Friday 7 March 2014, 19:50
by broadcast journalist Kevin Fitzpatrick
As I stepped out my car at J G Pears animal rendering plant in Newark, Nottingham the smell hit me. Residents, who claim factory smells blight their life, told me the meaty stench was mild compared to what they often experience:
When local people, who have been complaining to the council for years, recently got together to take legal action in the civil court, they found they no longer qualify for ‘no win no fee’ funding.
Because of changes to the law in April 2013, the price of insuring against the financial cost of losing a case can be too expensive for many people.
On Sunday 9 March, on 5 live Investigates, you’ll hear from a leading environmental lawyer, who says he’s been approached by more than 1,000 households suffering nuisance, who now can’t afford to take action.
Client Earth, an environmental public interest law group, claims the UK Government is breaking European law by failing to ensure citizens get access to justice on environmental issues. The UK Government disagrees, and says it meets its legal obligations.
In Newark, J G Pears insists odours leaving its site have never caused a nuisance and the company says it...
Friday 28 February 2014, 17:33
5 live Investigates on Sunday 2nd March looks at the pressure on emergency mental health services.
With a sharp reduction in in-patient beds in England, down by one third over the last 10 years, the programme asks if mental health services are in crisis.
NHS England figures of the number of beds for mental health patients: Ten years ago for the year 2003/4 = 32,252; five years ago for the year 2008/9 = 26,448; in January 2014 there were 21,931.
Which means 10,321 fewer mental health beds in the past ten years and 4,517 fewer mental health beds in the past five years.
We’ll hear from patients and families who feel let down by the system. We’ll also reflect the thinking of the NHS which wants to improve working between the different agencies helping people in crisis.
Psychiatrists feel the pressure on mental health beds means people are only being admitted into hospital when very ill, and others are at risk of being discharged too early.
Dr Ali Al-allaq, a psychiatrist who assesses people in crisis in London, believes delays in assessment increase the likelihood of people needing to be sectioned.
The charity MIND says “we're beginning to see the warning signs of an emerging...
Friday 21 February 2014, 17:04
Ever bought a second hand car and thought you’ve got a bargain?
That bargain could be jeopardising your safety and that of other road users.
Around a quarter of a million cars each year that have been written off by insurance companies following accidents end up back on the road. Although they’re technically written off, the cars are sold on to dealers who get them repaired and put them up for sale.
Unsuspecting motorists may never know that the vehicle had been in a crash. What makes matters worse is there are no controls on who can carry out the repairs – or the quality of their work.
5 live Investigates has been looking at a number of fatal accidents involving vehicles that had previously been written off.
In one, a young girl died when the passenger compartment of her mum’s car crumpled following a side on collision. It turned out the car had been written off four years earlier and had not been repaired properly.
The inquest into the girl’s death heard that she would probably had survived if the car had provided the protection it was originally designed to give.
Police in County Durham are investigating a crash last summer in which three people died. One of the vehicles...
Friday 14 February 2014, 17:11
Fans have been arguing for it for years, the right to have a greater say in the way their club is run.
This week, a group of MPs and peers joined them in their campaign. For too long, the politicians say, the fortunes of football clubs have been linked to the whims of financiers.
On occasions that had taken some clubs to the brink of extinction.
In their report they say: “At all levels, clubs are prone to sudden changes of fortune and financial crises, brought about not by their fortunes on the pitch, but by the capricious behaviour of many owners of clubs.”
The all-party Parliamentary...
Thursday 13 February 2014, 14:28
To mark 5 live’s 20th anniversary, on 28th March, we’re asking “Has 5 live changed your life?”
The network has had the privilege to share so many special experiences with people over its 20 year history. There have been interviews that gave listeners goosebumps; interviews that kept people listening in their cars long after they’d arrived at their destinations; and even interviews that changed lives.
In 2013 we first met Steve Evans, who shared his journey of living with terminal cancer; in 2011 ‘Rachel’ a doctor, told us her story of alcoholism; and in 2012 footballer John...
Friday 7 February 2014, 19:36
The NSPCC says there are insufficient sex offender treatment programmes for the number of people in jail for committing sex crimes. At the end of last year, there were 10,956 convicted sex offenders in jail, a rise of 57% over the past eight years.
Without treatment, the charity says there’s an increased risk that prisoners released back into the community will go on to re-offend.
Sex offender treatment programmes are designed to challenge prisoners about their behaviour and the consequences their crimes have had on their victims – and research suggests the courses do reduce re-offending...
Sunday 2 February 2014, 15:39
Approximately 800,000 people in the UK have dementia. The vast majority of those are diagnosed after the age of 65 – but around 17,000 people have been diagnosed with dementia in their early 60s, 50s, 40s and, in some cases, 30s. On Tuesday 4 February at 10am Victoria Derbyshire will broadcast from the country's only dedicated day support service for young people with dementia. It’s called the Young Onset Dementia Centre and throughout the programme we’ll hear from some of the people who use its services and their family and friends.
One of the people you’ll hear from is Ronnie Lomax...
Friday 31 January 2014, 15:43
Penalty charges for motorists driving in bus lanes earned councils in England up to £64,816,710 last year.
5 live Investigates has discovered that local authorities are disregarding the decisions of independent adjudicators and refusing to change or improve signs and road markings.
Fewer than one per cent of people appeal, but of those who do, many who claim that warnings signs weren't clear have been successful.
Last year Hammersmith and Fulham Council issued penalty notices worth £1 million pounds to 8,200 motorists, who went into a bus lane on Shepherds Bush Road.
The council insists the...
Friday 20 December 2013, 17:59
457 dogs were reported as stolen to the website DogLost, of which 46% were not reunited within 12 months, 5 live Investigates has found. Overall 7,262 dogs were reported to website as missing over the same 12 month period.
Dr Louise Grove, a criminologist at Loughborough University analysed the data the website collated over a year, from September 2011 to August 2012.
DogLost, set up in 2003 by Jayne Hayes, and ran by volunteers, helps to reunite dog owners with their lost dogs. Which they say has assisted 55,000 owners and helped reunite 35,000 dogs.
Dr Louise Grove found that 49% of dogs...
Friday 13 December 2013, 15:55
On average, more than 30 taxi drivers a year are subjected to the most savage assaults – wounding, attempted murder and murder, according to figures gathered by 5 live Investigates.
As the Christmas party season gets underway, one MP argues that it’s time to think about the plight of taxi drivers who have to put up with abuse and assaults. He wants CCTV to be installed in all cabs to protect drivers and passengers.
5 live Investigates set out to try and quantify the level of violence faced by the men and women who operate the country’s cabs.
We asked all UK police forces to tell us how...