prisons maintenance contracts, the impact out-sourcing has had on prisoners, staff and the public and whether the solution lies in greater state control, an end to private sector involvement or more investment.

Reporter: Danny Shaw
Producer: Sally Chesworth
Editor: Gail Champion.

Have private contracts for prison maintenance made our jails more dangerous?

Steeling For The Future2019070220190707 (R4)With British Steel going into liquidation last month File on 4 investigates the story behind the collapse of the iconic British brand. Reporting from the frontline in Scunthorpe, the programme hears from those in the town fearful of a future that could see 5000 workers losing their jobs and tens of thousands more indirectly.

The programme also looks at Greybull Capital – the investment company that bought British Steel for £1 from its previous owner Tata. But Greybull have a chequered history when it comes to their success in revitalising distressed concerns. File on 4 also asks if the government is doing enough to create a level playing field where British Steel can compete in a highly competitive world market.

Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images.

Could more have been done to save British Steel from insolvency?

Sunni Shia Splits?2016021620160221 (R4)Are relations between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the UK being strained by tensions abroad?
Surviving Self-harm2021021620210221 (R4)Sarah (not her real name) first deliberately hurt herself at the age of 11 and continued for more than six years, twice ending up in hospital. Now 18 and on the road to recovery, she says her experience shows the shortcomings in how teachers, parents, and the health system respond to self-harm.

File on 4 analysis of hospital admissions for self-harm reveals a system under growing pressure as more and more pre-teens are hurting themselves so badly they need a hospital bed. In telling Sarah’s story, we look at what works and what doesn’t when it comes to supporting children who self-harm. Why are ever-younger children ending up in hospital after injuring themselves? What has been the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic self-harm? And what was it that finally helped Sarah turn a corner?

Reporter: Dan Whitworth
Producer: Simon Maybin
Editor: Maggie Latham

One teenager's experience of hurting herself and a system struggling with rising demand.

Swipe Right For Crime2019021920190224 (R4)Police across the globe have successfully infiltrated leading dark web criminal markets. The result is that the trade in illegal drugs, stolen credit cards and indecent images of children is shifting to encrypted mobile phone apps. The crooks believe their business is protected by 'uncrackable' technology. So what should Government and the telecoms companies do to ensure criminals do not exploit secure encryption?

Reporter: Geoff White
Producer: David Lewis
Editor: Gail Champion

(Photo credit: NurPhoto\Getty Images)

The encrypted apps that bring the criminal web to your mobile phone.

Taking The Rap2020030320200308 (R4)When a video of one of the UK's biggest rap stars being attacked went viral, it marked the start of a series of events that left three young people dead. They died when tensions escalated between rival gangs in Tottenham and Wood Green in the north London borough of Haringey. File on 4 has been told the events that led to their deaths were triggered by an attack on a rapper called Headie One from the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham. Tensions were escalated via social media - violent tit-for-tat attacks filmed and posted on Snapchat and You Tube. Livvy Haydock hears the stories of those at the heart of this feud and from those whose lives it has devastated.

Reporter: Livvy Haydock
Producer: Oliver Newlan
Editor: Carl Johnston

How social media is fuelling violence and murder in north London.

Taxing Situations2020102020201025 (R4)For decades there was a boom in tax avoidance where people were paid using loans – and lowered their tax bills in the process. The boom went bust when the government clamped down, leaving some users with vast tax bills.

Many of those people now owe life-changing amounts to HMRC yet campaigners say there has been insufficient action against the companies that promoted the schemes.

But while some individuals face ruin, File On 4 has discovered that the businesses behind some of those loan schemes are still active. But now they’ve been targeting front-line COVID workers.

Reporter: Felicity Hannah
Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Gail Champion

COVID workers targeted with tax avoidance schemes that HMRC warns against signing up to.

Many of those people now owe life-changing amounts to HMRC yet campaigners say there has been insufficient action against the companies that promoted the schemes.

Tennis: Game, Set And Fix?2016011920160124 (R4)Have the tennis authorities done enough to investigate allegations of match-fixing?
Tennis: The Italian Files2016031520160320 (R4)Simon Cox reveals more allegations about match-fixing in tennis.
The 5g Con That Could Make You Sick2020061620200621 (R4)File on 4 investigates how bad science could be damaging people's health.

Since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown something strange has been happening –attacks on telephone masts and telecom workers are being reported all across the country. That’s because some people think that 5G can make you sick –from corona virus to cancer and a whole host of other symptoms. Even more worryingly, some scientists say they can prove that it’s harmful. But at a time when many businesses are struggling, could this apparent threat be helping to fuel a whole industry of strange and expensive products? And worse, could stoking these fears actually be damaging people’s health?
File on 4 investigates how bad science could be making you sick.

