§ Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial, manpower and other resources are currently allocated by his Department for the detection, surveillance and prevention of pirate radio broadcasting.
§ Mr. Butcher
[pursuant to his reply, 28 October 1985, c. 309]: The greater part of the resources of the Radio Investigation Service are now devoted to enforcement action against all forms of unlicensed use or abuse of radio, particularly when this endangers the emergency services or the livelihood of those whose businesses depend upon radio. How much is spent on unlicensed broadcasters depend on our success in getting home the message that vigorous action will be taken to deal with them. Few now transmit regularly or for long periods.
In 1984–85, £351,900 was spent on enforcement operations against unlicensed radio broadcasters; this figure includes apportionments of staff costs, vehicles, technical equipment and other resources as appropriate. The RIS has 223 staff at present.
Between 1 October 1984 and 30 September 1985, the RIS took action on 228 occasions against unlicensed radio broadcasters, and 106 persons were convicted over the same period for involvement with such broadcasts.