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

As I understand it the offence moves to the civil court where you can't be jailed for non-payment of fines.
In some circumstances, a person can be jailed for contempt of court. For example, not obeying an enforcement-related court order.

The issue for the BBC here is costs -£25 to issue each claim, £77 to issue a warrant (if debt not paid); solicitor's fees if claim is defended. These fees/costs are recovered only if the defendant pays up. It will be a drain on the BBC's time and money.

Re. sols costs, it would probably be cheaper for the BBC to directly employ court reps in each region.
 
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From tales from prison warden friends (I make friends easily) rather a lot of the female jail population is there for TV licence evasion
Nobody is in prison for TV Licence evasion. An infinitesimally small number of licence evaders end up in prison for non payment of thee fines awarded by magistrates for licence evasion.


the Stepchange Debt Charity said:
Can I go to prison for not having a licence?
No, you can’t go to prison for not having a TV licence. The court can only give you a fine for this. But if you don’t pay, the court can take further action to collect the fine, including sending you to prison as a last resort.

This will usually only happen if you’re refusing to pay and other methods of recovering the fine, such as enforcement agents (bailiffs) or deductions from your wages or benefits have failed. See here


the Daily Express said:
In 2018, five people were given a jail sentence for TV licence offences, with an average stay of 19 days.

It is worth nothing people cannot be imprisoned for not having a TV licence, however, a custodial sentence can be imposed as a result of non-payment of court fines, including fines for failure to have a TV licence.
See here
 
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....
Don't watch your ITV programme when broadcast, use ITV Player to watch it later.
You aren't required to have a licence because you might watch BBC broadcasts or BBC iPlayer.
If you don't watch any broadcast TV (or via players at time of broadcast) then you don't need a licence.

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 ......
It is just the 'TV Licence', not 'BBC Licence' so is just a tax.... as he says:

Not clearer... it is a recognised tax.

From the Office of Budget Responsibility website:

Licence fee receipts are classified as a tax by the ONS (because the licence fee is a compulsory payment which is not paid solely for access to BBC services).
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
Retrospective tax law exists for a specific reason on tax evasion.
Its a poor example to claim you could use that as a precident to make retrospective changes to TV Licencing that would be changing them back to the old rules (capable of receiving)
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.
That was the spiteful bit using pensioners to try and blackmail the government for more money
Actually the government subsidised the free pensioners TV Licence and stopped that subsidy. The government didn't bring it up to blackmail themselves.
A genuine question.
How does the presumption of possibility work? As we're now getting to the point where even fridges could be used to watch live TV and most mobile phones can. Indeed, anything with an internet connection falls into that category, would this mean that the net is being cast too wide?
Or do they specifically have to prove that you are watching services that fall into licence?

It raises questions for organisations as well. Libraries, museums and internet cafe's are places where any visitor could, theoretically watch live TV.
Its not a presumption of possibility.
A visitor to a location watching live TV on their own device needs to be covered by their own licence.
If the venue screens live TV then they need to be covered themselves.
No... It was always ‘to receive broadcasts’ that needed a licence but from 1971, the requirement was redefined to include only the reception of TV broadcasts. (Before 1971 a TV licence covered radio broadcasts too but if you only listened to the radio, then a radio only licence was needed.)

TV Retailers / Rental companies had to collect by law, the names and addresses of buyers/renters of TV receiving apparatus on behalf of TV Licensing* (which was then the Post Office) so tracking non licence payers was made easy. - If you 'owned' a TV then you were receiving broadcasts and thus you needed a licence - simple.

When the TV license started in 1946 (£2.00) there was only one channel - BBC. (Radio Licences were required from around 1920 but included TV until 1946).


*repealed 2013

If the Licence Fee is effectively a tax to watch ANY broadcast output then perhaps said fee should be split between ALL broadcasters not just the BBC.

You can't have the money being shared with hideously white broadcasters, only the BAME broadcasting corporation is worthy of the proceeds of the telly tax, get with the program


Its a simple requirement - if you watch LIVE tv then you need a licence. Simple. You don't need one to watch Iplayer content although if accessing Iplayer via the app or via a PC connection you will have to fill in some basic per dets but thats easy to wangle - just use the next door neighbours address!

I seem to recall that other broadcasters (CH4 being one of them) receive some monies from TVL revenue.

I haven't had a license for about 12 years. Soon as I moved into my own place I found i wasn't watching anything on live TV so binned the TVL off after some quick googling. All my viewing back then was streaming or recorded/Iplayer based stuff. I finally persuaded the lass to bin the TVL off a few years ago for the same reasons. I've really gone anti BBC in the last 6 or 7 years so giving them a legit finger works for me.
The TV Licence fee was shared among broadcasters. Channel 4 for example.
Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster and still falls within certain rules, they changed to be fully commercially funded which removed some of the rules that came as part of TV Licence funding.
 
You don't need one to watch Iplayer content although if accessing Iplayer via the app or via a PC connection you will have to fill in some basic per dets but thats easy to wangle - just use the next door neighbours address!
You do need a licence to view any iPlayer content via any type of device... see here

TV Licensing said:
You must be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand. This applies to any device and provider you use.
 
