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File on 4 Podcast Profile

File on 4 Podcast

English, Public-Community, 1 season, 428 episodes, 4 days, 53 minutes
Award-winning current affairs documentary series investigating major issues at home and abroad
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Detained and Restrained: Britain's Vulnerable Kids

The most senior family court judge in England has described the growing use of Deprivation of Liberty orders for vulnerable children as a 'crisis.' File on 4 hears from young people who were held under the order supposedly for their own safety. But they say they were under constant supervision, denied access to their phones and the internet and kept away from their families. Some say they were subjected to physical restraints and even supervised when they were having a shower. And one teenager who was on a Deprivation of Liberty order tells the programme he preferred being in prison.Reporter: Ashley John-Baptiste Producer: Phil Marzouk Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Production coordinator: Ellie Dover Editor: Carl Johnston
5/22/202443 minutes, 9 seconds
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Long Covid: Mind Over Matter?

There are some two million people with long Covid in the UK - and most of them - around one and a half million - have symptoms that interfere with day to day activities. Fatigue, breathlessness, heart palpitations and severe dizziness are just some of the conditions people experience.Currently there’s no test for long covid and it could be years before we know for sure how best to treat the condition. This struggle to get help is leaving some very unwell people desperate - and willing to try anything to get better. There are treatments to wash your blood, high pressure oxygen chambers normally used by deep sea divers. A rainbow of supplements. All with varying degrees of evidence. And perhaps most strongly dividing opinion - programmes that claim to retrain long Covid patients' brains to stop their symptoms. They say they can help people recover from illness by rewiring the brain using techniques to influence physical changes in the body. Rachel Schraer - the BBC's health and disinformation correspondent - hears from people with long Covid who say the programmes didn't work and in some cases made them feel worse. Others say they fully recovered. Reporter: Rachel Schraer Producer: Paul Grant Technical producers: Cameron Ward and Nicky Edwards Production co-ordinator: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
5/21/202438 minutes, 15 seconds
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Teams and Regimes: Sportswashing in Football

Manchester City are dominating English football, with a trophy cabinet full of silverware. The club’s success has been bankrolled by money from Abu Dhabi. Now Newcastle United have followed in their wake, with backing from a Saudi consortium transforming a sleeping giant of English football into perhaps the world’s richest club. But with the money comes accusations that the clubs are being used to launder the reputations of repressive regimes accused of human rights abuses, and that the cash from the two oil rich states is being used to exert political influence locally and nationally in the UK.Reporter: Adrian Goldberg Producer: Fergus Hewison Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Production coordinator: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
5/14/202442 minutes, 48 seconds
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Caught on Camera: The special school staff who abused kids and kept their jobs

Three years ago, dozens of memory sticks were discovered in a sealed box at a school for children with special educational needs. There was 500 hours of footage which showed children being held in so-called 'calming rooms.' The videos showed the children being hit and denied access to a toilet. File on 4 investigates why a subsequent police investigation and an independent inquiry didn't lead to staff being sacked . File on 4 reveals how staff who were filmed hitting, kicking, and leaving children sitting in urine have not been sacked or referred to the barring service.Reporter: Noel Titheradge Producer: Annabel Deas Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Production Coordinator: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
4/30/202436 minutes, 47 seconds
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Lasting Legacy: What went wrong at a Hull funeral home?

The discovery of 35 bodies and an unknown quantity of unidentified human ashes at a Hull funeral home has become one of the most harrowing investigations in the history of Humberside Police. Linsey Smith investigates what went wrong and hears from some of the many families who've been left devastated by the discovery - some of whom now know the ashes they were given didn't belong to their loved ones. File on 4 also hears how the funeral industry is largely unregulated and how concerns raised more than three years ago by the Competition and Markets Authority about the storage and treatment of the deceased haven't been acted upon.Reporter: Linsey Smith Producers: Holly Clemens and Nicola Dowling Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Digital producer: Melanie Stewart-Smith Production Coordinators: Tim Fernley & Jordan King Editor: Carl JohnstonImage Credit:Christopher Furlong\Getty
4/16/202437 minutes, 6 seconds
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Slimming Groups and Eating Disorders

Slimming World is the leading diet organisation in the UK. It has 700,000 members and, at a time when obesity is spiralling in the UK, it has helped millions lose weight. It has contracts with the NHS and local government. If you meet the criteria, your doctor can sign you up for free. But could the Slimming World diet be encouraging disordered eating by some members? File on 4 hears from people who believe that Slimming World has seriously damaged their health and destroyed their relationship with food.Reporter: Jo Casserly Producer: Immy Rhodes Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Production Coordinator: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl JohnstonImage Credit: Kseniya Ovchinnikova\Getty
4/9/202441 minutes, 42 seconds
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Degraded by Deepfakes

Jodie had everything - a good job, great friends and a busy social life. But her world was turned upside down when she was targeted by an online abuser who posted pornographic deepfakes of her online. Initially turned away by the police, she turned detective herself - but nothing could prepare her for what she eventually discovers. She now struggles to trust anyone. And what happened to Jodie could happen to any of us. Here she tells her story for the very first time. Reporter: Kate West Producer: Rhoda Buchanan Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Digital Producer: Melanie Stewart-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl JohnstonIf you’ve been a victim of harassment, stalking or revenge porn, details of organisations offering information and support are available at
4/2/202441 minutes, 55 seconds
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No Place to Call Home

As the cost of living crisis continues to increase the strain on families, a record 142,000 children in England are homeless and living in what should be short term temporary accommodation. Children are being consigned to B&Bs and hotels, former office blocks - even shipping containers – some without a bed of their own, living among rats and cockroaches - conditions the children’s commissioner has condemned as Dickensian. With the help of young people and their families, File on 4 investigates how temporary accommodation - meant to be a short term safety net - has become a trap some children can’t escape.Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Nicola Dowling Technical Producer: James Beard Production Coordinator: Jordan King Editors: Clare Fordham and Carl JohnstonImage: Imgorthand via Getty Images
3/19/202437 minutes, 43 seconds
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Investigating Employee Assistance Programmes

‘Employee Assistance Programmes’ - almost 25 million workers in the UK have access to one through their employer. They’re designed to help people deal with personal problems that might affect their performance at work by offering advice, support or counselling sessions. But are all providers offering a good service? File on 4 investigates.Reporter: Alys Harte Producers: Vicky Carter and Ella Rule Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Production Coordinators: Jordan King and Tim Fernley Editors: Clare Fordham and Carl Johnston
3/12/202437 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Trouble with Parenting

"Maria" ended up in A and E after being assaulted by her 11-year-old child. There’s nothing unusual about children being rude or sometimes abusive to their parents, particularly when they’re adolescents. But some parents are attacked and abused by their children on a regular basis. It’s a pattern of behaviour that can begin as young as three years old and become unmanageable by teenage years. Many parents remain silent out of shame and out of fear of the consequences if they seek help, worried that their child may be taken into care or criminalised. So it’s a hidden problem. The issue is now on the government’s agenda with a consultation that’s aiming to find a common definition for the issue. Jo Glanville talks to parents, practitioners and researchers about what happens in families when a child becomes violent, what should be done to support them and what lies behind this kind of behaviour.Presented and Produced by Jo Glanville Executive Editor: Bridget Harney Research: Maia Miller-Lewis Studio Manager: Jon Calver Actors: Jayne Ashbourne and Juliet Cowan A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4 Organisations in the programme offering information or support on child to parent violence:Family Lives Parentline family support and bullying helpline | Family Lives CAPA First Response Capa First Response | You are not alone - Capa First Response Listen Change Young People’s Programmes - TLC: Talk, Listen, Change ( in the Wall HOLES IN THE WALL | documenting parent abuse
3/5/202437 minutes, 43 seconds
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A Coal Town Mystery

It’s a scandal that went uncovered for 30 years. Body parts and organs from former workers in the nuclear industry were systematically removed for research. But the families of those former workers were never told. The truth only came to light following a three year inquiry published in 2010. But was this practice contained to one industry, or was this happening on behalf of others too? News reports around the time of the Sellafield scandal claimed that organs of coal miners were also being routinely removed during post-mortems at the request of the then National Coal Board. So, was the coal industry involved in a similar scandal - and to what extent? And could the need to advance research and science ever be seen to outweigh the need for permission?Reporter and producer: Emma Forde Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Editor: Clare Fordham
2/27/202436 minutes, 57 seconds
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When Abortion is a Crime

The case of Carla Foster made headlines last year after the mother-of-three was initially sentenced to two years in prison for taking abortion pills after the legal cut-off. Since then, several other women have appeared in English courts accused of having illegal abortions, with increasing numbers of women under police investigation. Reporter Divya Talwar hears from women who have been investigated on suspicion of procuring illegal abortions, meets one woman who was prosecuted and sentenced, and hears from a journalist who believes the law is proportionate. File on 4 reveals that in some cases, women who have experienced pregnancy loss and premature deliveries are also being investigated on suspicion of having illegal abortions. There have been growing calls from campaigners and MPs to scrap the Victorian law that criminalises abortion in England and Wales and replace with medical regulation instead - as is the case in Northern Ireland. While some say the law doesn’t need to be changed, others believe urgent reform is required so women involved are treated with compassion instead of being punished.Reporter: Divya Talwar Producers: Anna Meisel and Eleanor Layhe Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Production Coordinator: Tim Fernley Editor: Clare Fordham and Carl JohnstonImage Credit: MartinPrescott\Getty
2/20/202436 minutes, 51 seconds
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A Plan to Kill - The Murder of Brianna Ghey

File on 4 tells the story behind the brutal killing of schoolgirl Brianna Ghey. She was attacked in a park near Warrington in Cheshire on a Saturday afternoon in February 2023. Two teenagers - Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe - who were obsessed with murder and torture, have been convicted of her murder. In the build-up to the killing, they exchanged text messages outlining details of their plan. The girl even wrote a detailed plan of how they would go about the murder which was found by police in her bedroom. File on 4 has discovered how she had been part of a 'managed move' to Brianna's school after she poisoned a younger girl with a cannabis-infused 'gummy' and didn't tell her what was in it. The 13-year-old became very poorly and the police were alerted. The victim's family decided against further action and the matter was referred back to the school. Scarlett Jenkinson was suspended for five days and later transferred to Brianna's school where the two girls became friends. However, before accepting Jenkinson on their register, the school was not given all the details of the incident involving the cannabis sweet. Warrington Borough Council says a child safeguarding review is underway and it will examine all of the issues - including the circumstances surrounding the managed transfer. Reporter: Katie Barnfield Producer: Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
2/2/202436 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ireland's Far Right Riot

When three young children and their carer were stabbed outside a school in Dublin, protests against immigration began, fuelled by rumours on social media. A night of rioting then followed, with shops looted, vehicles set alight, and police attacked. The rioting has placed immigration centre stage of Irish politics, with one of the country’s most famous sports stars, mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor, claiming Ireland is “at war” and saying he wants to be president. File on 4 investigates what caused the riots, and asks is Ireland at a turning point in its history?Reporter: Shane Harrison Producers: Fergus Hewison and Surya Elango Technical Producer: Sue Stonestreet Production Coordinator: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
1/30/202437 minutes, 44 seconds
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Bailiffs Behaving Badly

Councils in England and Wales are owed half a billion pounds - mainly in uncollected taxes and fines; money that's needed for essential services. Now, more and more, many are turning to bailiffs to recover the money. File on 4 hears from those on the receiving end - and industry insiders who say their colleagues are incentivised to behave badly. Mark Lobel also speaks to those at the forefront of industry reform who believe say the industry still needs to clean up its act.Reporter: Mark Lobel Producers: Phil Marzouk Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
1/22/202437 minutes, 30 seconds
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Lethal Weapons: The Blank-Firing Guns Converted to Kill

Handguns which fire blanks are being converted into deadly weapons by criminals. File on 4 has discovered they're now being used more often than real handguns. Adrian Goldberg meets victims of gun crime and explores the UK's trade in illegal firearms. He discovers how easy it is to buy a blank firing pistol which can be illegally converted into a lethal weapon in 20 minutes, and hears from a former gangster who warns the law has too many loopholes. The UK has some of the strictest firearm laws in the world. So as some criminals struggle to obtain genuine guns, they're now getting blank-firing weapons converted into deadly weapons. As reporter Adrian Goldberg discovers how easy it is, gun campaigners call for tighter regulations around the manufacture and sale of blank firing weapons.Reporter: Adrian Goldberg Producer: Paul Grant Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
1/15/202437 minutes, 6 seconds
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Escaping Anna

A group of women turned to a private specialist eating disorder clinic in Bath hoping they would receive life-changing treatment. They say their mental and physical health deteriorated while the psychologist in charge subjected them to psychological abuse. The clinic has since closed its doors, but the former patients say they have been left with life-long scarsReporter: Divya Talwar Producer: Ellie Layhe
1/11/202436 minutes, 43 seconds
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Doctor of Deception

For more than twenty years, Zholia Alemi worked as a psychiatrist for the NHS. She practiced the length and breadth of the country, treating vulnerable patients with dementia, learning disabilities and mental illness. And then she was caught in a lie. Alemi was found guilty of forging a dementia patient’s will. But this deception was only the beginning. From Crowd Network, Doctor of Deception investigates how one woman’s web of lies reveals historic flaws in the system designed to keep patients safe. If you were treated by Zholia Alemi, or have concerns about her practice, there is a support page available on the General Medical Council’s website: Presenter: Saleyha Ahsan Producer: Louisa Adams Technical Producer: Phill Brown Executive Producer: Samantha Psyk
1/2/202437 minutes
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The Murder of Brianna Ghey - A File On 4 special

File on 4 tells the story behind the brutal killing of 16-year-old transgender schoolgirl Brianna Ghey. She was attacked in a park near Warrington in Cheshire on a Saturday afternoon in February 2023. Two teenagers, who were obsessed with murder and torture, have been convicted of her murder. In the build-up to the killing, they'd exchanged text messages outlining a details of their plan. Reporter Katie Barnfield speaks to Brianna’s mother and the detective involved in bringing her killers to justice.Reporter: Katie Barnfield Producer: Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
12/20/202335 minutes, 12 seconds
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Uninsurable Planet

Felicity Hannah explores how climate change is leaving communities 'uninsurable' because of the rising risk of them being hit by extreme weather events.She speaks to one businessman living in 'Hurricane Alley' in Louisiana, who has seen his premiums rise by $200,000 in just three years, and learns how many residents are now having to run the risk of living without insurance, because the cost is just too high. In Australia, she speaks to residents resigned to the fact that their hometown is considered too much of a risk for the insurance industry. Instead, the government has bought their homes and they have been forced to leave. In the UK too, Felicity meets business owners already deemed 'uninsurable' because of the frequency of flooding they have faced. Meanwhile British homeowners relying on a temporary fix that has helped reduce their premiums must hope flood defences are built before time runs out. Could rising premiums be the canary in the coalmine for taking more decisive action on climate change?Presenter: Felicity Hannah Producer: Nick Holland Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Design: Graham Puddifoot
12/19/202337 minutes, 39 seconds
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Shoplifting and organised crime

File on 4 reveals how hundreds of vulnerable women and children are being trafficked to the UK by organised crime gangs to work as shoplifters. The victims are forced to live in squalor in overcrowded houses in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Investigators have discovered there are 154 known members of one gang which is making millions for the gangmasters from Eastern Europe. High street stores have reported a 25 per cent increase in the number of shoplifting incidents over the last year. Reporter: Datshiane Navanayagam Producers: Holly Clemens and Kate West Editor: Carl Johnston
12/12/202337 minutes, 40 seconds
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Whistling in the Wind: The NHS doctors sacked after raising concerns

Lucy Letby was allowed to continue working with new-born babies despite her colleagues raising concerns about her for months. Her conviction highlighted how NHS executives put the reputation of the Countess of Chester NHS Trust ahead of patient safety. But what happened in Cheshire was far from a one-off. File on 4 hears from doctors with unblemished medical careers who were sacked after raising patient safety concerns. The programme follows one medic through an Employment Tribunal as he attempts to save his career, and hears the emotional, brutal toll the process takes on him. For the first time, a top doctor who won record damages talks about the extraordinary steps her managers took to undermine her. Their tactics included relocating her to an empty office with a broken chair and telling colleagues that she agreed with their assessment she was incompetent. And a former NHS executive tells the programme that trusts are more interested in “flying LGBT flags” than tackling concerns about patient safety. With widespread calls for NHS managers to be regulated, File on 4 asks who should take on the role, given the willingness of the NHS to redeploy managers found to have ignored patient safety concerns, or even punished those who dared to raise them. Reporter: Michael Buchanan Producer: Katie Langton Editor: Carl Johnston
12/5/202338 minutes, 2 seconds
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Artificial Intelligence: The Criminal Threat

Artificial intelligence, or AI, makes it possible for machines to learn - and in the future it will perform many tasks now done by humans. But are criminals and bad actors ahead of the curve? AI is already being used to commit fraud and other crimes by generating fake videos and audio; fast emerging threats that form just part of a potential new crime wave. File on 4 investigates.Reporter: Paul Connolly Producer: Fergus Hewison Editor: Carl Johnston
11/28/202337 minutes, 58 seconds
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Lost in Translation

When people who don't speak English, including refugees arriving in the UK after fleeing war, they are entitled to receive the support of interpreters when dealing with public sector organisations. The service provides a lifeline for some of society's most vulnerable people to help them navigate places like hospitals, social services and courts. But reporter Matthew Hill hears allegations the service is seriously failing those who need it most - with tragic consequences. Data obtained exclusively by File on 4 has revealed over the past five years at least 80 babies have died or suffered serious brain injuries in NHS maternity units in England, where interpreting and communication problems due to language difficulties, were a contributing factor. The programme also hears from an alleged victim of serious sexual abuse who says she was unable to give police an accurate account of her ordeal because the interpreter was so poor. Campaigners claim huge disparities in the levels of qualifications required in public service organisations and poor rates of pay have caused an exodus of qualified interpreters, which they claim is putting some of society's most vulnerable people at risk of harm. Reporter: Matthew Hill Producers: Ben Robinson and Surya Elango Editor: Carl Johnston
11/21/202336 minutes, 59 seconds
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Disability and the Adult Industry

As a young person, Ellen Macleod wasn’t sure whether her disabilities would mean she could never have sex so she turned to the internet. There she found porn featuring disabled adults, but those films threw up dark questions around consent, exploitation and whether disabled people were being made the involuntary subject of a fetish. Now Ellen has teamed up with journalist Nastaran Tavakoli Far to investigate whether what she saw online was extreme role play or very real abuse. Ellen and Nas speak to disabled adult content creators, as well as safeguarding and legal experts to explore how society protects vulnerable adults, and what many of us get wrong about sex and disability. If you have been affected by sexual abuse or violence, details of help and support is available at Presenters: Ellen Macleod and Nastaran Tavakoli-Far Producer: Ailsa Rochester Sound Design: Rob Green Executive Producer: Jo Meek An Audio Always production for BBC Radio 4
11/7/202337 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Anatomy of a Fraud

File on 4 highlights one fraud phone call, in order to shine a light on how scammers work. A man rings a company pretending to be from the bank. How does he persuade a victim he is legitimate? We consider the psychological, financial and emotional impact fraud has on those involved, and we hear from experts hunting the perpetrators. Producer: Vicky Carter Reporter: Iona Bain Technical Producer: Kelly Young Production Coordinators: Tim Fernley and Jordan King Editor: Clare Fordham
10/24/202337 minutes, 45 seconds
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Wilko Town

The collapse of retail giant Wilko in September left 12,500 people out of work across the UK. No area has been harder hit by the redundancies than the Nottinghamshire town of Worksop, where Wilko employed 1,200 people at its head office, shop and distribution centre. Citizen's Advice has been helping those affected warning that debt in the town was at a record level before the collapse and has doubled since this time last year. Reporter Jane Deith has been following the lives of several former Wilko staff as they attempt to find new jobs. Producer: Matt Pintus Reporter: Jane Deith Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Production Coordinators: Tim Fernley and Jordan King Editor: Tara McDermott
10/17/202337 minutes, 33 seconds
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Bankrupt Birmingham

