UK police increase raids on pirate radio stations

Authorities getting tough with illegal broadcasters

The number of police raids on UK pirate radios is on the increase, according to police figures.

According to the last report, 881 stations were targeted last year, compared to 707 in 2007, reports BBC News.

Police claim that the raids have seen them earn a 100 per cent conviction rate.

According to media regulator Ofcom, the reasons for the increase in police attention include pirate radio frequencies interfering with ambulance and fire brigade signals, with the organisation receiving 41 complaints from the emergency services regarding this in 2008.

Richard Southall of the London and Quadrant Housing Trust claimed that vandalism by pirate radio broadcasters was also an issue.

“They break down doors, smash windows, break the actual lifts erecting this equipment,” he said. “Intimidating threats are made to people and it makes a lot of residents’ life hell.”

However, London station Supreme FM‘s Ray Gambeno defended pirate radio, declaring that the stations were valuable addition to the airwaves.

“We reach out to people in the community in a way mainstream radio can’t,” he claimed. “You get a sense of warmth.”