Part of the joy of listening to a scanner is being able to place where the transmissions are coming from in your local area. Many local users of two way radio equipment routinely give street or area names in transmissions adding another layer of interest to the hobby.

Listed in order of usefulness here is a quick list of local scanner signals.

Pub/Town Watch Scheme

JIL SX 200 Scanner 2With nearly all police radios now using the secure TETRA network it is now longer possible to listen to the regular weekend dust ups in your town but the pub and town watch signals can sometimes be almost as interesting. The system is designed to keep all shops and licensed premises informed of potential trouble makers.

By sharing information on fights and other issues all the pubs using the service can stop problems at the door by refusing entry without all the hassle of having to throw people into the street. This system along with the policy of being banned from all local pubs at the same time has helped to reduce problems in many areas.

Shops use the service to pass on details of shoplifters to others businesses and the system is usually backed up by direct communication with the towns CCTV operators.

Day time listening can be a little be dull but you can be assured of a bit more traffic especially if you tune in when the pubs and nightclubs start to close.

License Free Short Range Radios

These radios are used by clubs and organizations in the UK and built up areas will sometimes have many users of these alternative to expensive PMR (private mobile radios). Even though they have a low output compared to most PMR handheld radios and perform badly in built up areas getting a bit of height overlooking a town or city can bring in a good amount of radio traffic.


Transmissions are usually short and to be honest aren’t usually that interesting but as most taxi transmitters use a standard 25 Watt power output they can be a good indicator of where your scanner setup is picking signals up from. Some taxi companies use a repeater system to increase range but by listening on the repeater inputs instead of the output you will get the transmissions straight from the mobile transmitter.

Finding Exact Frequencies

All these signals can be picked up on fairly basic scanner receivers but as with all UHF/VHF transmissions they are line of sight and anything you can do to improve the height of scanner or antenna will always give better range.

A quick search online will give you more details on the actual frequencies used in your local area or you could have a look at one of the best resources for scanner users the UK Radio Scanner Forum at

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