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The Dirty Tricks Brigade

Please note that the Radiocommunications Agency no longer exists, its activities are now carried out by Ofcom. This page is retained to illustrate how the agency used to behave towards, not only LPWS members, but radio amateurs in general.

The Radiocommunications Agency was an executive agency of the DTI, The Department of Trade & Industry of the UK Government. This is the same department that was involved in questionable transactions over Westland Helicopters, that resulted in the resignation of a cabinet Minister, and the very same department involved in questionable activities over the "Iraqi Super Gun" export licences episode, and countless further incidents.
Bear these facts in mind before assuming we are making this up, WE ARE NOT!

NOTE Many, if not all, Radio Amateurs in the UK regard themselves as a "cut above" their fellow citizens by the mere fact that they have some kind of qualification. The more demented section of these misguided simpletons take a further step towards stupidity, and buy an old ambulance, a Dayglo tabard, and join an organisation called Raynet.

Much criticised during the Lockerbie disaster*, Raynet members prance about at public events, trying to look important, whilst brandishing all manner of outdated radio equipment, which is the core requirement.
Sadly, this organisation attracts the dregs of the amateur community, which (in the UK at least), appears to be made up, almost entirely, of people too stupid to be a Traffic Warden, a Special Constable or a Trading Standards Officer.

*Invariably, on radio amateur websites, you will find glowing reports of Raynet's "contribution" during the Lockerbie disaster, however, independent reports and those of the emergency services involved, were highly critical of their involvement and the compromising of the crash scene by this bunch of buffoons.

Over the years, some unusual and questionable practices have been employed to discredit the LPWS and its members!

Hardly Surprising

It's hardly surprising when you consider that an anagram of
RADIO INVESTIGATION SERVICE is:-

The Usual Tactics

In the past, the usual tactics have been to suggest to both Magistrates and Judges that the activities of those being prosecuted could have repercussions for the radio communications of the emergency services. This is a particular tactic when dealing with UBRs when it is many years since all Police, Fire, and Ambulance services vacated the 88-108MHz broadcast band and now are digitally encoded as well. Sadly, this is still suggested as a possible consequence of unlicensed broadcasting.

It now quite difficult to find a clear slot to get your signal out! This completely false claim of interference with emergency services still persists into cases heard up to 2003!

Tampering With The Evidence

As detailed in one of our magazines, either the RIS or the prosecuting counsel's staff deliberately obscured the LPWS office address from the top of a Penrose Gazette which was produced in court as evidence against G1MTT. It was alleged that G1MTT was the publisher of the magazine and not the LPWS, when G1MTT pointed out that the publisher's office address was clearly printed on the magazine cover, the Judge stopped the proceedings as it had been obliterated from his copy.

It transpired that all the copies produced in court by the prosecution, and those given to the jurors as part of the evidence, had been tampered with.
The copy G1MTT was using was sent to him in an original bundle of evidence when they thought they were going to be in the Magistrates Court, and was a copy of the original BEFORE the dirty tricks brigade got hold of it and obliterated the address in a fruitless attempt to prove George was the publisher.
The judge halted the proceedings whilst court staff duplicated copies of George's original magazine for distribution to the jury and court officials.

The Evidence:- Here is a scan of The Penrose Gazette supplied to George in the bundle of evidence BEFORE he transferred the case to the Crown Court:-

Before

After - the one made by the DTI:-

On this scan of the front cover, clearly shown is the evidence number BD01 (Bruce Davies 01), and, more importantly, the publisher's address and phone number in the top right. This whole section had been obliterated by the prosecution before copies were given to the judge and jury at his trial.
This blatant evidence tampering was intended to show that George was the publisher, the idiots had forgotten a copy of the original was already in George's hands, and was given to the judge, who then adjourned the case whilst George's original copy was photocopied, stapled back together, and distributed amongst the court and jury. Strangely enough the sheer volume of magazines printed by Hereford Crown Court would make THEM the main publisher!

This attempt at perverting the course of justice, itself a serious crime, remains unprosecuted!

Apart from this amateurish attempt to alter documentary evidence, the prosecution insisted to the court that George had been transmitting on the input frequency of the GB3MH repeater, which was 145.025MHz at that time.

