Dozens of raids against pirate radio stations in Islington and Hackney

14:27 09 November 2012

Leo Chapman has struggled to tune in to BBC Radio Three due to pirate radio interference. Picture: Dieter Perry

Leo Chapman has struggled to tune in to BBC Radio Three due to pirate radio interference. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

Dozens of raids against pirate radio broadcasters have been mounted in Islington and Hackney this year – but they have not stopped one frustrated listener from hearing pumping bass when he tries to tune into a classical station.

Squads from government watchdog The Office of Communications (Ofcom) – known as spectrum enforcement teams – have swooped on illegal stations 49 times since January.

Many are repeat offenders that have faced action time and again, including one known as Passion FM that has been targeted four times when transmitting from sites in the EC1 and N1 postcodes.

Ofcom said there were 40 raids in Islington, against 12 different stations, and nine operations in Hackney.

The figures were obtained by the Gazette following the trials of a reader who struggled to tune in to classical station BBC Radio Three.

Leo Chapman, of Dufferin Street, Finsbury, said: “I have been unable to get Radio Three for two weeks – all I get instead is beat music. It’s mindless bang bang music with hysterical DJs shouting away and that’s not quite my sort of thing.

“It’s happened before, but usually it closes down pretty fast.”

The chief suspect is Passion FM once again, although Mr Chapman said the problem finally cleared up over the weekend, without any further Ofcom raid.

A spokesman for Ofcom said: “Passion FM sounds likely. We have taken action against it over the past year in that area.

“They broadcast at around 91.8 FM, which is within the Radio Three frequency.

“We can’t say for definite that it’s this particular station, although it has covered that area. There have been quite a few operations against Passion, most recently in August, and it’s a station that we are aware of and are keeping a close eye on.”

The offence of illegal broadcasting carries maximum penalties of an unlimited fine and up to two years in prison.

n You can call Ofcom on 020 7981 3000 to report pirate radio activity.


Latest News Stories

7 minutes ago
Holloway Prison. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA

Holloway Prison is to close, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said this afternoon.

Audrey Bailey celebrating her 90th birthday in the Mayor's Parlour at Islington Town Hall accompanied by her husband George Bailey and her daughter Sara

She was just three weeks old when her mother handed her over to strangers. But now, nearly 90 years on, former Islington resident Audrey Bailey has been welcomed back to her birthplace by the Mayor himself.

Islington trading standards officer Doug Love with bottles of counterfeit alcohol

A tough stance on sale of illicit alcohol and smuggled spirits in Islington is saving the treasury almost half a million pounds in lost duty every year.

Yesterday, 18:01
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The two young men from Kentish Town who left the UK to fight for Islamic State (IS) in Syria are former pupils of Acland Burghley School.

Yesterday, 15:10
An officer arranges flowers at the stabbing scene in Yoke Close

The 17-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in Holloway last night was found by members of the public.

Yesterday, 14:10
Vallie founders Robin Doble (L) and Nash Islam (R)

Tech City is the third largest technology hub in the world, and it’s right on our doorstep. Each week, we bring you news from the thriving area around Old Street roundabout. This week, reporter Sophie Inge talks to Nash Islam, co-founder of Vallie, the UK’s first on-demand app-based valet parking service.

Yesterday, 11:00
Emily Thornberry

The Russian mafia could end up controlling publicly owned land under proposed laws, Islington South and Finsbury’s MP has warned.

Yesterday, 08:30
The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines - including one from Islington - to fill an £11million budget black hole

‘All the conversation now is about social media, removing something as important as this is a false economy’ say Tories

Most read news


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder