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Tv licence Offences Responsible For A Tenth Of All Uk court Cases

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City AM 21/8/13

Guido

'TV LICENSING offences now account for more than a tenth of all criminal prosecutions in the UK, City A.M. can reveal.

More than 180,000 people – almost 3,500 a week – appeared in front of magistrates during 2012 after being accused of watching TV without paying the £145.50 fee.

Magistrates handled a total of 1.48m cases last year, meaning a record 12 per cent of court cases now involve TV licensing.'

I won't comment either way on their output or the relative value of it,but this seems a montrously high figure and will probably disproportionately involve lower income socio demographic groups such as single parents/minimum wage earners.

Sometimes I'm genuinely amazed at the myriad levels of fraud in the run up to 2007 and the lack of prosecutions thereof.Maybe they should have put Capita on commission instead of relying on the FSA.

Edited by Sancho Panza

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City AM 21/8/13

Guido

'TV LICENSING offences now account for more than a tenth of all criminal prosecutions in the UK, City A.M. can reveal.

More than 180,000 people – almost 3,500 a week – appeared in front of magistrates during 2012 after being accused of watching TV without paying the £145.50 fee.

Magistrates handled a total of 1.48m cases last year, meaning a record 12 per cent of court cases now involve TV licensing.'

I won't comment either way on their output or the relative value of it,but this seems a montrously high figure and will probably disproportionately involve lower income socio demographic groups such as single parents/minimum wage earners.

Sometimes I'm genuinely amazed at the myriad levels of fraud in the run up to 2007 and the lack of prosecutions thereof.Maybe they should have put Capita on commission instead of relying on the FSA.

Auntie gives Mummy a criminal record for watching TV in the home, fraudster politicians&bankers walk unencumbered. Sounds about right for the UK.

Edited by cheeznbreed

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Monstrous, especially as the BBC's worldwide sales return over £1bn a year. Given the numbers being prosecuted, surely there's a big enough constituency in the country to establish a campaign of non-payment?

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I'm genuinely interested in the cost of all these cases.Would defendants get legal aid?If costs are awarded,would they cover the actual cost of the trial?

Does the BBC make a contribution to taxpayers to cover the costs of prosecutions?

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Monstrous, especially as the BBC's worldwide sales return over £1bn a year. Given the numbers being prosecuted, surely there's a big enough constituency in the country to establish a campaign of non-payment?

It seems ironic given the protests over the poll tax that there is such a lack of political concern-across all parties-over what appears,at first glance,to be an excessively regressive tax.

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If you don't watch or record live tv as it is broadcast, on any device, you don't have to pay it.

Like it or not, there is a price ticket on this activity and people cannot choose not to pay it any more than that raspberry pavlova in their shopping basket. The fact you personally only had a small slice is irrelevant.

These people have been caught watching or admitted watching and pretty much sealed their own fate. The BBC and its agents have no extra powers whatsoever to police this activity, can only use what people give to them.

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At least you can get away with not having a licence if you watch TV or listen to radio not in real time on things like iPlayer.

In Germany you have to pay the media fee / tax even if you have no TV or radio (albeit at a lower rate) if you have a computer with internet access.

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At least you can get away with not having a licence if you watch TV or listen to radio not in real time on things like iPlayer.

In Germany you have to pay the media fee / tax even if you have no TV or radio (albeit at a lower rate) if you have a computer with internet access.

this is really what they are driving at here too. Anything other than a subscription model should be fiercely argued against.

Edited by cheeznbreed

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If you don't watch or record live tv as it is broadcast, on any device, you don't have to pay it.

Like it or not, there is a price ticket on this activity and people cannot choose not to pay it any more than that raspberry pavlova in their shopping basket. The fact you personally only had a small slice is irrelevant.

These people have been caught watching or admitted watching and pretty much sealed their own fate. The BBC and its agents have no extra powers whatsoever to police this activity, can only use what people give to them.

That doesn't explain why it ought to be a criminal offence though? People can choose not to pay for all manner of subscription media services, which could result in civil action for any amounts outstanding. Why does this one carry the big stick of gaol?

