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TV Licence help...

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Hi,

 

I have a tv but not a tv licence. I got a visit from a TV inspector but I didn't let him in and just spoke to him at the door. I told him I do have a TV but do not use it. He was fine about it. However, a couple of weeks later, I have received a letter which stated they are taking me to court.

 

Is it true they can detect signals if you use a tv? Do they actually do this? This is the first I have heard of it.

 

The fact he didn't come in, it is surely his word against mine?

 

If I was to plead guilty, is there a sample of letter I could use to send to them which may reduce the fine? How much is the fine likely to be?

 

 

Thanks for all the help.

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what else did the letter say?

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Yes they can detect use of your TV either by van based or hand held detectors...potentially a very expensive mistake on your part. The fine is up £1k and costs

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Yes they can detect use of your TV either by van based or hand held detectors...potentially a very expensive mistake on your part. The fine is up £1k and costs

 

Do you have some evidence to back up this assertion?


Please note: I give advice, in good faith, based on my reading and experience. Please satisfy yourself, that any advice given is accurate in content before acting upon it.

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Did you sign anything? If so, you may have already admitted to an offence without knowing it.

 

If you weren't watching telly when the TV Licensing Officer visited, then I can't see that there's any evidence that an offence has been committed. I know that when they write to you they specifically say that you may be prosecuted if you watch TV without a license, and as I understand it you can own as many TVs as you like, but only need a license if you actually use them to receive broadcasts.

 

That said, I haven't looked at the actual legislation, so could not say you will avoid a fine, though if it were me I would submit to the Magistrates that there is no evidence of any offence being committed, and therefore no case to answer. They may disagree, but you don't have to give any evidence if you don't want to, so no need to worry about going in the witness box.

 

There is on this forum a very interesting, and often amusing thread about TV licensing which you should have a look at, as if I remember correctly there's a few comments which mention prosecutions in similar circumstances to yours, which doesn't tally with the warnings TV Licensing send out, but which may in fact be in line with the law.

 

Just because people have been found guilty of a particular offence in a Magistrates' Court doesn't necessarily mean that it was a correct decision. You can always appeal and possibly get the decision overturned. If you want the fine reduced, which will only happen if you plead guilty, your best chance is a plea of poverty.

 

I'll see if I can find the thread and post the link.

 

And just for the record, any TV Licensing Officers visiting my address will encounter a firm, but gentle, closing of my front door.

Edited by samsmoot

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Yes they can detect use of your TV either by van based or hand held detectors...potentially a very expensive mistake on your part. The fine is up £1k and costs

 

 

 

really!

 

i think you might find this thread interesting reading

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/digital-tv-services/203824-colour-black-white-tv.html

 

as for the non use of the tv by the op

 

stand your ground as long as you do not watch LIVE tv on anything, there is nothing they can do to you.

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Thanks everyone for your replies, they have a witness statement from the guy who turned up and that is it. I am still not sure what to do. I am thinking of pleading not guilty as it's his word against mine.

 

Also, can I pay the fine in instalments if I am found guilty?

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If you have been watching TV without a licence, presumably you should pay the fine.

 

You may find that if you talk to TV Licensing and arrange to buy a licence then they will not proceed with the prosecution; the fine is typically not much more than a licence itself, and so this is often a cheaper solution.

 

If you were not watching live TV, and simply use your TV for DVDs for video games then (short of a statement to the contrary from yourself; typically a TVL prosecution is based on the householder admitting to watching live TV without a licence) you can plead not guilty - as you say, it would be your word against his and therefore some evidence would need to produced to make a case against you.

 

It is worth noting that evidence from a "TV detector" has never been submitted in court in the UK. They have been used to obtain a search warrant, however the standard of proof is much lower in that situation (e.g., there is no requirement that the detector be demonstrated, or examined to see exactly how it does what it claims to do).

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You would be able to see thier evidence under court proceedure rules so it may be worth asking for now.

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If you have been watching TV without a licence, presumably you should pay the fine.

 

You may find that if you talk to TV Licensing and arrange to buy a licence then they will not proceed with the prosecution; the fine is typically not much more than a licence itself, and so this is often a cheaper solution.

 

How do I contact them? All the info on the letter I have are the details of the court. Theres no phone number for the TV licence people.

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just type in tvlicence in a search engine

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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As discussed in the above mentioned B&W Tv thread, it is the general consensus that TV Detector Vans were retired many years ago, there has been no convictions as far as I know using the so called detector technology.

 

It all comes down to what you said in your 'interview' and did you sign it ?

 

As I pointed out in the other thread, I own a TV BUT it isnt used for watching live TV, so admitting that on its own wouldnt (or shouldnt) be enough for a conviction.

 

The best advice wether you own a TV or not is to tell the TV licence inspectors to politely go away, dont get into a conversation with them, they have no legal powers and even if they did you are at liberty to say nothing.

 

Andy

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