A perfect storm of equal pay claims and a huge overspend on an IT project has brought Europe’s largest local authority to its knees. But how did Birmingham go from the triumph of hosting the Commonwealth Games to financial ruin in just over a year? Adrian Goldberg investigates for File on 4. Producer: Phil Marzouk Producer: Fergus Hewison Producer: Megan Jones Reporter: Adrian Goldberg Technical Producer: Matthew Dempsey Production Coordinator: Tim Fernley Editor: Clare Fordham
10/10/202336 minutes, 56 seconds
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Security Threat: Sham training courses risk public safety

The Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017 left 22 people dead and more than a thousand injured. The subsequent inquiry found security arrangements were lacking with some security staff admitting they were untrained in vital procedures. File on 4 goes undercover to reveal how, despite assurances the industry has tightened up procedures, some training companies are offering 'fast-track' courses which don't comply with regulations. the programme also reveals how candidates are told to falsifty time sheets and are given the answers to a final examination to ensure they pass and can subsequently work in an industry which is supposed to keep the public safe. Producer: Kate West Reporter: Greg McKenzie Assistant producer: Nick Holland Editor: Carl Johnston
10/2/202336 minutes, 53 seconds
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The Great Replacement

The Great Replacement is an idea fueling far-right recruitment around the world - the idea that white communities and culture are being purposely replaced by non-white migrants. Many far-right terrorists have referenced this theory as the driving force behind their murderous actions - but where does this idea originate from, and how seriously should we be taking its proliferation here in the UK? Terrorism expert Raffaello Pantucci explores the roots of the Great Replacement and asks if this is just a far-right conspiracy theory as some critics claim, or is there a kernel of truth reflected in the UK's changing demography? If so, how are communities - and the government - managing this change? Immigration is often a difficult topic of public debate, with many people concerned that any questioning of immigration policy will label them as racist. But if we can’t talk more openly, without fear of judgement, are we at risk of handing control of the immigration narrative to extremists? Reporter: Raffaello Pantucci, Senior Fellow at the Royal United Service Institute, Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
9/21/202336 minutes, 47 seconds
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The Dark Side of Ballet

Hayley Hassall investigates accusations of bullying and body-shaming at some of the UK’s elite ballet schools. File on 4 and Panorama have spoken to more than 50 ex-students of the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst Ballet School who attended between 2004 and 2022. Many described developing eating disorders, while some said they had been left with mental health problems. One retired ballerina File on 4 has spoken to has begun legal action against the Royal Ballet School for the treatment she says she suffered there. The two ballet schools dispute the accounts given to the BBC and say they are working hard to change the culture, and put health and wellbeing at the forefront of their priorities Reporter: Hayley Hassall Producer: Paul Grant Editors: Carl Johnston and Clare Fordham
9/11/202336 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Crooked House

The Crooked House: One summer’s night the Crooked House, known as Britain’s wonkiest pub, caught fire. Less than 48 hours later the ruins were knocked to the ground, completely destroying an iconic symbol of the Black Country. The pub gained its name, and worldwide fame, from its crazy angles caused by mining subsidence. But its loss is now being mourned amid calls for it to be rebuilt brick by brick. File on 4 tells the story behind the destruction of the Crooked House. Presenter: Adrian Goldberg Producers: Fergus Hewison, Emma Forde and Phil Marzouk Assistant Producers: Ella Rule and Patrick Kiteley Production Coordinators: Tim Fernley and Jordan King Technical Producer: Kelly Young Editor: Carl Johnston
9/5/202342 minutes, 18 seconds
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A Different Class: Excluded kids lured into crime

After an inevitable decline during the pandemic, school exclusions are again on the increase. There are concerns that behaviour is worse because, post pandemic, children can’t regulate their behaviour in the classroom. So what happens to those who are kicked out? The Government says it has issued updated guidance on suspensions and permanent exclusions and is clear that initial intervention should be put in place where children are at risk of being permanently excluded and entering alternative provision. It says permanent exclusions should always be a last resort and shouldn’t mean exclusion from education. But File on 4 hears compelling evidence from pupils, parents and teachers to suggest hundreds - maybe thousands - are falling under the radar, targeted by criminal gangs, forced to sell drugs and lured into a life of crime. Reporter: De-Graft Mensah Producers: Shona Elliott and Tom Wall Senior Digital Journalist: Melanie Stewart-Smith Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Technical Producer: Gareth Jones Editor: Carl Johnston
8/29/202336 minutes, 57 seconds
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Jon Holmes, Generation Shame

Last year a Parliamentary Report concluded that between 1949 and 1976, around 185,000 babies of unmarried mothers were put up for adoption in England and Wales, many of these by force. For File on Four, The Skewer’s Jon Holmes investigates whether he was one of them. Jon Holmes has always known he was adopted, but was never very interested in searching for his birth parents until results of a recent DNA test proved he was of Irish heritage and his curiosity was piqued. A large folder arrives from Warwickshire County Council and slowly Jon begins to unpick the story of his life and the world he was born into. As secrets of Jon’s past are revealed, a Parliamentary Report by the Committee on Human Rights is published detailing shocking and vivid accounts of mothers being forced into giving up their babies by a society that outcast and shamed them at every turn. What will Jon discover about his own family? What truths will he uncover as he speaks to mothers forced into handing their newborns over, as well as fellow adoptees about the damaging and traumatic culture he was born into? Government has always denied any responsibility and is refusing demands for an apology, but is that really the case? As Jon slowly finds out more about his own past, he also investigates the impact of this era and asks where does responsibility for this societal culture lie… and can it ever be repaired? Presenter: Jon Holmes Producer: Elizabeth Foster
8/22/202337 minutes, 17 seconds
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The Wolf of Crypto

Set in the belly of rural England, the small village of Winchmore Hill is a far cry from the world of privileged tech bros and slick silicon valley investors, often associated with crypto currencies. Yet in 2021, this community just north of Slough became the recruiting ground for a crypto investment called Koda. Thanks to the gregarious pub landlord, who promoted the coin and ran crypto nights, a big chunk of this community where everyone knows everyone put money into the currency. They invested thousands of pounds, in some cases their life savings, but when the currency plummeted months later, they lost it all, leaving the community utterly devastated. Lucinda Borrell explores the lasting impact on this small village, and asks why this particular crypto coin became so appealing in the first place.
8/1/202337 minutes, 33 seconds
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Modern Slavery in the Care Sector

With the number of potential modern slavery cases in England and Wales at a record level, File on 4 investigates how vulnerable people are being targeted and exploited by organised crime groups for cheap labour. Police estimate that there are tens of thousands of victims of modern slavery in the United Kingdom, being forced to work and live in inhumane conditions with little hope of escape. Investigators whose job it is to protect workers from exploitation reveal to File on 4 that the care industry has become their top priority in the past 18 months. Datshiane Navanayagam finds out why and asks whether the systems in place to support victims are working. Reporter: Datshiane Navanayagam Producers: Matt Pintus and Phil Marzouk Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Digital Producers: Melanie Stewart-Smith and Georgia-Mae Browne Technical Producer: Cameron Ward Editor: Carl Johnston
7/25/202336 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Epilepsy Drug Scandal

It’s been called a bigger scandal than Thalidomide. The drug sodium valproate is estimated to have harmed 20,000 children in the UK. It’s mainly used to treat epilepsy and other conditions such as bipolar disorder. But taking the drug when pregnant can cause serious harm to unborn babies. Even when it was licenced fifty years ago, it was known to cause harm to foetuses in animals. But it wasn’t until 2005 that the patient information leaflet, which should come with a prescription- gave clear warnings on the risks of taking valproate in pregnancy to unborn children, beyond a small chance of spina bifida. File on 4 asks if the health regulators in the UK and the company who make it, Sanofi, did enough to inform patients of the severity of the drug's risks soon enough. Meanwhile, new risks of the drug are still emerging. A new study shows the drug may affect the neurological development of children fathered by men taking valproate. The evidence is still inconclusive, but neurologists are uncertain what to advise their male patients on valproate. And why are women still getting pregnant on it? We ask if the system set up to protect women taking it is working as it should be? A major review of the drug made a number of recommendations, including the setting up of specialist clinics and a compensation scheme for those affected. The programme asks what progress has been made in the UK to implement those changes, and are we lagging behind other countries? File on 4 speaks to the families whose children have been left with lifelong neurological and physical disabilities as a result of taking the medication. Reporter: Rachel Stonehouse Producers: Jane Fellner and Emma Forde Editor: Carl Johnston
7/18/202337 minutes, 8 seconds
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The GP Crisis

The morning rush in a doctor’s surgery usually begins around 8am, before the doors even open, as patients ring up to try and get a precious appointment. But why is it so hard to get to see a GP, and why is primary care under such pressure? File on 4 has spent a week in a GP’s surgery speaking to doctors, staff, and patients to try and understand the challenges facing the front line of health care. The programme has been given access to what goes on behind the scenes at a doctor’s surgery in Gateshead, on Tyneside, in one of the most deprived parts of England. It hears why a growing population, more elderly people, and fewer fully qualified doctors dealing with more complex health problems are all factors pushing some GP practices to the brink, and some to consider leaving the profession altogether. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producers: Fergus Hewison and Kat Collins Techincal Producer: Nicky Edwards Editor: Carl Johnston
7/11/202337 minutes, 8 seconds
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The Organ Harvesters

File on 4 tells the story of a young street trader from Lagos who revealed a conspiracy that took down one of Nigeria’s most powerful politicians. The young man was tested, trafficked and tricked into a plot to take his kidney, to donate to the politician’s sick daughter in the UK. His conviction - the first of its kind in the UK - has led to police investigating more potential cases. Reporter: Mark Lobel Producer: Kate West Technical Producer: Kelly Young Digital Producer: Melanie Stewart-Smith Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
6/26/202337 minutes, 5 seconds
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Scout's Honour?

Nearly half a million young people in the UK are members of the Scout Association. The organisation employs 143,000 adult volunteers and leads the way in nurturing a love of the outdoors and providing practical skills which will allow members to make a positive contribution to society. But not everyone has been enriched by the experience. File on 4 has learned that in the last ten years the Scout Association has paid out £6m to scouts who were abused. Reporter Hayley Hassall hears from some female abuse survivors who say they were ignored when they reported abuse. The Scout Movement says it is "deeply sorry" for anyone who has suffered abuse. Now there are calls for the organsiation to overhaul its safeguarding policy. John Cameron, the former director of ChildLine and head of child protection operations at the NSPCC, tells File on 4 that voluntary organisations would benefit from an independent body overseeing safeguarding practices. Reporter: Hayley Hassall Producer: Paul Grant Researcher: Shona Elliott Technical Producer: Kelly Young Digital Producer: Melanie Stewart-Smith Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
6/13/202336 minutes, 59 seconds
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Living with Antisocial Behaviour

Earlier this year, the government announced their new plan to stamp out antisocial behaviour across England and Wales. Hot spot policing and what they call ‘immediate justice’ will be trialled in towns and cities in an attempt to curb the problem. What is it like to live in a community that experiences antisocial behaviour year-in, year-out? And what do the people who live there think needs to be done? This is the story of one community marred by antisocial behaviour - and their fight for better. Reporter: Alys Harte Producers: Vicky Carter and Surya Elango Digital Producer: Melanie Stewart-Smith Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
6/6/202336 minutes, 51 seconds
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Sex Attacks in Hospitals

When you go to hospital you expect to be safe. But File on 4 has discovered that many patients and staff who are victims of sex attacks say not enough is done to deal with the perpetrators - and hospital managers ignore complaints. The programme examines startling data on the number of reported cases and asks what's being done to prevent sexual assaults in hospitals. The Department of Health says sexual violence or misconduct of any kind is unacceptable and has no place in the NHS. However, they also say there is still a long way to go in tackling sexual assaults to deliver justice for victims. Reporter: Fergus Hewison Producer: Matthew Pintus Digital Producer: Melanie Stewart-Smith Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
5/23/202337 minutes, 11 seconds
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Affirmative Action on Trial

For 40 years, affirmative action policies were created in the United States to address a lack of women and people of colour in the workplace and at university. They have been questioned before, and are now under scrutiny once again in the Supreme Court. Two cases are being brought by a group called Students for Fair Admissions challenging the way race is considered in the admissions process at Harvard and North Carolina Universities. The case against Harvard specifically alleges discrimination against Asian Americans, which the prestigious college denies. But affirmative action is divisive and means different things to Americans. Nomia Iqbal speaks to Edward Blum, the man bringing the case to court, and to students on either side of the debate. Is the policy a helping hand, or an unfair handout?
5/16/202336 minutes, 43 seconds
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Sex education: Too much too young?

File on 4 investigates claims that children are being taught graphic and age-inappropriate material as part of their Relationship and Sex Education. The government has brought forward a review into how sex education is taught in schools in England following concerns that children across the country are being taught lessons on oral sex, how to choke your partner safely and 72 genders as part of their RSE. We speak to teachers, parents, children and sex education providers to try and discover what's really happening in schools and where there are instances of bad practice, we ask if they're part of a systemic national problem in sex education or extreme examples used to push a political moral agenda. Reporter: Kate West Producer: Hayley Mortimer Researcher: Shona Elliott Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston Archive credits: This Morning, Good Morning Britain, TalkTV, GB News, Life Begins, Huntley Film Archives
5/9/202336 minutes, 58 seconds
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Oiling Putin’s War?

File on 4 investigates the secretive world of oil shipping, dark fleets and camouflaged cargos. Sanctions were supposed to hit President Putin in the pocket, weakening his military capabilities. But have they simply created new markets and new millionaires? And why can a company in Essex enable Russian oil to move around the world without attracting the attention of the authorities? Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Jo Casserly Editor: Carl Johnston
5/2/202336 minutes, 44 seconds
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Police Complaints: A Crisis of Confidence

Britain’s biggest police force says there are hundreds of rogue officers amongst its ranks. It’s now The Met’s job to root them out, with dozens of staff diverted away from organised crime and counter-terrorism units to work in its professional standards department. But can the police be trusted to investigate themselves? File on 4 can reveal how an officer working for a force outside of London, who had multiple rape allegations against him, was given a job in the professional standards department, investigating complaints made against colleagues. We’ve discovered how complaints to police forces across England and Wales are being regularly dismissed, with many people resorting to legal action to get accountability and winning damages from the police in court. File on 4 also reveals how recent reforms to the complaints process have done little to improve accountability and restore public confidence. Reporter: Hayley Mortimer Producer: Tom Wall Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
4/11/202336 minutes, 51 seconds
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Probation in peril

The Probation Service is meant to protect the public by monitoring released prisoners and offenders on community sentences - helping them to stay out of trouble and rebuild their lives. But a series of catastrophic failures have led to the murders of two women who were killed by men who should have been monitored more closely. File on 4 analyses the case of Damien Bendall who killed his pregnant partner Terri Harris and three children in 2021 while on probation. The Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell has said Bendall’s supervision “fell far below the quality that the public has a right to expect”. The programme hears from the families of Bendall's victims and from those probation officers on the front line who say the service is at breaking point. Reporter: Danny Shaw Producer: Fergus Hewison Assistant Producer: Patrick Kiteley Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
4/4/202337 minutes, 5 seconds
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Rental Health: The Social Housing Perfect Storm?

Social housing providers say they are under more financial pressure than ever before. The sector has warned long-term Government funding cuts and the cost of improving homes to meet new fire safety laws, have now been compounded by high inflation, to create a perfect storm of pressure. But is it vulnerable tenants who are paying the price? File on 4 investigates record complaints about social housing providers and hears allegations of "degrading" treatment by some social housing providers. Reporter Iona Bain also uncovers failings by a housing provider which led to raw sewage flooding into residents' flats. Reporter: Iona Bain Producer: Ben Robinson Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Clare Fordham
3/21/202337 minutes, 6 seconds
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Punished for being mentally ill

Suicide or attempted suicide is not a criminal offence. But, as Adrian Goldberg discovers, mentally ill people are still being punished for attempts to take their own lives. They can be charged with 'intentionally or recklessly causing a public nuisance,' 'railway trespass' or 'obstruction of highways.' File on 4 hears from people who believe they should have been given care and compassion rather than face criminalisation. The programme also investigates concerns over a scheme called Serenity Integrated Mentoring, or SIM, which was adopted by many NHS mental health trusts in England. It was designed to enable police and hospitals to cope with patients who regularly call the emergency services or arrive at hospitals having self-harmed, attempted suicide, or threatened to take their own life. When tagged under the system, patients can be denied care, prevented from seeing doctors or psychiatrists, and sent home. Reporter: Adrian Goldberg Producer: Vicky Carter Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Production Manager: Sarah Payton Production Coordinators: Tim Fernley and Jordan King Editor: Carl Johnston Details of organisations offering information and support with mental health or feelings of despair are available at:
3/15/202337 minutes, 18 seconds
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Missing Migrant Children

200 children have gone missing from hotels used by the Home Office to temporarily house lone asylum seekers. File on 4 investigates what’s being done to find them and why so many have disappeared. Reporter: Livvy Haydock Producer: Kate West Researcher: Nathan Standley Editor: Carl Johnston Image credit: Ben Stansall\Getty
3/7/202337 minutes, 9 seconds
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Looking for Levi

Levi Davis - a 24-year-old rugby player and X-Factor star went missing in Barcelona at the end of October last year. He’s not been seen or heard from since. Four months on, File on 4 pieces together his last known movements - speaking to his family and friends to try and understand more about what happens when someone goes missing overseas without a trace. Reporter: Rachel Stonehouse Producer: Alys Harte Editor: Carl Johnston Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Production Manager: Sarah Payton Production Team: Tim Fernley and Jordan King
2/28/202336 minutes, 40 seconds
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Firefighters on Trial

A damning report into the culture of London Fire Brigade found a toxic mix of racism, sexism, misogyny and bullying. Launched after a young firefighter of colour took his own life, the review included terrible anonymous accounts from those serving in the capital, women groped during exercises, a black man who had a noose left on his locker. Now File on 4 has discovered shocking new evidence of problems within the fire service elsewhere across the UK. We hear from those subjected to sexual assault, violence and bullying while working on the frontline, left suicidal as a result of the treatment they suffered at the hands of colleagues and those who were hounded out or chose to walk away from a career they loved. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Nicola Dowling Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Editor: Carl Johnston
2/21/202336 minutes, 57 seconds
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Three Friends

They were born in the same month of the same year: Emily, Nadia, and Christie. The three young women who lived close to each other in the North East of England became friends, their lives intertwined due to severe mental health problems. They shared their innermost fears, their thoughts and laughs. But their tragic deaths came within eight months of each other while under the care of the same mental health trust. An investigation has higlighted multiple failings by the Tees Esk and Wear Valley Mental Health Trust. File on 4 tells their stories in their own words and hears from those closest to them, and asks what could have been done to save them all. Details of organisations offering information and support with mental health or feelings of despair are available at Reporter: Datshiane Navanayagam Producer: Fergus Hewison Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Production Team: Tim Fernley and Jordan King Editor: Carl Johnston
2/14/202336 minutes, 59 seconds
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Living with Andrew Tate

A British woman tells File on 4 about her relationship with controversial social media influencer Andrew Tate, claiming that he pressurised her to work for his webcam company and that he was controlling and violent towards her. Tate is currently in detention in Bucharest along with his brother, Tristan, facing allegations of people trafficking and rape, which both men deny. Prosecutors allege that Andrew Tate recruited victims by seducing them and falsely claiming he wanted a relationship or marriage. 'Sophie' tells File on 4 what happened to her and other women who worked in Romania as webcam girls for Tate. The programme also interrogates Tate's claims that he's a self-made 'trillionaire' and asks whether his boasts around his vast wealth are all that they seem. Image credit: EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Producer: Hayley Mortimer Reporters: Georgia Coan and Paul Kenyon Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Production team: Tim Fernley and Jordan King Editor: Carl Johnston *Since this episode of File on 4 was originally broadcast, lawyers acting for Andrew Tate have said that he denies all the allegations made against him in the programme.
2/7/202337 minutes, 2 seconds
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Learning to survive: The School Fighting the Cost of Living Crisis

