British Police Complain of Hearing Loss

LONDON, April 23 (UPI) — More than 600 British officers have reported hearing loss they believe was caused by screeching from police radios, officials said.

The complaints reported between 2005 and 2009 said the screeching was amplified through the radio earpiece worn by police officers, The Mirror reported Friday.

“Sometimes you just hear a massive screeching in your earpiece and you have to take it out. It takes you a few minutes to get your head together,” one officer who asked to remain anonymous told Police Review magazine.

British police officers use Airwave Tetra radios, but not all police departments use earpieces that would prevent hearing damage, said Paul Lewis, health and safety inspector for the British Police Federation.

“You get what you pay for,” Lewis said. “So sometimes the equipment isn’t effective to prevent hearing damage and we have a number of cases ongoing.”

A spokeswoman for Airwave said there was no evidence Airwave users suffer ill effects from using the company’s equipment.

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