PEI

Police scanners raise security concerns

Police in Charlottetown have been asked to stop using names and addresses over police radios after some incidents of retribution.

Police in Charlottetown have been asked to stop using names and addresses over police radios after some incidents of retribution.

Thousands of households across Prince Edward Island are equipped with police scanners. In Charlottetown, some people have been listening to their scanners with more than innocent interest.

Police have reported several instances of retribution after the name of someone complaining of a crime or a disturbance was heard on a scanner.

"If Joe Blow calls the police and somebody calls his name and said Garrity complained his house may get egged," says Bruce Garrity, chair of the city's police committee.

Garrity says homes in Charlottetown have been egged after the addresses were heard. Some people have told the committee they'll never call police again, so Garrity's committee has asked police officers to stop using names and addresses over police radios.

"They should be on a cell phone which is encrypted and is private, not on a public radio where it's out there and people have scanners," says Garrity.

Police would like to have a system which scrambles police calls, but Garrity says the price is out of reach for the city's budget.

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