News

Police & Ofcom shut down suspected pirate radio station in Sunderland

23 Aug 2018 10:00 AM

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Police have successfully shut down a suspected pirate radio station in Sunderland.

Working in partnership with Ofcom, officers attended an address in Pallion after intelligence linked it with a suspected illegal radio broadcast operating in the area.

The station was thought to have been used as a source of information for teenagers identifying potential locations to gather. Such gatherings have led to complaints of anti-social behaviour and disorder.

On Thursday, August 16, police executed a warrant at a house on Halstead Square and the station was subsequently shut down.

A 34-year-old man is being dealt with by Ofcom for suspected offences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006.

Sergeant Patrick Scott, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was an excellent example of partnership working with Ofcom and the local community.

“We will continue to try to safeguard young people in our area and prevent any disorder which has an adverse effect on local residents.

“My message to the public is clear; it is illegal to operate an unlicensed radio station or use any equipment that may cause interference or have the potential to disrupt the communications of critical services, and we will actively pursue offenders thought to be contravening such laws.”

Ofcom say there are ways for smaller stations to run legal radio broadcasts without breaking the law.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Thanks to new technology, we can now offer smaller stations a safe, legal route to air through community radio – without interfering with others who rely on using the airwaves.”