HC Deb 02 March 1981 vol 1000 cc13-4W
Mr. Campbell-Savours

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment he has made in his evaluation of the possible use of 27mHz FM as the frequency for citizens band radio, of the adequacy of the resources currently available to his Department to prevent the illegal use of 27mHz AM by the considerable number of current illegal users;

(2)what consideration he has given, in his evaluation of the use of 27mHz as the frequency for citizens band radio, to methods of preventing the development of two parallel services of 27mHz FM and AM, one legal and the other illegal;

(3)if he will specify a two-year lead-in period for any arrangements he may make for the frequency to be allocated to citizens band radio, particularly in view of the special problems if the frequency of 27mHz FM is selected; and whether he will provide immunity from prosecution for all users of 27mHz AM equipment during this lead-in period;

(4)if he has had any consultations with the Dutch, Belgium, French and German Governments on their success in preventing the continued growth in the use of amplitude modulation frequencies by citizens band radio enthusiasts following upon their allocation of frequency modulation to such users.

Mr. Raison

The best safeguard against continued illegal use of 27 mHz AM equipment is to provide a convincing alternative which meets the legitimate aspirations of CB enthusiasts. 27 mHz FM equipment complying with Home Office specifications will be as good and similar in cost while greatly reducing the risks of interference to TV reception and other radio services. We believe that this gives the strongest incentive to users to act responsibly. Inevitably, however, action will continue to be necessary against those who do not do so. The evidence of the harm they do is so clear that we cannot encourage this by any form of amnesty or lead-in period.

In reaching our decision we took account of recent experience and developments in other European countries, with whom we are in regular contact over the whole range of radio regulatory matters.