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Radio Related Court Cases

Radiocommunications Agency Statement:- In 1999 the Agency successfully prosecuted 47 people arising from their involvement with unlicensed broadcasting stations. Average fines, where imposed, were 229 and average costs awarded to the Agency were 307. The courts can also order all equipment to be forfeited. The Agency also carried out 1414 raids on 239 unlicensed broadcasting stations. 1218 of the raids were on 167 stations in the London area.

Before reading on, please bear in mind that an anagram of Radiocommunications Agency is :-

This one is particularly apt, due to their interfering with evidence in the case of Crown Vs George, sections of text were obliterated, documents copied, and then the altered documents handed to the court as evidence. Strangely, being caught out deliberately altering evidence didn't end up with any legal action being taken against them.
The work of The
Radiocommunications Agency is now carried out by Ofcom.

Anagrams of Office Of Communications are:-

Court Cases

Why are we interested?

What interests us are the so-called offences committed, and the penalties handed down.
These penalties are quite often many times more than those given to real criminals involved in theft, robbery, and violent attacks.
When an analogy is made with motoring offences (below), you really see the discrepancies, it is possible to cause death by dangerous driving, and be fined less than for playing music on an amateur radio repeater!

If that were not enough of an example, invariably, the motorist will receive the licence for his instrument of death back years before a radio amateur will be legally allowed to use his radio again. What's all that about then?

In Perspective

Don't get any wrong ideas about the likelihood of being prosecuted for any contravention of The WT Act 1949 etc., bare in mind that more people have walked on the moon than LPWS members have been prosecuted. We think that puts it into an easily understood form.

Judging by their own figures, the over zealous interest in prosecuting Radio Amateurs seems to have all but been stopped since Ofcom took over, and the idiots from the R.I.S. were found sensible jobs, only 1 prosecution since 2002!

The old Radiocommunications Agency used to chase people about the countryside, often at weekends and in the dead of night (overtime?).
Ofcom are conspicuous by their absence. They seem to have forgotten about amateur radio and the trivialities people used to complain about, as the figures for what they now call "Spectrum Enforcement" show.
The whole complexion of their operations seem to be concentrating on UBR or Pirate Radio. The most probable reason being that this is an income generating area, and amateur radio is now free. If you couple this with the relaxation of the rules and the scrapping of the BR68, there is precious little you can do now that could end up in a prosecution

These are official figures, and there is a data gap for 2008 and 2009.

 Prosecution Cases - Financial Years 2010/13

Year Interference complaints Complaints (non-interference) Operations conducted by Ofcom against pirate stations No of pirate stations involved
Critical service Other
  London Rest of UK London Rest of UK London Rest of UK London Rest of UK London Rest of UK
2010 29 4 506 72 78 22 346 63 83 21
2011 35 0 424 69 46 14 336 48 80 16
2012 36 2 288 48 64 12 392 39 75 24
2013 21 5 179 93 39 33 387 77 76 26

Prosecution Cases - Financial Year 2006/07

Categories Persons prosecuted Persons convicted Fines imposed () Costs awarded () Forfeiture orders Conditional discharges Absolute discharges Official cautions Warning letters sent
Illegal Broadcasting 61 61 6,845.00 20,889.50 42 31 1 10 31
Citizens Band (CB) 1 1 50.00 0.00 1 0 0 0 0
EMC 1 1 2,000.00 3,000.00 1 0 0 0 1
RTTE 5 5 9,500.00 12,100.00 3 1 0 7 22
Cordless Phones 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 7 6
Amateur radio 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 0 1
Private Business Radio 0 0 0.00 00.00 0 0 0 5 16
Others Hoax 1 * 1 700.00 0.00 1 0 0 1 7
TOTAL 70 70 19,095.00 35,989.50 48 32 1 30 84

*  Coastal Station Radio

Prosecution Cases - Financial Year 2005/06

Categories Persons prosecuted Persons convicted Fines imposed () Costs awarded () Forfeiture orders Conditional discharges Absolute discharges Official cautions Warning letters sent
Illegal Broadcasting 52 52 3,864.00 9,400.00 37 17 0 6 35
Citizens Band (CB) 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 1 1
EMC 1 1 2,000.00 2,000.00 0 1 0 3 0
RTTE 2 2 2,000.00 1,100.00 1 1 0 11 52
Cordless Phones 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 0 3
Amateur radio 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 1 3
Private Business Radio 8 8 700.00 1,750.00 2 0 0 13 4
Marine 1 1 0.00 200.00 1 0 0 0 0
Illegal 6.6MHz use 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 2 0
Others 1 1 500.00 2,072.00 0 0 0 11 13
TOTAL 65 65 9,064.00 16,522.00 41 19 0 48 111

Prosecution Cases - Financial Year 2004/05

Categories Persons prosecuted Person convicted Fines imposed () Costs awarded () Forfeiture Orders Conditional discharges Absolute discharges Admonishments (Scotland) Official Cautions Warning letters sent
Illegal Broadcasting 40 40 8740.00 31,091.57 22 20 0 1 10 10
Citizens Band (CB) 2 2 100 1,700.00 2 2 0 0 1 3
RTTE Regulations 1 1 0 1,260.00 1 1 0 0 11 21
RTTE Regulations (Forfeiture) 0 0 0 2,000.00 0 0 0 0 0 0
Amateur Radio 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
Private Business Radio 3 3 2,250.00 5,702.50 0 0 0 0 7 4
Marine Radio 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Illegal 6.6MHz Use 1 1 300.00 200.00 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hoax Message 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5
TOTAL 48 48 11,390.00 41,954.07 26 23 0 1 33 46

Prosecution Cases - Financial Year 2003/04

Categories Persons prosecuted Person convicted Fines imposed () Costs awarded () Forfeiture Orders Conditional discharges Absolute discharges Admonishments (Scotland) Official Cautions Warning letters sent
CB - not licensable 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
CB - licensable 1 1 150 110 1 0 0 0 1 1
pirate radio 48 48 15900 22096.43 41 16 0 5 6 19
cordless telephones 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
PMR 1 1 2 300 0 1 0 0 12 1
Amateur 1 1 150 100 0 0 0 0 1 3
marine 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 10 0
6.6 MHz 1 1 0 500 1 1 0 0 0 0
others 3 3 4000 5960 3 2 0 0 2 4
TOTAL 55 55 20200 29066.43 46 20 0 5 23 31

Prosecution Cases - Financial Year 2002/03

Categories Persons prosecuted Person convicted Fines imposed () Costs awarded () Forfeiture Orders Conditional discharges Absolute discharges Admonishments (Scotland) Official Cautions Warning letters sent
CB - not licensable 6 6 1000 750 3 3 0 0 3 4
CB - licensable 6 6 400 620 1 1 0 0 10 0
pirate radio 56 56 6,475 12,893 43 19 0 2 9 42
cordless telephones 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
PMR 2 2 1300 540 1 0 0 0 8 2
Amateur 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
marine 2 2 100 450 0 1 0 0 10 0
6.6 MHz 2 2 3,400 250 1 0 0 0 0 0
others 7 7 4,200 12,760 6 2 0 0 7 5
TOTAL 55 55 20200 29066.43 46 20 0 5 23 31

Below are a few genuine examples from actual court cases,  to illustrate how the British Government dealt with radio related matters compared with serious threats to pedestrians and the public at large.

Radio

Motoring

Play The Laughing Policeman song on one amateur radio repeater

Fined a total of 9500

Radio licence taken away for 5 years

Kill 5 people with a car fitted with 2 defective tyres

Fined a total of 350

Driving licence taken away for 3 years

Say "CUNT" on a repeater

Fined a total of 1000

Radio licence taken away for 5 years

Kill 1 person standing at a bus stop by mounting the pavement in a car

Fined a total of 300

Driving licence taken away for 3 years plus 6 penalty points

These are not even the most extreme examples, but are the genuine and accurate offences shown with the genuine and accurate penalties. The discrepancies go on, from The Birmingham Evening Mail 26.6.99:-

Kill 2 schoolgirls on bicycles and fail to stop at the scene of an accident
Fined 0.00!!! Sentenced to 240 Hours of community Service

10 penalty points on Driving Licence

It's A Good Job He Didn't Have A Radio With Him!

 
 
      "Wicked" Willy Bodwen ex Sgt. 3116 (forced to retire & not a laughing policeman!)

The Laughing Policeman Wireless Society is a non-profit organisation for the furtherance of amateur radio.
With annual turnover of less then GBP 1000, LPWS qualifies for UK Charitable Status.

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