The Investigation

BBC Radio 4's new documentary series that gets inside the stories that matter to people and is not afraid to challenge.



The men and women of our armed forces are sent to the front line in our name.

As well as two World Wars, they've seen active service or played a vital peace-keeping role across the globe, including the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many thousands were involved during the thirty year long campaign in Northern Ireland.

Each of these conflicts, without exception, has resulted in psychiatric casualties.

And for many who are affected, the problems may take years, perhaps decades to surface.

The care and treatment these ex-service personnel need over many years is largely provided by the voluntary sector.

But how much help is there from Government? Anne Brown investigates.


Usually behind every headline there's an expert who explains the caveats which undermine your story.

But, as one doctor told us, when it comes to the growing number of cases of diabetes in Scotland: 'The more we look at the figures, the more worried we get'.

In a BBC Radio Scotland Investigation, Edi Stark reveals the latest research warning that unless Scotland tackles its obesity problem, an epidemic of diabetes will result in ever-younger Scots being diagnosed with this life-long disease.


Edi Stark investigates the girls who have turned the idea of 'girl power' upside down to give it a whole new meaning.

Welcome to the world of the mean girls where robbery, violence and assaults are a part of everyday life.

Official figures have revealed that the number of girls under 18 and involved in crime in Scotland has increased year on year for the past decade, but why?


Simon Cox investigates the truth about speed cameras and transport policy.

Before speed cameras were introduced the number of road deaths was falling dramatically, but this is no longer the case.

Why has this big downward trend stopped? In 2005 there were over 2 million successful speeding prosecutions.

Is punishing so many drivers really making our roads safer or are speed cameras causing as many problems as they solve?


Britain's booming organic food industry has witnessed a 30 percent growth in the last year.

As more consumers go green in their food choices, Simon Cox investigates claims made in a recent government report that organic farming is no better for the environment than conventional production.


Simon Cox investigates knife crime in Britain.

While the chilling murders of teenagers dominate the headlines, the statistics show that violent crime is down, with killings at their lowest level in five years.

So what is the truth? Simon asks whether the violence is contained and assesses just how dangerous a place Britain really is.


The Investigation looks at the life of Scottish asylum seekers with HIV.

Despite surviving horrific cruelty overseas, they're living in limbo.

Not allowed to work, not allowed to put down roots, the threat of surprise deportation constantly hangs over them, even those who've lived in Glasgow for seven years.

Add to this the stigma of HIV and constant racist abuse.

Does it have to be like this?


Are we failing the children who need us most? We spend millions of pounds looking after kids in care, yet they are more likely to end up unemployed, homeless or in prison.

Fiona Walker counts the cost to society of failing these children and finds an unlikely success story in Russia.


The Investigation kicks off the Crime Season on Radio Scotland with a debate on the Scottish Justice System.


Ken MacDonald investigates the booming trade in counterfeit cigarettes and asks why existing measures aren't sufficient to stamp out the problem.


Ken Macdonald looks at the phenomenon of Brain Training and asks if it is truly possible to improve the age of people's brains? Are claims that practising these games could help stave off dementia really true? And what will brain training be used for next?


Simon Cox searches for the facts about Polish workers in the UK.

More than a million are estimated to have come here to work since 2004, prompting scare stories in the media about jobs being taken and public services swamped.

New evidence, however, suggests that Poles are leaving Britain and that if significant numbers depart the British economy will suffer.


Simon Cox investigates statins, promoted as the wonder drugs for heart disease and currently used by more than three million Britons.

But many doctors believe statins are being hugely over-prescribed.


Simon Cox investigates the drug problem in our prisons, which affects over half the inmate population.

He explores the smuggling techniques used by prisoners, inmates and even prison officers and asks how the problem can be tackled.


Simon Cox investigates the truth behind obesity pills.

He asks how effective they are in combating the problem of Britain's expanding waistlines and looks at the strategies employed to get them prescribed.


Simon Cox examines the background to the case of alleged child abuse in the Haut de la Garenne care home in Jersey.


Simon Cox investigates the truth behind rising oil prices.