Presenter: Tom Wright
Producer: Chloe Hadjimatheou

The Asylum Business - The Uk's Hidden Housing Crisis2021031620210321 (R4)The multi-billion pound AASC contract is the Government's ten-year blueprint for how those seeking asylum in the UK are treated while they await a yes or no for their refugee status. After a year under the pressures of Covid , the contract has become mired in controversy. Former army barracks which have been repurposed as temporary holding centres for those applying for asylum have experienced fires, Covid-19 outbreaks and resident protests, and in other parts of the country, private landlords are threatening to pull out of the contracts. Are those living in such accommodation being treated fairly and humanely? Paul Connolly investigates.
Producer: Rob Cave

Are asylum seekers being mistreated by UK companies paid billions to house them?

Award-winning current affairs documentary series

The Cancer Drugs Fund2016060720160612 (R4)How will the new Cancer Drugs Fund cope with the challenges of rising cost and demand?
The Compensation Catch2019022620190303 (R4)If you’ve been the victim of sexual or violent crimes then you can apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

During 2017-2018, the government funded scheme paid out over £154 million to help people rebuild their lives.

But for some victims it’s not straightforward.

Solicitors and charities argue that inflexible rules exclude too many people from successfully making a claim, including those who apply more than two years after a crime happens, and those who have an unspent conviction of any kind.

Even where people are eligible for compensation, are they always getting what they deserve?

Applications to the CICA can be made without the help of a solicitor but File on 4 investigates whether victims without legal advice may be being deprived of their entitlement.

Serious questions are also being asked about the effect on vulnerable applicants when the CICA puts an award into a legal trust and dictates exactly how the money will be spent.

A government review into the scheme is currently underway and is set to report back later this year but in the meantime, is it fair to those whose lives have been affected by abuse or violence – or is it penny-pinching to save public money?

Presenter: Lesley Curwen
Producer: Emma Forde
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo credit: Education Images\Getty

The victims of violent and serious crimes being denied access to compensation.

The Cost Of A Kidney2017012420170129 (R4)In the UK three people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. People from ethnic minorities face a particular shortage of donors - the NHS aims to achieve 80% consent rates by 2020, but at the moment only 34% of families from ethnic minorities consent to donate organs when asked, and rates of living donation have started to fall.

File on 4 finds that a small number of patients are so desperate they will risk their health by looking for a kidney abroad. Most British patients head to Pakistan, where an equally desperate group of people are coerced into giving up their kidneys, placing their lives in the hands of organ traffickers.

But now a new, sinister trade is emerging in Pakistan. In October Pakistani police raided an apartment building in Rawalpindi and behind a metal grill, found 24 terrified people locked inside. They had been lured with offers of jobs, but when they arrived were kidnapped and told a kidney would be removed.

As a worldwide shortage of organs fuels an increase in transplant tourism, Allan Urry, working in conjunction with local journalist Nosheen Abbas hears from the people caught up in this illegal trade and asks whether enough is being done to prevent it.

Reporters: Allan Urry with Nosheen Abbas
Producer: Ruth Evans
Researcher: Usman Zahid.

How a worldwide shortage of organs is fuelling a dangerous trade in transplant tourism.

The Cost Of Long Covid2021051820210523 (R4)Latest figures show more than a million people in Britain are suffering from long Covid. For many the condition is completely debilitating. The extreme fatigue, breathing difficulties, brain-fog is forcing hundreds of thousands of previously fit, working people on to long term sick. File on 4 hears from the hero frontline workers who kept Britain going through the pandemic but now feel abandoned. Others reveal how they've felt pressurised to return to work even though they're very ill. So who's looking after them – and who, if anyone, is going to support them when their sick pay runs out?

Reporter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Mick Tucker
Editor: Carl Johnston

Long Covid - what happens when the sick pay runs out?

Award-winning current affairs documentary series

File on 4 investigates the scale of corruption - in the form of sexual assault, police brutality, racism and domestic violence - within our police forces, and asks if enough is being done to root out rogue officers. It hears shocking stories of how easy it is for officers to abuse their power and position, and examines whether police vetting procedures are fit for purpose.

File on 4 asks if the police is doing enough to stop its own officers breaking the law

The Crossing2019031920190324 (R4)In the autumn of 2016 the authorities in France closed down a large migrant camp in Calais known as The Jungle.

At its height more than 9,000 people from around the world lived in the camp while attempting to make it across to the UK, often hiding in the back of lorries or packed into small boats. It was hoped the camp's closure would stem the number of people risking their lives to try to get to Britain. But more than two years on has it worked?

Over Christmas the Home Secretary Sajid Javid declared the number of migrants attempting to cross in boats a 'major incident' and since then more than 100 people have been picked up in 2019.

File in 4 investigates the British gangs making thousands of pounds and risking migrants' lives smuggling them across the Channel and reports on the attempts to break up their networks.

In France, concerted efforts have been made to stop another large camp being established in Calais and File on 4 asks whether the policy is succeeding in deterring migrants from travelling to the French coast, or whether it is simply driving people to take ever greater risks?

