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  • FIRST POST
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 14th Jul 18, 7:24 PM
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    Cornucopia
    Unlawful TV Licence Enforcement
    • #1
    • 14th Jul 18, 7:24 PM
    Unlawful TV Licence Enforcement 14th Jul 18 at 7:24 PM
    Many FMs will be aware that I don't have/need a TV Licence. In fact, I've been in that situation for a number of years, and during that period have gained a lot of information and knowledge about the TV Licence, TV Licensing and the legal context for enforcement and prosecution.

    One slight disclaimer is that I've always used legal strategies against TV Licensing, and have consequently never had a doorstep visit from TVL, and for most of my legally-Licence free time, I haven't received enforcement letters either. However, I know from BBC information that they make around 4 million attempted visits each year. Around 90 million letters are sent, of which about half are thought to be for the purpose of enforcement.

    In February this year, I wrote the most recent of a series of letters to the BBC's Head of Revenue Management - the woman who effectively runs the TV Licensing operation through an outsource arrangement with Capita. I received no response. I sent a reminder in April and asked my MP to petition the BBC for a response. Still nothing. So, this weekend I am drafting a complaint to Lord Hall about this mishandling of my complaint.

    The nature of my complaint was that Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (including its case law) lays down certain conditions that apply to Public Authorities who seek to interfere with the privacy/home life of members of the Public. In particular, it requires that any intervention must be enabled by legislation (or similar official authority) and that the Public Authority must take reasonable steps to ensure that affected members of the Public understand the laws that are being applied to them, together with ensuring that the implementation of processes based on the law(s) is reasonably proof against arbitrariness.

    The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that any interference with privacy is properly authorised and fairly implemented. Many people have observed that this does not seem to be the case with TV Licensing, and these legal arguments suggest that that is true, and provide as sound a legal basis for that opinion as a non-lawyer could reasonably muster.

    My suggestion to the BBC is that there is no legislation that empowers their TVL investigatory process (they have previously refused to supply me with whatever information they hold) - this would make their process unlawful to the extent that it interferes with people's privacy in their homes. If there is legislation, they need to ensure that the Public is aware of it, and the legislation itself must be explicit and specific in connecting the legal requirement and the enforcement process. Since the BBC does not do this, their process is unlawful.

    I think that the BBC have been given every chance to address these issues (and I think any reasonably well-informed person would know that we do not have "secret laws" in this country).

    Against that background I am going to try to get the Media involved. (They have traditionally been resistant to getting too close to TV Licensing presumably for fear of being seen to condone law-breaking).
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 15-07-2018 at 2:12 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
Page 2
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 15th Jul 18, 8:55 PM
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    Cornucopia
    You really do live in cloud cuckoo land.
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    In what way? Be aware if/when you answer that there is a special term for people who criticise other people's factual posts but are factually incorrect themselves.

    I'd also say: don't criticise those of us who've been harassed by TVL until you've tried it for yourself.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 15-07-2018 at 8:59 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Enterprise 1701C
    • By Enterprise 1701C 16th Jul 18, 7:10 AM
    • 21,675 Posts
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    Enterprise 1701C
    Because that would be polite? And they are under a standing instruction to be polite. As they themselves say: "Explain why they are visiting and be polite, courteous and fair."



    Yes and no. If there is a building rule that people MUST buzz the correct buzzer to be admitted, then breaking that rule could make the TVL person a trespasser in the common parts of the building. If the residents own the Freehold of the building, then it may be possible to ban TVL staff from the common areas. If they then attended anyway, they would be trespassing and would be liable to civil legal action and forced removal.

    Even if that's not the case, Essex Boy can simply tell the TVL person that he believes that it's rude not to use the buzzer and refuse to speak with him for that reason, or simply not answer the door.