Why has the price doubled in a year and who has been cashing in?


Simon Cox investigates the rising cost of energy and possible alternatives.

With fuel bills set to rise to record levels this winter, many are hoping that wind power will cut both the environmental and financial costs.

But are we paying too high a price for renewable energy?

Genome: [r4 Bd=19700504]

Extracts from a reading given by the Royal Shakespeare Company of the ' oratorio ' based on documents from the 1965 Auschwitz trial by PETER WEISS The Court:

The reading prepared by PETER BROOK and DAVID JONES and recorded at the Aldwych Theatre, London, 19 Oct 1965 Extracts selected and arranged by HALLAM TENNYSON from the translation by ALEXANDER GROSS This shortened version is divided into nine cantos. It is broadcast to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in the spring of 1945.


Unknown: Peter Weiss

Unknown: Peter Brook

Unknown: David Jones

Arranged By: Hallam Tennyson

Translation By: Alexander Gross

Judge: Roy Dotrice

Counsel for the Prosecution: Michael Bryant

Counsel for the Defence: Nicholas Selby

The Witnesses:: Paul Hardwick

The Witnesses:: Michael Jayston

The Witnesses:: William Squire

The Witnesses:: Glenda Jackson

The Witnesses:: Penelope Keith

The Witnesses:: Clifford Rose

The Witnesses:: John Normington

The Witnesses:: Ian Holm

The Defendants: Hofmann: James Mellor

The Defendants: Baretski: Robert Marsden

The Defendants: Dr Lucas: Mark Jones

The Defendants: Boger: Patrick Magee

Mulka, Chief Officer of the Camp.: John Nettleton

Stark: John Steiner

Sanitary Inspector Klehr: David Harries

Breitwieser: Ken Wynne

Dr Capesius: John Hussey

Heroin On The Nhs20070208

Simon Cox visits Ipswich, scene of the recent murders of five young women who were addicted to heroin or crack cocaine and who worked as street prostitutes to feed their habits.

He asks whether some of these women might still be alive today if prescription heroin had been more widely available - or does heroin on the NHS risk destroying more lives?

Operation Ore20070510

Simon Cox looks at Operation Ore, the largest ever British police investigation into internet child pornography.

The operation led to over 2,000 people being jailed or cautioned, but a number of innocent people have been stigmatised as paedophiles.

How reliable was the original information?

Scotland's Cotton Wool Kids20080215

How much damage could we be doing to future generations by over-protecting our children.

Teenage Knife Crime20080828

Simon Cox investigates teenage knife crime.

Press coverage has mainly focused on the victims, but is there any common link between the perpetrators?


Simon Cox looks at the debate over global warming in this country.

In October 2006, the Government published The Stern Review on the economics of climate change.

But is the report worth the acclaim it got?

01The Truth About Obesity20071122

Simon Cox searches for the facts about the obesity epidemic.

According to the government, the problem is now a crisis.

Experts say that four fifths of men will be overweight in 15 years and that obesity can reduce life expectation by 13 years.

But can we believe these figures? Is there really an obesity time bomb in Britain?


Simon Cox investigates the new contract the Government gave to Britain's GPs.

At a stroke it gave doctors an enormous pay rise, killed off the Saturday surgery and led to Primary Care Trusts having to fly in foreign doctors to provide 'out of hours' coverage.

But was this deal a good one for Britain's taxpayers? It was certainly a good one for GPs who now earn on average over £100,000 per year and work fewer hours.

02The Sick Man Of Europe20071129

Simon Cox asks why, despite huge government expenditure in recent years, cancer survival rates in the UK remain the worst in Western Europe.

He reveals why government targets have resulted in some patients waiting too long for radiotherapy and asks whether an obsession with expensive new drugs has led to the neglect of other life-saving treatments.


Simon Cox asks why the European Commission gives millions of pounds to campaigning organisations involved in lobbying Brussels to promote their own causes.

04 LAST20071213

He explores the sources of the flood of spam emails which beset every office worker and asks whether their authors really make millions from selling items of dubious provenance.