How can I listen to the police radio on my smartphone?

One of the best ways to track police activity is to use scanners and listen to the radio chatter. This may sound legally questionable, but the Communications Act 1934 established that radio waves are public property. You are entitled to listen. Tap or click to see why some disagree and want to change this.

Except for investigations or manhunts, most police channels are easy to set up. All you need are the right apps for the job. Here are our five best police scanner apps to download right now.

Police Scanner Radio & Fire adds breaking news notifications

Police Scanner Radio & Fire is one of the most popular free scanners you can download, and with good reason. It piggybacks on the acclaimed Broadcastify app, which includes police, fire, ambulance and other audio feeds.

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You can use the app to tune in to local police chatter or, if you prefer, listen to discussions in another precinct. You have access to channels from all over the world. You can also subscribe to notifications about breaking news. The app is free to download for iOS and Android, but watch out for ads if you listen.

Upgrade to Broadcastify for even more options

Broadcastify is the primary platform Police Scanner Radio & Fire uses to source its content, but the full-fledged app is also worth checking out. For $2.99 ​​you get an ad-free listening experience with even more channels and aviation, weather and amateur stations.

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And yes, you can still subscribe to push notifications, just like the free app. Broadcastify is available for iOS and Android.

Scanner 911 is one of the best options for Android

Scanner 911 contains over 5,000 police, fire, rescue and other radio feeds that you can listen to for free on Android. There is also an option to upgrade the app for $4.99 to remove ads. Premium users can also listen to the app in the background so you can do other things while you tune in.

5-0 Radio Police Scanner explains what you hear

5-0 Radio Police Scanner might not look as attractive as the other apps we’ve listed, but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in brains. Available for iOS and Android, the free app provides detailed information on police codes you may hear, allowing more context to be added to any situation you encounter.

Police Scanner + for Apple devices

If you’re looking for an all-in-one broadcast listening solution, the Police Scanner+ is for you. Not only do you get access to emergency services like the police and fire brigade, but you can also tune in to regular radio stations whenever you want. It is available for iOS for free.

Fun fact: This app is known to have been used in the hit movie The Amazing Spiderman.

As you can see, the smartphone revolution has put information like police radio in everyone’s pockets. Why not exercise your right to be heard? Whether you’re on the road or staying at home, stay safe and stay connected.

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