This episode tells the story of a primary school on the frontline of the cost of living crisis, a school doing more than most to make sure children are fed, warm and have somewhere safe to go home to at night. File on 4 spent several months recording at Ingol Community Primary in Preston. It’s in one of the most deprived areas in England; more than half of their pupils are on pupil premium - additional state funding aimed at closing the attainment gap between poorer pupils and their peers - but that’s not their only challenge. This school is going to exceptional lengths to make sure families survive the cost of living crisis this winter, all while battling unprecedented pressure on the school’s own finances. Will they be able to make ends meet and still provide all this extra help for families? Reporter: Alys Harte Producer: Ben Robinson Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
1/24/202337 minutes, 7 seconds
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Catastrophe at the Academy

File on 4 investigates events that led to the death of two people at London's Brixton O2 Academy in December. The venue was shut down after the fatal crowd crush ahead of a concert by the Nigerian artist Asake. Security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, and Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, died in hospital after the incident at the south London venue on 15 December. Some said ticketless fans tried to force there way into the venue. But File on 4 has heard compelling evidence that suggests there were other reasons the venue became overcrowded. Producer: Anna Meisel Reporter: Greg McKenzie Assistant Producer: Patrick Kiteley Digital Producer: Melanie Stewart-Smith Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Editor: Carl Johnston
1/17/202335 minutes, 59 seconds
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Abandoned in Afghanistan

18 months after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, File on 4 hears from people still stuck in hiding; their names blacklisted because of the work they did for the British. Following the fall of the country and the frantic evacuation, the UK Government made a series of promises not to leave behind those who'd helped the UK. The programme investigates the failures of these schemes, which have seen tiny numbers getting to safety in the UK. Thousands more left living in fear, facing torture and kidnap have been left languishing for months without contact or support. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Kate West and Vicky Carter Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
1/10/202337 minutes, 4 seconds
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How did my child die? The crisis in paediatric pathology

The death of a child causes parents’ unimaginable grief, but this is being exacerbated by long delays to post mortem reports due to a shortage of pathologists in the UK. The number of paediatric pathologists means that children and babies are having to be moved around to other parts of the country in order for post mortems to be undertaken, causing even further distress for families. When a child dies suddenly, sometimes post-mortems may need the input of specialist pathologists. But these even fewer in number meaning bereaved parents are waiting months, sometimes years to discover why their child died. But these shortages can have even more devastating consequences. File on 4 has uncovered cases where parents suspected of harming their child have waited months for post-mortem reports to be completed, only to be exonerated of any wrongdoing once the findings are back. During which they’ve had other children taken into care and faced months under wrongful suspicion. The head of the family courts in England and Wales says long waits for post-mortem reports in suspected child homicides cases is “unacceptable”. But it’s not just the courts raising concerns. Senior police chiefs say a shortage of specialists is also causing delays to police investigations and the criminal process. Adrian Goldberg investigates the crisis which has been years in the making, with The Royal College of Pathologists warning that the situation is “critical”. Reporter: Adrian Goldberg Producer: Emma Forde Technical Producer: Mitch Goodall Editor: Carl Johnston Production Coordinator: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton
1/3/202337 minutes
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Cost of Living Forcing Children into Care

The cost of living crisis is placing huge pressure on families across the country, many of whom were already living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet. Now social services say the pressure on parents is causing a significant increase in family breakdowns and the number of children being taken into care. Reporter Paul Connolly speaks to parents who fear the cost of living crisis could see them lose their children and investigates whether enough is being done to prevent families breaking down. File on 4 hears from social workers on the frontline who say more and more children are falling into extreme poverty and face a daily battle to help their parents keep them safe. The programme uncovers new data which reveals the increasing pressure the cost of living crisis is placing on children's social care and asks what the future holds for a service already struggling to meet demand. Reporter: Paul Connolly Producer: Ben Robinson Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
12/20/202236 minutes, 47 seconds
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Albanian Exodus

Their country is not at war and it's not ruled by an authoritarian regime, yet thousands of young Albanians are making the dangerous journey across the channel to live and work in the UK. File on 4 travels across Albania to discover the truth behind the biggest migration controversy to hit Britain for years, visiting towns where most young men have already left and the rest are planning to leave as soon as possible. In Has, a small town in Northern Albania, 80 per cent of families rely on funds being sent back by relatives living in the UK. A red phone box can be found outside a pub called Britain Lounge - a mark of respect to the country providing work to the majority of the town's youth. While in neighbouring Kukes, men who've made their fortune and returned home, drive around the city in cars with GB number plates. With wages low and youth unemployment high, File on 4 hears from young people who say there are no prospects for them in their home country. They're lured to the promised lands of England by slick social media campaigns led by people smugglers and by Albanians who show off their wealth online. But the exodus of skilled workers and the country's labour force is having a huge impact on the population of Albania, which has still yet to fully recover from its brutalist communist rule. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producers: Hayley Mortimer and Fjori Sinoruka in Albania, Kate West and Annabel Deas Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Editor: Carl Johnston
11/8/202236 minutes, 52 seconds
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High Anxiety: The Deadly Trade in Street Valium

They’re cheap – but they’re also deadly. Illegal pills costing as little as 50p each are contributing to the deaths of hundreds of people each year in Scotland. Now an expert is warning benzodiazepines, or street Valium, could pose a growing threat elsewhere. Jane Deith talks to those whose lives have been destroyed by benzodiazepines, a category of drugs usually used to treat anxiety that can be prescribed, but which have become a major feature of the illegal drugs market in Scotland and now elsewhere in the UK. The so called “street benzos” are a class C drug manufactured in huge quantities in illegal factories and sold for as little as 50p each, less than a bar of chocolate. But in combination with other drugs benzodiazepines can be fatal, significantly increasing the risk of an overdose. In recent years the number of people dying has risen sharply. Last year in Scotland more than 800 people died with illegal street benzos in their system. In England and Wales the death toll was over 500, with 171 of those who died having used benzodiazepine analogues, fake versions that can vary widely – and dangerously - in strength. From the Clyde to Cornwall, File on 4 hears the stories of those dealing with the fallout from the trade in the drugs, including people who have been addicted to them; a mother in North East England who lost her daughter to a fatal overdose; a teenager who bought them on social media, and an expert who believes their influence is spreading, with potentially dangerous consequences. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Fergus Hewison Research: George Crafer Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Editor: Carl Johnston
11/1/202236 minutes, 54 seconds
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Roblox: A Dangerous Game?

Before Covid the US gaming platform Roblox was one of many online games children played. Following lockdown and millions of children isolating at home, the company now has a market value of $22bn and is the most popular gaming platform for British children. But is the platform doing all it can to protect them? Concerns have been raised about financial exploitation, grooming, gambling and access to inappropriate content. Reporter: Hayley Hassall Producer: Jim Booth Editor: Carl Johnston
10/25/202236 minutes, 53 seconds
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Is the Patient Breathing?

From the harrowing 999 calls of people waiting for an ambulance to the paramedics stretched to breaking point, File on 4 goes on the frontline of the ambulance crisis. Rachel Stonehouse speaks to the family of one man who died after waiting nearly 11 hours for an ambulance and the wife who desperately tried to keep her husband alive after an ambulance failed to turn up on time. She goes out on shift with hard pressed paramedics and sees the steps which are being taken to try to reduce delays in handing over patients at hospital - blamed as one of the main factors behind poor response times. In August alone, 138,000 hours were lost to handover delays in England. That equates to nearly 150 patients who could not be attended by an ambulance every hour of every day in that month. The government says it is committed to easing pressure on the ambulance service - by discharging more patients in hospitals, increasing the number of 999 call handlers and creating more beds. Reporter: Rachel Stonehouse Producer: Paul Grant Research: Scott Hesketh Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Editor: Carl Johnston
10/18/202237 minutes
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The Brain Drain

Paul Kenyon investigates the ‘brain drain’ of doctors from developing countries to work in the UK. The large scale recruitment of foreign doctors from nations with the greatest need to retain their medical personnel is increasing on a massive scale. What’s more, thousands of doctors are being targeted despite guidance which says recruitment from developing countries should not happen. It is though - because the UK trains too few doctors and nurses and needs these staff to plug the gaps. There are also big concerns about how many of the doctors flown into the UK are expected to work extremely long hours which they say is putting patient safety at risk. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Anna Meisel Research: Matthew Lynch Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Editor: Carl Johnston
10/11/202236 minutes, 44 seconds
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Leicester: Behind the Divide

Leicester is one of the most diverse cities in England – often presented as a shining example multi-cultural Britain. But tensions between some factions have been brewing in the city for months and boiled over recently when there were violent clashes which led to dozens of arrests. File on 4 investigates why sections of the Muslim and Hindu communities that once lived together in harmony are now divided. Reporter: Datshiane Navanayagam Producer: Hayley Mortimer Research: Sajid Iqbal and Ben Robinson Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
10/4/202236 minutes, 38 seconds
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Isobel's Story

There are concerns that British victims of trafficking are less likely than foreign nationals to receive Home Office support to escape exploitation. More and more British victims of organised sexual abuse are being referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) – the government’s support pathway for victims of trafficking – following high profile sexual exploitation cases in Rochdale, Rotherham and Telford. But charities are warning that British victims are less likely to be given access to safehouses, legal aid and counselling. File on 4 hears the story of a young woman who has been raped hundreds of times since she was schoolgirl - and is still being abused despite going to the police and the Home Office for help. 'Isobel' says she has been consistently let down by the police and the Home Office who have failed to give her the support she needs to escape her abusers - causing her to be re-trafficked in recent weeks. The Human Trafficking Foundation says victims like Isobel are being failed by the NRM and that it was designed for foreign victims of trafficking seeking asylum and has not adapted to cater for the growing number of British victims. Producer: Hayley Mortimer Reporter: Annabel Deas Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Editor: Carl Johnston
9/27/202236 minutes, 56 seconds
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Justice on Trial

It was to be one of the most ambitious just reform programmes in the world – a ‘common platform’ that would share information between the courts, lawyers and police, from arrest to court. But the quarter-of-a-billion pound IT project now stands accused of causing wrongful arrests and unlawful detentions. File on 4 has spoken with whistle-blowers from within the court service who say the system is unsafe, unfinished and beset with bugs, errors and glitches. Sources say early warnings were ignored and worry that the software continues to be rolled out to courts across England and Wales despite serious concerns about the risk it poses. Producer: Ben Robinson Reporter: Alys Harte Editor: Carl Johnston
9/6/202236 minutes, 45 seconds
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Assaulted by my massage therapist

The massage industry has bounced back since covid, but File on 4 investigates the darker side of this industry. Hannah Price speaks to women who were sexually assaulted by massage therapists. In some cases, the therapist went on to assault other women even after they’d been arrested. The programme reveals how the industry is largely unregulated - with no licensing of practitioners. It means anyone, even without qualifications or with a criminal conviction, could practice as a massage therapist. Sexual assault victims and professional bodies in the sector are calling for more regulation to be introduced to protect both clients and therapists from sexual violence and harm. Reporter: Hannah Price Producers: Paul Grant and Eleanor Layhe Editor: Carl Johnston
7/12/202236 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ukraine War Stories: What Happened Next?

In March 2022, File on 4 told the stories of six people whose lives were changed forever by war in Ukraine. They were not soldiers, activists or politicians. They were civilians, not used to war or how to deal with it. They kept audio diaries that told a raw truth about loss, hope and even love. Some packed up and left with their children while others remained in the eye of the storm. Among them, a language teacher from Mariupol who did not know if her parents were still alive – and a model who was caught up in shelling in Chernihiv. But what’s happened to them since? File on 4 tries to trace them, to discover how their lives have changed in four months of war. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Hayley Mortimer Editor: Carl Johnston
7/5/202236 minutes, 53 seconds
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Children’s Homes: Profits Before Care?

Last month an independent children’s social care review concluded that providing care for children in residential homes 'should not be based on profit'. The government response was that they have no any objection to profit being made as long as standards of care are properly regulated. But is there a difference in the standard of care between ‘for profit’ and ‘not-for-profit’ children’s homes? With exclusive access to new data from the regulator Ofsted, reporter Tom Wall investigates the companies that are making huge profits from the children’s homes to ask whether there is shortfall in care and whether the reforms suggested are necessary. Tom also talks to care leavers and children who have experienced life in homes where profit is a priority. This epsiode of File on 4 is a repeat of the programme first broadcast on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 Reporter: Tom Wall Producer: Jim Booth Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Editor: Carl Johnston
6/28/202236 minutes, 53 seconds
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Dementia: The Final Indignity

Around 800,000 people have dementia in the UK. For those suffering from the illness, incontinence can often be seen an inevitable consequence - but that’s not always the case. Deemed as too embarrassing or taboo, it’s a topic that rarely hits the spotlight. Experts say preserving someone’s ability to go to the toilet is crucial to maintaining their dignity and quality of life and should be a priority in care settings. But is that always happening? A new report shown exclusively to File on 4 has looked at how continence care is being managed in hospitals – and how, in some cases, those who are continent are actively encouraged to soil themselves. Datshiane Navanayagam speaks to families who say their loved ones were ignored when it came to their continence needs in hospital and that the consequences have left them with health issues and requiring additional support. Nurses and medical staff say that continence training is often seen as a ‘Cinderella subject’. We also hear from dementia patients themselves about why maintaining your own dignity and independence is so crucial with this disease. With the government set to reveal a new dementia strategy this year, will continence care be placed higher up the agenda? Reporter: Datshiane Navanayagam Producers: Emma Forde, Annabel Deas and Scott Hesketh Production Manager: Sarah Payton Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Editor: Carl Johnston
6/21/202236 minutes, 39 seconds
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Sibling Sexual Abuse: The Last Taboo?

With exclusive access to research – the first of its kind – reporter Livvy Haydock investigates what could be the most common form of sexual abuse that happens within families: sibling sexual abuse. She speaks to families struggling to get help for this distressing form of abuse and those struggling to come to terms with a child harming another child – and fighting to repair their family. As she will find out, a lack of official data makes it difficult to know for sure the true scale of the problem but some experts suggest 1.3 million people in the UK may have been affected by it. And she will ask if a reluctance to accept what’s going on in front of us, could mean that when people look for help, often, it’s not there. This is a story about sexual abuse at the very heart of the family; a story that may challenge what you think you know about the risk children may face in our homes. Reporter: Livvy Haydock Producer: Alys Harte Technical Producer: Craig Boardman Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Editor: Nicola Addyman
6/14/202236 minutes, 58 seconds
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Gambling on Justice

Gambling is a multi-billion pound industry which is facing change. For years there has been mounting concern that in the digital era betting companies have expanded far beyond the reach of the law and the Government is set to table major new rules to transform how the industry is governed. But the reforms will not consider whether people who have been drawn into criminality by a gambling addiction are being failed by the criminal justice system. File on 4 uncovers significant failings throughout the criminal justice system when it comes to gambling-related crime. Reporter Paul Connolly speaks to people who have been jailed for gambling-related frauds, who reveal a lack of awareness among police and the judicial system, an absence of treatment and a prison system unable to offer even the most basic help to people with gambling addictions. Reporter: Paul Connolly Producer: Ben Robinson Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Editor: Carl Johnston
6/7/202236 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ukraine: The Disinformation War

Russia’s response to accusations of war crimes in Ukraine has been to blame the Ukrainians of bombing their own side. Some people here in the UK have been sharing this version of the war on social media. Driven by a conviction that Western governments are responsible for many of the world’s ills, these academics, journalists and celebrities have shared misinformation in their attempts to raise questions about the official narrative of the war. Their detractors say they are useful to Vladimir Putin. They claim there’s a McCarthyist witch hunt against them. All wars are fought as much in the information space as on the battle field and Chloe Hadjimatheou looks at where the new red lines are being drawn in an age of disinformation. This programme is subject to clarifications. It referred to Dr Justin Schlosberg's tweets about Bucha questioning why a massacre in the city wasn't mentioned until four days after Russian troops had left. File on 4 said: 'Dr Schlosberg highlighted this in his tweet. How could the Mayor have failed to refer to such an atrocity - surely something's up?' In fact this was the presenter's summary of Dr Schlosberg's sentiments, not a direct quote. We also agree that we should have included Dr Schlosberg's explanation that he tweeted because it wasn't clear what was going on in Bucha, that it was right to apply due caution until the UN had done an authoritative investigation and the idea that he was pushing a particular Kremlin narrative is absurd. The programme also referenced a parliamentary question from Robert Halfon, MP, and some listeners might have concluded that Dr Schlosberg was one of the academics he specifically named for “spreading misinformation” as he put it. We wish to make it clear that he was not. More details here:
5/31/202236 minutes, 37 seconds
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Searching Questions

Why are a disproportionate number of black children being strip searched? File on 4 hears from teenagers taken in for a ‘strippy’ so often, it’s become part of life. The strip search of ‘Child Q’, a fifteen year old black girl in a London school, was headline news, sparking outrage and official inquiries. Her teachers claimed she smelled of cannabis, but no drugs were ever found. A safeguarding report said racism a likely influencing factor in Child Q’s ordeal. The Metropolitan police admitted the strip search should never have happened. But for some black girls and boys, humiliating – and sometimes unlawful – strip searches are nothing new. File on 4 hears from young people who’ve been strip searched so often they’ve lost count – in their bedrooms, in children’s homes, and in the back of police vans. We know children from ethnic minorities are being disproportionately strip searched. File on 4 can reveal that in the last five years, on average fifty children a week were strip searched in England and Wales - a disproportionate number of them from ethnic minorities. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Hayley Mortimer Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Co-ordinator: Sarah Payton Editor: Carl Johnston
5/25/202237 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ukraine: Taking in the Trauma

More than 150 thousand people have signed up to the UK’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme - hoping to open their doors to those desperately fleeing the war. But it’s a process that has been dogged with delays, and is raising serious safeguarding concerns as vulnerable women and children try to match up with potential hosts through unregulated sites online. By following those escaping the conflict, and the host families trying to help them, File on 4 investigates the difficulties this new scheme is facing, and examines how schools, councils and health services are coping with the arrival of so many traumatised families. Reporter: Adrian Goldberg Producer: Mick Tucker Editor: Maggie Latham
5/17/202236 minutes, 39 seconds
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Locking Up the Sick

Almost half of all the seriously mentally ill people in prison assessed as needing hospital treatment are being refused the help they need. In this episode of File on 4, Shell and "Ian" tell us the reality of living with mental illness whilst in prison, why so many people fail to get the crucial treatment they need whilst inside and what impact that has on them. And prison officer "Mike" describes how a shortage of staff and a lack of training contribute to he and his colleagues struggling to help mentally ill prisoners. File on 4 research shows that the number of seriously mentally unwell prisoners denied a transfer to hospital has tripled in the past decade, leaving hundreds of desperately unwell people living in deeply unsuitable conditions. Reporter: Annabel Deas Producers: Jim Booth, Tom Wall Editor: Nicola Addyman For details of organisations that can provide help and support with mental health, self-harm and feelings of despair, visit the BBC Action Line. Mental health & Self-harm: Suicide / Emotional distress
5/10/202236 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ukraine: War Stories

Day by day, hour by hour, people all over Ukraine tell the story of the Russian invasion. We hear from people packing up and leaving with their children and those who remain in the eye of the storm, some fighting for survival amidst food shortages and shelling and others taking up arms to defend their country. Since the war began, many of those affected have been recording their daily struggles for File on 4 - keeping audio diaries, sharing their innermost thoughts at their most vulnerable. Among them, a language teacher from Mariupol who doesn’t even know if her parents are still alive - and a young beautician-turned-soldier who now patrols the streets of Kyiv with a Kalashnikov. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Production team: Jim Booth, Annabel Deas, Nicola Dowling, Hayley Mortimer and Mick Tucker Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford Editor: Carl Johnston
3/15/202236 minutes, 54 seconds
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Controlling My Birth Control

