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Speed Gun Detectors
An often asked question has been answered. Are those guns (detectors) sold to allow you to anticipate the presence of a police radar trap lawful?
Some said yes, and some no, but in R v Knightsbridge Crown Court ex p Foot Times 18 February 1998, the question is answered. They are legal - well to the extent that their use was alleged to be an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 s 5(b)(i) as amended by the Post Office Act 1969. The case is a Queen's Bench Division decision, and it may be that corrective legislation will follow. This case makes it an offence to intercept certain messages without authority.
More properly described as 'electric field meters', the guns were held not to be intercepting a message from a microwave police radar gun, and therefore not unlawful under the section. It was said that the transmission of a microwave, and reception of a bounced echo, by the police officer's radar gun was not itself capable of being interpreted as a message. To be a message, whatever it was which was transmitted and received, had to involve some human element, some information originating from a human at one end or the other end.
With luck this may also be the end, (until perhaps the law is changed) of policemen, feeling they have the right to confiscate such equipment as they choose. They have no such right, although as usual suing the police tends to be messy.
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