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That doesn't explain why it ought to be a criminal offence though? People can choose not to pay for all manner of subscription media services, which could result in civil action for any amounts outstanding. Why does this one carry the big stick of gaol?

As if by magic, a bill to decriminalise the offence and move to a regime of civil enforcement of license fees:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2013-2014/0047/lbill_2013-20140047_en_1.htm

There may be other changes in there which are not a good idea but I've not read it in full.

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As if by magic, a bill to decriminalise the offence and move to a regime of civil enforcement of license fees:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2013-2014/0047/lbill_2013-20140047_en_1.htm

There may be other changes in there which are not a good idea but I've not read it in full.

This bit wont please the "freemen" or the internet streamers who currently do not require a license .......

(3)In section 366 (powers to enforce TV licensing)—.

(a)omit subsections (1) to (12);.

(b)5at end insert—.

“(13)The Secretary of State shall make provision by regulations for or

in connection with—.

(a)the imposition of penalty charges in respect of—.

(i)installation or use of a television receiver in

10contravention of section 363(1),.

(ii)possession or control of a television receiver

with intent to install or use it in contravention of

section 363(1), and.

(iii)possession or control of a television receiver

15with knowledge, or reasonable grounds to

believe, that another person intends to install or

use it in contravention of section 363(1);

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This bit wont please the "freemen" or the internet streamers who currently do not require a license .......

(3)In section 366 (powers to enforce TV licensing)—.

(a)omit subsections (1) to (12);.

(b)5at end insert—.

“(13)The Secretary of State shall make provision by regulations for or

in connection with—.

(a)the imposition of penalty charges in respect of—.

(i)installation or use of a television receiver in

10contravention of section 363(1),.

(ii)possession or control of a television receiver

with intent to install or use it in contravention of

section 363(1), and.

(iii)possession or control of a television receiver

15with knowledge, or reasonable grounds to

believe, that another person intends to install or

use it in contravention of section 363(1);

Care to turn this into plain English, I don't have the document which is modified by these new clauses.

It's also the case that you most certainly need a TV licence of you are streaming a TV station 'as it is broadcast' under current legislation.

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The BBC should be a conscription based channel(s) anyway. I resent paying for something I hardly watch and if I don't pay for end up being sent to court.

Isn't the word you are looking for Subscription?

Gave me a chuckle!

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If you don't watch or record live tv as it is broadcast, on any device, you don't have to pay it.

Like it or not, there is a price ticket on this activity and people cannot choose not to pay it any more than that raspberry pavlova in their shopping basket. The fact you personally only had a small slice is irrelevant.

These people have been caught watching or admitted watching and pretty much sealed their own fate. The BBC and its agents have no extra powers whatsoever to police this activity, can only use what people give to them.

If I dont want to watch BBC why should I pay.I have had a phone call from these people about watching in my office. they are like the Gestapo!

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That doesn't explain why it ought to be a criminal offence though? People can choose not to pay for all manner of subscription media services, which could result in civil action for any amounts outstanding. Why does this one carry the big stick of gaol?

That question can only be answered with a history lesson.

Because in the early 1920s, the founder of the BBC, John Reith, believed that broadcasting to the public should not be allowed to be done commercially. He pointed to radio in the US and the growing popularity of Hollywood films in Britain as evidence for the need to a single, not-for-profit broadcaster to have a state-enshrined monopoly, and that broadcasting should only be used to "inform, educate and entertain", as he put it. By 1926, when the (then, radio) licence was introduced, he had the perfect storm of factors in his favour. There was a huge moral panic going on about the 'Hollywoodisation' of the British masses, the British empire was in decline, the fascism and communism were in full swing in Europe, and Britain had a Labour government for the first time. To prevent the fascist/communist threat, the idea of a nominally indepedent, but operated under Royal Charter BBC came along. The justification for the licence fee was twofold: firstly, not having the BBC funded by direct taxation would prevent it from being politically interfered with (we all know how well that worked!), and secondly, it was generally believed that only middle class, well educated types would ever own radios, and so why should the great unwashed be made to pay for broadcasts of Beethoven symphonies and J.B. Priestley's pontifications? We all know how accurately that prediction turned out, too.