Reporter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images.

The lucrative criminal trade in bringing migrants across the channel in dinghies.

The Crypto Factor - The Winners And Losers In Virtual Investment2019031220190317 (R4)You can't take money with you when you die.... or can you?

In this episode of File on 4 the stranger than fiction story that's the latest cryptocurrency scandal to leave tens of thousands of people out of pocket. The news about QuadrigaCX broke almost to the day that crypto-currencies celebrated a decade in existence. On this anniversary, we investigate the current state of the market and uncover how these sometimes tragic events have unfolded both here in the UK and across the world. With the UK government and other countries now considering attempting to regulate the market, we ask if these scandals could have been prevented and could now be avoided in the future.

Reporter: Paul Connolly
Producer: Kate West
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo credit: Reuters.

Cryptocurrencies have been around for 10 years, so why are many still dogged by scandal?

The Dangers Of Dating Apps2021022320210228 (R4)Millions of us each year pick up our phone and swipe right in the hope of finding ‘the one’, and with the pandemic limiting even the most basic of social interactions, statistics suggest more of us are using apps than ever before. For the majority of us these apps are a useful tool to connect in a busy world, but to criminals they serve as a playground to hunt for the vulnerable. From romance fraud to sexual predators, Livvy Haydock investigates the dangers these app’s pose, if big tech does enough to protect its users, and what we as individuals should do to keep ourselves safer. Details of organisations that can provide help and support with fraud, sexual abuse and bereavement are available from the following organisations:

Action Fraud provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.
Phone: 0300 123 2040
www.actionfraud.police.uk

UK Safer Internet Centre provides e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet.
www.saferinternet.org.uk

Get Safe Online offers unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety, including advice for parents about safeguarding children online.
www.getsafeonline.org

Sexual abuse:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/22VVM5LPrf3pjYdKqctmMXn/information-and-support-sexual-abuse-and-violence

Bereavement:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4MmhHDSbdDmTpVJhBs2v4Py/information-and-support-bereavement

Livvy Haydock investigates dating apps and if the pandemic has made them more dangerous.

The Disinformation Dragon2021030920210314 (R4)Prior to the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement and the Covid-19 pandemic, China’s presence on international social media was largely to promote a positive image of its country – trying to ‘change the climate’ rather than seeking to sow confusion and division. But this is changing.

In this investigation by File on 4 and BBC Monitoring, Paul Kenyon and Krassimira Twigg examine China’s new strategy of aggressively pushing disinformation on social media platforms through the use of ‘wolf warrior’ diplomats, internet bots, ‘the 50-cent army’ of loyal Chinese netizens and a longer term goal of inventing a new type of internet where authoritarian governments can control users.

Producer: Jim Booth

Investigating China's new strategy of spreading disinformation around the world.

The Hidden Homeless2016110120161106 (R4)Are local councils doing enough to provide accommodation for the homeless?
The Last Taboo2016092020160925 (R4)Are allegations of sex crimes made by elderly victims being ignored?
The Lost Children Of Marianvale2018052220180527 (R4)During much of the 20th century unmarried women who became pregnant faced being condemned, stigmatised and shunned by their communities.

Across the Republic and Northern Ireland thousands of women and girls were sent to mother and baby homes to give birth in secret and then gave their babies over for adoption.

For some women, the homes which were mostly run by the Catholic Church, provided sanctuary and a chance for them to rebuild their lives.

But others have claimed they were subjected to human rights abuses which culminated in seeing their babies taken from them and adopted out without their consent.

File on 4 investigates one such former institution in Northern Ireland - Marianvale in Newry - and hears concerns over the conditions and practices at the home which closed in 1984.

Now some of the children adopted from the home are in a race against time to find their birth mothers before they pass away. Some claim they face a trail of secrecy and obfuscation and there are growing calls for a public inquiry to provide answers about the extent of alleged forced adoption practices within Northern Ireland.

File on 4 asks whether enough is being done to provide answers for some women who went into Northern Ireland's mother and baby homes and for the babies they never saw again.

Reporter: Michael Buchanan
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Gail Champion.

An investigation into the former Marianvale mother and baby home in Northern Ireland.

The Missing Bitcoin Billions2018030620180311 (R4)As controversy rages around whether the Bitcoin bubble is about to burst, File on 4 investigates the mystery of the missing Bitcoin billions.

In 2014 one of the world's biggest Bitcoin exchanges - Mt Gox - suddenly stopped trading and filed for bankruptcy. It then announced that thousands of Bitcoins with a value of almost half a billion pounds had gone missing, leaving customers out of pocket and wondering what had gone on. For a while that remained a mystery, but recently US investigators have revealed that another exchange was involved - and there had been a huge Bitcoin theft..

