NSW Police radio frequencies being sold cheap to bikies and crims on black market

Mark Morri
May 17, 2021 – 10:44AM

Secret NSW police radio frequencies are being sold on the black market for as little as $7000 for Sydney channels allowing criminals to listen in to some police operations and movements on scanners.

NSW police spent more than $20 million in 2008 to encrypt their radio system for security reasons, but it has been consistently compromised ever since.

At first tow truck drivers, bikies and other criminals were paying $25,000 for encrypted radios, particularly tow truck drivers who relied on them to get to car accidents first.

“But the system has changed over the years and now police don‘t put car crashes over the radios as much unless there is a major traffic problem. They tell the parties over the phone to call their insurance companies or local tow truck company,’’’ said a veteran Sydney tow truck driver.

“I used to pay for a scanner, but now it’s not worth it for me. I get my work from the insurance company but a few guys still have them,’’ he said.

For $10,000 you get a handheld scanner, with the secret codes installed as well as a button that allows you to wipe the frequencies from the radio if you are pulled over, so you can’t be charged with anything.

“They are not as useful as they were years ago because the cops have back channels, special operations channels and do a lot of things on mobile phones,‘’ one former bikie said.

“”But they are still handy just to listen to what is going on locally sometimes,‘’ he said.

It’s understood one crime family involved in the towing industry has found some way to constantly access the frequencies and are the sole providers in Sydney of the encrypted radios.

In the early years of scanner-use, NSW police used to change the codes frequently as a way of trying to render them useless after a short time but have done so rarely of late.

Despite police changing the frequencies over the years the suppliers always seem to have access to the new codes or frequencies soon after.

“And then you have to pay again,” said the source.

“The NSW Police Force has various encryption keys across the radio terminal fleet and operate a key management facility to ensure the security of our radio communications and terminals,” they said in a statement.

As published https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/nsw-police-radio-frequencies-being-sold-cheap-to-bikies-and-crims-on-black-market/news-story/05ea4bc87abbf68f1323e423281dd3fa

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