It is with deep sadness we report the death of Neil Dring a police officer in the Leicestershire constabulary. He died at the end of June 2004 after suffering from terminal oesophageal cancer. At 38 he leaves a wife, a 4 year old daughter and a 9 month old son. A colleague in the same force is also suffering from the same type of cancer. Both officers used the TETRA system and both were subjected to radiation from TETRA masts when working in their offices.
The cancer developed in the area directly underneath where the TETRA radio was carried.
Before Neil died he made it clear that he believed his illness was a direct result of the TETRA system. He also reported to his superiors that since he started working with TETRA he had suffered from severe headaches when using the system, something we believe many police officers are having a problem with, many without realising why.
Neil attempted to protect himself, once he moved departments and was working in cars, by keeping his radio on the dashboard. Unbeknown to him and probably many police officers, this makes the situation worse as the pulsed radiation then bounces around the metallic vehicle, if anything exposure levels increase.
Did the officers develop the cancer by random chance? NO, this is not a coincidence. This is a rare kind of cancer generally found in those over 60, but can be contracted by adults between the ages of 45 and 75. The chance of it occurring depends on an increase in risk via smoking, drinking, or specific pre existing health problems (Neil and his colleague had none of these risk factors). The likelihood of a person of Neil's age with one of the risk factors contracting this sort of cancer is one in a hundred thousand, Neil did not have any of the risk factors, so in fact the chances were far less than this . The chances of two people who have none of the risk factors contracting oesophageal cancer in the same place at the same time are almost zero - there has to be a link - it really is that rare - the only plausible one is Tetra. Similar types of illness have been reported in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Barrie Trower in a report to the police Federation several years ago predicted exactly these sort of occurrences of cancer resulting from the use of Tetra - sadly his predictions are coming true.
It is very difficult for individual police officers to talk about their fears relating to Tetra as they are bound by the official secrets act; however Mast Sanity has heard from a number of sources that there may also be several instances of similar cancers in the Northern Ireland police force, Mast Sanity is now calling for a public inquiry into how TETRA is causing serious health problems with our police officers as well the many people living near to TETRA masts who are complaining of health problems.
We can't afford to wait 5 years for the first Home Office report into Health problems relating to TETRA, we have to act now. We call for statistics relating to cancers occurring in police forces across the country to be made public NOW.
Chief Inspector Dennis Calver, Tetra Programme Manager for Devon & Cornwall Police said in a recent media interview, "Whilst we must continue to monitor health and safety, the benefits (of tetra) are so great that we must roll it out"
We cannot agree.... Our police officers' lives outweigh the business interests of Airwave and face saving of politicians who were stupid enough to be persuaded to turn a blind eye to the many many serious professional warnings. This attitude of 'rollout and be damned' is an offence to human decency. Home Office pathologist Mirielle Levy is alleged to have made it very clear at the Police Federation Conference in 2002 that the only option for officers fearful of health risks from TETRA was to leave the force. The political inaction that has left the police with thirty-year old technology, whilst every other aspect of business and domestic life has seen so many major technological advances, should NOT now be made their problem. There have been ample clear warnings, failure to heed them now would amount to culpable negligence.
Neil has already given his life, his children now have to grow up without him. We don't believe he is the first to be sacrificed in this way, nor is he likely to be the last. We don't trust TETRA, the rank and file police don't trust TETRA. A public inquiry is needed NOW