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TV License fines....BBC responsible for over 10% of all criminal prosecutions in Magistrates Courts


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It was revealed yesterday that the BBC are responsible for more that one in ten of all criminal prosecutions in the Magistrates Courts with over 3,500 cases being heard EVERY WEEK.

 

Last year saw the BBC prosecute over 180,000 people for using a TV without a valid licence.

 

Lord Pearson, UKIP leader in the House of Lords is sponsoring a private members bill to decriminalise the non-payment of licence fee.

 

A full copy of the news article can be read in the link below:

 

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/10256679/TV-licence-offences-account-for-one-in-ten-UK-court-cases.html

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Thread moved to TV Licensing forum.

 

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TT can you explain the outcome if people fail to pay these fines. It would help the reasoning behind it :)

 

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seanamarts

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TT can you explain the outcome if people fail to pay these fines. It would help the reasoning behind it :)

 

The figures released are not surprising at all and given the severity of the recession and the way in which finances are stretched I would suspect that even more convictions will be made next year.

 

Firstly, the article was very worrying indeed where it stated that most convictions are NOT CONTESTED. This is true and in fact, the reason for this is because, most people convicted would have received a personal visit from a representative from CAPITA TV LICENSING and are therefore of the opinion that there is no point responding to the summons as they were guilty of using a TV without a valid licence. I cannot stress upon anyone reading this how SERIOUS it is to fail to respond to the summons ( even if guilty). I will try to explain.

 

 

When a summons is sent you have a choice to plead guilty or not guilty. If not guilty, you will need to attend court to put your argument forward.

 

If guilty.....you need to enter the guilty "plea" on the summons and return the form to the court and you will not be required to attend court.

 

Of utmost importance is that with the summons will be a MEANS ENQUIRY FORM which asks for details of your income etc. It is VITAL that this is returned to the court because:

 

For using a TV without a valid licence the court are "guided" to impose a "Band A" fine where TV use without a licence was 6 months or less, or in the case of over 6 months use....a "Band B" fine can be imposed.

 

The vast majority of the public probably believe that a "Band A" is around £100 with a "Band B" fine being approx £200. This is not the case at all.

 

Instead the fine is CALCULATED by the court as being a percentage of the defendant's WEEKLY INCOME and this is calculated by the court using the information provided in the Means Enquiry Form. If a person is on benefits the the court "asssume" that the weekly income is £100 per week.

 

In the absence of a completed Means Enquiry Form the court must "assume" that the "weekly income" is £350 per week and the fine will be set as a percentage of this.

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I would be very surprised indeed if Lord Pearson was aware that if the "fine" remains unpaid.....the courts are allowed to pass the debt to the likes of Collectica Ltd or Marston Group and that these companies are permitted to charge an "administration fee" of £85 to the debtors account and that if unpaid, a further one off fee of £215 may also be added.

 

What would surprise Lord Pearson even more would be that the last government imposed a change to the Domestic Violence Crimes & Victims Act 2004 to allow for bailiffs enforcing unpaid court FINES to be allowed to FORCE ENTRY to remove goods for sale to cover the fine and bailiff fees.

 

PS: I am drafting a letter to Lord Pearson over the weekend regarding his private Members Bill.

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Oops sorry another point that I forgot !!!

 

As confirmed in the article, 3,500 prosecutions are made EACH WEEK for using a TV without a licence.

 

Another little known fact is that EVERY fine imposed by the courts attracts a Victims Surcharge which is set at 10% of the amount of the fine. !!!

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Sorry...have only just come out of hospital and the "brain cells" are still a bit fuzzy......

 

I forgot to mention another important point about the summons and the importance (when guilty) of returning the form to the court indicating that you wish to plead guilty.

 

As outlined above, when setting the level of fine, the court will calculate the fine based on the "weekly income".

 

The court must also consider a reduction in the amount of fine when a guilty plea is also entered !!!

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I think the BBC will find that very soon they will have trouble with the licence fee as so many people are now watching TV on the internet.

 

This article was released TODAY and confirms that i-player received 242 MILLION hits last month (up 38% on the previous year) and that 2 millions viewers watched Top Gear on the INTERNET.

 

Somebody in government needs to take a careful look at section 363 of the Communications Act 2003 and STOP these stupid fines being imposed.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2400593/BBC-iPlayer-Threat-TV-licence-BBC-reveals-watch-programmes-online-fuelling-fears-thousands-legally-dodging-fee.html

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The following document is mindblowing and MUST be read by anyone with a passing interest in this subject.

 

As you will see most people convicted were UNEMPLOYED and on benefits.

 

Example 7 and 12 are interesting

 

Significantly, in EVERY case a "victims surcharge" was also applied and in almost EVERY case the debtor failed to respond to the summons !!