    TVL are there by common law implied consent, and they speak with members of the public only with their consent. Consent can be removed. Easily.
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    Is there not a tradesman's button on the plate (entrance button plate)? In our work we do a lot of work in blocks of flats in the risers etc, it is handy to have tradesman's buttons so we don't actually have to disturb anyone in the flats. And they might have more people to visit there too.
    Last edited by Enterprise 1701C; 16-07-2018 at 8:39 AM.
    What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 16th Jul 18, 10:04 AM
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    Cornucopia
    Is there not a tradesman's button on the plate (entrance button plate)?
    Originally posted by Enterprise 1701C
    There are so many potential variables here, it is difficult to speculate about Essex Boy's exact situation without further info.

    In our work we do a lot of work in blocks of flats in the risers etc, it is handy to have tradesman's buttons so we don't actually have to disturb anyone in the flats. And they might have more people to visit there too.
    I think you'll find that TV Licensing are actively trying to disturb the people they are targeting - that is part of their charm(lessness).

    The essential problem is this: they (and we) may use the euphemism "visit", but what we are actually talking about are two activities that both have legal limitations imposed upon them: (1) entering a person's home and seeking evidence of an offence by examining all or part of the interior and certain items that may be located there, and (2) interviewing someone under caution.

    There are also enough accounts of TVL making false allegations and enough doubt over TVL's legal compliance within these two activities to make a reasonable person seriously consider non-compliance as their best option, bolstered by the fact that compliance is entirely optional.

    Part of my issue is that I don't entirely understand how the law was supposed to work in practice - the info that the BBC is holding may help explain that. What seems to have happened is that law-makers and the BBC have simply adopted the processes previously used by the GPO prior to 1990, without taking account of the changes in technology usage and human rights that have occurred in the meantime.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 16-07-2018 at 7:11 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • robin58
    • By robin58 16th Jul 18, 6:22 PM
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    robin58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by unforeseen View Post
    You really do live in cloud cuckoo land.
    In what way? Be aware if/when you answer that there is a special term for people who criticise other people's factual posts but are factually incorrect themselves.


    Bit rich. We only have your definition that your not in cloud cuckoo land.

    I thought that this was a discussion board where we discuss things that we feel are not right.

    But I see you have just lost your argument by being abusive.

    You are not fit to be a board monitor in my opinion then.

    Please resign your post as you are not unbiased.
    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I grow.
    The more I grow, the more I see.
    The more I see, the more I know.
    The more I know, the more I see,
    How little I know.!!
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 16th Jul 18, 6:50 PM
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    Cornucopia
    Bit rich. We only have your definition that your not in cloud cuckoo land.
    Originally posted by robin58
    I provided three official references in post #5 that confirm what I am saying. (We're not clear what was meant by "cloud cuckoo land", as the poster concerned has yet to say).

    I do find it strange how people seem to want to trash the messenger on this particular subject, rather than engage with the facts.

    I thought that this was a discussion board where we discuss things that we feel are not right.
    I am. The subject of the thread is the things that aren't right with the BBC's enforcement of the TV Licence.

    But I see you have just lost your argument by being abusive.
    I wasn't abusive. Just teeing-up for the inevitable denial that black is black and white is white. (And the Licence is cheaper).

    You are not fit to be a board monitor in my opinion then.

    Please resign your post as you are not unbiased.
    There is no requirement for Board Guides to be "unbiased" whatever you mean by that in this context. The issue being that I am suggesting that the BBC's approach is at odds with the prevailing law. That is simply a statement of alleged fact based on reading what the BBC says and comparing it with legislation and supporting documents. I don't see how that constitutes bias, but by all means elaborate.

    I think part of the problem is that we've all been brought up to believe that the sun shines out of the BBC's transmitters. To many people it is therefore inconceivable that there could be a serious legal problem at the heart of its funding process. Nevertheless, the language used by the official bodies would seem to be incontrovertible. Not only that, but the BBC's response to the allegations thus far is not so much to deny it, but to withhold the very information that the law says it should publish. To that extent, it is already guilty.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 16-07-2018 at 7:41 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • robin58
    • By robin58 16th Jul 18, 8:00 PM
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    robin58
    To be honest all this thread is about your constant fight against being accused of not having a licence, which you have evidently have complained about more than once on MSE.

    I don't think the sun shines out of the BBC's behind but I do like the fact I don't have to sit through up to 10 minutes of ads I'm not interested in.

