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Radio equipment is seized in police raid

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Pirate radio equipment broadcasting from the top of three landmark tower blocks in Wolverhampton has been seized in a police swoop.

Pirate radio equipment broadcasting from the top of three landmark tower blocks in Wolverhampton has been seized in a police swoop.

Police and Office of Communications officials took down £1,500 worth of equipment including three transmitters, a computer, five aerials, cabling and a satellite receiver.

They targeted rooftops and lift motor rooms at Campion House, Longfield House and Brockfield House yesterday after residents complained about noise and interference on their TVs.

Sgt Tony Blakeman, from Heath Town neighbourhood policing team, said today: "The equipment seized will have been causing interference to the broadcasts of legal radio stations and stealing frequencies on the radio spectrum.

"Participation in pirate radio is a criminal and anti-social activity and we are committed to working with Ofcom to stop it.

"It's important to remember too, that pirates do not have permission to use these tower blocks as transmitter sites and have caused damage to rooftops and access doors in doing so."

Heath Town councillor Milkinder Jaspal said he had spoken to the council and police about the issue as residents had complained about noise coming from the equipment used by the pirates, with some even saying it had an effect on their TV signals.

He added: "This raid is a good thing - it needs to be welcomed as pirate radios have an effect on reception for residents and are also illegal as well. "They have an impact on the genuine companies that operate legally.

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Ofcom enforcement policy adviser Clive Corrie said: "Pirate radio stations are a particular problem in big cities such as Wolverhampton, and this was part of a wider operation that involves raiding studios and taking them off air, seizing equipment and bringing the culprits to justice.

"In the past six months we've received several hundred complaints from across the UK relating to pirate radio.

"The vast majority of these come from consumers who complain about broadcasts drowning out legitimate stations."

"Other complaints come from councils complaining of pirates causing damage to rooftops and the emergency services."

No arrests have been made.

Three stations were shut down as a result of yesterday's action. They were Irie.FM, Skyline Radio and Frontline radio.

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