Lynne Featherstone MP meets with radio police to hear of fight against Haringey’s pirate radio stations

Lynne Featherstone MP and from the left Paul Mercer and James McNally from Ofcom’s spectrum enforcement team.After hearing from worried constituents who were not able to listen to their favourite Greek radio station due to interference from pirate radio, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday met up with the Office for Communication (Ofcom), which regulates radio stations, to hear what action they are taking to solve the problem.

Listeners of London Greek Radio have been growing increasingly frustrated at not being able to hear clear transmissions because of pirate radio station ‘dost.fm’, illegally broadcasting on a nearby frequency. Since January, Ofcom has taken close to 20 enforcement actions to end dost.fm’s broadcasts, resulting in the pirate radio station losing over 22 days of airtime since March. Pirate radio stations that illegally send out programmes on the FM band can earn lots of money from selling cheaper advertising, and disrupting legal radio stations’ broadcasts.

The problem with radio piracy is particularly big in Haringey, with close to a third of the capital’s pirate stations located within the borough.

Ofcom are working tirelessly to end broadcasts by pirate radio stations in London, by disrupting the day to day running of the stations and prosecuting the key players.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“Over the years I have had endless letters from constituents who are so angry at not being able to hear their favourite radio stations because of pirate radio. But the issue of pirate radio is wider than that. Many organisers earn millions of pounds by selling cheaper advertising space, putting legal community radio stations out of business.

“London Greek Radio provides a really valuable service to the Greek Community in Haringey, and I’m glad that Ofcom is taking strong action.

“Fighting pirate radio stations like dost.fm seems to be a bit like guerrilla warfare , you pull the plug in one place, just to see them pop up somewhere else. Nevertheless Ofcom does a fantastic job, and they have my full backing in their continued fight!”