Reproductive coercion: a form of abuse you've probably never heard of. From deliberately sabotaging contraceptives to forcing someone to have an abortion, it is used to gain power and control - and can have devastating consequences. But with links to domestic violence and even homicide, is enough being done to spot the signs? Rachel Stonehouse investigates. Producer: Alys Harte Editor: Maggie Latham Details of organisations that can provide help and support are available at including: Domestic abuse Sexual abuse and Violence Emotional distress
3/8/202236 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Paedophile Preacher

File on 4 tells the story of a charismatic preacher on the run from British police for child sex offences. Three years ago, File on 4 tracked him down to an impoverished Roma community in Bulgaria where he was sexually abusing boys as young as 10. Daniel Erickson-Hull was arrested and charged by the Bulgarian authorities after he was confronted by File on 4 but has since been released and continues to offend. Yet despite overwhelming evidence, the self-styled preacher from London has been left alone. Paul Kenyon asks why the Metropolitan Police has failed to use its powers to bring him to justice and stop boys being sexually abused. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Ben Robinson Editor: Carl Johnston
3/1/202236 minutes, 39 seconds
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Subscription Scams

From pills that resolve chronic pain issues overnight to diet supplements which promise to help shed pounds in days, the internet is awash with adverts making bold claims. Some come with a celebrity endorsement, where household names appear to give their personal stamp of approval to a product. But many of these are scams, with customers tricked into parting with more money than they realise ever intended. File on 4 investigates the growth of online subscription scams, where customers are unwittingly signed up to schemes which hit them with hidden charges, unexpected monthly fees and products which are made deliberately difficult to cancel. We hear from victims with chronic illnesses desperately searching for a solution to their ailments, who are instead left out of pocket and we speak to the celebrities furious their names are being used to endorse such products. The programme goes in search of those running these schemes online and exposes the tools and tricks designed to scam unwitting customers and sheds light on the creation of a global multi-million pound industry. Reporter: Athar Ahmad Producer: Anna Meisel Editor: Carl Johnston
2/22/202236 minutes, 56 seconds
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A First Class Scandal

Two years ago File on 4 investigated how a computer system, called Horizon, was behind what has now become one of the biggest miscarriages of justice this country has ever seen. Hundreds of innocent postal workers wrongly accused of stealing money from their branches by the Post Office itself. Many faced financial ruin, some even went to prison. Since that programme, dozens have had their convictions overturned, and the Post Office has pledged to provide ‘full, fair and final’ compensation to those affected, at the cost of hundreds of millions of pounds to the taxpayer. In this episode, Hayley Hassall revisits the victims she spoke to in 2020 who say they are still fighting for justice - and investigates what the Post Office really knew as this scandal unfolded, as it ruthlessly pursued and prosecuted its very own workers. Reporter: Hayley Hassall Producer: Mick Tucker Editor: Maggie Latham
2/16/202236 minutes, 27 seconds
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Drink spiking

After an alarming rise in complaints of drink spiking last year, and reports of people being injected with syringes, Datshiane Navanayagam speaks to women who say they have been “spiked” and finds out what the police are doing to tackle it. Reporter: Datshiane Navanayagam Producer: Nicola Dowling Editor: Nicola Addyman
2/8/202236 minutes, 27 seconds
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Missing Evidence

Michael Cowan investigates the consequences for victims of crime and those accused of offences when crucial evidence goes missing or is lost by police forces. He speaks to a man who says he is trying to clear his name but vital evidence has been lost. Reporter: Michael Cowan Producer: Jim Booth Editor: Nicola Addyman Additional research: Wil Crisp and Sophie Eastaugh If you have been affected by sexual abuse or violence, help and support is available via the BBC Action Line.
2/1/202236 minutes, 46 seconds
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Deadly Delays: The Ambulance Crisis

Record ambulance delays are leaving patients waiting hours for emergency care to arrive with waiting times increasing every month. Some patients wait hours at home, many wait outside the hospitals for a bed to become available, but for a small number, ambulances are arriving too late and patients are dying while waiting for help to arrive. In this episode of File on 4 we hear how the crisis is impacting both patients and ambulance staff. In a series of six devastating 999 calls over one hour we hear how ambulance delays in Manchester changed the lives of one family forever, while paramedics and 999 call handlers chart the huge strain on the ambulance service through Christmas and New Year via personal audio diaries which reveal their innermost thoughts, concerns and experiences as they battle through the crisis. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Annabel Deas Researcher: Scott Hesketh Editor: Carl Johnston
1/25/202237 minutes, 6 seconds
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Mental health rehab - the forgotten patients

The NHS is sending patients with the most complex mental health needs to spend months or even years in specialist rehabilitation units, with the promise of helping them to recover. Adam Eley speaks to some patients who say they were sent to units sometimes hours from home, where poor care meant their condition got worse. Some experts say there is not enough oversight of the care provided. Credits: Reporter: Adam Eley Producer: Emma Forde Editor: Nicola Addyman
1/18/202236 minutes, 49 seconds
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Hunting the Darknet Dealers

The high stakes cat and mouse game between police and darknet drug dealers Police say they are finally turning the tide on drug dealers selling on the darknet – a secretive part of the internet which has been described as like “online shopping for drugs.” The UK’s National Crime Agency says recent international takedowns of so called dark markets and arrests in multiple countries are a result of new techniques in cyber policing that is giving them the upper hand. However, BBC research suggests that police around the world have an uphill struggle on their hands as many dealers - known as vendors - have survived multiple market place collapses by operating across many different darknet sites. The BBC’s cyber reporter Joe Tidy and BBC data journalist Alison Benjamin journey into this hidden world to speak to vendors and buyers and uncover secrets of the trade The programme reveals the major role played by UK dealers in the global business which is estimated to be worth more than a billion dollars a year. Reporter: Joe Tidy Producer: Paul Grant Editor: Maggie Latham
1/11/202236 minutes, 46 seconds
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Am I in a Cult?

How do you know if you’ve been recruited by a cult? Rachel Stonehouse investigates claims there are up to 2,000 cults currently operating in the UK. We talk to young people who say they were recruited on campus and a father who went to court to free his daughter from the influence of a harmful cult. Reporter: Rachel Stonehouse Producer: Michael Cowan Editor: Maggie Latham Researcher: Natasha Fernandes
11/23/202137 minutes, 9 seconds
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Who is policing the police?

With the murder of Sarah Everard shining a light on police vetting procedures, File on 4 reveals that thousands of officers have still not been re-vetted to standards brought in in 2006. As a public inquiry tries to establish what’s going wrong with our policing, Melanie Abbott talks to the women who say they’ve been betrayed by police officers who should have kept them safe and to officers who say sexism and harassment are part of the job. Reporter: Melanie Abbott Producer: Mick Tucker Editor: Nicola Addyman
11/16/202137 minutes, 12 seconds
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Furlough Fraud

An estimated £66 billion was spent by the government during the pandemic on paying towards the wages of people who couldn’t work, or whose employers could no longer afford to pay them. That’s around one fifth of the money the government spent on the response to Covid. It says 11.6 million jobs were supported by the furlough scheme. But the scheme also exposed the government to fraud and is expected to result in billions of pounds of additional losses to the tax payer. In September of last year, only after 6 months of the scheme running, HMRC was already estimating up to £3.5 billion of fraud and error in furlough payments. Now the scheme has closed, Paul Kenyon investigates businesses that claimed furlough money even thought their employees carried on working. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Anna Meisel Editor: Carl Johnston
11/9/202137 minutes, 3 seconds
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Controlled, Abused and Criminalised

Livvy Haydock investigates whether women are being unfairly treated by the criminal justice system when coercive and controlling behaviour by a partner is behind their offences. Six years ago, the UK led the world in making coercive and controlling behaviour a crime. In a 2019 landmark judgement, Sally Challen’s murder conviction was quashed when the Court of Appeal ruled that years of abuse had contributed to her murdering her husband. But has the criminal justice system really evolved enough to recognise the complex relationship between prolonged abuse and violent crime by women? Reporter: Livvy Haydock Producer: Jim Booth Editor: Nicola Addyman
11/2/202136 minutes, 47 seconds
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For Richer, For Poorer

With an ageing population, it’s estimated that over one million people in the UK will be living with dementia by 2025. But what happens when someone with the condition is deliberately targeted and led into marriage for the financial gain of the partner? Unlike in Scotland, marriage in England and Wales revokes any previous will that may have been made. For those who target someone with dementia and secretly wed them without the knowledge of their family, matrimony can prove to be extremely lucrative. We hear from the families of those believed to have been preyed upon and registrars on the frontline, tasked with spotting a predatory marriage, despite no medical training in assessing dementia. And we speak to campaigners who say the law needs to change to better protect victims and their families. Reporter: Datshiane Navanayagam Producer: Paul Grant Editor: Gail Champion
10/26/202136 minutes, 43 seconds
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Pandora Papers: From Bribery to the British High Street

Amongst the millions of documents released in the ‘Pandora Papers’ leak of offshore financial information are a number of documents that one family business would rather have remained hidden. Together with The Guardian newspaper, File on 4 follows the trail of millions of pounds tainted by bribery and corruption. Piecing together key documents from the leak reveals how earnings from Unaoil – a company involved in the ‘world’s biggest bribery scandal’ - were invested into UK property on high streets as far apart as London and Aberdeen, Reading and the North East. Why does the UK remain a go-to destination for some of the world’s most tainted money? And why does it take a leak for the truth to be revealed about who’s really invested in some of the country’s prime property? The Pandora Papers is an investigation led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The documents have been shared with the Guardian, the BBC and other media partners around the world. Further reporting on other stories arising from the Pandora Papers leak are available online: Reporter: Felicity Hannah Producer: Anna Meisel Additional Production: Kate West Editor: Gail Champion
10/5/202136 minutes, 54 seconds
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Occupational Hazard: The bus drivers who died from Covid

During the pandemic, it’s been one of the most dangerous occupations in the land, with a death rate similar to that of frontline nurses. Sixty London bus drivers have died of Covid-19, and yet the authorities still have little explanation as to why the disease spread among them in such deadly fashion. Families of the deceased say it was due to poor safety standards and the slow introduction of protective measures. Transport for London say they were just following government guidance. But with bus drivers becoming more vociferous and the death rate too high to ignore, BBC File on 4 tries to uncover the truth behind the shocking statistics. The programme hears from bus drivers across the capital who describe what was really happening on the ground, as well as the families of the deceased, and a TfL insider who alleges systemic problems with health and safety and says a Royal Commission is now needed to get to the bottom of what happened. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Annabel Deas Editor: Carl Johnston
9/28/202136 minutes, 45 seconds
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Mental Health Profiteers

Mental health profiteers: The dark world of online anxiety ‘cures’. Jane Deith and Jordan Dunbar investigate the rogue operators exploiting the long wait for mental health services on the NHS. The explosion in unregulated online recovery programmes has led to claims of people paying thousands of pounds for treatment by unqualified practitioners which has made their anxiety worse – not better. File on 4 investigates one company guaranteeing to cure anxiety in children. And we ask – why isn’t the law protecting people who seek help online?
9/21/202136 minutes, 49 seconds
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Hush Money: the Rise and Fall of an International Fraudster

File on 4 reveals the inside story of Ramon Abbas, one of a new breed of prolific global cyber fraudsters. As Abbas awaits sentencing in the US for money-laundering, File on 4 asks if enough is being done to protect us from online criminals operating across international borders. Snared by the FBI in 2020, Abbas is better known as Instagram influencer Hushpuppi, who flaunted a life of designer clothes, private jets and penthouse apartments to millions of followers. Little did they know that his lavish lifestyle was funded through a complex web of cyber-heists. He even had a hand in an audacious attempt to steal £100 million from a Premier League Football Club. Most cyber-criminals remain nameless, faceless, anonymous and all but untraceable. Now, File on 4 unmasks Ramon Abbas, revealing a complicated, sometimes ruthless character driven by a thirst for wealth and celebrity status. In addition, we expose the inner workings of a clandestine operation that earned him a reputation as the world’s most high-profile money-launderer. Reporters: Paul Connolly and Princess Abumere Producer: Helen Clifton Editor: Maggie Latham
9/14/202136 minutes, 21 seconds
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Tackling Online Abuse in Football

When three black England footballers missed penalties in the Euro 2020 football final they were bombarded with online racist abuse. The Football Association condemned the ‘offensive and racist’ messages saying it was ‘appalled’ and would do everything it could to assist Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. File on 4 examines what many describe as institutional racism within the game and amongst supporters and asks what, if anything, is being done to stop it from happening? With access to new analysis charting the peaks and flows of online abuse, the programme explores who is really behind some of the most egregious comments. Arrests have been made in the wake of the Euro 2020 game but what long-term measures are in place to eradicate this poisonous behaviour which has spread from the terraces to online platforms with little in place to stop it. Reporter: Athar Ahmad Producer: Mick Tucker Editor: Carl Johnston
9/7/202136 minutes, 5 seconds
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Held to Ransom

The extraordinary story of a UK schools group which took on a cyber ransomware gang. The Harris Federation seems an unlikely target for ransomware criminals but it found itself at the centre of a cyber attack by anonymous hackers. With its servers down and a ransom demand of nearly £3 million, school leaders had to decide quickly whether to pay or suffer the consequences. File on 4 has unique access to the extraordinary negotiations that took place behind the scenes, involving an Israeli security company and Russian hackers. More British institutions are being hit by ransomware gangs than ever before, from multi-national corporations to health care trusts and even schools. The attackers hack into an organisation's computer system, encrypt the data and demand a ransom to get it back. Increasingly, they also threaten to publish sensitive information if no payment is made. It's known as double extortion. The former head of the National Cyber Security Centre tells File on 4 that the government needs to intervene as a matter of urgency, and make it illegal to pay ransomware gangs. Presenter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Paul Grant Editor: Nicola Addyman
7/13/202136 minutes, 43 seconds
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Acts of Abuse

Allegations of bullying and sexual harassment against the actor and film maker Noel Clarke have led to an industry-wide examination of the culture within the film and television business. Industry insiders describe an environment where those in power can be bullying and demanding, where sexual harassment is commonplace and where victims are afraid to speak up because they fear losing work. File on 4 has heard from hundreds of people who work in the industry who paint a disturbing picture of the culture where intimidation, bullying and sexual misconduct is often overlooked. The programme asks if the industry is equipped to tackle this bad behaviour, whether new regulation is needed and whether it is serious about cleaning up its act. Reporter: Livvy Haydock Producer: Helen Clifton Editor: Carl Johnston
7/6/202136 minutes, 56 seconds
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A Death Sentence?

A death sentence? The inmates dying after poor prison healthcare. More prisoners are dying in jail – even after you account for the growing - and ageing -prison population. Many of those found to be so-called ‘natural cause deaths’ are relatively young: more than a third are aged between 35 and 54. Those who’ve been behind bars a short time are at greatest risk…with health records often not consulted and vital medication delayed, sometimes for months. File on 4 investigates cases where failings in the prison healthcare system contributed to the deaths of inmates – all aged under 50. Their deaths followed basic, shocking, errors: unopened medical records, hospital appointments missed, prisoners not given vital medication - or given the wrong medication that made their condition worse. Prisoners who became gravely ill accused of ‘faking it’. The programme hears from the family of prisoners, a prison health worker who’s concerned about a lack of resources and the impact of measures to contain Covid. And from experts who say recommendations made time and time again following avoidable deaths simply aren’t being implemented – putting more prisoners at risk in the future. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Ben Robinson Editor: Nicola Addyman
6/29/202136 minutes, 42 seconds
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Contracts of Interest

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an urgent need for a range of new government contracts which resulted in billions of pounds of public money being spent under emergency powers which suspended usual procurement rules around competition. This new regime created an unprecedented situation where commercial firms were able to secure large contracts quickly. But did this mean that money was spent without due diligence, regard for transparency - and potentially value for the taxpayer? In a joint investigation with The Guardian and the non-profit investigative organisation Source Material, File on 4 investigates whether some firms were given preferential treatment when lucrative contracts were being awarded. Reporter: Paul Connolly Producer: Anna Meisel Editor: Gail Champion
6/22/202136 minutes, 40 seconds
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Above the law?

Since reporting on a story about police abuses earlier this year reporter Anna Adams has been inundated with calls and messages from women all telling her the same thing; they were a victim at the hands of a police officer. For File on 4 Anna investigates the failures of police forces to properly manage and investigate accused officers within their own ranks. Many of the women she speaks to are police officers themselves Reporter: Anna Adams Producer: Kate West & Mick Tucker Editor: Gail Champion
6/15/202136 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Cost of Care

File on 4 investigates the new challenges of providing home care during the Covid-19 pandemic - with some recipients seeing their care costs increased while their hours are reduced. Exploring reports of financial assessments being neglected, and allegations that people's basic needs are not being met, we ask if some of society’s most vulnerable are being made to shoulder the cost of local council funding gaps. Producer: Michael Cowan Reporter: Claire Bolderson Editor: Maggie Latham
6/8/202136 minutes, 40 seconds
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Leaseholder Losses

The government recently introduced new laws to protect leaseholders from large ground rent increases. But campaigners say more widespread changes are needed to properly protect the millions of leaseholders in England and Wales. The cladding scandal has highlighted just how few rights leaseholders have when it comes to what happens to the buildings they live in. Felicity Hannah discovers there are many other issues they face. A change in planning law means freeholders can now build extra apartments on top of blocks of flats without having to get planning permission. While such developments could bring in millions of pounds for landlords, the leaseholders can't object and in some cases could see the value of their homes plummet. Felicity speaks to residents who say one such development has turned their lives into a nightmare Other leaseholders have been left reeling after their council landlord landed them with estimated bills of over £100,000 for improvements to their homes. Under the rules, the homeowners can't challenge the costs and some fear they could have to sell up. Many people are now asking: is the current leasehold system fit for purpose? Reporter: Felicity Hannah Producer: Paul Grant Editor: Gail Champion
6/1/202136 minutes, 39 seconds
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Sexual Abuse in Schools

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, more than 16,000 young people - mostly women - have posted harrowing accounts of their experiences on the Everyone’s Invited website. It's prompted the government to instruct Ofcom to carry out a review of peer on peer sexual abuse in our schools and colleges. They've also funded the launch of a new NSPCCC hotline so that those affected can report what's happened to them. 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. Details of organisations offering information and support with sexual abuse are available at: Reporter: Hayley Hassall Producer: Jim Booth Editor: Carl Johnston
5/25/202136 minutes, 44 seconds
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The Cost of Long Covid

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
5/18/202136 minutes, 53 seconds
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Britain's Ghost Companies

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
5/11/202137 minutes, 1 second
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The Asylum Business - the UK's hidden housing crisis

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
3/16/202136 minutes
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The Disinformation Dragon

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. Editor: Lucy Proctor Producer: Jim Booth
3/9/202135 minutes, 54 seconds
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Shipping’s Dirty Secret

The shipping industry is worth millions to the British economy and we depend on it for most of our goods. File on 4 lifts the lid on the dangerous and polluting world of shipbreaking and investigates why ships once owned by UK companies end their lives on beaches in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Editor, Maggie Latham Producer, Jim Booth Reporter, Kate West
3/2/202135 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Dangers of Dating Apps

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 UK Safer Internet Centre provides e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet. Get Safe Online offers unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety, including advice for parents about safeguarding children online. Sexual abuse: Bereavement:
2/23/202135 minutes, 41 seconds
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Surviving Self-Harm

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
2/16/202137 minutes, 14 seconds
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Unmasked: Stories from the PPE Frontline

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
2/9/202136 minutes
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Covid 19: Doctors and Deniers

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.
2/2/202135 minutes, 55 seconds
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A Year of Covid

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?
1/26/202135 minutes, 54 seconds
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Women Who Abuse

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
1/19/202135 minutes, 39 seconds
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Undue Influence

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
1/12/202137 minutes, 1 second
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Transforming Care?

