A North London Borough (Council) is adopting a new approach to eliminate the issue of Pirate Radio, hoping to save up to £1 million if rolled out without the whole of London.
Haringey Council, in conjunction with Homes for Haringey, have changed their to enforcement, and have saved £90,000 in Policing and repair costs, by focusing on the sites used by Pirate Radio.
Employees target known locations that provide the perfect conditions for broadcast, high rise building, where the enforcement teams find transmitters installed on rooftops or hidden in lift shafts. Often the equipment is poorly installed, potential a risk to people from falling equipment or frequency interference.
The prompt removal of illegal broadcast equipment is removing the harm for people and building, reducing costs, and is also providing a cleaner band for the emergency services to broadcast within,
If this approach is adopted by the whole of London, the savings could be as much as one million pounds.
Clive Corrie, Head of Ofcom’s Spectrum Enforcement team, said: “Illegal broadcasting harms local communities and risks lives by interfering with vital communications used by the emergency services and air traffic control.
“By working in partnership with local authorities, Ofcom is tackling this problem. We also strongly urge those broadcasting illegally to get involved with internet or community radio, a legitimate route on to the airwaves.”
Astrid Kjellberg-Obst, Executive Director of Operations at Homes for Haringey, said: “Pirate radio stations damage people’s homes and can be extremely distressing to our residents.
“We’ve seen huge success in tackling the problem with the measures that we’ve introduced, removing all pirate radio stations from Haringey and saving the borough tens of thousands of pounds in the process. We will continue to work with Ofcom to keep Haringey pirate-free.”
Ofcom offers accessible, legal alternatives to get onto the airwaves. Since 2005, Ofcom has issued community radio licenses, enabling small stations across the UK to get on-air right and serve their local communities. More than 200 community radio services are now broadcasting.
Ofcom is also supporting a new, innovative way for smaller stations to broadcast on digital radio. If tests are successful the system, called ‘small scale DAB’, promises to open up digital radio to smaller broadcasters for a fraction of current costs.
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