Unlike CB radio, amateur radio frequencies are generally free of abuse. However, abuse of amateur repeaters in the VHF/UHF region has become quite common in the UK. Repeaters offer large areas of coverage and give the abuser a much wider audience. Often simply ignoring the abuser will be enough, and when he finds his audience aren’t responding he’ll clear off. However, occasionally a hardcore abuser will surface and these people tend to be very persistent. Whilst many of them are unlicensed (the proliferation of extremely cheap hand held radios is probably responsible for this), a few are licensed amateur radio operators. Abuse can take many forms from music playing to gross indecency. I guess the majority of these people must have similar mentalities to the heavy breather on the phone or the strange guy in the long brown raincoat….(nuff said). Tackling Abuse
In the UK amateur radio is not a protected service and the authorities often don’t have the resources to find these people and prosecute them. However, passing information on to the authorities saves them a lot of time (and presumably money), and allows them to target offenders eventually removing them from the airwaves.
Before you put on your boots and get a posse together do remember the golden rule:
NEVER TAKE THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS
Tracking down offenders
1/ Base station beam headings and signal strength. To get a rough heading of the direction a beam heading can be taken. Several beam headings from different base stations can be used to triangulate to a specific area. Signal strength readings are also useful to indicate the closeness of a signal, but this is only meaningful if your rig has an RF gain or attenuator or if you can hear the guy without an antenna plugged in. For instance the abuser might be 59+ with one station and the same with another station 10 miles away. If the guy is 59+ with the RF gain whacked full on or with the antenna removed then it’s a fair bet he’s close by!