What transpires is a murky transnational tale spanning Russia, Europe, Japan and the United States,

In a case which shines a light on the darkest corners of online trading Geoff White tells the real-life digital crime drama which shocked the cryptocurrency world.

Reporter: Geoff White
Producer: Nicola Dowling
Editor: Gail Champion.

The mystery of the missing Bitcoin billions: A real-life cryptocurrency crime drama.

The Neo-nazi Network2020062320200628 (R4)A neo-Nazi network is seeking to recruit young Brits.

Last year, a 16-year-old boy from Durham became the youngest person ever convicted of planning a terrorist attack in the UK, spurring reporter Daniel De Simone to delve deeper into this shadowy world.

Police say right-wing extremism is the fastest growing terrorist threat - and that the coronavirus pandemic may be leaving teens vulnerable to radicalisation.

As he investigates the movement, Daniel reveals the inner-workings of these militant extreme right-wing groups who seek to spark a race war and destroy society. Working with investigative journalists in the US and Russia, he tracks down some of the movement’s most extreme and influential men.

Producer: Lucy Proctor
Reporter: Daniel De Simone
Editor: Carl Johnston

The Neo-nazi Tapes20200616A neo-Nazi group seeking to recruit young Brits has been caught on tape.

Since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown something strange has been happening –attacks on telephone masts and telecom workers are being reported all across the country. That’s because some people think that 5G can make you sick –from corona virus to cancer and a whole host of other symptoms. Even more worryingly, some scientists say they can prove that it’s harmful. But at a time when many businesses are struggling, could this apparent threat be helping to fuel a whole industry of strange and expensive products? And worse, could stoking these fears actually be damaging people’s health?
File on 4 investigates how bad science could be making you sick.

Presenter: Tom Wright
Producer: Chloe Hadjimatheou

The Nuclear Option - Powering The Future And Cleaning Up The Past2017103120171105 (R4)There a risk we won't get new nuclear hooked up to the grid in time to back up renewable energy like wind power.

There's an aim to generate 16GWe of new nuclear power by 2030.

But experts doubt that's a realistic prospect, with Hinkley Point C years late, and questions over whether investors will risk capital on a proposed plant in Cumbria. And as plans for the future of nuclear power evolve, the legacy of the past also needs to be dealt with.

The government's served notice on a £6billion contract to make safe a dozen of the UK's first nuclear sites, dating back to the 1950s.

It was the most valuable piece of work ever put out to tender by the government.

But the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority gave the job to the wrong consortium. The high court ordered a payout to the rightful winners of £97.3 million in damages.
The National Audit Office says the total cost to the taxpayer is upwards of £122 million.

The government also has to find someone else to clean up the old Magnox power stations and nuclear research sites. The current contractor, Cavendish Fluor Partnership and the NDA agree the job is far bigger than was made clear, and CFP will down tools nine years early.

File on 4 looks at the delays and spiralling costs in decommissioning old power station sites.

So just how well is our nuclear industry being managed?

Producer: Rob Cave
Reporter: Jane Deith
Editor: Gail Champion.

How are plans for the future of nuclear power progressing - and how to clean up the past?

The Orphanage Business2019011520190120 (R4)Uganda is a country that has seen massive growth in the number of 'orphanages' providing homes to children, despite the numbers of orphans there decreasing. It's believed 80% of children now living in orphanages have at least one living parent.

The majority of the hundreds of orphanages operating in Uganda are illegal, unregistered and now are in a fight with a government trying to shut them down. Dozens on the government's list for closure are funded by charities and church groups based in the UK.

With widespread concerns about abuse, trafficking and exploitation of children growing up in orphanages are funders in the UK doing enough to make sure their donations aren't doing more harm than good?

Reporter: Anna Cavell
Producer: Kate West
Editor: Gail Champion

File on 4 exposes the abuse of Ugandan children being cared for in UK-funded orphanages

The Perfect Storm2020060920200614 (R4)Why are so many migrants risking their lives by crossing the Channel in small boats?

While Britain and France were brought to a standstill during the coronavirus lockdown, record numbers of migrants in Calais were on the move, boarding small boats to make perilous journeys to the UK.
But what is motivating migrants to risk their lives and take to the sea in such numbers?
File on 4 investigates conditions on the ground for migrants in northern France and hears claims a lack of food and sanitation, already a major issue in the informal camps, has been exacerbated by coronavirus.
Reporter Paul Kenyon hears concerns migrants have been driven to desperation by the worsening conditions on the ground and anxious not to fall ill with coronavirus in France in case they enter the French immigration system and harm their chances of settling in the UK.
Last year Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a package of new measures to crack down on migrants crossing the Channel in boats and vowed it would be an infrequent occurrence by spring 2020.
With record numbers of arrivals File on 4 investigates whether the Government's policies have prevented even greater numbers of people attempting crossings or forced them to take greater risks?