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
11/10/202036 minutes, 39 seconds
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Reynhard Sinaga: Britain’s most prolific rapist

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 himself 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? If you have information about this case you believe may be of interest to police you can contact them here: If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this programme you can access support via the following organisations: St Mary’s Rape Crisis Centre in Manchester provides a range of support and services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to people of all ages who have been sexually abused, assaulted or raped, whether this happened in the past or more recently. Safeline provides support and counselling for survivors of sexual abuse or rape. Phone: 0808 8005005 (Male support) Survivors UK run the National Male Survivors Online Helpline and Webchat Service for men who have experienced sexual abuse either as a child or an adult. The Survivors Trust provides support and signposting for women, men and children who are survivors of rape, sexual violence or childhood sexual abuse. Phone: 0808 801 0818 Samaritans is available for anyone struggling to cope and provide a safe place to talk 24 hours a day. Phone: 116 123 Email: [email protected] BBC Action Line: Sexual abuse and violence:
11/3/202036 minutes, 37 seconds
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Locked Up in Lockdown

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
10/27/202036 minutes, 57 seconds
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Taxing Situations

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
10/20/202036 minutes, 51 seconds
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All Sewn Up

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
10/13/202036 minutes, 53 seconds
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Me and my Trolls

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
10/6/202036 minutes, 42 seconds
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Fit for football

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
9/29/202036 minutes, 34 seconds
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Expecting alone: The isolation of pregnancy during Covid

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
9/22/202036 minutes, 50 seconds
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Mental health killings – a crisis in care?

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
9/15/202037 minutes
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Covid 19: The Long Road to Recovery

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
9/8/202036 minutes, 54 seconds
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Groomed, abused and put in prison: Rochdale’s untold story

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
7/14/202037 minutes, 9 seconds
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Mental Health: The Next Pandemic?

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
7/7/202037 minutes, 3 seconds
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Racism in the Police

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
6/30/202037 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Neo-Nazi Network

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
6/23/202036 minutes, 50 seconds
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The 5G con that could make you sick

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
6/16/202036 minutes, 43 seconds
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The Perfect Storm

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
6/9/202037 minutes, 8 seconds
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Covid 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.
6/2/202036 minutes, 50 seconds
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Game Changer: How the UK played on during coronavirus

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
5/26/202036 minutes, 50 seconds
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Coronavirus: The care homes catastrophe

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
5/19/202036 minutes, 54 seconds
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Coronavirus: Stories from behind the mask

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
5/12/202037 minutes, 3 seconds
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Critical Condition: Allegations of failings at Great Ormond Street

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
3/17/202036 minutes, 47 seconds
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Extreme measures: Can extremists be de-radicalised?

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
3/10/202037 minutes, 4 seconds
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Taking the Rap

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
3/3/202036 minutes, 49 seconds
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Something in the Air?

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
2/26/202036 minutes, 52 seconds
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Fair game? The secrets of football betting

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
2/18/202036 minutes, 50 seconds
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Second Class Citizens: The Post Office IT Scandal

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
2/11/202036 minutes, 57 seconds
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Sewage Sludge

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
2/4/202036 minutes, 54 seconds
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Facial Recognition

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
1/28/202036 minutes, 49 seconds
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After The Flood

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
1/21/202037 minutes, 4 seconds
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Separated Siblings

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
1/14/202036 minutes, 56 seconds
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Going back: 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 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
11/26/201936 minutes, 52 seconds
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Drug Shortages

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
11/19/201936 minutes, 55 seconds
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Anatomy of a fraud

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
11/12/201937 minutes, 4 seconds
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Crash Landing - The demise of Thomas Cook

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
10/22/201937 minutes, 5 seconds
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Lost on the line: The county lines gangs recruiting girls

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
10/15/201936 minutes, 46 seconds
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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. Reporter Danny Shaw Producer Nicola Dowling Editor Carl Johnston Photo credit; Motortion\Getty
10/8/201936 minutes, 55 seconds
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Families versus the state: An unfair fight?

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
10/1/201936 minutes, 53 seconds
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The therapy business

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
9/24/201936 minutes, 48 seconds
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Harassed students ‘re-victimised’ by universities

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
9/17/201936 minutes, 57 seconds
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Sex Offenders Fleeing Abroad

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 Development Producer, Oliver Newlan Editor: Carl Johnston
9/10/201937 minutes, 14 seconds
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Hidden Figures? The True Scale of Military Sexual Allegations

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
7/16/201936 minutes, 53 seconds
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Bitter Brew

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
7/9/201936 minutes, 56 seconds
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Steeling for the Future

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.
7/2/201936 minutes, 57 seconds
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Beyond Grenfell: The Cladding Lottery

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
6/25/201937 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Right Place for Reg?

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
6/18/201937 minutes, 46 seconds
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The Spy in Your Pocket

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
6/11/201937 minutes, 40 seconds
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On Whose Authority?

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
6/4/201936 minutes, 50 seconds
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A Load of Rubbish

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
5/28/201936 minutes, 53 seconds
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At Risk? Children in Residential Care

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
5/21/201937 minutes, 12 seconds
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Opioids: A Painful Prescription?

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
5/14/201936 minutes, 20 seconds
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The Crossing

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.
3/19/201937 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Crypto Factor – The Winners and Losers in Virtual Investment

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.
3/12/201937 minutes, 21 seconds
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Winging It?

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
3/5/201937 minutes, 22 seconds
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The Compensation Catch

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
2/26/201937 minutes, 25 seconds
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Swipe Right for Crime

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)
2/20/201937 minutes, 6 seconds
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No Place Like Home - The Inside Story of Supported Living

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)
2/12/201937 minutes, 12 seconds
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Can we Fix it? The Inside Story of Match Fixing in Tennis

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
2/5/201936 minutes, 36 seconds
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Inside the World of the Class A Student

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: Presenter: Tom Wright Producer: Anna Meisel Editor: Andrew Smith
1/30/201936 minutes, 58 seconds
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Finding Freedom - The Fight Against Modern Slavery

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
1/22/201937 minutes, 26 seconds
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The Orphanage Business

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
1/16/201936 minutes, 58 seconds
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Youth Justice?

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
11/20/201837 minutes, 22 seconds
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Power Games

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
11/15/201837 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Unorthodox Life of Miriam

When 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
11/6/201837 minutes, 18 seconds
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My Homeless Son

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
10/30/201837 minutes, 11 seconds
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Criminal Waste

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
10/23/201837 minutes, 50 seconds
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Fuelling the future?

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.
10/16/201836 minutes, 50 seconds
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Paying the Price - Private Hospitals

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
10/11/201837 minutes, 4 seconds
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Transforming Care - Is it Working?

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
10/2/201837 minutes, 24 seconds
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Debt Killed My Dad

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 … 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 … Presenter: Helen Grady Producer: David Lewis Editor; Andrew Smith
9/25/201837 minutes, 16 seconds
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Paralympics – Gaming the System?

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
9/18/201837 minutes, 26 seconds
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Counting the Cost: Antidepressant Use in Children

More 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.
7/24/201837 minutes, 39 seconds
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Prison, drugs and debts - who's paying the price?

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.
7/17/201837 minutes, 24 seconds
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Construction in Crisis?

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.
7/16/201836 minutes, 32 seconds
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The Private World of the NHS

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.
7/3/201837 minutes, 13 seconds
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Falling Short - Fake News and Financial Markets

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.
6/26/201837 minutes, 8 seconds
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Back Home from ISIS

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.
6/19/201837 minutes, 21 seconds
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Failed by Forensics?

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.
6/12/201837 minutes, 20 seconds
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Citizenship for Sale

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.
6/5/201837 minutes, 16 seconds
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Criminal Records?

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.
5/29/201837 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Lost Children of Marianvale

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.
5/23/201837 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Invisible Man of Britain’s Far Right

Simon Cox investigates the anti-immigration, anti-Muslim organisation Knights Templar International - not to be confused with the medieval Knights Templar organisation. In a recent interview its front man Jim Dowson described KTI as a "militant Christian organisation". KTI posts regular ads on social media to recruit new members and seek donations to fight what Dowson calls the "war between militant Islam and Christianity". In a recent interview he warned "we are going towards a war in the West. We want to make sure when people hit the streets, militias will form. The Templar way is to train men up in everything - we have training course in video journalism, military stuff". With the money raised KTI buys paramilitary equipment which is sent to places like Northern Kosovo where British troops are still stationed to keep the peace between the Muslim Kosovo Albanian community and Orthodox Christian Serbians. Last year Dowson was banned from Hungary for being a threat to national security. The British anti-racism NGO Hope not Hate warns "he (Dowson) and his organisation tread a very fine line between antagonising people's fears, stirring up and stoking people's fears. He is the 'Mr Slippery' of the far-right world in Europe". Within the far right community Dowson is a familiar figure but more generally he has kept a fairly low profile and has been dubbed in media reports "the invisible man of Britain's far right". Concern about the activities of Dowson and Knights Templar International is growing across Europe as the organisation recruits more members to its cause and threatens the peace in some of the most volatile regions.
5/4/201836 minutes, 46 seconds
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A Place of Safety?

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: Emotional distress / suicide: Mental health: Sexual abuse:
3/20/201836 minutes, 55 seconds
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Squalid Prisons - Who's to Blame?

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.
3/13/201837 minutes, 22 seconds
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The Missing Bitcoin Billions

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 story of the real-life digital crime drama which shocked the cryptocurrency world. Reporter: Geoff White Producer: Nicola Dowling Editor: Gail Champion.
3/7/201837 minutes, 22 seconds
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Disclosing the Truth

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.
2/27/201838 minutes, 6 seconds
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On the Critical List? Britain's Ageing Hospitals

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.
2/20/201837 minutes, 28 seconds
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Dying on the Streets

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.
2/13/201837 minutes, 22 seconds
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Potters Bar, Ukraine's stolen billions and the Eurovision connection

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.
2/6/201837 minutes, 33 seconds
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A Deadly Prescription

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.
1/30/201837 minutes, 9 seconds
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Sheltered from Harm

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.
1/23/201837 minutes, 10 seconds
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Degrees of Deception

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.
1/19/201836 minutes, 42 seconds
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What's New about the New Far Right?

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.
11/14/201737 minutes, 21 seconds
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Paradise Papers: Profits from the Poor

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.
11/7/201737 minutes, 30 seconds
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The Nuclear Option - Powering the Future and Cleaning Up the Past

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.
10/31/201737 minutes, 25 seconds
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Crossing the Line - Britain's Teenage Drug Mules

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.
10/24/201737 minutes, 29 seconds
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Police Protection? The Murder of Kevin Nunes

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.
10/17/201737 minutes, 12 seconds
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Elderly Patients in Hospital - Who Cares?

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.
10/10/201737 minutes, 14 seconds
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Extremism: Hidden in Plain Sight

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.
10/3/201737 minutes, 15 seconds
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Adoption: Families in Crisis

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.
9/26/201737 minutes, 29 seconds
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Paralympic Sport - Fair Play?

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.
9/20/201737 minutes, 14 seconds
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The Secrets of Smyllum Park

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.
9/12/201737 minutes, 7 seconds
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About a Boy - The Hidden Victims of Grooming

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.
7/18/201737 minutes, 24 seconds
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Car Emissions - Coming Clean?

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.
7/11/201737 minutes, 12 seconds
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Mental Health Parity: Progress or Pipe Dream?

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.
7/5/201737 minutes, 11 seconds
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Preventing TB

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.
6/30/201737 minutes, 15 seconds
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Children with ME

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.
6/27/201737 minutes, 9 seconds
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What Lies Beneath: The Legacy of Landfill

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.
6/20/201737 minutes, 19 seconds
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Online Grooming

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.
6/13/201737 minutes, 13 seconds
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Gain Without the Pain: Legal Drugs in Sport

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.
5/30/201737 minutes, 24 seconds
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Killings in Care Homes

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.
5/23/201737 minutes, 2 seconds
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Policing the Police

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.
5/16/201736 minutes, 32 seconds
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Councils in Crisis

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.
3/21/201737 minutes, 22 seconds
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The Prison Contraband Crisis

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.
3/14/201736 minutes, 59 seconds
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Rogue Hauliers

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.
3/7/201737 minutes, 20 seconds
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Neglect: The Story of UK Homecare

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.
2/28/201737 minutes, 16 seconds
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Outclassed: The Kids Excluded from School

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.
2/22/201737 minutes, 51 seconds
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Speaking Up - Whistleblowing in the NHS

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.
2/7/201736 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Turnaround Game

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.
1/31/201737 minutes, 8 seconds
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The Cost of a Kidney

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.
1/24/201737 minutes, 11 seconds
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Breaking Into Britain

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.
1/19/201737 minutes, 3 seconds
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A Greek Tragedy

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.
1/10/201737 minutes, 16 seconds
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London Calling

With the Government claiming to lead the way in plans to crack down on global corruption, how come so little is being done in Britain to tackle the vast sums of money allegedly laundered through the UK by corrupt foreign officials and international crime gangs? Allan Urry investigates claims that not enough is being done by the UK to tackle the laundering of corrupt assets or to assist nations who ask for help in getting their money back. The programme also hears complaints that British law enforcement is refusing to investigate cases. Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: David Lewis.
11/8/201637 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Hidden Homeless

The number of people who are homeless is on the rise. In London it shot up almost 80 per cent in 4 years. Latest government figures show councils in England took on 15,000 new homeless households between April and June this year - a 10 per cent increase on the previous year. Increasingly councils are having to use temporary accommodation and even bed and breakfasts to cope with a shortage of affordable accommodation. It has become an increasingly profitable business for landlords. Research this year for London councils found that they had spent over £650 million in the capital on temporary accommodation in just one year. Charities say changes to the benefit cap which comes into effect next week will make the situation for families looking for a home, even worse. File on 4 reports from the front line of the homelessness crisis. The programme meets the families sent by councils to live in cramped, filthy conditions. We hear from the doctors who claim emergency accommodation in one city is affecting people's mental health and contributing to an increase in deaths and the local authority keeping families in B&B accommodation longer than they are legally allowed to. Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Nicola Dowling.
11/1/201636 minutes, 53 seconds
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Behind Closed Doors

This July, days after walking into the top job at number 10, Theresa May renewed her commitment to crack down on modern day slavery, describing it as "the great human rights issue of our time". The 2015 Modern Slavery Act gave prosecutors more options to pursue offenders, it handed judges the ability to dole out life sentences and promised more protection for victims. But in the clamour to tackle modern slavery, has the plight of overseas domestic workers, who toil in the homes of wealthy overseas visitors as nannies, cooks and cleaners, been forgotten? This summer File on 4 followed migrant domestic workers as they escaped abusive employers in the dead of night. Through their stories, the programme questions whether recent measures go far enough to adequately protect an invisible workforce who've been tricked and trapped into a life of exploitation. Reporter: Phillip Kemp Producers: Sarah Shebbeare & Ben Robinson.
10/26/201637 minutes, 5 seconds
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Changing Tides: Can the UK keep its renewable energy promises?

The world's first tidal lagoon power station in Wales, which was in the Conservative manifesto, has stalled, as the government seems to be baulking at the price. The Swansea Bay lagoon, and five more that would follow around the country, would generate as much electricity as Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. But does the government's commitment to the wave of new nuclear threaten the future of renewable energy in the UK? Jane Deith hears about the options the government's considered to meet an EU target of providing 15% of energy from renewables by 2020. Does the answer lie in buying in renewable power from Norway, or 'credit transfers' from countries who've hit their targets? Or does the commitment need to renegotiated completely? With growing pressure to keep a lid on bills, will renewables come second to economic interests? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Rob Cave.
10/18/201637 minutes, 17 seconds
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How Safe Is Your Pension?

Following the BHS scandal, Allan Urry investigates other cases in which employees claim they've lost out because companies have ditched their full pension fund commitments. It's the job of the Pensions Regulator to ensure employers follow the rules and to protect the benefits of those who've been paying in. So how good are they at keeping your pension safe? The programme untangles the complex financial engineering that goes on as some foreign investors try to wash their hands of any on-going obligations to their UK workforce. And one former director whose actions cost a pension fund millions of pounds is confronted at his home. Producer: Paul Grant Reporter: Allan Urry.
10/11/201637 minutes, 2 seconds
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Transforming Rehabilitation: At What Cost?

The split and part privatisation of the UK probation system in June 2014 saw huge changes to the service, with high risk offenders managed by the new National Probation Service and low to medium risk offenders managed by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs). Two years on, probation officers report a system that has been 'ripped apart', with two sides often failing to communicate. There are concerns over rising caseloads, falling staffing levels and the number of murders committed by offenders released from prison on licence. File on 4 speaks to families who have lost loved ones, and hears how they have had to fight to find out the full extent of the failings of the probation system in their cases. Charities report particular concerns over vulnerable women in the probation system, with many being recalled to prison for breaching probation orders, following short sentences for minor offences. As Transforming Rehabilitation is scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation, File on 4 asks if the changes are putting the public at risk? Reporter - Melanie Abbott Producer - Ruth Evans.
10/4/201637 minutes, 5 seconds
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Little Brother's Big Secrets

Valued at £80 billion, the UK's junior stock market is hyped as the most successful growth market in the world. Government incentives - including stamp duty and inheritance tax breaks - mean that more ordinary UK investors are opting for the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Set up in 1995 to allow smaller companies to raise funds, AIM is a less-regulated alternative to its big brother, the main London Stock Exchange. But it is no stranger to controversy. Once labelled a "casino" by a senior US regulator due to its lax regulation, the market has been hit by a series of recent high profile scandals. File on Four asks if this light-touch regulation poses a hidden risk for shareholders and if unscrupulous businesses are exploiting AIM to rip off ordinary British investors? Producer: Alys Harte Reporter: Simon Cox.
9/27/201637 minutes, 17 seconds
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The Last Taboo

For a long time, society didn't want to believe child sex abuse was happening - but now are sex crimes against elderly victims being dismissed in the same way? File on 4 reveals new figures about the scale of alleged sex offences taking place in residential and nursing homes. Whether 5 or 85, should the victims of sexual assault be treated any differently? Claire Savage hears from the families of elderly people, some with a form of dementia, who have been sexually abused by care workers or by other residents. We also speak to care workers about the challenges they face in dealing with intimacy and sex in care settings. Experts claim elder sex crimes are being missed or going unreported because not everyone wants to admit these offences are happening. How good are those within the care industry at recognising the signs of elder sexual abuse and at coping with the moral and ethical dilemmas of establishing when a consensual relationship becomes potential abuse? We speak to those who explain the complexities of bringing about prosecutions where the victim or perpetrator lacks mental capacity and asks if such cases are in the public interest to prosecute. Reporter: Claire Savage Producer: Emma Forde.
9/20/201637 minutes, 26 seconds
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Homes Not Hospitals

Five years after shocking revelations about the abuse of patients at Winterbourne View, File on 4 asks what progress has been made on the promise to get people with learning disabilities and autism out of hospital units and into homes in the community with good support. Families of those still stuck in these units say patients are trapped in the system with no clear plan or apparent will to get them home. For those eventually discharged, almost as many others are admitted - parents say, because there aren't enough community support services. But if people are let out by the institutions, what's does so-called 'supported living' in the community look like? File on 4 hears concerns about the quantity and quality of this promised care. Parents describe living on the brink of a crisis that could land their children back in a cycle of being sectioned and locked up. NHS England says the plans are taking shape. But families say it's like living in The Twilight Zone, in a limbo hidden from mainstream view and unable to find a way out. So just how successful is the landmark 'Homes not Hospitals' plan, that aims to improve life for some of the most vulnerable patients in the NHS? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Sally Chesworth Editor: Gail Champion.
9/13/201637 minutes, 23 seconds
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'High Way' to Hell

Earlier this year, the government introduced legislation banning the production, distribution, sale and supply of legal highs. Designed to stop what has been described as a tsunami of chemicals flooding into the UK, it has resulted in the closure of the high street shops which had been selling exotically named substances like Spice, Mamba and China White. So why are they still finding their way onto the streets? File on 4 traces the supply back to labs in China and discovers a myriad of psychoactive substances are still only a few internet clicks away. Prior to the ban, the authorities were aware of the risk that internet sales could take over from the high street and that China is fast becoming the 'chemical and pharmaceutical wholesaler to the world'. So is the new legislation really the answer, and if not, what options remain to disrupt the now illegal supply of these lethal substances? Reporter: Danny Vincent Producer: Nicola Dowling.
9/6/201636 minutes, 47 seconds
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What Happened at Aston Hall Hospital?

