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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Police radio blocks out TV signal
Julia Kulik has been hit by television interference
Residents are angry over their blank screens
A new hi-tech police radio system is being blamed for people in Dumfries losing their television reception.

Dozens of viewers are experiencing interference on some, or all, of their TV channels.

The problem has been traced to a new mast providing radio communications for the Dumfries and Galloway force.

Residents have paid 60 for a device to boost their signal. A police spokesman said the glitch would be remedied when the system rolls out nationwide.

Julia Kulik lives just a few hundred yards form the mast at Dumfries and Galloway Police's headquarters.

'Police problem'

When it was switched on for trials several weeks ago her television set went blank.

She said: "It's a problem the police have caused, but they're not willing to do anything about putting it right.

"So we're back at square one again, no further forward than we were five weeks ago."

Fitting an aerial filter worth about 60 seems to solve the problem, but an argument is under way about who should pay for the devices.

Police mast
The new system has already proved controversial
Superintendent George Graham, of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, said he was anxious to work with broadcast regulator Ofcom and system supplier O2 Airwave to resolve the situation.

But he insisted the new system was worth the teething problems.

Supt Graham said: "The digital radio system will allow us to transmit not only voice communications over the radio and the telephone system, it will also allow us to transfer data.

"It will allow officers to be out on the beat more, to be out in our communities more, to be actually tackling the issues that the people in Dumfries and Galloway want us to tackle."

Dumfries and Galloway is the only force trialling the new system this year.

The controversial Tetra (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) police masts have already provoked concerns over their possible risk to human health.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Willie Johnston
"It's the householder having to stump up"



SEE ALSO:
Police mast system 'under way'
18 Sep 03  |  Scotland
Appeal over police masts
24 Jun 03  |  Scotland
New 1.5bn police radio under fire
23 Apr 02  |  Politics
New police radio plagued by delays
30 Apr 02  |  UK News


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