Pirate radio clampdown on Hackney Homes’ estates
Hackney Homes is clamping down on illegal radio stations across the borough; with 29 pirate radio masts and transmitters removed from estates in the last year.
In partnership with communications regulator Ofcom, the Anti-social behaviour and Estate Safety team recently dismantled a pirate radio mast from a rooftop on Summit Estate, Upper Clapton. Following reports from residents, the team identified the illegal mast and cables which were situated on top of the chimney and down the air vents of the block.
Transmitters can cause damage to the homes of residents and have been found hidden in the airshafts of estates, causing significant damage to rooftops, lifts and door entry systems.Internet radio has seen a reduction in the number of pirate radio stations compared to several years ago, however this still poses a problem across estates within the borough.
Those involved in pirate radio activity continue to place radio receiver masts on high-rise blocks as this allows them to broadcast from a location further away, reducing the chance of detection compared to internet radio which can be tracked more easily.These unlicensed broadcasts are not regulated and can cause disruption to emergency services such as ambulance and police frequencies and air traffic.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Philip Glanville, said: “Surprisingly this type of activity is still quite common and can have an impact on the lives of our residents. We will continue to take a ‘zero tolerance approach’ against illegal pirate radio operators by prosecuting those individuals found guilty of this criminal offence.”
Surprisingly this type of activity is still quite common and can have an impact on the lives of our residents. We will continue to take a ‘zero tolerance approach’ against illegal pirate radio operators by prosecuting those individuals found guilty of this criminal offence.
The masts are usually attached to large scaffolding poles, which are often not properly secured and can potentially fall and cause injury.
Clive Corrie, Head of Spectrum Enforcement at Ofcom, said: “Illegal broadcasting not only disrupts licensed radio stations, but also interferes with vital radio communications used by the emergency services and aircraft systems.“
Working with Hackney Homes, we’re successfully tackling pirate radio stations, which can cause serious damage to property and can be extremely upsetting to residents. We urge pirate radio stations to get involved with community radio, a legitimate route on to the airwaves."
”Hackney Homes residents who detect masts on rooftops, damage to their building from pirate radio equipment and notice interference with their television or radio signals can contact the Anti-social behaviour and Estate Safety team on 020 8356 3310.