Police are investigating allegations of abuse made by people who, as children, were sent for psychiatric treatment at Aston Hall Hospital in Derbyshire. Some patients say they were only sent there because they were difficult to manage or had behavioural problems. The Medical Superintendent is accused of 'experimenting' on his child patients, giving them an anaesthetic called sodium amytal in therapy sessions throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Phil Kemp investigates the history of this treatment, which was used on shell shocked soldiers during World War Two, employed as a 'truth serum' by police and intelligence agencies, and by the 80's had become implicated in false memory cases. The hospital closed in 2004 and the Medical Superintendent died in 1976, leaving his patients struggling to make sense of what happened to them at Aston Hall. Although treatment records reveal the sodium amytal was used on some children, former patients question what really went on while they were drugged. File on 4 opens the medical archives and hears from former staff to piece together a troubled chapter in the history of psychiatric care, and in the lives of former patients. Reporter - Phil Kemp Producer - Ruth Evans.
7/19/201637 minutes, 14 seconds
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Trade and Torture

Is the UK putting trade above concerns about human rights in the United Arab Emirates? Britons who claim they were tortured in the Gulf state's prison cells say the UK government failed to fight for them. The foreign office has received 43 cases of alleged abuse of UK citizens in the UAE since 2010. In exclusive interviews, File on 4 hears from those who've got out of detention in Dubai who say they were arrested without charge and subjected to violent treatment and torture. The UK government says it regularly raises Britons' cases - and allegations of mistreatment - with the UAE authorities. But those who've been stuck there tell File on 4 they didn't get the support they needed and expected when they were suffering, despite the authorities here knowing the risks they faced. The government's also promoting deals with its largest trading partner in the Middle East. Jane Deith counts up the billions of UAE investment in the UK, from container ports to housing developments. And the programme hears the arguments for joint ventures with Emirati companies - for example by NHS hospitals - as a lucrative way to generate income as budgets are squeezed, ultimately providing better services for patients here. The United Arab Emirates is seen as a stable ally in an unstable Middle East, not least in the fight against Islamic State - does that make the UK less willing to raise issues like human rights abuses and judicial process? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Sally Chesworth.
7/12/201637 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Price of PFI

Successive government procurement strategies have repeatedly promised high quality public buildings made possible through Private Finance Initiatives, but is that what's been delivered? What went wrong in Edinburgh where 17 schools remained closed after the Easter break because of fears walls might collapse on children and staff? Allan Urry reveals new concerns about the extent of fire safety problems in some schools and hospitals because contractors failed to ensure they were built to specification. How safe are they, and who's footing the bill to put them right? Producer: Ian Muir Cochrane Reporter: Allan Urry.
7/5/201637 minutes, 39 seconds
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Whose Right to Buy Is It Anyway?

Around 2.5m council tenants across the UK have bought their homes since Right to Buy started in 1980. The scheme is now being extended to more than a million housing association tenants in England with the first homes expected to be sold in pilot areas next month. The popularity of right to buy has risen sharply since greater discounts were introduced four years ago, but so too have cases of fraud as people seek to exploit discounts of up to nearly £104,000. Simon Cox goes on the trail of the fraudsters and the companies seeking to make big bucks out of right to buy. He discovers people trying to buy homes they're not entitled to and criminals attempting to launder drugs money. He investigates companies who offer tenants help to buy their home in order to get their hands on valuable properties. He also hears concerns from experts that many housing associations do not have the resources and skills to prevent fraud which could potentially result in the loss of millions of pounds worth of much needed homes Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Paul Grant.
6/21/201636 minutes, 56 seconds
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Child Protection

The recent deaths of children at the hands of family members have revealed some children's social work departments are still failing children some nine years after the death of Baby P. In some regions the reaction of the Government has been to take social workers out of the hands of councils and put them into independent trusts. So what's been going wrong - and will the radical solution coming out of Whitehall really work? Jenny Chryss investigates. Producer: Rob Cave.
6/14/201637 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Cancer Drugs Fund

Over the past five years thousands of patients in England have been given access to new but expensive cancer drugs through a special Cancer Drugs Fund. But critics argue that hundreds of millions have been spent on drugs that offered poor value for money with sometimes limited effects. The Fund is now being reformed but cancer charities have written to the Prime Minister to express deep concern that drugs will now struggle to gain approval. Phil Kemp investigates the record of the Cancer Drugs Fund and asks if the proposed changes will offer better value for money or access for patients. Reporter: Phil Kemp Producer: Anna Meisel.
6/7/201637 minutes, 30 seconds
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Fair Game

English football clubs enjoy a high profile around the world, leading to many companies vying to do business with them. But have some football clubs entered into financial deals with companies with questionable backgrounds? File on 4 explores whether clubs are vulnerable to companies and individuals who use the reputation of English football to lend credibility to their activities. But what due diligence do clubs undertake when securing such deals? Allan Urry looks at the relationship between soccer and sponsorship. He hears from some of the victims who've lost money, because they believed those who do business with the biggest names in football, could be trusted. Reporter - Allan Urry Producer - Emma Forde.
5/31/201637 minutes, 23 seconds
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An Unsafe Conviction?

For the past 22 years Thomas Bourke has been in prison for a double murder he says he didn't commit. The killings made national headlines in 1993 when two MOT inspectors, Alan Singleton and Simon Bruno, were shot dead at a garage in Stockport, in Greater Manchester. The evidence produced in court against Bourke seemed compelling. Two mechanics at the garage said they had seen him carry out the shooting which the prosecution claimed was motivated by a dispute about his licence to carry out MOT tests. As the jury began their deliberations, a gun was found inside Strangeways prison where Bourke was on remand. Amid subsequent heightened security around the court, he was found guilty and given a minimum 25 year sentence. But protesting his innocence all these years means that he may never be eligible for parole so could remain in prison for the rest of his life. His sister Jo has been tirelessly fighting his case. A chiropodist with no connections to criminals, she began visiting notorious drug dealers and suspected killers to try to gather new evidence that would help clear his name. Through the work of Jo and other campaigners, Bourke's case is now back with the Criminal Cases Review Commission which they hope will lead to an appeal. So has Thomas Bourke been the victim of a shocking miscarriage of justice? Simon Cox investigates. Producer: Sally Chesworth.
5/24/201636 minutes, 45 seconds
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Police Firepower

Police forces in England and Wales are to get an additional fifteen hundred firearms officers to help protect the public from terrorism and organised crime. Most of the new officers will be trained within the next two years after the Prime Minister, David Cameron, set aside £143m to boost the country's armed response capability. But is it enough to meet the challenges they face? The number of firearms officers fell from nearly seven thousand in 2009/10 to under six thousand in 2013/14. And, despite the extra funding, the Police Federation is concerned the new firearms teams will have to come from existing staff. They say that will deplete the number of officers available for other duties. BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Danny Shaw investigates - and he examines growing unease at the way in which those who discharge their weapons are dealt with. Concern has been highlighted by the suspension and arrest of the officer suspected of shooting dead Jermaine Baker in Wood Green in December. Police representatives tell the programme that while they expect their actions to be investigated, people will not come forward to train as firearms officers if they believe they will be treated like a criminal who fires an illegal weapon. The Independent Police Complaints Commission acknowledges that firearms officers work in challenging circumstances but maintains that police shootings resulting in death or serious injury should be independently investigated. So, can the system for holding them to account be improved? Reporter: Danny Shaw Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
5/17/201637 minutes, 29 seconds
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Dirty Oil?

The Serious Fraud Office has begun an investigation into allegations of corruption in the award of multi-million pound oil contracts in the Middle East. A Monaco based company, Unaoil, denies that it helped British and other companies win contracts by corrupting politicians and government officials. The investigation follows a leak of thousands of emails and other documents. Jane Deith has been given access to the leaked papers and reveals what they tell us about the business of oil. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Paul Grant.
5/10/201637 minutes, 11 seconds
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The Panama Papers

This week's massive leak of confidential documents from the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, has given unprecedented access to the way the rich and powerful have used tax havens to hide their wealth. But within the eleven and a half million documents, there is also evidence of how some of the shell companies set up by the firm, or the individuals that owned them, have been the subject of international sanctions and have been used by rogue states and oppressive regimes including North Korea and Syria. Simon Cox reveals details from the leaked papers and travels to the British Virgin Islands where a small office run by Mossack Fonseca was used to create more than 100,000 companies. One of them was a front for a North Korean Bank that was later sanctioned by the United States for supporting the regime's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programme. According to the US, the BVI based front company managed millions of dollars in transactions in support of North Korea. Other companies set up by on the island were used by a billionaire businessman who is a cousin of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and who was sanctioned by the US for using "intimidation and his close ties to the Assad regime at the expense of ordinary Syrians." Mossack Fonseca has said it never knowingly allowed the use of its companies by individuals with any relationship with North Korea or Syria and says it has operated beyond reproach for 40 years and has never been charged with criminal wrong-doing. Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: James Melley
4/5/201637 minutes, 11 seconds
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Tennis: The Italian Files

Two months ago a File on 4 investigation into match-fixing in tennis made headlines around the world. The programme revealed how tennis authorities had received repeated alerts in the past decade about 16 players, all of whom have been in the top 50. It also questioned the effectiveness of the sport's watchdog, the Tennis Integrity Unit. Now, in a follow up programme, Simon Cox reveals new allegations of corruption and further evidence of the involvement of gambling syndicates in trying to influence the outcome of matches. Officials from the governing bodies of tennis have already been interviewed by MPs about the findings of the original programme. They have also appointed a prominent London barrister to head an independent review into anti-corruption policies and practices. Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Paul Grant.
3/15/201636 minutes, 51 seconds
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UK Asylum: A Systems Failure?

As more and more migrants seek asylum in the UK, is the system for processing their applications reaching breaking point? Allan Urry investigates the impact of a drastic reduction in the numbers of courts hearing cases. At the same time, appeals are going up and key rulings against Home Office decisions to return people to other countries are also piling on the pressure. With Europe now bracing itself for a fresh wave of refugees fleeing conflict, why is it taking so long and costing so much to decide who should be granted asylum here? Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: David Lewis.
3/8/201637 minutes, 4 seconds
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Special Guardianships: Keeping Things in the Family?

Special guardianship orders are a way of giving legal status to those - usually grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters - who come forward to care for children when their parents can't. SGOs were designed to let children grow up with family, instead of in care - once a relative is granted special guardianship, the council steps backs and the guardian can raise the child without social services interfering. The use of special guardianship orders has been rising-last year more than 3,000 of them were made. But special guardianship breaks down more often - and more quickly - than adoption. And in some cases children have been neglected, abused, or murdered. The family court service Cafcass and the Association of Directors of Children's Services have warned that weak assessments of the risks of family placements are a 'real risk' for children. The government has re-written the law on how special guardians are assessed. But with court deadlines and growing pressure on social workers and budgets, will it make children safer? Jane Deith investigates. Producer: Emma Forde.
3/1/201637 minutes, 6 seconds
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Dementia: What Do We Know?

It's estimated there are around 620,000 people in England with dementia. Prime minister David Cameron says fighting the disease is a personal priority and doctors in England have been encouraged to proactively identify people with early stage dementia. The PM says that an early diagnosis allows families to prepare for the care of a relative, but others argue there's no treatment for such a diagnosis and no robust evidence to justify a process that might lead to harm. Deborah Cohen hears from doctors who are concerned the drive to raise diagnosis rates is leading to people being misdiagnosed. The Government has also pledged millions of pounds to help make England "the best place in the world to undertake research into dementia and other neuro-degenerative diseases". Scientists leading the research say they are making progress to find tests which could identify people at risk from the disease and develop a cure. But other researchers say money is being wasted because current directions in drug development are following the same path as those of the past which have ended in failure. Producer: Paul Grant.
2/23/201637 minutes, 5 seconds
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Sunni Shia Splits?

Are international conflicts creating tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the UK? Shabnam Mahmood reports from both Sunni and Shia communities and reveals how divisive messages from the Middle East are fuelling intolerance here. Organisations which monitor hate crimes say sectarian violence, while low level, is increasing. One Shia man tells the programme: "It is now becoming quite dangerous. It is an attack on me as a Shia that really scares me." Mahmood reports from one of an increasing number of unity events being staged across the country to foster good relations. A Sunni imam tells her: "These are dangerous times and the religious leadership need to be seen to be doing things to bring communities together." So can such work prevent tensions escalating in the face of the sectarian propaganda that's increasingly available online and on satellite television channels? Producer: Sally Chesworth.
2/16/201637 minutes, 23 seconds
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After the Floods - A Tale of Two Cities

The Dutch city of Nijmegen has much in common with the English city of York. Similar in size, both are much visited by tourists because of their histories and architecture. But both also have rivers running through them and are susceptible to flooding. So how do their defences compare? And, as York and other communities continue to mop up the damage caused by the latest catastrophic flooding, did basic mistakes and a failure of planning make a bad situation very much worse? Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Rob Cave.
2/9/201637 minutes, 25 seconds
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Vaccine Damages

Vaccination has long been one of the greatest weapons in the battle against a range of potentially fatal diseases. Millions of lives have been saved worldwide, and Britain has played a major role in helping to combat new pandemics. But, rarely, things do go wrong and people develop serious side-effects. In the UK, the Government's Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme is supposed to help those left severely disabled as a result. Among those currently arguing their case are the families of children who developed an incurable and devastating sleep disorder after being immunised against swine flu. But, to date, most have received nothing and Ministers have now gone to the Court of Appeal to try and establish a less generous interpretation of the pay-out rules. Lawyers for the families say the whole scheme is outdated and unfit for purpose. Are they right? Jenny Chryss investigates. Reporter: Jenny Chryss Producer: Ruth Evans.
2/3/201636 minutes, 41 seconds
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NHS Contracts: Tender Issues

File on 4 uncovers the story behind the collapse of one of the biggest health contracts ever put out to tender. Last April an NHS consortium of Cambridge University Hospitals and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust successfully bid to run older peoples' health services. But in December the £800m, five year contract ended without warning, with local commissioners saying only that it was "no longer financially sustainable." Jane Deith asks what the failure of the Cambridgeshire contract means for the broader policy of trying to improve NHS services by opening massive contracts to competition between Trusts and the private sector. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
1/26/201637 minutes, 24 seconds
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Tennis: Game, Set and Fix?

File on 4 reveals secret evidence of match fixing in tennis and investigates claims that sport's governing bodies have failed to act on repeated warnings about suspect players. The programme has seen confidential documents which reveal how some were linked to gambling syndicates in Russia and Italy which won hundreds of thousands of pounds betting on matches they played in. A number of those who have been repeatedly flagged on fixing lists passed to the game's Tennis Integrity Unit have continued to attract highly suspicious gambling activity. Reporter Simon Cox also has an exclusive interview with one of the most high profile players to be banned for match fixing who says the problem is widespread in the sport. Reporter Simon Cox Producer Paul Grant.
1/22/201636 minutes, 46 seconds
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Bent Cops?

In the first of a new series, Allan Urry investigates claims by former officers from one of Britain's biggest police forces that they've been the victims of crimes committed by their own colleagues. He hears claims of dirty tricks by a secretive police unit within Greater Manchester Police which some officers say have led to criminal charges against them. Others say they've been unfairly targeted through the internal disciplinary process, with evidence distorted and statements changed. Are they bad cops with an axe to grind or victims of corrupt practices and institutional cover up? Producers: Sally Chesworth and Neil Morrow.
1/12/201637 minutes, 21 seconds
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An Inside Job

An inside job: the Britons smuggling illegal immigrants into the UK. File on 4 hears from Britons jailed for hiding people in their cars. They reveal why - and how - they did it. They were paid to smuggle people across the Channel by gangs based in London and the North West. This unofficial migrant taxi service - run from camps in Calais and Dunkirk - is believed to be netting criminal networks millions of pounds a year. But even that is dwarfed by the money to be made by British criminals bringing migrants over by the lorry load. Jane Deith reveals how the trade is spreading along the coast of Northern Europe, to Belgium and Holland. And she hears from Europol's Chief of Staff about the extent to which criminal networks based in Britain are involved in people smuggling. He tells the programme that more than 800 people have been identified as suspects. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Paul Grant.
11/10/201537 minutes, 11 seconds
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Locum Doctors: Bad for Your Health?

How safe are we in the hands of locum staff at NHS hospitals? The Government's crackdown on big fees charged by agencies that hire them out has been making headlines, but what's being done to ensure they are up to the job? Allan Urry investigates recent cases which raise questions about the quality of care delivered by some temporary staff. Should an agency doctor have better assessed a poorly surgical patient on his ward who died a short time later from a post -operative bleed? The programme also asks how well the agency sector is regulated following the revelation that a partly-qualified doctor was able to treat more than 3000 patients after lying about his qualifications. Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: David Lewis.
11/3/201537 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Billion-Dollar Aid Question

As the crisis in Syria deepens and refugees flock westwards, the UK government insists it is helping with a £1.1bn aid package to neighbouring countries - but is it being spent wisely? Simon Cox tracks money going from the UK to projects on the ground in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, trying to find out how much eventually gets to refugees. It's easy to see how funding an NGO to build new homes for Syrians is money well spent. But can the same be said for the hundreds of millions of pounds that go through the United Nations? The programme hears from aid workers, UN officials, refugees and UN investigators about cuts to food rations against a backdrop of high salaries and overheads. So is the UN up to the job of managing a modern-day refugee crisis? Producer: Lucy Proctor.
10/27/201537 minutes, 13 seconds
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Can Rotherham Recover?

