Illegal Broadcasting – Scotland - Oct 2013

Radio related FOI responses by Ofcom to be posted into here for reference & discussion!
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sde-1104
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Illegal Broadcasting – Scotland - Oct 2013

Post by sde-1104 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:12 pm

Preamble: Illegal broadcasting sites that operate in the FM band of 88-108MHz, in the Scotland area, Group: Spectrum, Closed Date: 28 October 2013.

Thank you for your request for information regarding pirate radio stations operating in
Scotland, which we received on Friday, 13 September 2013 and has been processed under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I have answered your questions below. The information I wish to request relates to Pirate Radio Stations, also known as unlicensed broadcast stations that operate in the FM band of 88-108MHz, and that operate only in the Scotland area.

1) I would like to know how many Pirate radio stations have been investigated by
Ofcom between 2005 - 2013 (or as close to the years stated)? Please state the station
name and operating area and radio frequency used and any other related information
relating to the station or broadcasts investigated.


2007 - 2
2008 - 1
2009 - nil
2010 - nil
2011 - nil
2012 - nil
2013 (to date) - 1

We are unable to provide you with the station names, operating area or used frequencies.
This information is being withheld under section 31 of the Act, which relates to law
enforcement and the functions of a public authority. In applying this exemption we have had
to balance the public interest in withholding the information against the public interest in
disclosing the information. In the annex I have set out the exemption in full, as well as the
factors Ofcom considered when deciding where the public interest lay.

Please note the information does not include information pre-2007. Information pre-2007 on
illegal broadcasting is held on Ofcom’s archived system and is not readily accessible as a
considerable amount of time would be needed to locate, retrieve, identify and extract any
relevant information. Section 12 of the Act provides that a public authority is not obliged to
comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with
the request would exceed the “appropriate limit”. The appropriate limit is set out in the
Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004,
and is, for Ofcom, £450. That sum is intended to cover the estimated costs involved in
determining whether Ofcom holds the information requested, identifying, locating, retrieving
and extracting the information from any document containing it. The Regulations provide that
costs are to be estimated at a rate of £25 per person per hour.2) How many of the stations
investigated were actually taken off air by i.e raided. Please specify the stations name
and area it served and month/year.

One enforcement action was taken against a station in 2007, and two actions against one
station in 2008. Every enforcement action results in a station being taken off the air,
although perhaps only for a short period of time.

We are unable to disclose the station name or area under section 31 of the Act, as explained
above.

3) How many of the stations investigated were issued with warning letters by Ofcom.
Please specify the stations name and area it served and month/year.


One station’s DJ was issued with a warning letter in 2007.

We are unable to disclose the station name or area under section 31 of the Act, as explained
above.

4) How many of the stations investigated were prosecuted by Ofcom? Please specify
the stations name and area it served and month/year.


In 2008, two offenders at one station were prosecuted.
We are unable to disclose the station name or area under section 31 of the Act, as explained
above.

5) How many cases in the specified years has there been off radio interference as a
result of a pirate radio transmitter, to that of airports radio frequencies and that of
emergency services radio frequencies in Scotland? Please specify month/year and
extent of the interference.


During this period, there was one report of interference to aeronautical services.

6) Please specify if Ofcom routinely listen to pirate radio stations or do they only listen
or investigate on receipt of a complaint being made? This applies to Scotland area
only.


Ofcom officials are authorised to listen to broadcasts and transmissions during the course of
their duty; no records are kept of such action.

9) Please specify how many remote monitoring radio sites are used in Scotland by
Ofcom and how many radio direction finding sites there are in Scotland.


This information is being withheld as it falls under the exemption in section 31 of the Act as
explained above.

10) Please specify the name of the person who is in charge of the Radio investigations
for Ofcom in Scotland Glasgow office. And would this person be available to answer
any questions relating to pirate radio stations.



For general advice on this matter please contact Sam Jackson, Resource Manager (UK
North) at samuel.jackson@ofcom.org.uk..

However, if you have any further requests for information please contact me in the first
instance and I will be more than happy to process your request.

*Missed of questions 7 and 8 as they relate to staffing/departments.

Full pdf here: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binari ... 088975.pdf

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