Reporter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Carl Johnston

The Price Of Pfi2016070520160710 (R4)New revelations about structural problems in schools and hospitals built under PFI schemes
The Prison Contraband Crisis2017031420170319 (R4)Prisons are a crucible for corruption, a former governor claims. Staff are working in the toughest conditions the system has seen in decades. Thousands of experienced staff have left and some areas are struggling to replace them. Morale is falling amid record levels of violence. The use of new psychoactive substances is out of control - fuelling yet more violence. Mobile phones are flooding in, making the flow of drugs even more difficult to contain. So how does contraband make its way onto prison wings?

Former prisoners tell File on 4 that the bulk of smuggled goods come in with staff. Drones and visitors bring in small amounts, but the bigger consignments can only make it through with inside help. John Podmore, who's run jails and led the service's anti-corruption unit, says staff corruption is the inconvenient truth at the heart of the prison crisis.

"It is uncomfortable. They are few in number but they are large in their effect. One prison officer bringing in one coffee jar full of spice or cannabis can keep that jail going for a long time and make an awful lot of money."

Former prisoners tell the BBC's Home Affairs Correspondent, Danny Shaw, staff corruption is a serious problem but has become "the elephant in the room" that prison officials don't want to acknowledge. The ex-inmates say some staff are being corrupted while others turn a blind eye.

The Ministry of Justice has promised renewed efforts to combat corruption and professionalise the service. Thousands of frontline staff in London and south-east England will benefit from a pay boost, thanks to a new £12m package.

So will it stop the rot?

Reporter: Danny Shaw
Producer: Sally Chesworth
Editor: Gail Champion.

Claims corrupt staff are behind the bulk of drugs and phones causing chaos in prisons.

The Private World Of The Nhs2018070320180708 (R4)As the NHS reaches its 70th anniversary, Adrian Goldberg investigates why the very mention of the word "private" - or, even more, privatisation - in UK health care provokes fierce opposition.

No party dare publicly claim anything less than unswerving support for the NHS and its supporting mantra that health care should be "free at the point of delivery."

Yet millions of people are treated by a private dentist. Millions more think nothing of having to pay for eye tests and the spectacles prescribed by opticians who work for "for-profit" businesses. GP practices are independent-run businesses. Routine operations are often outsourced to private hospitals. Yet NHS contracts are increasingly fulfilled by private health providers. While campaigners protest, most people continue having treatment.

So what is at the root of opposition to private health care? Is it the fear of replicating the US system where ability to pay is often a condition of receiving health care? If good health care is the last standing public good is that because it's the last vestige of socialism, clung to by the left? Is there a fear that the nature of health care changes when a commercial transaction lies behind it? Do nostalgia and a notion of "fairness" play a part? And does the fear of opposition encourage a policy of reform by stealth which in turn fuels suspicion and more opposition?

Adrian's mother was a domestic at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham for more than 20 years; his first job was working for the West Midlands Regional Health Authority, while his sister is a nurse. The programme takes Adrian on a personal journey to discover the true nature of opposition to private provision. On the way he talks to patients, practitioners and experts on health provision.

Why is 'private' the word that dare not speak its name in the National Health Service?

The Right Place For Reg?2019061820190623 (R4)On December 21st 2018, 94-year-old, World War 2 veteran, Reginald Herbert Thompson was taken to hospital after a fall at his home near Leicester. So began a journey which would see him transferred thirteen times, between five different hospitals, in the last ten weeks of his life.

Those who run the NHS claim that recent reforms will revolutionise the way frail patients are cared for. Older people like Reg will be looked after at home - an army of nurses, GP’s and other healthcare professionals working in tandem to provide ever more care in the community. It’s hoped these changes will ease the pressure on scarce hospital beds. But with the health service already straining to fill vacancies, will there really be enough nurses to meet that lofty ambition?

As the NHS struggles to cope with an ageing population, annual winter crises and staff shortages, Tom Wright investigates what Reg Thompson's story tells us about the future of the NHS.

Presenter: Tom Wright
Editor: Andrew Smith

What can one man's story tells us about the future of the NHS?

Just before Christmas, 94 year old World War 2 veteran Reg Thompson was taken to hospital after a fall at his home near Leicester. So began a journey which would see him transferred 13 times between five different hospitals in the last ten weeks of his life.

NHS managers claim that recent reforms will be able to simultaneously cut costs and drive up standards; creating a system fit for the future. Hospital wards will be replaced by ‘virtual’ ones; an army of nurses and GP’s providing care in people’s homes. Changes like these, managers say, will allow them to cut the number of hospital beds, save money and improve care. But experts warn that their evidence is shaky and that the process of reform is becoming increasingly unaccountable. Is it really possible to transform care, improve quality and cut budgets all at the same time?

With the NHS struggling to cope with an aging population, annual winter crises, staff shortages and ever increasing targets to get older patients out of scarce hospital beds, Tom Wright investigates what Reg’s story tells us about the future of the NHS.