Interestly, Reith also tried to nationalise the other major mass medium of the time, cinema, too. He played a behind-the-scenes role in a movement that eventually resulted in the formation of the British Film Institute in 1933. But thankfully, commerical cinema was so widely established by that time that all his fellow lefties were able to with it was to import Soviet propaganda movies and show them in draughty church halls to a few of their fellow travellers, which is basically what the BFI does today (except that nowadays, they sell DVDs of dreary Iranian feminist art movies about women suffering genital mutilation).

When the inevitable pressure for commercial broadcasting in the UK to be allowed resulted in ITV starting in 1954, the BBC argued, again successully, to keep the licence fee on the grounds that there was no technological means available to allow TV owners to receive ITV but not the BBC. Obviously that's not the case now, and now they're reduced to parroting a variant of the 1926 argument - keep the licence fee or the BBC will be reduced to showing ads (shock, horror) and low quality programming.

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That question can only be answered with a history lesson.

Because in the early 1920s, the founder of the BBC, John Reith, believed that broadcasting to the public should not be allowed to be done commercially. He pointed to radio in the US and the growing popularity of Hollywood films in Britain as evidence for the need to a single, not-for-profit broadcaster to have a state-enshrined monopoly, and that broadcasting should only be used to "inform, educate and entertain", as he put it. By 1926, when the (then, radio) licence was introduced, he had the perfect storm of factors in his favour. There was a huge moral panic going on about the 'Hollywoodisation' of the British masses, the British empire was in decline, the fascism and communism were in full swing in Europe, and Britain had a Labour government for the first time. To prevent the fascist/communist threat, the idea of a nominally indepedent, but operated under Royal Charter BBC came along. The justification for the licence fee was twofold: firstly, not having the BBC funded by direct taxation would prevent it from being politically interfered with (we all know how well that worked!), and secondly, it was generally believed that only middle class, well educated types would ever own radios, and so why should the great unwashed be made to pay for broadcasts of Beethoven symphonies and J.B. Priestley's pontifications? We all know how accurately that prediction turned out, too.

Interestly, Reith also tried to nationalise the other major mass medium of the time, cinema, too. He played a behind-the-scenes role in a movement that eventually resulted in the formation of the British Film Institute in 1933. But thankfully, commerical cinema was so widely established by that time that all his fellow lefties were able to with it was to import Soviet propaganda movies and show them in draughty church halls to a few of their fellow travellers, which is basically what the BFI does today (except that nowadays, they sell DVDs of dreary Iranian feminist art movies about women suffering genital mutilation).

When the inevitable pressure for commercial broadcasting in the UK to be allowed resulted in ITV starting in 1954, the BBC argued, again successully, to keep the licence fee on the grounds that there was no technological means available to allow TV owners to receive ITV but not the BBC. Obviously that's not the case now, and now they're reduced to parroting a variant of the 1926 argument - keep the licence fee or the BBC will be reduced to showing ads (shock, horror) and low quality programming.

Interesting, I didn't know Reith was staunchy opposed to any commercial broadcasting whatsoever (as opposed to the picture of him solely as someone who passionately believed in the public service mandate of the Beeb). I suppose I ought not to be surprised really.

The Beeb has unfortunately cheapened itself over the years. Much of the programming is ill-suited to an ideal of public service.

To the matter in hand though, it hardly strikes me as 'criminality' to watch a TV. Unless it's Bob's Full House.

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I'm all for the BBC - although I'd rather did less of the 'entertaining' and more of the 'culture' and 'educating' aspects.

I think the reason they try and get so many people to listen or watch and hence plumb the depths in competition with their commercial rivals, is so that the audience is implanted with their news.

I mean - do kids really want to hear the news on their radio station every 15 or 30 minutes as required in the charter? It is the price they have to pay to listen or watch the things they want to - and not have ads which are very intrusive on radio - more so than tv.

So, perhaps they should move away from the state news model and revert to a higher purpose.

Secondly, the fee should be from state coffers and NOT snooping, threatening and criminalising people - we all know the 'independence' of the state aspect is a deceit.

How about you stop encouraging the threatening of people, just because they don't want to watch the same telly as you?

Can't you just pay for what you want and let others do the same?

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That question can only be answered with a history lesson.

