Legality of Scanning

Scanners and receivers, inlcuding Airband - advice and troubleshooting

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ozzie1989
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Sun May 20, 2007 5:57 pm

I have been interested in all things radio since I started using CB when off-roading. My friend recently gave me a hand-held scanner but I've been told by a few people that they are illegal.

I just wanted to clarify this before I start using it!

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stampman
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Mon May 21, 2007 9:09 am

it is illeagle to listen to some frequanceys but have not heard of anyone been prosecuted for it unless they were stopped in the street and searched so it is unlikely this will happen to you





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ozzie1989
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Mon May 21, 2007 10:10 am

Ah I see...

So although very unlikely, they could only prosecute if you were found to be listening to these certain frequencies... which I'm assuming is Fire, Ambulance etc.

Cheers

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stampman
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Mon May 21, 2007 11:32 am

yes but most of the emergency services are now encoded


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Wayne Venomous
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Mon May 21, 2007 2:49 pm

I researched this years ago when I used to have an Airband/Emergency services radio.

All I could find was the Wireless Telegraphy act 1948 or 1949 which states that it's not illegal to listen to Police/Emergency services broadcasts, it is illegal to act on the information. So say if you were having an illegal rave and you heard on a scanner that the police were approaching and therefore told everyone to leg it, that would be illegal.

There really isn't anything much out there on the police/emergency services band these days though. Last time I heard any emergency services around those frequencies was around 2003.
There was what seemed to be a two way radio conversation in French at around 150 MHz the other day though. Sounded like it was a test for something as one person was reading out the phonetic alphabet and the other person was verifying it was received. (No, it wasn't a numbers station!)

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Matt C
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Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:57 pm

Police are all now on Tetra/Airwave which is encrypted.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team and Norcon search teams are still partially on an open frequency, but I think it is very rarely used, and only in areas of the Cairngorms where the Airwave doesn't cover.

Ambulance frequencies are also encrypted..
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stampman
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Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:13 am

golden rule DONT GET CAUGHT


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hotmetal1000
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Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:30 pm

Just for interest I shall tell what I know here in Australia.
The only thing that is illegal to listen to on the scanner is phone calls. Wireless hand sets, now that mobiles are digital and whatever else you can't here them but you can still here some wireless phones if they are close to you. Phone calls come under the tele communications act.
Radio communications being cb, amature radio, police (only the major cities are encypted digital, you can still listen to them most other places), ambulance, fireries, ect come under the radio communications act and it's not illegal to listen into, only illegal to transmit on the frequencies without the correct licence.

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