Reporter: Tom Wright
Producer: Helen Grady
Editor: Andrew Smith

94 years-old, five hospitals, 13 hospital transfers, in ten weeks. Why?

What can one man's story tells us about the future of the NHS?

The Secrets Of Smyllum Park2017091220170917 (R4)Over many generations the Catholic church provided shelter and care for vulnerable children whose families had been broken by death or poverty. But many of those who grew up in these orphanages claim the care they offered amounted to years of serious beatings and emotional abuse which scarred them for life.

File on 4 investigates one such former institution, Smyllum Park in Lanark, uncovering new evidence of alleged abuse and raising serious questions about child deaths at the orphanage, before it was closed in 1981.

In Scotland, the ongoing child abuse inquiry has vowed to get to the bottom of what happened at Smyllum Park and other children's homes but it has been beset with delays, resignations and claims of political interference.

File on 4 asks whether the inquiry is digging deep enough to uncover the truth about what happened at Smyllum Park and why it has taken more than 50 years for the truth to come out.

Producer: Ben Robinson
Reporter: Michael Buchanan.

An investigation into the treatment of children at Smyllum Park orphanage in Scotland.

The Spy In Your Pocket2019061120190616 (R4)Anti-obesity campaigners in Mexico, human rights advocates in London, and friends of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi all claim they’ve been targeted by surveillance software normally used by law enforcement to track drug-dealers and terrorists.

File on 4 reveals compelling evidence that software is being used to track the work of journalists, activists and lawyers around the world. Paul Kenyon investigates the multi-billion pound ‘lawful surveillance’ industry. Sophisticated software can allow hackers to remotely install spyware on their targets’ phones. This gives them access to everything on the devices – including encrypted messages – and even allows them to control the microphone and camera.

So what are the options for those who are targeted and is there any way to control the development and use of commercially available software?

Presenter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Joe Kent.

Photo credit; Valery Brozhinsky\Getty

How sophisticated spy-ware can be used to track our everyday activities. Who's watching?

Anti-obesity campaigners in Mexico, human rights advocates in London, and friends of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi all claim they’ve been targeted by surveillance software normally used to track drug-dealers and terrorists.

How the mobile phones of dissidents and human rights activists are used to spy on them.

The Therapy Business2019092420190929 (R4)When BBC reporter Jordan Dunbar sought help for his mental health he was told he'd face a long wait on the NHS. So like thousands of others he decided to go private.

In this edition of File on 4 Jordan reveals how one shockingly bad experience made him question what protection the largely under-regulated therapy industry gives its patients. He discovers there are no laws against anyone operating as a therapist, psychotherapist or a counsellor in the UK. Many have set themselves up after completing cheap online courses and, as the NHS struggles to cope with demand, the private therapy business is booming. But Jordan discovers at the same time there's been an increase in the number of serious complaints made against psychotherapists and counsellors and finds gaps in the system of regulation for those professionals in whom we entrust our mental health.

Reporter - Jordan Dunbar
Producer - Rob Cave
Editor - Carl Johnston

Image credit; Jane Winder

Jordan Dunbar investigates the therapy business.

The Turnaround Game2017013120170205 (R4)Five people have been found guilty for their roles in bank corruption and fraud costing hundreds of millions of pounds. A sixth, it can now be revealed, had already pleaded guilty.

Lynden Scourfield, a middle-ranking banker with Halifax Bank of Scotland, accepted bribes in cash, foreign holidays and sexual entertainment. In exchange he would require small business customers to hire a firm of consultants called Quayside Corporate Services.

The consultants claimed to be able to turn the business customers' fortunes around - but the truth was very different. File on 4 follows the story of two small Hbos clients, former rock and rollers, who fought for a decade to expose the fraud, even as the bank sought to repossess their home.

We ask how this could happen, and how to prevent the ongoing mistreatment of small business customers by the banks.

Reporter: Andy Verity
Producer: David Lewis
Editor: Gail Champion.

What protection do small businesses have when banks treat them badly?

The Unorthodox Life Of Miriam20181106When Miriam left the Hasidic Jewish community she had to say goodbye to her parents, siblings and children. The night she fled she knew she would be ostracised. But didn't realise that six years on she would still be untangling herself from a series of complex financial arrangements which risk her going to prison. File on Four tells the story of this extraordinary woman which puts the financial affairs of one of the most guarded and insular religious communities under the spotlight. A judge has ruled Miriam acted under undue influence from religious and community leaders. How widespread are these practices? And why have they gone unchecked for so long?

NB This edition has been edited to eliminate any confusion between two people of the same name.

Presenter: Melanie Abbott
Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Andrew Smith

The shocking story of one woman's attempt to escape an Orthodox Jewish community.