Reproduced below is the test report from the ONLY radio transceiver the team found and seized from George's house:-

Check the frequencies! Given prior warning of the impending raid, a decoy radio was connected to a faulty power supply, the microphone had a different connector (so would not fit the radio) and there was no power cable. A Walkman with a copy of The Laughing Policeman Song in it was placed next to the radio for authenticity. All other radio equipment had been removed and no aerial or aerial cable was fitted to the house, however, the Radio Investigation Service managed to convince the court that without a radio transmitting on 145.025MHz, without a working power source, without an audio lead or microphone, and even without any kind of antenna, George managed to transmit The Laughing Policeman Song on GB3MH!

The idea was for the RIS to execute their search warrant, find the decoy radio and the associated equipment, and assume that they had found their evidence - the ruse worked a treat!

However what we didn't factor in was the barefaced lying, and even faced with the evidence, in black and white (OK pink & blue, see below), signed by Ronald Banks, Radio Investigation Officer, for reasons best known to themselves, the jury accepted that the seized radio WITHOUT a crystal fitted for 145.025 MHz was actually capable of transmitting on that frequency!

On the night, to add authenticity, LPWS members were on hand locally to start transmitting the Laughing Policeman Song as soon as George entered his house, which they did. The RIS made no attempt to discover where the transmissions were coming from, and made forcible entry, quite mistakenly, to George's house.

We imagine that a few days after the raid, when they had realised their error, a decision was taken to lie to the court and not to go with the evidence, that showed George's complete and total innocence of the charges. Sadly for us, in spite of a lack of any supporting evidence, the jury, being somewhat bemused by the technicalities were unable to reach a decision after some considerable time.
The Jury were recalled and the Judge suggested that he could accept a majority decision of 10:2, and after another hour or so, sufficient members of the Jury had been persuaded to change their opinions so everyone could go home at 16:30pm on a Friday night. British Justice had prevailed!

Do you think this was an isolated case? or has this deliberate evidence tampering been part of their tactics all along? you decide.

Further evidence of this particular dirty trick came to light when I met George G1MTT on 26th July at the 2015 AGM, I had asked him to bring any documents he still had to illustrate an interview I was in the process of writing up. George gave me a folder of several documents and I found the following, a seizure document following the raid on his house detailed above. The only radio in the premises was incapable of transmitting on 145.024, as shown on the document above, following the DTI test. BUT look at the seizure document:-

The second item says "1 X Icom IC215 Presently TXing on 145.025Mhz" which was impossible, as there were no crystals fitted for that frequency, let alone the fact than no antenna, microphone, or power lead was connected to the radio.

The RIS had decided it was George before they forced entry, and without testing of any kind, assumed it was him transmitting. Subsequently finding that the radio was incapable of being used on the frequency, they set about fabrication and deception, resulting in a guilty verdict in 5 of the 10 charges George faced.

DTI City & Guilds Trick

We think this can be listed under the heading of dirty tricks. The Radiocommincations Authority played a blinder here, they took quite some time after George's trial to revoke his license, much to the disgust of everyone on the Midland repeaters who couldn't understand why he was still "on the air", but being only a civil offence, the court didn't have the power to make any ruling on George's license.

It took so long for any movement on behalf of the DTI that most of us thought they had forgotten about it or were not going to revoke his license after all, HOWEVER, their master plan was eventually revealed when George received the letter telling him that his license would be revoked and to obtain a new one he would need to sit part 1 of the Radio Amateurs Exam again. No problem really as the exam was so easy to pass, people with genuine brain damage could do it!

George decided to do it right away, and applied to sit the next examination, this was when the DTI's dirty trick kicked in! This was the last year when The City & Guilds were running Radio Amateurs Exams as the procedure for obtaining a license had been changed, PLUS, George's letter was dated THE DAY AFTER applications for the exam closed. A very neat trick indeed and it was now obvious why the revocation took so long. He could have his license back if he passed an exam it was impossible to ever take again!

