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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

174Procedure for prosecutions of wireless telegraphy offences
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)This section applies to proceedings against a person (“the defendant”) for an offence under section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 consisting in the contravention of—

(a)the terms, provisions or limitations of a wireless telegraphy licence; or

(b)the terms, provisions or limitations of an exemption under the proviso to section 1(1) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (c. 54) (exemptions from licensing requirement).

(2)Proceedings to which this section applies are not to be brought at any time after the coming into force of this section unless, before they are brought, OFCOM have—

(a)given the defendant a notification under section 172 in respect of the contravention to which the proceedings relate; and

(b)considered any representations about the matters notified which were made by the defendant within the period allowed under that section.

(3)Proceedings to which this section applies are not to be brought at any time after the coming into force of this section in respect of a contravention if—

(a)it is a contravention to which a notification given to that person under section 172 relates; and

(b)that person has, during the period allowed under that section, complied with the notified term, provision or limitation.

(4)Subsection (2) does not apply where OFCOM have certified that it would be inappropriate to follow the procedure in section 172 because of an immediate risk of—

(a)a serious threat to the safety of the public, to public health or to national security; or

(b)serious economic or operational problems for persons (other than the defendant) who—

(i)use stations or apparatus for wireless telegraphy; or

(ii)are communications providers or make associated facilities available.

(5)Where—

(a)proceedings to which this section applies are brought by virtue of subsection (4) without a notification having been given to the defendant, and

(b)the defendant is convicted in those proceedings of the offence under section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949,

the court, in determining how to deal with that person, shall have regard, in particular, to the matters specified in subsection (6).

(6)Those matters are—

(a)whether the defendant has ceased to be in contravention of the terms, provisions or limitations in question and (if so) when; and

(b)any steps taken by the defendant (whether before or after the commencement of the proceedings) for securing compliance with the obligations imposed on him by virtue of those terms, provisions or limitations.

(7)Notwithstanding anything in section 127 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43) or Article 19 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (S.I. 1981/1675 (N.I. 26)) (limitation on time for bringing summary proceedings) where—

(a)OFCOM give a notification under section 172 in respect of a contravention, and

(b)that notification is given before the end of six months after the day of the contravention,

the time for the bringing of proceedings for a summary offence in respect of that contravention shall be extended until the end of six months from the end of the period allowed, in the case of that notification, for doing the things mentioned in section 172(3) of this Act.

(8)In this section, “stations for wireless telegraphy” and “apparatus for wireless telegraphy” have the same meanings as in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (c. 54).

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