Trade And Torture2016071220160717 (R4)Is the UK putting trade above concerns about human rights in the United Arab Emirates?
Transforming Care - Is It Working?2018100220181007 (R4)In the aftermath of the Winterbourne View scandal the government pledged to transfer people with learning disabilities and autism out of unsuitable hospital placements and into supported community living settings. A key milestone was to cut inpatient beds by March 2019 and to transform the lives of people who have been previously been ‘stuck’ in institutional settings.

But File on 4 has been told that the target will be missed and that it’s unachievable. Without the necessary expansion of capability to provide care for people in their own homes or community settings - many still languish in unsafe and unsuitable accommodation, with little prospect of moving on.

What are the implications for people who say they’re trapped in the system, with no route out?

Parents fighting to have their children moved to more appropriate environments say they fear for their safety. They paint a picture of a system that is overstretched and at breaking point. Without enough staff to provide the one to one care residents require – some have suffered serious injuries, harm or abuse.

So seven years after Winterbourne View, has enough really changed?

Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts\Stringer\Getty Images

Reporter: Lucy Adams
Producer: Rob Cave
Editor: Gail Champion

Lucy Adams investigates care for the learning disabled seven years after Winterbourne View

Transforming Care?2020111020201115 (R4)Back in 2018, File on 4 revealed the story of Bethany – an autistic teenager who had been locked in a hospital room alone for two years, her only contact with the outside world through a hatch.

What happened to her and others with learning disabilities who have been promised care in therapeutic community settings?

Following what NHS England called the ‘appalling scandal’ at Winterbourne View, the Government promised to close up to half of all inpatient beds for people with a learning disability or autism by March 2019, under a programme called Transforming Care.

Yet this target has been missed. And almost one in 5 patients with learning disabilities still in hospital has now been there for over ten years.

A series of damning reports – most recently from the CQC – have called for urgent reform. So what has gone wrong with Transforming Care?

Reporter: Melanie Abbott
Producers: Helen Clifton & Paul Grant
Editor: Gail Champion

Are promises to improve care for people with learning disabilities and autism being kept?

Reporter: Melanie Abbott
Producers: Helen Clifton & Paul Grant
Editor: Gail Champion

Transforming Rehabilitation: At What Cost?2016100420161009 (R4)Have major changes to the probation system put the public at risk?
Uk Asylum: A Systems Failure?2016030820160313 (R4)With applications rising, is the UK's asylum process reaching crisis point?
Undue Influence2021011220210117 (R4)In the age of social media and the selfie, the perfect look is everything.

That's what influencers tell their followers. Some are also happy to provide a 'how-to guide' to obtaining the perfect body. What they don't mention though, is that they are cashing in, being paid by clinics to promote procedures, some of which are risky and dangerous.

It’s a story that begins on social media. Young women posting online about their experiences of plastic surgery. The online videos, posted to their followers, show their surgeon smile and wave for the camera.

But a big part of their stories is missing. They’re not normal patients. Because these influencers have access to a market of thousands of other young women, they get their surgery for free in exchange for the promotions. Offline the situation is less than picture perfect. File on 4 hears from the women whose lives were changed by the pursuit of the perfect body.

Producer: Kate West
Reporter: Joice Etutu
Editor: Gail Champion

The relationship between social media influencers and clinics promoting cosmetic surgery.

Unmasked: Stories From The Ppe Frontline2021020920210214 (R4)After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, reserves of personal protective equipment quickly dried up. Stories about frontline staff lacking the kit they needed made headlines night after night and photos of nurses wearing bin bags for protection began circulating on social media. In response, the government began hunting down new supplies just as global demand surged. It started using emergency powers to award PPE contracts worth tens of millions of pounds without opening them to competition, leading to claims that some companies were favoured because of their political connections. Phil Kemp investigates what the government got for the £12.5 billion it spent on PPE and uncovers concerns about the quality of some of the kit that was bought. The Department of Health and Social Care said it had been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect health and social staff throughout the pandemic with nearly eight billion items delivered so far.

Producer: Anna Meisel
Editor: Gail Champion

What did the government get for the \u00a312.5 billion it spent on PPE for NHS staff?

Vaccine Damages2016020220160207 (R4)Are people damaged by vaccines being short-changed by the government?
What Happened At Aston Hall Hospital?2016071920160724 (R4)Why were children injected with a so-called truth serum at Aston Hall Hospital?
What Lies Beneath: The Legacy Of Landfill2017062020170625 (R4)The toxic legacy of Britain's industrial heritage lies festering beneath our feet in 20 thousand former landfill sites. But now Government has ended the system of grants to local authorities to help pay for their clean up, and developers are moving in to build housing. How safe are these places, and should people be concerned about living on top of them? Many of these sites were commissioned long before safety and environmental regulations were introduced so nobody knows what's buried underground and what problems it might create in the future. Families whose homes were built right next door to old landfill sites tell the programme their lives have been blighted by health issues. File on 4 has seen new research commissioned by the Environment Agency which reveals how erosion is threatening hundreds of toxic dumps along our coastline that could leach chemicals and other harmful substances onto our beaches and into the sea.