George wrote to City & Guilds who initially told him that he didn't have to sit the exam again as the qualification was valid for life with no expiry date, see their letter below:-

After a second letter explaining the vindictive nature of what the DTI were trying to do, George was contacted by a very helpful man at C&G, named Roger Bone, who very kindly arranged for George's name to be added to the already closed candidates list for the last ever sitting of the exam - RESULT.

Well partially only, he could sit the exam, but it clashed with pre-booked travel arrangements, "No Problem" said Mr Bone, you can sit the exam on a ship, or in fact anywhere in the world at a British Council office. The City & Guilds couldn't have been more helpful, and so it came to pass that in December that year, George made his way to The British Council in Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand and sat the exam 7 hours ahead of anyone else, due to the time difference.

Thus the DTI were thwarted in their sinister plan, and George passed with credit and his license was restored. Yet another Strange But True story that would be hard to make up!

The Great LPWS Post Theft

Another strange but true story! At the height of the LPWS popularity, we had a whip-round at one of our meetings and placed a small advertisement in a weekly local magazine. The advert invited people to contact us, and gave a box number. Imagine our surprise, when we went to collect our post, we were told that it had been "confiscated" by a police officer. We made enquiries, and the local police knew nothing of it, one LPWS member was a shareholder in Goodhead Publishing Plc. the magazine company, and wrote to them demanding an explanation. In the meantime, a complaint was made to The Post Office National Users Council, but as the post had "been delivered as addressed" they were unable to help.

Eventually, the publishers told us the officer's name, and we were able to make an official complaint regarding the theft of our post. It transpired that this was the same officer who had already "threatened violence" towards an LPWS member within earshot of his solicitor. This officer later visited an LPWS member to ask, or indeed. plead that we drop the complaint as he feared for the loss of his pension as he was due to retire. (Surprisingly, this wasn't our old friend Sgt. 3116 Bodwen, but an officer from a different force, West Mercia Constabulary, and NOT a radio amateur)

Not being inclined to drop the case, we were surprised to be warned by our solicitors of police persecution to other parties who had the audacity to make justified complaints, and after a visit from the Complaints and Discipline Department of The West Mercia Police, we decided to let the silly old sod retire in relative peace, and dropped our complaint. What a nice bunch of people we really are! (Constable 148 John Elfred Humphreys)

Added on 1.05.2015, many thanks to one of our supporters for finding this previously unseen article. From 8.05 1988, on the left is our old adversary, 148 John Elfred Humphreys, not only party to the "Great LPWS Post Theft", he also threatened George whilst he was talking to a "friend" outside his house - unknown to Humphries the "friend" was George's solicitor - who still remembers the incident.....

Laughing Policeman Could Kill Hundreds

This was the heading on a 2 page feature in the Sun newspaper, it seems that Manchester Airport was suffering from a fake air traffic controller, and the authorities had suggested that the LPWS were involved.

The only involvement anyone had with this person was that an LPWS sympathiser had tracked him down and given him a cassette of the Laughing Policeman Song to play, quite an achievement really as we easily found him and the RIS never did!

Many thanks to LPWS members who tracked down this story and obtained a copy from The Daily Sport Tuesday 12th December 1995

LPWS damage RIS Property?

Again, a story put out to discredit the club, was that our members were in the habit of damaging the cars of RIS staff, apparently all over the United Kingdom!

Is it not more probable that the operators of many of the pirate broadcast stations (UBRs) that suffer repeated visits from the RIS, usually at a cost of several thousand Pounds in seized records and equipment, would be more likely to vent their anger in this way? Just check out the statistics for visits to pirate broadcasters against those to radio amateurs and make up your own minds.

We think that as we are "visible" targets, it's easier for the RIS to blame us rather than find the real culprits.

Aylesbury Repeater Bomb [GB3VA]

Again, we were blamed for this daft incident, and far from being a "Booby Trapped Bomb", we have it on good authority that the device in question was either a theatrical smoke effect or a marine distress flare.

The constructors of this device were concerned that their previous effort had been stolen by cretins from the local repeater group, and it seems that the only intention of the so called "bomb" was to deter more thieves.