Like other steel communities, Rotherham faces the loss of hundreds of jobs following the recent announcement of redundancies at the local plant. It's the latest blow to a town now synonymous with widespread child grooming. Last year the Jay Report estimated that 1400 young people had been sexually abused there. It said most of the victims were white and most of the perpetrators were Asian men. So what's been the impact on community relations and how far has the scandal affected the local economy? For File on 4, Manveen Rana returns to the town to talk to families, business owners and the authorities to find out whether Rotherham can recover. Producer: Sally Chesworth.
10/20/201537 minutes, 19 seconds
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Colleges in Crisis

David Cameron has promised three million new apprenticeships by 2020. But Further Education colleges must deliver them against a background of year-on-year cuts - with the axe likely to fall again in this Autumn's spending review. The National Audit Office has warned more than a quarter of further education colleges could be deemed financially inadequate by the end of the year. And this month MPs on the Public Accounts Committee will launch an inquiry into the financial sustainability of the sector. But how far is the crisis also a result of poor planning and excessive borrowing by colleges themselves? A File on 4 investigation finds some institutions taking increasingly desperate measures to make ends meet. And it asks whether the sector is being adequately policed: when a college faces financial collapse, what safety nets are in place? Reporter: Fran Abrams Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
10/13/201536 minutes, 57 seconds
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Dirty Money UK

What does the theft of a billion dollars from Europe's poorest country have to do with a run-down housing estate in Edinburgh? Moldova was robbed of 12% of its GDP by the bafflingly complex financial scam uncovered earlier this year. It involved a web of companies in the ex-Soviet country, with the money thought to have ended up in Russia via Latvian banks. But the trail also goes via a number of UK-registered companies, including one based in the district of north Edinburgh made famous by "Trainspotting", the novel about heroin addicts. It's not the only example of Eastern European fraudsters using the UK to launder their dirty money in this way. So why is it allowed to happen? Why is it so easy to set up an opaque shell company in the UK? And what is the role of so-called company formation agents? Tim Whewell investigates Reporter: Tim Whewell Producer: Simon Maybin.
10/6/201537 minutes, 10 seconds
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Missing Medicines

Why is the NHS struggling to get hold of some life-saving medicines for its patients? Allan Urry reveals serious concern over the availability of some drugs used in the treatment of cancer and for pain control. Pharmacists and doctors say they face a daily battle to get access to a range of medicines and either end up buying alternatives at a greater cost to the health service or using less effective alternatives which can compromise patient care. So is the Government doing enough to ensure essential supplies are available? And has Whitehall's drive to push down the NHS drugs bill deterred some manufacturers from supplying the UK? Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Emma Forde.
9/29/201537 minutes, 19 seconds
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Working in the Shadows

With the Government cracking down on migrants working illegally, Simon Cox investigates Britain's shadow economy. He meets illegal workers to ask whether the get-tough message is putting them off. And he reveals the ways in which both employers and workers are getting round the law. So can the UK Border Force deliver on ministers' promises to make the UK an "unattractive" place for those who want to work illegally? Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: David Lewis.
9/22/201537 minutes, 17 seconds
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CPS: Prosecutors on Trial

Controversial charging decisions in the cases of Lord Janner, Operation Elveden and a doctor accused of female genital mutilation have brought a hostile reaction in the media to the Director of Public Prosecutions and increasing concern about the health of her organisation - the Crown Prosecution Service. Over the past five years the CPS has seen budget cuts of over 25% resulting in job losses and internal reforms. Despite this, the organisation maintains that it continues to improve performance - measured by conviction rates in both magistrates' and Crown Courts. However, there are increasing concerns about staff morale, the quality of decision-making and the standard of advocacy in court . BBC Home Affairs Correspondent, Danny Shaw has been hearing frank testimony from both inside and outside the CPS which presents a revealing picture of the justice system in England and Wales. Presenter: Danny Shaw Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
9/15/201537 minutes, 18 seconds
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The Cost of a Cuppa

Tea is still the UK's favourite drink - but what's the human cost of a cuppa? In the first of a new series of File on 4, Jane Deith reports from Assam on the plight of workers on tea plantations which help supply some of Britain's best known brands. India is one of the largest tea producers in the world with an industry worth billions of pounds - but critics say pickers often have to endure long working hours and insanitary conditions, leading to poor health and high levels of maternal and infant mortality. Producer: Sally Chesworth.
9/9/201536 minutes, 57 seconds
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Police Complaints: A Fair Cop?

Complaints against the police are running at a record high. The vast majority, nine out of ten, are rejected from the start. But when complainants appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, one in 2 cases is overturned. Others - disgruntled with the way they've been treated by the police - sue the force. File on 4 hears from people who've been battling for years to pursue a complaint and who claim the process is unfairly weighted in favour of the police. In the Queen's Speech the Government confirmed its plans to overhaul the complaints system in order to restore public confidence. As part of the reform, Police and Crime Commissioners could be able to decide if they want to handle allegations against their local forces. The Commissioners themselves are divided on whether they want this additional role and critics say they would not have the resources to do it effectively. So just what recourse do you have when you feel you've been dealt with unfairly by the police? And will the Home Office proposals make any difference? Claire Savage investigates. Presenter: Claire Savage Producer: David Lewis.
7/14/201536 minutes, 56 seconds
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Off Track: Network Rail

Works behind schedule; costs going up; an inquiry into poor performance announced by the industry regulator. It's a depressingly familiar story on our railways. From brand new station escalators at a standstill in Birmingham, to only 10 per cent of trains on time at one of London's busiest stations, even the Chancellor's planned Northern Powerhouse is threatened as line upgrades between Manchester and York are delayed. Allan Urry investigates Network Rail's woes as pressure mounts to deliver £24 billion of infrastructure improvements. Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Rob Cave.
7/8/201536 minutes, 51 seconds
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The Aid Business

The UK's £12 billion pound foreign aid budget is one of the few areas of Government spending protected from cuts. The commitment to spend 0.7% of Britain's gross national income on aid means at least 60 billion pounds will be spent on overseas development in the next five years. Many of these projects are delivered by large companies that receive tens of millions of pounds from DFID (the Department for International Development). They can charge over a thousand pounds a day for a consultant and their directors earn six figure salaries but how effective are they are and the programmes they are paid to deliver? Simon Cox investigates the UK's aid industry and asks how taxpayers can know that they're getting value for money. Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Gail Champion.
6/30/201537 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ticket to Hide

Sixty thousand people have crossed the Mediterranean and made it to Europe so far this year. Frontex, the EU border agency, warns that between 500,000 and 1 million people - Eritreans, Syrians, Afghans, Somalis - could be waiting to leave the shores of Libya for Italy. Its latest report says resources are being devoted to migrants' care but not towards screening and collecting basic information such as their nationality - which means many are quickly moving on to countries like the UK. According to the report, 'this puts the EU internal security at risk'. There are also fears terrorists belonging to the so-called Islamic State could secrete themselves among the migrants. So how easy is it for people to avoid security checks as they journey across the EU? European countries are supposed to stop illegal migrants and enter their fingerprints and details on a central database. EU rules state that the country where people are first fingerprinted must look after them and consider their asylum applications. This means many migrants set on coming to this country try to stay under the radar in Italy and France, hoping to reach the UK without being processed. Jane Deith follows the routes used by some of those headed for Britain. She also investigates the smugglers who help them - from individuals using their own cars, to organized crime gangs offering money back guarantees on a new life in the UK. Is Europe losing the battle for control? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Paul Grant.
6/23/201537 minutes, 16 seconds
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Treating Stroke: The Doctors' Dilemma

Later this month the medicines regulator, the MHRA, is due to complete its review into the clot-busting drug Alteplase, the frontline treatment used in many cases of stroke. A number of experts in the UK, US and Canada have raised serious doubts about the drug's safety and effectiveness. They are concerned about potentially fatal harm to patients through an increased risk of bleeding in the brain and they question the credibility of scientific research on which Alteplase was licensed. Supporters and regulators say any risks are outweighed by the benefits of improved recovery. BBC Health Correspondent Adam Brimelow assesses the evidence and the dilemma posed for doctors and their patients. Producer: Sally Chesworth.
6/16/201537 minutes, 18 seconds
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Housing Blight?

With the urgent need for more housing, Britain's planning laws are under pressure like never before. Greenbelt land and even sites designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are being earmarked for development. So how far can we protect the countryside when the need for houses is so acute? Allan Urry reveals new figures on scale of the problem and investigates claims that the planning system is being stretched to breaking point. Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Emma Forde.
6/9/201537 minutes, 26 seconds
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Abandoned to their Fate

Next month the National Audit Office is due to report on the outcomes for young people leaving care. There are claims that, under financial pressure, local authorities are pushing too many teenagers into independent living before they're ready. File on 4 investigates new figures that suggest many young care leavers are failing to cope - with large numbers ending up in custody, homeless, sexually exploited or pregnant. Social services chiefs say the welfare of care-leavers must be a key priority for the new government. But who holds them to account when they fail those they are meant to have looked after? And, with more cuts on the way, can the system cope? Fran Abrams reveals how hands-off caring can have tragic consequences.
6/2/201537 minutes, 19 seconds
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Minding the Gap: Mental Healthcare

Mental health services are facing a period of unprecedented change. The Department of Health has committed itself to reducing the disparity between spending on physical and mental illness, and a new payment system means services will be funded differently in the future. In the meantime there are concerns that vulnerable patients are dying because of pressures to release them from hospital too quickly, and a failure to provide adequate support in the community. Can a new focus on what has traditionally been dubbed a 'Cinderella service' reverse the impact of years of cuts? Reporter: Adrian Goldberg Producer: Gail Champion.
5/19/201537 minutes, 10 seconds
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Who Killed Emma?

Emma Caldwell was a young woman from a good home who developed an addiction to heroin after the death of her sister and then descended into street prostitution. When her body was found dumped in a ditch in Lanarkshire in May 2005, the police launched an unprecedented murder hunt. But ten years on, after an investigation costing millions of pounds, no one has ever been convicted of her killing. Eamon O Connor investigates what went wrong. Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
5/12/201537 minutes, 41 seconds
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Targeting the Vulnerable

It's taken a long time to break through the culture of denial, but child sexual exploitation cases from Rochdale to Oxford have shown that grooming of children can happen in any community. There seems to be a growing acceptance that what the Deputy Children's Commissioner says is true: 'there isn't a town, village of hamlet in which children are not being sexually exploited'. Councils that thought they were immune from groomers and traffickers, are now training staff to spot child sexual exploitation. And children are being taught how to avoid falling prey. But, as children become more aware of grooming, are abusers increasingly turning their attention to people with learning disabilities? In the first of a new series, File on 4 hears warnings from disability workers and detectives that abusers are increasingly targeting people with disabilities - because they're less likely to know what grooming is, less likely to tell, and if they do, their case is far less likely to go to court. Jane Deith visits the only safe house in the UK for women with learning disabilities who've been victims of rape and sexual exploitation, and hears even this secret address is now on the radar of gangs trying to groom the residents. Women with learning disabilities tell their stories of being groomed and exploited, how they eventually broke their silence, only to be told the crimes would not be prosecuted. Of an estimated 1400 cases of sexual abuse each year, only 1% result in a conviction. If offenders aren't being punished, can we prevent the abuse by protecting those at risk? Councils worried someone is being exploited can go to the Court of Protection for permission to restrict their relationships on the grounds they don't have the mental capacity to consent to sex. But it's a difficult thing to rule on. File on 4 hears from disability workers who say men and women are being left open to rape and abuse, but also from campaigners who say the state is denying people their fundamental human right to sexual relationships. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Sally Chesworth.
5/5/201537 minutes, 25 seconds
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Gun Control: Europe's Flooded Market

With Britain on heightened alert following Islamist shootings in Paris and Copenhagen, how well prepared are we to deal with a similar attack? Allan Urry discovers how extremists in neighbouring European countries were able to get access to guns and hears concerns about the ready availability of illegal weapons from Eastern Europe and North Africa. So what risk does that pose for the UK? Britain prides itself on tough gun control, but is that enough to prevent determined would-be terrorists getting access to firearms? Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Gail Champion.
3/24/201537 minutes, 28 seconds
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Sick of School

Is the pressure on teachers reaching crisis point? Record numbers are leaving the classroom and thousands of teachers recently responded to the Government's workload survey to say they were struggling with their workload. They blamed the pressure of Ofsted inspections and pressure from school management. Official absence statistics are silent on the causes of sick leave - but now File on 4 reveals new figures on the number of teachers off long-term because of stress. Jane Deith hears from those who say they were pushed to the brink by the pressure - some suicidal and others hospitalized or diagnosed with depression. Teaching has always involved long hours and heavy workloads but, with schools' performance open to unprecedented scrutiny, some education academics argue that the 'surveillance culture' is now seriously harming teacher's health and their ability to provide high quality education. Are they right? How alarmed should we be about the mental well-being of our children's teachers? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Matt Precey.
3/17/201537 minutes, 23 seconds
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A Pensions Patchwork

In Canada, everything is big - including powerful pension funds such as the Ontario Teachers fund which owns half of Birmingham airport and other large projects around the world. It's all a far cry from the British pension scene, where a hundred local government pension funds each run their own affairs separately and pay costly fees to City firms for investment advice. Many of them still have financial deficits. Taxpayers have been forced to pick up bills to pay off those shortfalls and already hard-pressed local services have been stretched further. Lesley Curwen investigates how these individual funds are run and asks whether we should have larger funds with cheaper costs - like Canada does. And she asks whether more councils should be using pension money to invest in housing and infrastructure as a way to boost their local economies? Producer: Anna Meisel Reporter: Lesley Curwen.
3/10/201536 minutes, 57 seconds
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No Place of Safety

Secure children's homes look after some of the country's most vulnerable youngsters. Largely run by local authorities, they provide safe accommodation for children placed on custody grounds or for welfare reasons because they present a danger to themselves or others. The demand for places is rising but the number of beds is falling. So where does that leave those they are meant to cater for? With the government currently conducting a review into the system, File on 4 gets rare access to one home in the Midlands to meet children and staff; and talks to those struggling to find places for children across the UK. Reporter: Fran Abrams Producer: Emma Forde.
3/3/201537 minutes, 23 seconds
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Insurance and Child Abuse

With a growing number of compensation claims arising from cases of historic sexual abuse and more recent high profile cases of sexual grooming, Tim Whewell investigates the key role which insurance companies play. In representing the local authorities where scandals occurred, insurers naturally seek to limit liability but are they doing so at a cost to victims? Lawyers say they have to battle to get access to files and other information - causing further distress and delaying help for those damaged by abuse. Some say the fight is getting harder as insurance companies have toughened their approach in recent years. And, with a national inquiry into historic cases of child sex abuse, how much influence did insurance companies have on the way some past investigations were carried out? File on 4 talks to senior local authority insiders who say they were told to alter their approach to abuse investigations to protect the insurers' interests. But was that at the expense of children at risk? Reporter: Tim Whewell Producer: Sally Chesworth.
2/24/201537 minutes, 20 seconds
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Islamic State: Looting for Terror

Satellite images reveal the extent to which sites of important historical interest have been looted in Syria. Some of these are in areas controlled by Islamic State where looters are believed to pay a tax to allow them to operate. Iraqi military say evidence from a senior IS member revealed the group is making millions of pounds from the trafficking of looted antiquities Simon Cox investigates the global trade in stolen artefacts and traces smuggling routes through Turkey and Lebanon and onto the international antiquities market. He hears concerns that dealers and collectors are not doing enough to verify the provenance of ancient works of art and asks whether the authorities in the UK and elsewhere are doing enough to prevent the trade. Why, for example, does the UK remain the most significant military power not to have ratified a UN convention to protect cultural property during armed conflict? Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Paul Grant.
2/17/201537 minutes, 12 seconds
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Asylum Seekers

Around 28 thousand people are claiming asylum in the UK. They're accommodated in some of the nation's most deprived areas while their cases are considered. Now, with numbers on the rise, some communities say they're struggling to cope. Allan Urry reports from the Northwest of England where, in some areas, there's concern about growing pressures on health services and schools. In Liverpool the City's Mayor, Joe Anderson, talks of an asylum "apartheid" and says other towns and cities need to take a fairer share. In Rochdale in Greater Manchester, there are more asylum seekers than the whole of the south east of England. The local MP Simon Danczuk says he's worried the pressures could undermine the good community relations that have always existed in the town. Recent stories of asylum seekers living in fancy hotels have led to outraged newspaper headlines but are they a symptom of bigger failings in the UK's system for housing those who come here seeking refuge? Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Matt Precey.
2/10/201536 minutes, 49 seconds
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Where Have All the Nurses Gone?

Where have all the nurses gone? File on 4 looks at the reasons for the nursing shortage in the NHS in England and the cost of plugging the gaps at a time of peak demand. A decision four years ago to cut training places to save money is still haunting the health service. There's no shortage of people wanting to be nurses but the NHS is badly understaffed. Recruitment in countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy has quadrupled in the last year as NHS trusts fail to find enough domestic nurses. But with thousands of European nurses encouraged to come here with incentives like relocation bonuses and free accommodation, why are hospitals still breaking guidelines on the level of acceptable vacancies? And how much has that contributed to the winter crisis in Accident and Emergency Units across the country? Hospitals aren't the only area of concern. Professional bodies like the RCN say there has been a reduction in the number of experienced senior nurses working in the community. Has the recent focus on increasing nurses on hospital wards meant other areas have suffered? And what impact will that have on the Government's long term plan to solve our hospital crisis by caring for more patients at home? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Gemma Newby.
1/27/201537 minutes, 9 seconds
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Benefit Sanctions

Benefit sanctions are supposed to be part of a system helping people back to work. But critics say they penalise the vulnerable and are among the reasons for the growing use of food banks. So how fair is the Government's system of withholding state payments for those who don't comply with welfare rules? Allan Urry hears from whistleblowers who allege some JobCentrePlus staff are setting claimants up to fail in order to meet internal performance targets. Why did a recovering amputee lose his benefits because he didn't answer the phone? Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Nicola Dowling.
1/20/201537 minutes, 8 seconds
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Prison Violence

With serious assaults at a record high, File on 4 investigates the growing tension within Britain's prisons. In the first of a new series, BBC Home Affairs correspondent Danny Shaw meets recently released prisoners and families of those inside to hear about their safety fears. And he talks to the Prison Officers Association about their concerns for the frontline members who they say are facing unprecedented levels of pressure and danger in a "chaotic" system. The Howard League for Penal Reform has used Ministry of Justice figures to calculate that around 40% of prison officer jobs have been cut - leaving inmates spending longer locked in their cells and less time preparing for their release. Lawyers and campaigners tell File on 4 that overcrowding and gang activity are adding to a "toxic mix" of problems leading to instability and tension. Twenty five years after the prison system was shaken by a series of riots centring on Strangeways in Manchester, is a new crisis starting to unfold? Reporter: Danny Shaw Producer: Sally Chesworth.
1/13/201536 minutes, 59 seconds
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Continuing Healthcare: The Secret Fund

Is demand for long term nursing about to tip NHS finances over the edge? Under the system of "Continuing Healthcare" people with complex medical needs can claim the costs of nursing and medical help to keep them out of hospital. But the system has become mired in controversy with many people claiming they've been denied funding to which they are entitled. Now there's a deluge of backdated claims against Clinical Commissioning Groups. File on 4 finds the backlog is creating long delays in new assessments of patients. And it hears claims the assessments themselves are a postcode lottery, with the chances of being deemed eligible varying wildly between GP commissioning groups. The programme also hears evidence of NHS commissioners and councils fighting each other not to take responsibility for patients. Patients and their families are going to the health ombudsman in their hundreds. 18 clinical commissioning groups are already going to end the year in the red, with some threatened with being put in special measures over their finances. Now they owe millions of pounds in backdated claims, plus interest. Is this creating an incentive to squeeze spending on continuing care? GP commissioners are about to be asked to put £1.9 billion into the pot for new joined-up health and social care services. Do they have the money, or the will, to buy into joined-up care? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Nicola Dowling.
11/18/201437 minutes, 7 seconds
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Dirty Secrets

The UK generates nearly 300 million tonnes of waste every year. That's rich pickings for criminals who illegally dump what we don't want, damaging the environment and threatening our health. The black market in rubbish is said to be worth a billion pounds. With such huge sums at stake there's concern that organised crime is increasing its grip on the sector. Allan Urry examines the efforts of Britain's Environment Agencies to try to hold the line. But it's tough going at a time when cuts have led to a reduction in staffing. Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Carl Johnston.
11/11/201436 minutes, 56 seconds
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Private Equity: Winners and Losers

Recent high-profile collapses of high street names such as Comet, Phones4U and other companies have left thousands of people out of work and have cost the taxpayer millions in statutory redundancy payments and unpaid taxes. This week File on 4 goes behind the headlines to examine the role of the companies' private equity backers. Were these failed businesses which were bound to have to close? Or might they have survived for longer under different ownership? Fran Abrams investigates. Producer: Emma Forde.
11/4/201437 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Last Taboo?

