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Will decriminalising non-payment of the TV license fee lead to an increase in prosecutions?

Much is being mooted about the plans to decriminalise the offence of not having a TV license, with evaders no longer facing the prospect of prison if they don't pay the imposed fine. Instead they will be subject to the civil courts where non-payment of a fine does not result in custody. The prospect is being presented in the media as if this change will diminish the power of the BBC over those who can't/won't pay. However, I'm wondering if this will in fact work to the advantage of the corporation and their agents, increasing revenues gathered.

The bar for a criminal conviction is, I understand 'beyond reasonable doubt' whereas prosecution for a civil offence only needs to reach the lower bar of 'on the balance of probability', therefore the enforcement agents will not need to produce so much evidence to obtain a judgement in their favour.

The time and cost of pursuing a criminal prosecution through the courts often seems to be an impediment to obtaining a conviction leading to cases being dropped for economic reasons, but if enforcement moves to the civil courts it will likely be dealt with by the Small Claims Court, where cases do not necessarily need to be prepared or presented by a lawyer, and in fact can all be done on paper so, no-one needs to appear in court. This will lead to big savings for their enforcement teams, making pursuing non-payers much more profitable.

As such, I suspect decriminalising the offence will see an increase in revenues and prosecutions.

 
How does the I have a tv but don't watch or record any BBC output defence go?
How do they prove otherwise. Without a warrant?
 
Yes, because Bob the CRAPITA enforcement mong can monitor what millions of people are, or are not watching.
 
But will non payment of the fine still be worthy of a prison sentence, rather than non payment of the TV license
 
Yes, because Bob the CRAPITA enforcement mong can monitor what millions of people are, or are not watching.

If retrospective tax law can be used as a precedent, they could simply make owning a television without a license retrospectively illegal and fine you for it
 
What I don't get is the presumption you have a TV unless you prove otherwise.....
As most do we have a smart TV that we watch mostly programs from amazon or youtube on with the odd ITV program thrown in .... yet because in theory we could watch BBC programs or BBC online or whatever it is called we still need to pay the licence tax ..... just so they can pay Zoe breakfast show woman several million a year....
 
What I don't get is the presumption you have a TV unless you prove otherwise.....
As most do we have a smart TV that we watch mostly programs from amazon or youtube on with the odd ITV program thrown in .... yet because in theory we could watch BBC programs or BBC online or whatever it is called we still need to pay the licence tax ..... just so they can pay Zoe breakfast show woman several million a year....

Probably because the licence is not dependent on you watching BBC. Anything you watch as it is broadcast (live TV) is subject to the licence fee as is watching BBC catchup TV on any device including a PC, tablet or, of course, a TV.
Lots of people watch TV on a phone nowadays but that is also subject to the licence fee if it is watched when it is broadcast or on BBC iPlayer.
 
with the odd ITV program thrown in ....yet because in theory we could watch BBC programs or BBC online or whatever it is called we still need to pay the licence tax
Not quite right there... if you watch the odd bit of ITV you need a licence. If you watch the odd bit of of any ‘live’ TV programme or an odd bit of any iPlayer output, you need a licence.

From TV Licensing...

Live TV means any programme you watch or record as it’s being shown on TV or live on any online TV service. It’s not just live events like sport, news and music. It covers all programmes on any channel, including soaps, series, documentaries and even movies.

If you’re watching live TV, you need to be covered by a TV Licence:

  • if you’re watching on TV or on an online TV service
  • for all channels, not just the BBC
  • if you record a programme and watch it later
  • if you watch a programme on a delay
  • to watch or record repeats
  • to watch or record programmes on +1, +2 and +24 channels
  • to watch live programmes on Red Button services
  • even if you already pay for cable, satellite or other TV services
 
Not quite right there... if you watch the odd bit of ITV you need a licence. If you watch the odd bit of of any ‘live’ TV programme or an odd bit of any iPlayer output, you need a licence.

From TV Licensing...

Live TV means any programme you watch or record as it’s being shown on TV or live on any online TV service. It’s not just live events like sport, news and music. It covers all programmes on any channel, including soaps, series, documentaries and even movies.

If you’re watching live TV, you need to be covered by a TV Licence:

  • if you’re watching on TV or on an online TV service
  • for all channels, not just the BBC
  • if you record a programme and watch it later
  • if you watch a programme on a delay
  • to watch or record repeats
  • to watch or record programmes on +1, +2 and +24 channels
  • to watch live programmes on Red Button services
  • even if you already pay for cable, satellite or other TV services
So it seems even clearer my licence fee is a tax on watching telly ...... the sooner they defund the BBC and make all BBC output be self funding the better ......
 
If retrospective tax law can be used as a precedent, they could simply make owning a television without a license retrospectively illegal and fine you for it
How does that work then? Not sure you thought that though... The offence is viewing live TV rather than owning a TV.

It used to be the TV receiver that was licensed - remember how television retailers and rental companies used to be compelled to provide TV Licensing the name and address of the buyer of every telly sold or rented?

That was binned in 2013 because every Tom, Dick & Harriet had computers, phones, tablets, PVRs, consoles etc capable of receiving live TV.

My laptop and a bfo monitor make a good viewing device... neither is a TV.
 

UKRaider

Old-Salt
I've had two Goon visits in 10 years. Ignored them both totally. Laughed at the CCTV recordings totally.
Legally Licence Free.
58bf7c196b3fe241aaa5c032476dc424c3df14ecdee059f979d03c6e5ec7cd42.jpg.40ecaccf4fbeca9972f973e8f...jpg
 
How does that work then? Not sure you thought that though... The offence is viewing live TV rather than owning a TV.

It used to be the TV receiver that was licensed - remember how television retailers and rental companies used to be compelled to provide TV Licensing the name and address of the buyer of every telly sold or rented?

That was binned in 2013 because every Tom, Dick & Harriet had computers, phones, tablets, PVRs, consoles etc capable of receiving live TV.

My laptop and a bfo monitor make a good viewing device... neither is a TV.

You think legislation has to be thought through, that's how we ended up with retrospective tax law

This might explain it better or for a more impartial view here

All they need to do is say they're going to simplify the tax law around tv licensing with just owning a tv being enough to need a license, back date it and lots of extra income to help with the Corona spend and later tax splurge

Easy
 
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endure

GCM
Whenever they visit me I say that all I watch is porntube and invite them in to watch me cracking one out.
This seems to hold no attraction for them...

:eek:
 
But will non payment of the fine still be worthy of a prison sentence, rather than non payment of the TV license
As I understand it the offence moves to the civil court where you can't be jailed for non-payment of fines.
 
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How does that work then? Not sure you thought that though... The offence is viewing live TV rather than owning a TV....

If memory serves, originally the tv licence was just that. A licence to own (operate) a television receiver.
Nothing about which of the 2 channels on offer was watched.
I am open to correction on this though.
 
As I understand it as the offence moves to the civil court where you can't be jailed for non-payment of fines.

Believe so.
Non payment leads to escalation incurring further costs. all added to the original bill and paid by the debtor.
 
Yes, because Bob the CRAPITA enforcement mong can monitor what millions of people are, or are not watching.

But they have the Supa-Sekrit detector vans with special technology* to locate license evaders.




* A list of names and addresses without licenses.
 
Can't see anyone having a problem with the licence fee if the BBC were to be defunded and made to survive on their own merits. What seems to stick in the craw is the majority having to fund a broadcaster who despises them to constantly attack and vilify them for being who they are and daring to hold their own opinions.

Although pensioners should either get it free or at a greatly reduced rate.
 

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