§ Lynne Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what account he took of the recommendation of the Stewart Report that amplitude modulation around 16 Hz should be avoided in the commissioning of the new police TETRA telecommunications systems; and what assessment he has made of the implications of the information available on potential health problems arising from this system for the continued use of the system.
§ Ms Blears
The Stewart report stated that "as a precautionary measure, amplitude modulation around 16 Hz should be avoided, if possible, in future developments in signal coding". TETRA technology was already well established at the time the Stewart report was published.
Expert advice was sought from the National Radiological Protection Board's independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR). The AGNIR experts concluded that it was unlikely that the special features of TETRA technology could pose a risk to health.
In addition, as recommended by AGNIR, the Home Office has set up an extensive research programme on the potential health effects of TETRA. All results to date confirm that TETRA technology is safe. Further information is available on the Home Office website (www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/tetra.html).