Is This The First Police Death From TETRA?

On 11th July I was advised of a police officer who had very recently died of cancer of the oesophagus - throat cancer. This officer was in his thirties, an active sportsman with a healthy diet. He didn’t smoke or drink and had none of the preconditions for this sort of cancer.

This information was given to me by his brother, who also told me that another officer in the same Midlands force also has a tumour in exactly the same location - directly underneath where the Airwave handset is mounted.

The deceased officer’s brother, who has authorised me to make this known, also said: “If people want to know how it feels to have your brother die in your arms, fighting for 48 hours for every breath, then I’ll tell them - he was a person of great courage and integrity - it was a death you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.”

This is exactly the type of condition that was predicted by Barrie Trower in his Report for the Police Federation two years ago. It also corresponds very closely with an incidence of cancer suffered by a Crime Scene Investigator with another force who was using TETRA - see report on http://www.starweave.com home page.

Heartfelt condolences go out to this officer’s family from all who are committed to preventing such occurrences. By agreeing that his story may be told, his family have ensured that through his death many other officers may be saved from a similar fate. The facts speak for themselves, they cannot be silenced.

It’s likely that colleagues of these two officers will be asking some pretty searching questions of their superiors, questions to which every serving police officer deserves answers.

These could include the following:

1) In the light of the Stewart Report (IEGMP, 2000) recommending avoidance of amplitude modulation around 16 Hz, based on research evidence of biological effects at levels too low to cause heating, why are police officers throughout the UK being obliged to use equipment that pulses at 17.6 Hz? How can ‘safety guidelines’ based only on short-term heating effects be used to justify this policy?

2) Why did the Minister for Policing say in a Commons Debate on Tetra, July 10th 2003, with reference specifically to the above research studies: "The experiments were carried out in the 1970s and it has since been virtually impossible to replicate them." When the fact is that the Report listed four studies in the eighties and one in the nineties confirming this effect? Also the NRPB Report on TETRA (2001) listed just one further study - another successful replication in 1999, just five years ago, giving a two-to-one majority (8-4) of studies in those two reports showing this effect.

3) Why did the Home Office's own claimed 'attempt to replicate' this effect in the Government's own laboratories at DSTL Porton Down specifically not test at the power levels at which this effect was observed in previous research? Why also did this Home Office study not take into consideration two other factors which previous researchers had explicitly indicated as highly significant - i.e. background static magnetic field (possibly affected by e.g. steel lab benches) and temperature?

How can the Home Office claim this was a true 'replication attempt'?

4) Given the clear need for the Police to have a secure, reliable and safe state-of-the-art communications system, why did the Home Office place an order for Airwave without consideration of other less potentially harmful systems, such as TETRAPOL?

Lastly, a word on that question mark in the heading. To me, it’s not a question of whether this death was caused by a TETRA handset - for me that’s not in doubt.

No, the question is whether this is in fact the first such death. It’s well known that the authorities have pulled a veil of silence over this whole issue, making it very difficult for officers to speak out about it. By doing this they are, of course, simply encouraging everyone to assume the worst (and my bet is that everyone won’t be far wrong). It’s certainly not beyond the bounds of possibility that there have been other deaths elsewhere that have been ’hushed up’.

One thing that is absolutely certain: as long as this system continues, there will be more.

(Dr) Grahame Blackwell

Omega see also:

Report on TETRA
by Barrie Trower



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Juli 2004

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