Radio Communications Agency Netherlands are to launch a new, tougher policy to deal with pirate radio stations, according to a report in Dutch daily De Telegraaf. The illegal broadcasters could be fined 2,500 euros just half an hour after receiving a warning letter.
This is the government agency’s latest move in a cat and mouse game with the pirates. It used to take months before someone was fined for illegal broadcasting. That had already been reduced to several weeks and could now be cut to half an hour under the new policy.
This year, 1600 warnings have already been issued, and 60 people have been fined. Fines are not just reserved for pirates, landowners who allow broadcasts from their property can also receive a penalty.
The radio pirates have responded by changing their tactics. They are now increasingly using mobile stations, so after receiving a warning letter they can simply move to a different site. The collapsible masts used for the broadcasts are sometimes more than forty metres high.
The Radio Communications Agency wants to introduce the new policy as soon as possible so that these “nomadic broadcasters” do not escape punishment. The pirate broadcasts sometimes interfere with legal broadcasters and can affect air traffic communications.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide