There are now more than half a million vegans in Britain – with more than a quarter of a million people trying out a vegan diet last month – double the number of people who signed up for ‘veganuary’ in 2018. There’s no doubt that veganism is a more humane and potentially more sustainable alternative to a traditional diet containing meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. But could going vegan actually be bad for your health? 5 Live Investigates hears concerns that for some, it could have serious health consequences. Rebecca Hills, 20, tells the programme she used a vegan diet to conceal her eating disorder. But for Rebecca Hills, 20, going vegan wasn’t about 'ethics' and 'healthy eating', like she told people. It was to cover up her eating disorder. “In the back of my mind I was thinking that veganism would be a really good way to lose weight,” she said. The charity Beat Eating Disorders believes Rebecca may not be alone: “Some people may use veganism or vegetarianism to conceal their eating disorder, as it becomes socially acceptable to follow a restrictive diet.”
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6,000 police not properly vetted
Thousands of police officers and civilian staff haven't been vetted since the introduction of strict guidelines in 2006. 36 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales responded to a Freedom of Information request from 5 Live Investigates. But 16 of the forces that provided information said they hadn't performed retrospective background checks on a total of 5,966 police officers and staff since the policy was introduced. The programme has also discovered that the number of police officers investigated for abusing their 'power for sexual gains' has more than doubled over a 4 year period - from 84 in 2014/15 to 170 in 2017/18. The revelations follow the conviction in December 2018 of Cheshire PC Ian Naude who was sentenced to 25 years for raping a 13-year-old girl who he groomed after attending an incident at her home. PC Naude passed Cheshire Police's vetting process despite allegations of sex offences being investigated by two neighbouring forces prior to joining the force.
(Photo credit:: Press Association.)
People with Tourette's struggling to get help
Alice Franklin is one of 300,000 people in the UK with Tourette’s Syndrome. For 25-year-old Alice, the condition manifests itself in uncontrollable body movements or ‘tics’ – jerking, twitching, punching walls and windows and involuntarily collapsing to the floor. The physical side of the condition is the hardest to deal with and exhausting she says. But she also swears and hurls impromptu insults at individuals she’s just met – including her new boss and customers in a bar where she worked. It’s a life-changing condition Alice has lived with for more than three years – but for her and thousands like her, therapy isn’t readily available. In fact, a survey shared exclusively with 5 Live Investigates by the charity Tourette’s Action shows even when a diagnosis has eventually been made, most aren’t given medication or directed to any form of behavioural therapy. And even when they are, it can take years to access. There are no NICE guidelines relating to the condition and Tourette’s Action says the condition is widely misunderstood by the medical profession. More than 460 people responded to the charity's survey and 79 per cent of respondents said their mental health had been affected by the condition. More than a third said they’d considered suicide of engaged in self-harming behaviour.
Gambling Self-Exclusion Schemes
An investigation by BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates reveals problem gamblers are able to continue betting online even when they sign up to a national self-exclusion scheme. More than 50,000 people have signed up to the GamStop scheme which allows addicts to ban themselves from online betting platforms. But 5 Live Investigates recruits the son of a problem gambler to sign up to the scheme to test if it works. After banning himself, Adam Bradford, whose dad David lost more than £100,00 by gambling online, is able to sign up to a new gambling website by changing just a few small personal details. GamStop say they're 'deeply concerned' by the findings.
The programme also returns to Grimsby where a year ago a producer self-excluded from all the high street bookies in the town. But he was able to place bets on high stakes fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT's) in all but two of the betting shops he was banned from. A year on, the programme returns to Grimsby to find out if anything has changed.
Kids in Care Placed in B&Bs.
There has been a big increase in the number of vulnerable children being housed alone without live in support. In some cases youngsters have been placed in bed and breakfast accommodation, bedsits and even caravans by the local authorities that are meant to be looking after them. Figures obtained by 5 Live Investigates show the number of young people aged 16 and 17 and placed in what’s called ‘independent living accommodation’ has gone up by 28 per cent in England since 2010. Young care leavers tell the programme they’ve been placed in dwellings over-run by drug users, alcoholics and abusers. The Children’s Commissioner says she is now launching an investigation into the crisis. The Government says the law is clear and that local authorities must provide accommodation that meets children’s needs and that includes appropriate supervision whilst in that accommodation.
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