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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Police phones 'safe as mobiles'
radio
Twelve UK forces are using Tetra
A leading expert in medical physics says a controversial new communications system for Guernsey emergency services is no more dangerous than mobile phones.

Guernsey's police and fire services will move to Airwave's Terrestial Trunked Radio (Tetra) system in December this year.

Concerns have been raised about the safety of the system - already in use by 12 police forces in the UK - which is to be introduced in Guernsey in December.

Alan Preece, a clinical scientist at the University of Bristol, has researched Tetra and its effect on the brain and said there was no evidence that it was unsafe.

Professor Preece said the Tetra handsets used higher power than mobile phones, which had caused some concern.

Eight masts

In the 1980s they had been reported to affect calcium in the brain and investigations were continuing.

But tests had not shown any effect on the brain yet.

He said: "I can't give any categorical assurance that Tetra is safe.

"On the other hand, there are a billion people using cellphones and we don't see a massive epidemic of tumours.

"I have no scientific reason for believing that Tetra transmissions, which are lower frequency tham mobiles, should be any worse than mobile phones."

Tetra is an encrypted digital radio system, which its makers claim cannot be scanned or monitored by outsiders.

It will be linked via a series of eight masts, about 8ft high, around the Bailiwick, according to the Home Affairs Committee.




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Professor Alan Preece
"I can't give any categorical assurance that Tetra is safe"



SEE ALSO:
Appeal over police masts
24 Jun 03  |  Scotland
Emergency masts scheme delayed
15 Jan 03  |  England
New police radio plagued by delays
30 Apr 02  |  UK News


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