 

A final serious concern that I have is that the CAPITA TV Licensing representative who was in court asked for costs to be awarded.

 

The court granted her request for £4,000 costs !!!!!! Crikey....... this needed looking into. !!!

 

 

http://tv-licensing.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/tv-licensing-court-observation.html

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I am of the opinion that it is a [problem]. There I said it. If you want to add to the scandal inquire of the Prison Service how many are sent to jail each year for this (and for how long).

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Wow. After reading what various people on here have said I'm surprised people are getting caught. I suspect it's more likely they're getting caught out by the Capita commission agents when they're questioned and don't realise what they're admiting to.

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In 2002 the BBC awarded a 10 year Contract to CAPITA to collect TV Licensing. The contract had previously been with the Post Office. On the Capita website they CONFIRMED that the 10 year contract was worth £500 million.

 

In 2011, the Contract was once again awarded to CAPITA for a further 8 years and once again Capita confirmed that the NEW contract was worth £560 million !!!

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In 2002 the BBC awarded a 10 year Contract to CAPITA to collect TV Licensing. The contract had previously been with the Post Office. On the Capita website they CONFIRMED that the 10 year contract was worth £500 million.

 

In 2011, the Contract was once again awarded to CAPITA for a further 8 years and once again Capita confirmed that the NEW contract was worth £560 million !!!

 

The TV License "Enforcement Officer" is actually a self employed Capita salesperson on commission, most people convicted stitch themselves up at athat doorstep interview under caution, the trick ios to say nothing and close the door on them, they have no right of entry. Several have been done for false accounting and fraud where they have fitted up innocents such as a non tv owner who found out they had been convicted only when the bailiff turned up.

 

"Olaniyan fabricated interview records, because he was struggling to meet stiff performance targets demanding that TV Licensing enquiry officers catch at least one evader every hour. Fearing the loss of his £16,000 a year job with Capita Business Services Ltd. the father of four decided to create some incriminating interview statements, thus bumping up his success rate. The deceit was uncovered when one of Olaniyan's randomly selected victims complained about being summoned to court when she didn't even have a television. Olaniyan was convicted of four counts of false accounting and one of perverting the course of justice at Maidstone Crown Court in October 2008."

 

from :http://tv-licensing.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/another-brace-of-tv-licensing-crooks.html

 

Incidentally CAB found that in the latter part of the last century from the 1980's, non payment of TV Licensing fines was the main reason for women being sent to jail, with the knock on costs like care for the affected children etc. The TV License is an obnoxious tax that must be abolished. A fellow CAB worker in the 1990's an American, was horrified by the TV License and it's criminal repercussions. She thought it was mad to have to have a license to watch a TV.

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I really do think that the "powers that be" at the BBC have not looked too far into the future because, if they had of done so, they would realise that the internet is very quickly replacing the way in which people watch TV.

 

As the article in my above post confirms, so many people are now watching TV on the I-player through their computers. This way of viewing TV does not attract a yearly licence fee of £145 and the cost of the screens will effectively pay for themselves over a period of just 2 years ( £145 per year).

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Thank you TT for this, its most interesting to read. My son dosnt watch mainstream TV anymore and watches it via the internet so hasnt paid for a TV license for over 2 years. He lets them know every year that he is not watching mainstream TV and he dosnt have to pay for his license.

 

More and more people will be doing this very soon as it is a much cheaper way of watching TV, however companies like Sky, Virgin, BT and talk talk will be losing out soon with regards to their viewing packages because people wont be paying for what they can get for free.

 

You can watch almost anything online for free nowadays and watch it through your TV and you dont need a LED LCD screen TV to watch it either.

 

Did you also know that you still have to have a radio license if you play your radio where the public can hear it, for instance garages who play the radio in their premises have to have a radio license.

A garage was fined a while ago near where I live for doing such thing.

 

BTW tomtubby, sorry to hear you have had a stay in the hospital, I hope it wasnt too serious and wish you a speedy recovery :hug::)

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Did you also know that you still have to have a radio license if you play your radio where the public can hear it, for instance garages who play the radio in their premises have to have a radio license.

A garage was fined a while ago near where I live for doing such thing.

 

 

The PPL/PRS "licence" is yet another that needs sorting as you are supposed to have a licence from both organisations. The usual trick from these is for them to ring and not say anything when you answer - they are listening to see if they can hear anything. It doesn't just apply for radio but TV also as I considered installing a TV to play DVD's only, don't need a TV Licence but you do need the 2 "radio licences" as music is played within the films. Very akin to the Private Parking schemes.

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Thank you TT for this, its most interesting to read. My son dosnt watch mainstream TV anymore and watches it via the internet so hasn't paid for a TV license for over 2 years. He lets them know every year that he is not watching mainstream TV and he dosn't have to pay for his license.

