ukrepeaters

REPEATER ABUSE ADVICE

It is a sad fact of life that some persons appear to get their kicks from ruining Amateur Radio for others, especially when using repeaters.
This abuse can take the form of deliberate jamming, playing of music etc or even by stations making ingenious use of air time to deny others access while still staying generally within the terms of their own licence.

Unfortunately with an upsurge in abuse on many repeaters and the Emerging Technology Co-ordination Committee (ETCC) and Ofcom believe it is time not only to remind Repeater Keepers of their responsibilities in holding a repeater NoV but to also offer some advice in the management of abuse.

It is a fundamental requirement of their NoV that Keepers are responsible for monitoring the traffic passing through their repeater and taking appropriate action to prevent unsuitable content being transmitted. It is recognised that Keepers cannot do this continuously or to be in a position to take direct action against the offenders.
They are however in control of their own repeaters and in cases of persistent abuse should be prepared to switch it off for cooling off periods and to document and if possible record the offences taking place.

Contact should be made with your local ETCC Committee Member to discuss the actions available to you and to decide when further action by the authorities is appropriate. Members can advise on the methods that have been used successfully in other areas and on the keeping of suitable logs that will be of use in the future.
A list of ETCC Members is available here.
To assist us in dealing speedily with these issues we would ask all Repeater Keepers to make contact with their local manager so that lines of communication are established and we know who to talk to when problems arise.

The Amateur Radio Observation Service (AROS) Coordinator runs the team of volunteer Observers and liaises with Ofcom's Enforcement Team.
The AROS Coordinator is Mark Jones, G0MGX.
AROS operates in a confidential way, and Mark can be contacted by email to aros@rsgb.org.uk or by postal mail at:
AROS, 3 Abbey Court, Fraser Road, Priory Business Park, Bedford MK44 3WH

What should you do when you encounter abuse?

  • Do not respond to it. Experience suggests that abusers want an audience, so ignore them. Remember that you may be breaking your own licence conditions if you correspond with someone who is breaking the terms of their licence or who does not have a licence or if you try to deny them access by keying your microphone.
  • Do not approach or confront them.
  • If abuse occurs frequently, make a note of it. Write down essential details such as the date, time, frequency, location, mobile or fixed, what form the abuse took and any other factors that you think might be useful.
  • Maintain this log in order to build up a pattern of the abuser's operations.
  • Make sure the information you collect is precise and accurate.

Ofcom resources are directed primarily at Safety of Life services and as such it is incumbent on the Amateur community to do as much initial ‘detective work‘ as possible before escalation to Ofcom is considered.
The ETCC will work with you to address abuse issues but you must help yourself first by taking the action as outlined above.

Click here for Ofcom information on the subject.
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