The device was not constructed by LPWS members and although along similar lines, had nothing whatsoever to do with the club, but as usual, the LPWS got the blame again in the press reports. Listen to the TV news report HERE

The Dirty Trick That Backfired

For reasons best known to themselves, PC148 John Elfred Humphies (of West Mercia Constabulary) joined forces with Sergeant 3116 Bowden (West Midlands Police) and spent a great deal of their leisure time fruitlessly chasing LPWS members.

It came to pass that one Sunday night, George G1MTT, had been out to a pub with a few LPWS members who decided to go back to George's house for a few more drinks. One of the group noticed George's fax machine and asked if he could send a fax, George agreed.

A note was hastily written and put into the fax machine, George pointed out the Mercury button, a cut price phone service long since gone out of business, and the number was entered and sent. What George didn't know was the nature of the message, the recipient, or the fact that as the message sheet had emerged from the machine, it had been Sellotaped to the tail end of the sheet, making a continuous loop.

It was some 20 minutes or more before the fax machine started making a noise, and the display said the receiving machine was out of paper, George tells me that at the time he had thought nothing about it.

Several days later PC John Elfred Humphries and another officer visited George, and wanted to interview him about an alleged offensive fax message contrary to the Telecommunications Act 1968, it transpired that they were referring to the message sent late the Sunday before. They had a printout from Mercury Communications as evidence the call had been placed and where it was destined. George explained that a friend had asked to use his fax machine and he had no idea about the message. The two officers asked George to accompany them to the Police Station, he declined the offer, and told them if they wanted him to come with them, they would have to arrest him, then the answer to every question would be "No comment". They left, and George set about finding out what was going on.

It transpired that the enterprising LPWS member had written "Raymond, You're A CUNT" and sent it to Raymond Christopher Steven  Withers G4KZH at his office in Quinton. The sellotaping of the message to make a continuous loop had caused the fax machine at the far end, in Withers' office, to spew out ALL the entire roll of fax paper in what I imagine resembled You're A CUNT wallpaper! This was waiting for him strewn around his office the following Monday morning, and this happened just after the time Withers had decided to break ties with the LPWS and team up with the local RIS.

It looked as if there was no way out, they had the fax. they had the evidence in the Mercury Communications printout, but this whole business was foiled when an LPWS member telephoned 3116 Bowden at his home later that same day. With a tape running, he asked Bowden what was going on with George and the fax message, gleefully Bowden explained " We've got that fucking cunt this time, there's no way he can get out of this, I've been after that bastard for ages"................... and the conversation continued in the same colourful manner with Bowden quoting The Telecommunications Act and saying it was illegal to swear on the telephone (Use grossly offensive language).

This was a remarkable piece of work by a valuable colleague, he copied the cassette tape, where Bowden used all the language before quoting the act that made this illegal, and posted him a copy with a note saying that if we heard any more about it, another copy would be sent to the Chief Constable--------------- Needless to say, nothing related to this incident was ever heard of again and they were completely thwarted!

The "anonymous" Phone Calls

Not so much a Dirty Trick, but after completely ignoring the anonymous phone calls for many years, an LPWS member heard a story on Radio 4 where BT had made a record of nuisance calls and the perpetrator had been taken to court and fined a sum substantial enough to deter them from doing it again.

The scenario would be that the phone would ring and there would either be no one there, or there would be a silly comment made, or a threat of physical violence or damage to property. This had been going on for years and our member just took no notice or merely pointed out to the caller that it was costing him money and to carry on as he was a BT shareholder, however, after hearing the story, he contacted BT.

On his behalf, BT informed the local Police who went round to see him and he made a statement. Nothing changed for a month or so until one day the policeman turned up again to tell him that the person responsible had been traced and that proceedings had been commenced against them. Unfortunately they wouldn't give any information as to who it was or where they lived, but someone out there - from a very small number of local people, ended up in the Magistrates Court.

Sadly, the case was not reported in the local press, so we are unable to tell you who was responsible, but the phone calls stopped.

I am only reminded of this story as at the 2015 AGM, another member mentioned he was getting the same treatment from somebody and it always coincided with him using the repeater, so another case of what the police now call harassment is being investigated, but the calls stopped shortly after they were reported, which is something of a disappointment for us, as another of the "opposition" may well slip through the net.

The line is still being monitored, so something may come of it, we'll keep you informed.

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

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