8
Dez
2004

A sick police force will be of no use to anyone

LETTER TO HANTS CHRONICLE
From Karen Barratt, 27 Byron Ave, Winchester SO22 5AT tel: 01962 864388

Dear Sir,

I can understand why Hampshire Chief Constable, Paul Kernaghan finds criticism of TETRA inconvenient but he is on dangerous ground when he accuses dissenters of telling lies. (Letters 3 December) Having been involved in researching mobile phone technology, including TETRA, for the last four years, I’m sorry to say that most of the misinformation emanates from the Government and the telecom industry, both of which have a vested interest in seeing the technology succeed. The Home Office won’t admit its mistake in choosing TETRA because, as Mr. Kernaghan confirms, the current radio frequencies have been sold. Airwave, a subsidiary of mmO2 has a lucrative contract to install the system.

Statements concerning the safety of the technology have been demolished by people, who have nothing to gain from seeing TETRA fail. Most are far better qualified to pronounce on the issue, than the average minister, Airwave spokesman or chief constable. Policemen, I have spoken to, are extremely worried that they are being put at risk. I can’t give their names for obvious reasons so Mr. Kernaghan will presumably add it to his list of “lies.” I can assure him, however, that we all want well-equipped emergency services but, apart from the health issue, there are “concerns as to whether it will fully capitalise on technological advances.” (Mr. Kernaghan’s own words.) In brief, the over-hyped merits of the Airwave TETRA system have been sold to a gullible Home Office which has, without prior consultation, “directed forces ” (Mr. Kernaghan) to accept it.

Finally I would like to remind Mr. Kernaghan that however politically embarrassing it might be for him to disagree with Home Office policy, his first duty is to ensure the health and safety of his officers. How can anyone have confidence in a system, which is still the subject of ongoing health research. A sick police force will be of no use to anyone.


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