    The human rights angle is someone clutching as straws but I suppose you have to have a go at it now as I believe we may be dropping this Act soon.

    And so I'm up front I will NOT be backing your campaign. Good luck in stoping the other people by law who have the right to enter your home. 266 I believe at the last count.
    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I grow.
    The more I grow, the more I see.
    The more I see, the more I know.
    The more I know, the more I see,
    How little I know.!!
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 16th Jul 18, 8:12 PM
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    Cornucopia
    To be honest all this thread is about your constant fight against being accused of not having a licence, which you have evidently have complained about more than once on MSE.
    Originally posted by robin58
    I think you'll find that many/most people who have experienced the BBC's enforcement processes are not happy about it.

    I don't think the sun shines out of the BBC's behind but I do like the fact I don't have to sit through up to 10 minutes of ads I'm not interested in.
    There are more choices that BBC or ads.

    The human rights angle is someone clutching as straws but I suppose you have to have a go at it now as I believe we may be dropping this Act soon.
    The Human Rights Act will not disappear when Brexit happens.

    And so I'm up front I will NOT be backing your campaign. Good luck in stoping the other people by law who have the right to enter your home. 266 I believe at the last count.
    I'm not interested in the other 266(?). Just the one that doesn't have a legal authority to enter, but likes to pretend it does.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 17th Jul 18, 1:34 PM
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    silverwhistle
    I don't think the sun shines out of the BBC's behind but I do like the fact I don't have to sit through up to 10 minutes of ads I'm not interested in.
    Originally posted by robin58

    Another solution is highlighted in post #2.


    I'm somewhat disturbed that you seem to regard with equanimity the prospect of doing away with human rights due to Brexit.
    • robin58
    • By robin58 17th Jul 18, 11:58 PM
    • 2,705 Posts
    • 3,269 Thanks
    robin58
    Another solution is highlighted in post #2.


    I'm somewhat disturbed that you seem to regard with equanimity the prospect of doing away with human rights due to Brexit.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Personally I don't have a problem with the humans right courts, it's just the way that it is abused by certain people who have an axe to grind.
    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I grow.
    The more I grow, the more I see.
    The more I see, the more I know.
    The more I know, the more I see,
    How little I know.!!
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 18th Jul 18, 4:41 AM
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    unforeseen
    I'm not interested in the other 266(?). Just the one that doesn't have a legal authority to enter, but likes to pretend it does.
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    You mean the RSPCA?
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 18th Jul 18, 6:38 AM
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    Cornucopia
    You mean the RSPCA?
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    Is the RSPCA the subject of this thread? No, I mean TV Licensing (obviously).

    TBH, I'm slightly surprised at the reaction to the allegation I have made. This allegation is not made lightly or frivolously, and I make it in good faith based on information gathered from reputable official sources as stated in post #5. Not only that, but it's basic common sense that we do not allow public authorities to operate by hidden laws in the UK. Perhaps TVL laws are non-existent, rather than hidden? Well, that would make interference with privacy unlawful.

    MSE has a noble history in both reporting the actions of large organisations that fall short of acceptable practice, and where possible giving the space for FMs to discuss and in some cases organise against them. This TV Licensing issue has much in common with the issues regarding Private Parking Companies or debt-chasing bailiffs.

    Rather than heckle, can I suggest that you read the references I have provided and then explain how YOU think the BBC's TVL operation can be squared with the wording, for example, from the EU document:-

    A measure which constitutes an interference with an Article 8 right will only be compatible with that provision where it is in accordance with law. If the measure complained of does not fulfil this legality requirement it will violate Article 8 and the case will end there. Certain areas of law appear to be particularly vulnerable in this regard, including secret surveillance law...

    In order to be "in accordance with law" the interference complained of must have a legal basis and the law in question must be sufficiently precise and contain a measure of protection against arbitrariness by public authorities.

