Crackdown against pirate radio stations

Pirate Radio

Pirate Radio - Credit: Archant

Hackney Homes has been clamping down on pirate radio stations in the borough and warning of the dangers of illegal radio.

In the past year 29 pirate radio masts and transmitters have been removed from estates, most recently from Summit Estate in Upper Clapton.

Together with Ofcom, Hackney Homes identified and dismantled mast and cables which were situated on top of the chimney and down the air vents of the block, after reports from residents.

Transmitters have also been found hidden in the airshafts of estates, causing significant damage to rooftops, lifts and door entry systems.

Due to the rise in internet radio the number of pirate radio stations has reduced but those involved in pirate radio activity continue to place radio receiver masts on high-rise blocks.

This allows them to broadcast from a location further away, reducing the chance of detection.

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.”

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Clive Corrie, Head of 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.

“We urge pirate radio stations to get involved with community radio, a legitimate route on to the airwaves.”