TETRA Masts Back In The News…
While Norfolk Police monitor ‘a legal bid launched by officers from another force’ in respect of a TETRA mast allegedly causing illness in Lancashire, we know it’s not with the local people of North Walsham in mind but rather to cover their sorry backsides from any up coming legal claims they may get…
Are Radios Making Norfolk Police Officers Sick?
Norfolk police are monitoring a legal bid launched by officers from another force, who claim their radios are making them sick.
There have long been fears that the TETRA Airwave radio system, operated by forces across the UK, has health implications for those who are frequently exposed to the technology.
When it was first introduced in Norfolk in 2004, with the intention of eliminating areas of poor coverage, concerns were expressed that it could harm officers and that the transmissions from its masts could have wider implications for the general public.
Now Norfolk Police Federation has said it would watch to progress of a law suit filed by officers from Lancashire. Lancashire Police Authority confirmed it has instructed solicitors to act for them over a raft of compensation claims.
It is understood several claims are pending against the force and the suppliers of the controversial Airwave equipment have since made changes to prevent “audio anomalies”.
David Benfield, general secretary of the Norfolk Police Federation, said: “There were a lot of concerns about this when the radios were first introduced. There have been various suggestions made by officers about the impact this has had on their health.
“At present I am not aware of any claims being lodged by officers from this force, but if the Lancashire cases are successful, we will no doubt find those concerns resurfacing in Norfolk.”
Norfolk police is also participating in the Airwave health monitoring study. This is a long-term study which aims to establish what, if any, impact the technology has on officers’ health. Most police forces nationwide are taking part.
Police spokesman Harry Mitchell said: “We are taking part in the national Airwave health monitoring study – a long term scientific-based study commissioned by Home Office and conducted by Imperial College, London.
“Officers and police staff are invited to take part in the study, which includes a free health screening session.”
In recent years there has been controversy over an O2 Airwaves communications mast on top of North Walsham police station, which locals fear could cause long-term health problems.