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

Simply don’t watch any bbc content on any platform, if yiu want to watch the other channels do it via their catch ups.

The SA household doesn’t have a tv licence. We watch YouTube, Netflix & occasionally amazon. The only traditional tv we currently watch is All Creatures G&S on the my 5 app for which you don’t need a Licence.

it really is a myth that you need a licence, we get along just fine without & don’t break the law. You just have to chin off watching the bbc, which I am more than happy to do & be patient with catch up.
 
Its a simple requirement - if you watch LIVE tv then you need a licence. Simple. You don't need one to watch Iplayer content although if accessing Iplayer via the app or via a PC connection you will have to fill in some basic per dets but thats easy to wangle - just use the next door neighbours address!

I seem to recall that other broadcasters (CH4 being one of them) receive some monies from TVL revenue.

I haven't had a license for about 12 years. Soon as I moved into my own place I found i wasn't watching anything on live TV so binned the TVL off after some quick googling. All my viewing back then was streaming or recorded/Iplayer based stuff. I finally persuaded the lass to bin the TVL off a few years ago for the same reasons. I've really gone anti BBC in the last 6 or 7 years so giving them a legit finger works for me.

The only reason I keep a license, is that I sometimes record live programs, I can't remember when I last watched something actually live on telly
 
Retrospective tax law exists for a specific reason on tax evasion.
Its a poor example to claim you could use that as a precident to make retrospective changes to TV Licencing that would be changing them back to the old rules (capable of receiving)

Is, they famously reinterpreted existing law with S660a and punished people for it, for an easy tax grab

When they are under pressure to deliver results, they play fast and loose with what anyone would think is sensible or morally right

So no I don't agree with you
 
I threatened someone with small claims court and they caved in and said they would settle the outstanding bill. They didn't, so I looked further at my options. I was told that even if I won a judgement for debt at the court and payment was still not forthcoming, then my recourse was to the county court with all the cost that ensued, I gave up.

At the time I thought th SCC didn't have any 'teeth.. is that really the case?

short answer - I've got thousands back by use of the courts, from judgment to enforcement to finally getting a cheque is a slow process

Modest amounts owed by people with an asset are normally straight forward to collect, send me a PM if you wish.
 
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?
the way they get around that here in Ireland is that possession of a TV or the recieving apparatus without a license is the offence, not that willingness or unwillingness to watch the national TV channel. The judge will do you for the gear,not the programmes.
 
short answer - I've got thousands back by use of the courts, from judgment to enforcement to finally getting a cheque is a slow process

Modest amounts owed by people with an asset are normally straight forward to collect, send me a PM if you wish.

Personal experience suggests you should pick your target before going down the SC route. Sometimes it's fighting a lost cause to try and get your money that way.
On the other hand the possibility of having a CCJ against them will induce some people to cough up.
 
Its a simple requirement - if you watch LIVE tv then you need a licence. Simple. You don't need one to watch Iplayer content although if accessing Iplayer via the app or via a PC connection you will have to fill in some basic per dets but thats easy to wangle - just use the next door neighbours address!
Yes you do. They changed the law a year or 2 ago. You only need it for iPlayer though, not the C4,ITV etc equivalents
 

NSP

LE
That's ok then I don't think Ian needs a TV licence.
Neither do Stoatman or Ugly.
I'm sorry but since when has the Minigun been "forgotten?" I regularly see heli's either on their way in or out of the local camp during exercises with guns, various, in the doors some of which are clearly Mini's when there's a joint exercise ongoing involving NATO partners, particularly those of the Spam persuasion.
 
In some circumstances, a person can be jailed for contempt of court. For example, not obeying an enforcement-related court order.

The issue for the BBC here is costs -£25 to issue each claim, £77 to issue a warrant (if debt not paid); solicitor's fees if claim is defended. These fees/costs are recovered only if the defendant pays up. It will be a drain on the BBC's time and money.

Re. sols costs, it would probably be cheaper for the BBC to directly employ court reps in each region.

This is what will make the TVL unenforceable i.e. time to obtain judgement and volume of cases.
 

ches

LE
Yes you do. They changed the law a year or 2 ago. You only need it for iPlayer though, not the C4,ITV etc equivalents

I should have been clearer, iplayer content asks you basic questions to determine existence of a license, these are easy to fudge with almost any response.

'Legally' you need a license to watch iplayer content, 'technically' you dont. It's still easy to access from overseas via VPN & fill in info using google maps & a postcode finder.
 
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.

...I also recall reading that much of the BBC broadcast infrastructure was shared with commercial broadcasters, so if you watch only watch ITV you would still be benefitting from that infrastructure and the argument is that you should then contribute to it.
 
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?

It's going nowhere, it was always about possession of a device (television) capable of displaying broadcast channels and content. Whether you watch the BBC or not is neither here nor there. Technically you needed (maybe still need, I have not checked to see if this has changed recently) a license for a public band radio receiver but they just didn't/don't bother with that bit.
 
...I also recall reading that much of the BBC broadcast infrastructure was shared with commercial broadcasters, so if you watch only watch ITV you would still be benefitting from that infrastructure and the argument is that you should then contribute to it.

a valid argument before they invented cable and satellite TV
 

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