 

More and more people will be doing this very soon as it is a much cheaper way of watching TV, however companies like Sky, Virgin, BT and talk talk will be losing out soon with regards to their viewing packages because people wont be paying for what they can get for free.

 

You can watch almost anything online for free nowadays and watch it through your TV and you dont need a LED LCD screen TV to watch it either.

 

Did you also know that you still have to have a radio license if you play your radio where the public can hear it, for instance garages who play the radio in their premises have to have a radio license.

A garage was fined a while ago near where I live for doing such thing.

 

BTW tomtubby, sorry to hear you have had a stay in the hospital, I hope it wasnt too serious and wish you a speedy recovery :hug::)

 

Yes tt speedy recovery, and take it easy if you can foir a spell, SM the garage will have been done by the Performing Rights Society, who collect royalties for public performance for artists, to which they need to pay a fee for the licence to use a source of music that can be heard by members of the public and/or customers. Depending on the council they may demand they get an Entertainment Licence for the premises. Incidentally I can have the PRS chase people who use any background music I compose, perform and use on a video as a backing track.

 

With regard to TV license for viewing by computer, tablet, phone etc, if the stream over the net is live as in as it is being broadcast, the licence fee applies. What Crapita TVL are hoping is that the hapless, phone user, stitches themselves up with an innocent remark that the Crapita Salesman will twist to infer that live feeds are viewed on the device during that "Doorstep Interview under caution" which the person can refuse by slamming the door in their face. Like a bailiff there is no legal compulsion to deal with a TVL goon.

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With regard to TV license for viewing by computer, tablet, phone etc, if the stream over the net is live as in as it is being broadcast, the licence fee applies.

 

Very hard to prove though that you watched a live broadcast. In any case these are usually provided with a fee attached via your service provider. e.g If it is live via Sky, then you would have to have a license anyway because Sky notifies the TV license people as soon as you sign up to them, as with the other providers.

 

Just wondering, do they still use TV detectors to see what you are watching, you dont see them about anymore. Be interested to know how reliable these were.

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Very hard to prove though that you watched a live broadcast. In any case these are usually provided with a fee attached via your service provider. e.g If it is live via Sky, then you would have to have a license anyway because Sky notifies the TV license people as soon as you sign up to them, as with the other providers.

 

Just wondering, do they still use TV detectors to see what you are watching, you dont see them about anymore. Be interested to know how reliable these were.

 

TV Detector Vans are used more as a physical deterrent these days, as the field generated from the tuners oscillator is not as strong as in the old valve 405 lines tellies, so I am told by an engineer. As to the prove it by TVL Crapita; as I have mentioned they get the punter to drop themselves in it by sort of admitting they "may sometimes even inadvertently may have accessed a live fees on the device" kerching, stitched up like a kipper, summons in post, commission on the way for the goon. That doorstep interview is the way they gain the evidence, and innocents get convicted as a result of it. Close the door on them, like a bailiff they have no initial statutory right of entry.

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The PPL/PRS "licence" is yet another that needs sorting as you are supposed to have a licence from both organisations. The usual trick from these is for them to ring and not say anything when you answer - they are listening to see if they can hear anything. It doesn't just apply for radio but TV also as I considered installing a TV to play DVD's only, don't need a TV Licence but you do need the 2 "radio licences" as music is played within the films. Very akin to the Private Parking schemes.

Yes they are very crafty with this one PT. I checked a few things with PRS regarding my use of samples along with my own creations for video backing music, and if third party samples are created and marketed to use in a DAW, a Digital Audio Workstation, they can be used to create a derivative composition, with the PRS able to collect any royalties for the derivative composition, i.e. the backing music, on my behalf, as the copyright belongs to the composer of the derivative work, the samples being expressly just clips for use in that manner, the artist being paid for the session only with no copyright attribution to them. Problem is the system is in need of reform, as the councils and others are using it as a cash cow.

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Another little unknown fact is that a Freedom of Information request was submitted to the BBC around 2009 to request details of the "sweeteners" ( this was the actual word) that the BBC paid to Capita under the contract. The BBC RFEUSED to provide details and this ultimately led to the Information Commissioners Office ORDERING the BBC to provide the information. They were given 35 days to do and the info had to be released by the January 2011. I am still trying to find out whether it was released or not !!

 

For anyone googling. You will need to enter the words, BBC....Capita.....ICO...Sweeteners....35 days

 

I am not back until this evening so if anyone can find details please post a link.

 

PS: Does anyone know who gets to keep the Victims Surcharge ( that is approx £20 on EVERY single one of the 180,000 convictions for using a TV without a licence. )?

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PS: Does anyone know who gets to keep the Victims Surcharge ( that is approx £20 on EVERY single one of the 180,000 convictions for using a TV without a licence. )?

 

The Victims Surcharge is applied to every fine regardless of what it is for is it not?

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