TV regulator Ofcom has said it will investigate Channel 4 series Benefits Street to see whether it broke broadcasting guidelines, following nearly 1,800 complaints.

The documentary series, which has just finished its run, became a hot potato over its portrayals of the daily lives and activities of people living in James Turner Street, Birmingham, many of whom were on living on benefits with some shown apparently committing crimes.

Ofcom will examine whether the programme may have caused offence by being misleading or unfair, and whether enough was done to protect under-18s in the show, as well as the way it depicted possible crimes.

The series generated around 960 complaints to Ofcom and another 800 to Channel 4.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “Following the conclusion of Benefits Street, Ofcom can confirm that it has launched an investigation into the series.”