Because in the early 1920s, the founder of the BBC, John Reith, believed that broadcasting to the public should not be allowed to be done commercially. He pointed to radio in the US and the growing popularity of Hollywood films in Britain as evidence for the need to a single, not-for-profit broadcaster to have a state-enshrined monopoly, and that broadcasting should only be used to "inform, educate and entertain", as he put it. By 1926, when the (then, radio) licence was introduced, he had the perfect storm of factors in his favour. There was a huge moral panic going on about the 'Hollywoodisation' of the British masses, the British empire was in decline, the fascism and communism were in full swing in Europe, and Britain had a Labour government for the first time. To prevent the fascist/communist threat, the idea of a nominally indepedent, but operated under Royal Charter BBC came along. The justification for the licence fee was twofold: firstly, not having the BBC funded by direct taxation would prevent it from being politically interfered with (we all know how well that worked!), and secondly, it was generally believed that only middle class, well educated types would ever own radios, and so why should the great unwashed be made to pay for broadcasts of Beethoven symphonies and J.B. Priestley's pontifications? We all know how accurately that prediction turned out, too.

Interestly, Reith also tried to nationalise the other major mass medium of the time, cinema, too. He played a behind-the-scenes role in a movement that eventually resulted in the formation of the British Film Institute in 1933. But thankfully, commerical cinema was so widely established by that time that all his fellow lefties were able to with it was to import Soviet propaganda movies and show them in draughty church halls to a few of their fellow travellers, which is basically what the BFI does today (except that nowadays, they sell DVDs of dreary Iranian feminist art movies about women suffering genital mutilation).

When the inevitable pressure for commercial broadcasting in the UK to be allowed resulted in ITV starting in 1954, the BBC argued, again successully, to keep the licence fee on the grounds that there was no technological means available to allow TV owners to receive ITV but not the BBC. Obviously that's not the case now, and now they're reduced to parroting a variant of the 1926 argument - keep the licence fee or the BBC will be reduced to showing ads (shock, horror) and low quality programming.

Great post!

This is the crux of it. There is no technological reason to have the telly tax/licence now (if ever there even was one).

People who want to watch the BBC should pay a subscription fee. People who don't want to watch the BBC shouldn't pay a subscription fee. Anyone who thinks otherwise can keep their thieving/controlling mitts to themselves.

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At least you can get away with not having a licence if you watch TV or listen to radio not in real time on things like iPlayer.

In Germany you have to pay the media fee / tax even if you have no TV or radio (albeit at a lower rate) if you have a computer with internet access.

Don't worry, that'll be covered by an 'internet tax' coming soon to anyone with a broadband or 3G/4G connection. It's pretty obvious that one is in the offing, given constant media stories and 'talking points' around bricks&mortar vs online sales, piracy, porn etc.

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City AM 21/8/13

Guido

'TV LICENSING offences now account for more than a tenth of all criminal prosecutions in the UK, City A.M. can reveal.

More than 180,000 people – almost 3,500 a week – appeared in front of magistrates during 2012 after being accused of watching TV without paying the £145.50 fee.

Magistrates handled a total of 1.48m cases last year, meaning a record 12 per cent of court cases now involve TV licensing.'

I won't comment either way on their output or the relative value of it,but this seems a montrously high figure and will probably disproportionately involve lower income socio demographic groups such as single parents/minimum wage earners.

Sometimes I'm genuinely amazed at the myriad levels of fraud in the run up to 2007 and the lack of prosecutions thereof.Maybe they should have put Capita on commission instead of relying on the FSA.

and how much do all the legal fees come to?

the only beneficiaries seem to be the lawyers.

it would be far cheaper for the country to just scrap the sodding thing,and move to a subscription-based charge for programming.

...same with VED.....just stick 5p on a litre of petrol instead.

...or maybe 2p a litre, and then an extra £15 on MOT....don't think too many people would grumble at that.

that would leave the courts free to concentrate on REAL crime.

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Guest eight

12 percent! What a waste of time just to defend the interests of a corporations racket.

S'funny, when people were taking the banks to court to reclaim their fees, the process was eventually halted as the weight of cases was "overwhelming" the courts. Clearly the BBC have no such problems.

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