Tag Archives: Pirate Radio London

Southgate ARC notes Ofcom’s approach to FM pirate enforcement

City_of_London(Source: Southgate ARC news)

“The UK communications regulator Ofcom have published information about tackling pirate radio

Although Ofcom have occasionally raided pirate stations operating in the 88-108 MHz band, such enforcement actions have been few and far between.

After the 2008/9 financial year, Ofcom stopped publishing their Prosecution/Formal Warning Statistics and subsequently removed all prosecution statistics from their website, perhaps to hide the fact that they no longer published them. It may be speculated the reason the statistics no longer appeared was because Ofcom had stopped undertaking enforcement action.

Currently in London there are over 25 pirate stations operating in the 88-108 MHz band. Many operate 24/7 so are not exactly difficult for Ofcom to locate if they wished.

In the Pirate Radio page Ofcom point out that they have issued Community Radio licences to former pirate radio stations such as Rinse FM and Kane FM. The inference that may be taken is Ofcom would like pirate radio stations to apply for community radio licences.

Read Ofcom’s pirate radio page at

Large amounts of spectrum in 88-108 MHz will be vacated when national broadcasters shutdown their FM transmitters and move to DAB only from 2015 http://www.southgatearc.org/news/june2013/

2008/9 Ofcom radio prosecution statistics

Thanks to Mike Terry and BDXC for spotting this item”

And many thanks to the excellent Southgate ARC for posting this news.

For a brilliant mini-documentary on London pirates, check out this video.

London pirate radio documentary offers insight

This documentary certainly touches on the motivation behind most pirate radio stations. I should note that while many FM pirate stations are dissapearing with the advent of online sources, shortwave pirates seem to be going strong and they use many of the same remote transmitter tactics that appear in this short film.

If you have trouble watching the embedded video above, please click here for the documentary video page.