The toxic legacy of the UK's tens of thousands of underground waste dumps.

What's New About The New Far Right?2017111420171119 (R4)The head of counter terrorism Assistant Commander Mark Rowley has warned the extreme right wing pose a growing threat in the UK. He told the Home Affairs select committee last month that right wing issues had increased in the last two years which was a real concern, although Islamic extremism remained the main threat.

Last month, two men alleged to be members of National Action - a banned extreme far right group - were charged in connection with an alleged plot to kill an MP.

Adrian Goldberg investigates the current face of the far right in the UK today and hears from their victims.

He meets the former soldier who intervened after a far right extremist tried to behead a Sikh man and challenges the Austrian leader of a group called Generation Identity which launched in the UK only last month.

They are part of a Europe wide group of so called 'Identitarians' who say their aim is to protect cultural identity. But their target is clear. Members unfurled a banner over Westminster bridge in London which declared "Defend London, Stop Islamisation."

Experts say there is now growing cross border co-operation between far right groups in Europe, the UK and America.

Jewish communities are also worried about the rise in the far right and growing anti-Semitic attacks. A student who highlighted far right posters being put up at her university was forced to move after a hate campaign which included her face being superimposed on pictures of holocaust victims. Businesses have been firebombed and some members of the Jewish community say they are so concerned they are considering leaving the country.

The programme reveals new research on the scale of far right extremism on-line. Thousands of people in the UK have been identified as having violent extremist thoughts. Former extremists have been brought in to try to persuade people to change their views. But are they listening?

Presenter: Adrian Goldberg
Producer: Paul Grant
Editor: Gail Champion.

What threat do the new and emerging far right groups pose to the UK?

Whose Right To Buy Is It Anyway?2016062120160626 (R4)Is the scheme that allows council tenants to buy their own homes open to fraud and abuse?
Winging It?2019030520190310 (R4)The UK's Military Flying Training System trains pilots on aircraft from fighter planes to navy helicopters. It takes years for trainees to get their wings. But delays in the system, mean many pilots and crew are 'on hold', waiting months, often years to take to the skies.

File on 4 investigates the reasons for the hold ups. What's the impact of these delays on the public purse and on our military capability?

The government's promising a beefed up armed forces, including two new Typhoon squadrons and F35 jets. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson says the UK needs to be ready to use 'hard power' or risk being seen as little more than a paper tiger. But with the MoD's flying training still not at full throttle, will a lack of pilots undermine our military capability?

Reporter: Jane Deith
Producer: Mick Tucker
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo Credit: Christopher Furlong\Getty

An investigation into delays in the training of military pilots. Why is there a backlog?

Women Who Abuse2021011920210124 (R4)Women are seen as the caring, nurturing sex, safe to be left in charge of children.

But stigma and stereotyping around female perpetrated abuse means it can be seen as a lesser crime, with many victims deeply reluctant to report their ordeal to the authorities.

Experts tell File on 4 that current case numbers are the ‘tip of the iceberg’, while the early indicators of abuse, like online grooming and social media befriending, can be brushed aside when the abuser is a woman.

File on 4 hears from adult survivors who describe decades of trauma and shame caused by their female abusers, as well as the difficulties they faced in reporting the crime.

Psychologists and campaigners say the criminal justice system urgently needs to better support victims to give evidence.

They describe how abusers are still able to take advantage of laws that leave children in informal settings, such as sports clubs and choirs, open to abuse, settings where female abusers can thrive.

And although societal perceptions of female child sexual abuse are changing, many deeply traumatised victims risk being left behind.

Reporter: Melanie Abbott
Producer: Helen Clifton
Editor: Gail Champion

The hidden victims of female child sexual abuse, fighting for justice - and closure.

Youth Justice?2018112020181125 (R4)When secure training centres were launched nearly two decades ago they offered child offenders the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and get their lives back on track in a safe environment.

Today there are three units in England, Medway in Rochester, Oakhill in Milton Keynes and Rainsbrook in Rugby, which provide 30 hours of education a week as part of the rehabilitation process.

But the units have been dogged by serious concerns over the treatment of young people, including allegations of abuse, the inappropriate use of restraint and unsafe living conditions.

File on 4 investigates youth custody and reveals the scale of concern about life in secure training centres.

The Government has acknowledged there have been unacceptable levels of violence in youth custody and has recently announced a new generation of secure schools, which promise to equip young offenders with the skills to live successful, crime-free lives.
File on 4 asks whether these new facilities will be the long-term solution to turning young offenders' lives around.

Reporter: Simon Cox
Producer: Ben Robinson
Editor: Gail Champion

Photo Credit: Press Association

Are young offenders being failed by the system meant to protect them?