As inquiries into child abuse in Rotherham continue, File on 4 investigates claims of a hidden problem of sexual abuse within Britain's Asian communities. While the victims of recent grooming scandals have mostly been white girls, campaigners say Asian boys and girls have also been subjected to abuse over many years. Male and female survivors tell Manveen Rana there's a powerful culture of denial stopping many speaking out and getting justice. They say communities too often close ranks and ostracise or threaten those who complain, while leaving perpetrators to carry on. Reporter: Manveen Rana Producer: Sally Chesworth Assistant Producer: Yasminara Khan.
10/28/201436 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ebola is now regarded as an international threat to peace and security, according to the World Health Organisation. Yet, when the WHO was first warned of an unprecedented outbreak, the organisation said it was "still relatively small." Now the UK has asked for volunteers to travel to West Africa to try to bring Ebola under control. Thousands of American troops are also flying out to the region. But could all this have been avoided? Simon Cox asks why it took so long for the world to wake up to the threat posed by Ebola? He also investigates the treatments that are now, belatedly, being developed - treatments that have existed for decades. Vaccines and other drugs are being rushed into production at an unprecedented pace, by-passing the usual safety controls. However, all predictions are that many more people will die before the disease is brought under control. Even then, will it become endemic? Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: John Murphy.
10/21/201436 minutes, 59 seconds
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NHS: Testing the Market

In the biggest outsourcing to date, the NHS in England has announced it is tendering a huge £700 million contract for providing NHS cancer care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, along with another £500million for end of life care in the region. Officials say it will streamline services and provide better treatment while critics say it's the most reckless privatisation yet. BBC Health Editor Hugh Pym investigates.. Producer: Paul Grant.
10/14/201437 minutes, 1 second
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Fraud: The Thin Blue Line

The nature of crime is changing, with much of it now happening online, sparking growing concern that official figures fail to account for potentially millions of fraud offences. Experts say frauds involving plastic debit and credit cards are among the crimes left out of the data. So just how reliable - and useful - are the statistics? At the same time, police economic crime units, which investigate fraud, have become increasingly stretched, partly as a result of government budget cuts. BBC Home Affairs correspondent, Danny Shaw, asks whether law enforcement has kept pace with the changing face of fraud and if there are enough resources to tackle financial crime and bring fraudsters to justice. Reporter: Danny Shaw Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
10/7/201437 minutes, 35 seconds
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Border Security: All at Sea?

How well are Britain's borders patrolled and defended at a time when the authorities are battling to stem the flow of illegal immigrants coming across the Channel and tightening national security because of fears of a terrorist attack by extremists returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq? Allan Urry assesses the vulnerability of our ports, struggling with cuts to Border Force personnel and problems with a computer system that was supposed to have identified all those coming into and going out of the UK. The programme reveals how security checks on cargo are being compromised and hears concern about the gaps in surveillance of our coastline. Producer: Emma Forde Reporter: Allan Urry.
9/30/201437 minutes, 5 seconds
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Rigged Markets?

Is a new scandal about to engulf the UK's banking industry? Was LIBOR just the tip of the iceberg? Regulators around the world are looking at the way important financial benchmarks have been calculated. These are used to set the value of pension funds, investments and international contracts worth billions of pounds. Financial regulators in the UK, across Europe and in the US are investigating whether the benchmarks have been rigged to increase bank profits - and to short change their customers. Banks are already receiving big fines over the LIBOR interest rate scandal but the focus is now shifting to the way prices in the foreign exchange, gold and interest rate swap markets have been set. Reporter Lesley Curwen assesses the evidence that banks have got together to manipulate the markets and asks what it means for the reputation of London as a global financial sector and public confidence in banking. Producer: David Lewis.
9/23/201437 minutes, 8 seconds
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Abused but Not Heard

Knowl View special school for boys has become infamous as the haunt of Cyril Smith. Prosecutors now say 'Mr Rochdale' should have been charged with abuse of boys while he was alive. But he was not the only one. In the first of a new series, former pupils in the 1970s, 80s and 90s tell File on 4 how a web of abusers, including local paedophiles and other pupils preyed on boys as young as eight while people supposed to protect them looked the other way. Previous police investigations came to nothing. A new probe is underway, focusing on who could be guilty of a criminal cover up. But what became of the innocent? Jane Deith hears from some of those who experienced life in Knowl View. Telling their stories for the first time, they describe childhoods twisted by sexual abuse. Now questions are being asked about whether the failure to end the abuse at Knowl View led to a culture in which the subsequent grooming of young girls in Rochdale was allowed to happen. Alan Collins, a specialist child abuse lawyer representing some of the men who're suing Rochdale Council over abuse at Know View, believes things would have been different had Cyril Smith been prosecuted and convicted: "That would have sent a clear message through Rochdale and much further afield that there was clearly a problem and that problem would not have been so easy to brush away. I think that had a very long tail and that that tail continued right up until recent times." Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Sally Chesworth.
9/16/201437 minutes, 14 seconds
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Childhood Cancer

Every year more than 1,500 UK children are diagnosed with cancer. For some the outlook is good but for those struck down by one of the rarer cancers, the prognosis can be a bleak one. Two hundred and fifty children die each year from the disease. Parents have told File on 4 there is a worrying lack of research into new drugs for childhood cancers, with youngsters sometimes offered treatments which have hardly changed in the last forty years - treatments that can have a limited chance of success and which can cause fatal, serious and life-long side-effects for those lucky enough to survive. In the battle to get the most up-to-date treatments for children with some of the most aggressive cancers, increasing numbers of families say they are forced to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to travel abroad to take part in pioneering drugs trials elsewhere. Meanwhile UK researchers say they face a constant battle for funding. They also warn of a loophole in European regulations which they say stops break-through drugs that have been developed for adult cancer sufferers, being developed to benefit children. As science takes the treatment and understanding of disease to new levels, Jane Deith asks whether enough is being done to give children a fighting chance. Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Nicola Dowling.
7/15/201436 minutes, 57 seconds
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Late Payments

Last month, in the Queen's Speech, the Government announced a series of measures to support small businesses -- including proposals to deal with the problem of late payment of bills by larger companies. It follows a long history of horror stories about major high street names leaving suppliers and sub-contractors out of pocket because of delays in settling accounts. Figures produced by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills revealed that 85 per cent of small and medium sized businesses said they had experienced late payment in the last two years and that, in total, there was £30bn outstanding to them. But File on 4 has found that it's not just in private business that serious problems are occurring. The programme speaks to business owners who say that that ineffective rules and sanctions have left them badly out of pocket on contracts undertaken in the public sector. Local authorities, the NHS and other Government departments have strict rules about how long they should take to pay their contractors. But Jenny Chryss reveals how some small firms are having to cut back on staff because bills still aren't being settled promptly. And she reveals how big contractors who do get paid on time, often delay before passing the money down the supply chain. So are critics right when they say the Government's proposed new measures still aren't enough to deal with the problem? Reporter: Jenny Chryss Producer: Emma Forde.
7/8/201437 minutes, 23 seconds
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A Deadly Dilemma

In many parts of the world, charities are trying to deliver much-needed aid to desperate people living in areas controlled by militant groups. What do they do when counter-terrorism laws ban them from contact with those de facto authorities? Risk of prosecution has now created a climate of fear in many aid agencies - and the UN wants counter-terrorism policies redrawn to ensure lives can be saved without charity workers risking jail. Tim Whewell reports from Gaza - and talks to aid workers operating in Syria, Somalia and other places - on the practical and moral dilemmas involved. Producer: Paul Grant.
7/1/201436 minutes, 32 seconds
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Yarl's Wood

On the day a parliamentary committee is due to take evidence about the Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre, Simon Cox investigates claims of sexual abuse and poor health care for the women held there. Campaigners and detainees tell File on 4 about "a culture of disbelief" which they say exists among healthcare staff and which they claim is putting women at risk. Serco - the company that runs the centre - insists it provides a good standard of care, but a former member of staff, speaking publicly for the first time, says concerns he raised were ignored by senior managers. The programme also investigates claims of inappropriate sexual contact between staff and detainees and allegations of sexual abuse by staff. Several employees were dismissed last year over sexual encounters with women being held at the centre and the House of Commons Home Affairs select committee have called the managing director of Serco to give evidence about the sexual abuse claims. Simon Cox investigates - and hears why some MPs believe it is time for the centre to be closed. Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Sally Chesworth.
6/24/201436 minutes, 32 seconds
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Inside the Abattoir

The recent furore over halal meat has focused attention on how our meat is killed and processed. But beyond the ethical and religious debate over halal, are there bigger concerns about how abattoirs are regulated and policed? Companies have been fined for failing to remove body parts associated with the human form of mad cow disease, BSE. Now there are plans to shake-up the inspection process which critics say this could lead to more infected animals entering the food chain. There are also claims that vets based in abattoirs to monitor animal welfare - and inspectors who check meat we eat is safe - regularly face threats and intimidation. Allan Urry investigates the grim realities of the slaughterhouse. Producer: Carl Johnston.
6/17/201436 minutes, 43 seconds
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Northern Ireland: A Bitter Legacy

More than 15 years ago, the Good Friday Agreement came into force - bringing an end to three decades of violence in Northern Ireland. At the heart of the peace process is a commitment to bring truth and justice to the bereaved. But many families say they're still waiting. The peace process also promised to bring Protestants and Catholics closer together. But, in some communities still divided by peace walls, there remains a deep mistrust of their neighbours. So have politicians failed in their promise to deal with the legacy of the past? And how much do we really know about the deals that have already been done to protect people from prosecution? BBC correspondent Chris Buckler investigates. Producer: David Lewis.
6/10/201437 minutes, 7 seconds
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Short-selling Students?

With fees costing as much as £9,000 a year, universities must operate in an increasingly cut-throat market place. At a time when budgets in some institutions are being stretched, students are demanding more for their money. Against a backdrop of rising complaints, the new Competition and Markets authority is considering whether to launch an investigation. So are students getting what they pay for? And when they don't, can they get the problem fixed in a timely manner? Why are some students taking to the courts to try to get redress? Fran Abrams has been examining the universities' record. Which of them have seen the biggest rise in student concerns, and which have managed to buck the trend? Producer: Emma Forde.
6/3/201437 minutes, 20 seconds
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Practices Under Pressure

GPs are under pressure to do more. The Government wants surgeries to open seven days a week and the Labour Party say they'll ensure people get appointments within 48 hours. But, at the same time, there are warnings that the family doctor service in England is on the brink of extinction because of a "perfect storm" of funding cuts and growing demand. Jenny Cuffe meets two doctors - one in rural Yorkshire, who is about to lose a quarter of his funding and does not know how he can keep his surgery doors open and the other struggling to cope with the volume of patients in her busy urban practice in Salford. One in seven primary care practices in England reports having to make redundancies as a result of the Government spending squeeze. Recruitment for new GPs is still to hit Government targets and more doctors are leaving general practice through retirement or to work abroad. So are the promises of greater access to your GP really deliverable?
5/27/201437 minutes, 22 seconds
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Miscarriage of Justice

How effective is the system for investigating miscarriages of justice in England and Wales? Critics say the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body charged with examining potential wrongful convictions, lacks teeth and needs to be thoroughly reformed. Are they right? Allan Urry examines cases in which prisoners, campaigners and lawyers say the CCRC doesn't do enough for those who continue to protest their innocence. Should the Commission be making more use of the latest DNA techniques to re-examine verdicts which relied on circumstantial evidence? And why did the CCRC twice refuse to pursue the case of a man who spent 17 years in prison for a serious sex crime he didn't commit? Producer: Rob Cave.
5/20/201436 minutes, 57 seconds
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Street Slaves

The Government has introduced a draft Modern Slavery Bill which is aimed at making it simpler to prosecute human traffickers and which will bring in life sentences for such offences. But who are the victims of modern day slavery in the UK and how organised are the gangs who prey upon them? While much concern has focused on people trafficked into the country, Jane Deith reveals how the most vulnerable in society such as the homeless and people with learning difficulties are being targeted by gangs who pick them off the streets with the offer of money and accommodation. But many say they end up working long hours for little or no pay and are too frightened to leave. Some - including people from the UK - are taken abroad to countries such as Sweden and Norway to pave driveways and other labouring jobs. Others are working in the construction industry here but being paid much less than the minimum wage. Police say the traffickers and those who exploit the homeless and vulnerable are highly organised and often use their victims' identities to open bank accounts and commit further crimes such as benefit fraud, netting thousands of pounds and leaving their victims with huge debts. So who's monitoring the marginalised? Will the new Bill do enough to deal with the dark side of Britain's labour market? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Paul Grant.
5/13/201436 minutes, 59 seconds
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Election Fraud

With local authority elections due in May, Allan Urry investigates claims of organised vote rigging. Earlier this year, the Electoral Commission identified 16 areas in England with wards that are at particular risk of electoral fraud. File on 4 visits some of those towns and cities and hears first hand evidence of intimidation and the widespread abuse of postal votes - including allegations that some people are being pressured into handing over their vote to party activists. A candidate who successfully took a court case against his opponent after narrowly losing an election, says some campaigners have lost sight of what is right and wrong. And a judge who sits in election fraud cases attacks the system as "shambolic" and "wide open to abuse". So is our voting system too vulnerable to fraud? Are the authorities doing all they can to root out corruptions? And is it time to end postal voting on demand? Producers: Emma Forde and Sally Chesworth.
3/11/201437 minutes, 19 seconds
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The Accountant Kings

The UK is said to have more accountants than almost any other nation on earth. Thanks to reforms in the way the public sector is run, the "Big Four" accountancy firms and the accountancy profession generally has become more powerful and more influential than ever before. But what do these accountants actually do and what does it mean for taxpayers? To find out, Simon Cox meets the residents of Birmingham, who are dealing with the reality of the accountants' decisions. And he speaks to the nation's top accountants to ask how their profession is changing and what the future holds. The last 20 years have seen many services which used to be run by local councils outsourced to the private sector. Capita, formed by a former government accountant, has taken the lion's share of these contracts, which often involve a team of Capita accountants deciding where to make cuts in local services. In Birmingham a massive IT and 'business transformation' contract between Capita and the City Council is proving highly controversial - with claims that it is diverting money away from public services and into private sector profit. Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) form another kind of management model which accountants helped create and which added to the growth of the Big Four accountancy firms - Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers - over the last two decades. Birmingham is home to one of the biggest PFI contracts ever signed, with a private contractor in charge of roads, trees and street lights. Have the accountants engineered a good deal for Birmingham? The next big growth area for the accountants is the NHS as doctors seek their help in commissioning and managing local services under the health service reforms. But what does this mean for the people on the NHS front line? Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Lucy Proctor.
3/4/201437 minutes, 6 seconds
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Deadly Hospitals?

Each year the number of deaths in every hospital in England is recorded and compared with national averages for the range of patients and conditions treated. The results are published by a company called Dr Foster in The Hospital Guide. The Guide has a solid reputation. Its findings are studied and used by leaders of the NHS. Dr Foster's statistical expert says that high mortality statistics should act as a 'smoke alarm' raising investigation of standards at a hospital. The Care Quality Commission praises Dr Foster's "powerful analysis of hospital trusts" and the Health Secretary says: "We expect all hospitals to examine this data carefully and take action wherever services need to improve". But some leading statisticians question the reliability of mortality statistics as an indication of clinical quality. And they believe that many pockets of poor practice go undetected in hospitals with good mortality scores. Critics also see the publication of such data as an invitation to the press to distort the available evidence by calculating numbers of 'needless deaths' within the NHS. Such calculations have in fact been produced and then given widespread publicity. The NHS Medical Director calls them "clinically meaningless and academically reckless". But they continue to make the front pages. Gerry Northam reports from hospitals which have "worryingly high" mortality statistics according to Dr Foster and asks how much this really shows about their quality of care. Producer : Ian Muir-Cochrane Editor : David Ross.
2/25/201437 minutes, 26 seconds
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Repeat Offenders

Probation staff are currently being told where they will be working under a radical reform of the service. The government is transferring the management of low and medium risk offenders to private companies and high risk cases will be handled by a national probation service. The Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, says the reforms are necessary to cut reoffending rates and save money which will be ploughed back into providing support to all prisoners who have served less than 12 months. But opponents claim the reforms are being rushed in and will put the public at risk. Last month, it was announced the plans have been delayed. They were due to come into effect in May but the start date has been put back until July. The new private providers will only be paid in full if they achieve a reduction in reoffending. The programme speaks to one of the companies bidding for the contracts which says payment by results will lead to innovation and visits a prison which says it is already achieving success in a pilot scheme working with prisoners serving under 12 months. But Home Affairs correspondent Danny Shaw also talks to probation staff about their fears for the future of partnership working and hears why some of them are threatening to quit the service. Producer: Paul Grant.
2/18/201437 minutes, 20 seconds
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Flooding: Best Laid Plans?

Flights grounded. Trains cancelled. Roads flooded. It's becoming a familiar story every winter as Britain's transport systems are battered by the weather. While rainfall this winter has been unusually high, has some of the disruption that we've seen been caused by a lack of strategic planning and routine maintenance? Should a flooded river have been able to knock out power supplies at Gatwick, catching airport authorities by surprise? Were the drainage systems adequate on some of the railway embankments that collapsed, leaving passengers stranded? Allan Urry investigates why our infrastructure is struggling to cope with the storms and asks whether bad planning has made a bad situation worse? Producer: Rob Cave.
2/11/201437 minutes, 12 seconds
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Cut-Price Care

Ministers have promised a new focus on home care for the elderly and disabled amid concern that 15-minute calls and a low-paid, underskilled workforce are leaving vulnerable people at risk. From this Spring, inspectors will ask how councils' commissioning practices are affecting the daily lives of those they care for. But with authorities under pressure simultaneously to cut costs, will quality continue to suffer? Fears have been mounting about whether the basic needs of vulnerable people are being met. The government's human rights watchdog has been pressing the issue, along with tax officials who say many companies are breaching minimum wage legislation. This week File on 4 reports on the results of its own survey of local authorities in England. Have councils increased spending to keep pace with inflation in the past few years, or have they actually driven down costs? And are they providing even the most basic level of resources that social service chiefs say are needed to keep those in their care safe and well? Reporter: Fran Abrams Producer: Emma Forde.
2/4/201437 minutes, 22 seconds
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Food Fraud

A year after the horsemeat scandal there are calls for a new police force to fight food fraud amid concerns that organised crime is increasingly targeting the sector because there are huge profits to be made at the expense of the consumer. Prof Chris Elliott, who was commissioned by the government to investigate the UK's most serious food scandal in recent years, says criminals are committing more food fraud because there's little risk of detection or serious penalties if they're caught. Gerry Northam investigates the extent of food fraud across the UK and reports from Brussels on whether the EU has learned enough lessons from last year's scandal. Producer: Carl Johnston.
1/28/201437 minutes, 29 seconds
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Default by Design?

Last month a report by a government advisor, Lawrence Tomlinson, accused The Royal Bank of Scotland of forcing some viable businesses into insolvency. The Bank has denied Tomlinson's claims and has asked a leading law firm to carry out an independent investigation. With their findings due to be published shortly, File on 4 assesses the evidence. Jane Deith speaks to families who claim their companies were unfairly forced to the wall and their lives ruined as a result of the actions of the Bank's Global Restructuring Group. Billed as the equivalent of an intensive care unit designed to help nurse distressed businesses back to health, did the Global Restructuring Group kill some of them off instead? And was RBS able to profit as a result? With a rising tide of complaints against the taxpayer-owned bank, the Financial Conduct Authority is beginning its own investigation. So, was RBS being predatory or prudent? Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Nicola Dowling.
1/21/201437 minutes, 21 seconds
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Liquid Assets

As water companies submit their spending plans for the next five years, Lesley Curwen investigates what happens to the money once the household water bill has been paid. Half of England's water companies are now in the ownership of global investment funds. In many cases these corporate bodies are run and financed from abroad behind closed doors. They use a web of companies some in off-shore tax havens to provide a steady flow of dividends to their shareholders. But is their mechanism for generating shareholder income at the expense of the customers who are looking for lower bills and sustained investment in their water supply? Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
1/14/201437 minutes, 16 seconds
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Chemical Weapons

As a complex operation continues to destroy the remainder of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, how much will we ever know about the supply routes through which the Assad regime acquired the basic ingredients for its arsenal? Vast quantities of chemicals are traded around the world every day, so what chance do we have of controlling their use by rogue states and terrorists? In the first of a new series, Allan Urry reports from the headquarters of the OPCW - the organisation set up to stop the spread of chemical warfare and which is overseeing the removal and destruction of the Syrian weapons. He also investigates the efforts of terrorist groups including Al Qaeda and al Shabab to develop nerve agents of their own; and examines the global attempts to limit the availability of "dual use" chemicals which are essential in the manufacture of every day products from fertilisers to toothpaste but which can also be turned into powerful explosives for use in IEDs and other bombs. Producer: Paul Grant.