Three people have been arrested for running illegal radio stations in London – as part of a continuing campaign by broadcasting regulators, Ofcom, to stamp out illegal broadcasting – which last year included a conviction in Scotland.
Yesterday’s action, involving police plus staff from the London Boroughs of Hackney, Haringey, Tower Hamlets and Islington, also saw the seizure of 22 transmitters.
It has emerged that, in December, an illegal radio station operating in Aviemore was raided, with its equipment seized and its operator given an official warning from Ofcom.
Also last year, in the Glasgow area, a Thomas Muir Gillies was convicted of running the illegal Club FM, which had been raided the previous October.
In May and June last year, transmitters were seized from Project FM, again operating in Glasgow. Two other illegal stations – Power FM and Rhythm FM, both Glasgow-based – are believed to be currently inactive.
Says Ofcom: “Illegal broadcasters can cause interference to safety-of-life services, such as the fire brigade and air traffic control, as well as licensed broadcasters, denying listeners their choice of music and news. Illegal stations cause significant damage to rooftops, resulting in expensive repair bills at public expense.”
Ofcom estimates that there are over 150 illegal stations operating in the UK, with half of those broadcasting across London and the south-east of England.
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