    Measures will be problematic in this regard where they are not specifically authorised by statute and are regulated instead by administrative practice, or other non binding guidelines. An administrative practice, however well adhered to, thus does not provide the guarantee required by "law".
    I should say that the BBC accepts the basic premise that entering people's homes engages Article 8.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 18-07-2018 at 7:33 AM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Paul_DNAP
    • By Paul_DNAP 18th Jul 18, 9:11 AM
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    Paul_DNAP
    I'm not interested in the other 266(?). Just the one that doesn't have a legal authority to enter, but likes to pretend it does.
    Originally posted by Cornucopia

    But surely your arguments must apply to all of them? Why focus on just the one?
    (Although I could be wrong, I often am.)
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 18th Jul 18, 9:25 AM
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    Cornucopia
    But surely your arguments must apply to all of them? Why focus on just the one?
    Originally posted by Paul_DNAP
    I think you may have misread/misunderstood the train of thought you are commenting on. The 266(?) are those organisations that DO have a right of entry to people's homes. Therefore they are (probably) entirely legitimate in terms of compliance with this particular piece of legislation.

    If you have examples of other public authorities that do not have a legal right of entry to homes, but nevertheless enter them, then that may trigger the same or similar legal questions. Do you have any such examples?
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 18-07-2018 at 9:29 AM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 18th Jul 18, 11:23 AM
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    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    One has to question why in open court, the TV Tax collectors never explain how someone was detected using the TV with their fancy detector van?


    SCRAP THE REGRESSIVE TV TAX
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    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 18th Jul 18, 11:34 AM
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    Cornucopia
    One has to question why in open court, the TV Tax collectors never explain how someone was detected using the TV with their fancy detector van?
    Originally posted by Blackbeard of Perranporth
    The truth is that electronic detection is not in routine use by TV Licensing. Electronic Detection has also never been used as supporting evidence for a charge of Licence Evasion in Court.

    The vast majority of Licence cases are based upon an unsatisfactory confession obtained during an unsatisfactory interview under caution all based upon an unsatisfactory understanding and implementation of PACE requirements.

    If electronic detection is used at all, it is to support (some of) the tiny number of TVL Search Warrants. That would mean that it would be used maybe 20 times per year across the entire country. There are legal issues with the Search Warrant process, too.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 18-07-2018 at 2:55 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 20th Jul 18, 9:15 PM
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    Cornucopia
    Hopefully FMs can see now in the context of the Cliff Richard case that the BBC is capable of making mistakes, that those mistakes can be in the area of legal misjudgement, and even that it might have a particular issue with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
  • archived user
    One has to question why in open court, the TV Tax collectors never explain how someone was detected using the TV with their fancy detector van?


    SCRAP THE REGRESSIVE TV TAX
    Originally posted by Blackbeard of Perranporth
    Fair enough, but would you be happy to pay some form of annual subscription?
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 22nd Jul 18, 4:17 PM
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    Cornucopia
    Fair enough, but would you be happy to pay some form of annual subscription?
    Originally posted by Hengus
    I would be happy for people who use the BBC to pay for it.

    I think that the BBC would probably find a Netflix-style monthly subscription more lucrative than an annual one, but perhaps they could offer both?
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 3rd Aug 18, 9:49 AM
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    Cornucopia
    I've received a belated response to my enquiry to the BBC.

    The question of whether the BBC's approach to TV Licence enforcement is "in accordance with the law", as required by Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, was prominent in my letter (the first question, with 3 official supporting references and several hundred words).

    The question and the official references were pointedly ignored in the BBC's response, leaving me with the distinct impression that they are trying to avoid the issue (and there may therefore be "something to it").

    This leaves the complaint as improperly handled, giving rise to a referral to the Ombudsman Service.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 03-08-2018 at 10:38 AM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 5th Aug 18, 11:06 AM
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    sourcrates
    In the same way you should never allow a bailiff access to your home, never allow a TV license inspector access either.


    I am not a fan of the TV license, it is a draconian way of forcing people to pay for something they may not even watch, although pay it i do, as i watch live TV.


    You only need watch the old adds the BBC used to run about evading the license fee, not at all in line with the smiley happy image it portrays today.


    I think the whole system is out of date, and not fit for purpose in this day and age, hopefully it will soon go the way of the Dog license.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
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