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Started by Leon, 30 August 2018, 11:18:04 PM

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Gwydion

I want to fund the BBC (mostly radio for me but I do watch some TV) but I think the way TV licensing is 'enforced' is badly flawed and and generally antithetical to English Law.

Anyone wanting a nice long read on the matter should try:
licencefree

FierceKitty

In dubio pro reo. Fight it all the way: they'd need to prove you were guilty of using it as charged. I've taught a few judges in my time....
I have not the pleasure of understanding you. Of what are you talking?

Ben Waterhouse

Quote from: FierceKitty on 26 July 2022, 04:06:23 PMIn dubio pro reo. Fight it all the way: they'd need to prove you were guilty of using it as charged. I've taught a few judges in my time....

Hear him!
Arma Pacis Fulcra

hammurabi70

Quote from: Gwydion on 26 July 2022, 10:24:33 AMNo, you're not.
My uncle in the 1970s abandoned his television - he was a jazz musician as well as holding down a day job and just didn't have time (or the inclination) to watch tv.
He got the usual letters which he ignored as he had already told them he didn't have one. They turned up and asked to check! He told them to go and get a warrant. Never heard another word until he died about fifteen years ago.

(on the other hand a lot of people who do watch live programming don't have a licence and the BBC need the cash. Its almost as if someone devised a system to alienate people from the BBC. I'm sure that can't be true.)

Never had a television and after University filled in the form I received TVL.  When I got it for a third year in a row I wondered why I should have to deal with it every 12 months so just binned them.  After 20 years and a move from the flat to a house I got a visit.  I declined to let him and he said they always sought a warrant.  I told him that was fine and go and get one.  Never heard anything more. The whole system needs reforming after 75 years and a doubling in real value.

John Cook

Quote from: Ben Waterhouse on 26 July 2022, 03:03:40 PMThe law is "watching" live TV not having the equipment that can watch it.

My neighbours opposite thought exactly that and are being prosecuted under the Communication Act 2003.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/21/part/4

They are retired teachers who have a TV on which they watch nothing but films via an old VHS player, yes some people still use them.  They are both in their 80s and didn't even need a licence previously because they were over over 75 and when that changed they decided simply to not watch TV anymore.

The evidence on which they have been summonsed is the statement of the Capita TV licensing enforcement officer, essentially his external observations that because there is receiving equipment installed at the address it is used.  There is a terrestrial TV aerial on their roof and they will now have to show to a court that they do not use it to receive live TV, or that they play recordings of live BBC TV programmes on their VHS player.  Quite how they will do that is unclear. 

One of the principal current complaints about prosecutions for not having a TV licence is that courts tend to accept the statements of the prosecution and the onus is on the defendants to show otherwise.

John Cook

Quote from: DecemDave on 26 July 2022, 08:33:12 AMam I the only one who thinks that the evolution to the position above where we would have to prove our innocence is utterly obnoxious?

No you are definitely not the only one.  The way that courts seem to accept the statements of the Capita TV licensing officer over those of the defendant are a principal complaint.  People, in effect, have to prove their innocence and that can't be right.

John Cook

Quote from: FierceKitty on 26 July 2022, 04:06:23 PMthey'd need to prove you were guilty of using it as charged.

That is one of the principal complaints about these cases, where the evidence of the TV licensing enforcement officer is disputed and it is one person's word against another.  The magistrates who deal with these cases tend to believe the prosecution, not the defendant.

John Cook

Quote from: Gwydion on 26 July 2022, 04:00:31 PMAnyone wanting a nice long read on the matter should try:
licencefree

Thanks for that.  I hadn't seen this site before but it sums up the appalling situation with the BBC, their Capita enforcers and the courts pretty well.  I'll pass it to my neighbours who are fighting prosecution now.  I'm not sure how much use it will be to them and I expect their solicitors are aware of the issues.

John Cook

Quote from: hammurabi70 on 26 July 2022, 11:46:35 PMThe whole system needs reforming after 75 years and a doubling in real value.

Absolutely.  It is an iniquitous system.  It is long past its sell-by date and, a bit like the NHS, needs a complete review and modernisation to make it appropriate to the 21st Century.

Heedless Horseman

I remember being in a queue at a Comet store in a low income area... and a rather horrible female was 'blowing up' at till girl, over having to provide her address. Pretty obviously, no TV licence for her new Big Screen TV!

I almost never 'watch' UK TV... and have not for many years... only a short 'curiosity', flick through, after DVDs end. I buy Box Sets of shows ... I HATE adverts, and like to 'binge watch'.
In years long gone, I was Happy with THREE channels! Decent Drama on BBC1, Good Documentaries on BBC2 and, usually, 'Rubbishy entertainment' on ITV.
TV Licence paid FOR ALL THREE! Great Deal!  8)

I do not want to pay for Sky or streaming a lot of cr*p programmes. I have just paid TV Licence... but, personally, find it annoying that it costs so much due to unwanted competition from non-broadcast sources.
And, revenue loss from channel proliferation has meant a whole lot of rubbish 'Filler' shows' on the once good, BBC! Repeats, though complained of, were better!

MY answer... ! Keep licence Fee and charge Commercial Channels MORE for the privilege of broadcasting to our discerning public!  ;D  ;D  ;D
(40 Yrs ago. I should have been an Angry Young Man... but wasn't.
Now... I am an Old B******! )  ;)

FierceKitty

There is a court of appeals too. You can make a LOT of trouble even before we get into community boycotts and so on (and these can work. I've been involved in a few). The government is there to serve the citizens; look at your rights in common law etc.
I have not the pleasure of understanding you. Of what are you talking?

Ben Waterhouse

QuoteMy neighbours opposite thought exactly that and are being prosecuted under the Communication Act 2003.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/21/part/4

They are retired teachers who have a TV on which they watch nothing but films via an old VHS player, yes some people still use them.  They are both in their 80s and didn't even need a licence previously because they were over over 75 and when that changed they decided simply to not watch TV anymore.

The evidence on which they have been summonsed is the statement of the Capita TV licensing enforcement officer, essentially his external observations that because there is receiving equipment installed at the address it is used.  There is a terrestrial TV aerial on their roof and they will now have to show to a court that they do not use it to receive live TV, or that they play recordings of live BBC TV programmes on their VHS player.  Quite how they will do that is unclear. 

One of the principal current complaints about prosecutions for not having a TV licence is that courts tend to accept the statements of the prosecution and the onus is on the defendants to show otherwise.


In which case they should plead not guilty, it would appear this is a malicious prosecution and they are being misled into pleading guilty. Again a quote from Which, the consumers pressure group.

"Do I need a TV licence?

Yes You watch or record TV at the time it's broadcast ('live' TV) through Freeview, Freesat or a pay-TV service such as Sky. This includes all channels, not just BBC channels. You need a licence regardless of whether you rent or own your home. You use BBC iPlayer on any device, including smartphones, laptops and tablets.

No You exclusively use other catch-up services, such as ITV Hub and All 4. You only watch TV-streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus or Netflix, or YouTube videos. You only use your TV to watch DVDs, Blu-rays or video cassettes."

Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/televisions/article/tv-licence-explained-a4ROt3S92d24?utm_source=which&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=text_share - Which?

I won't be adding to this thread as we are going round in circles - I haven't had a TV licence for over 20 years and after the first couple of years haven't been harassed by the BBC. I have lived in the same house for this whole time.
Arma Pacis Fulcra

John Cook

Quote from: Ben Waterhouse on 27 July 2022, 10:49:43 AMIn which case they should plead not guilty

Of course they are pleading not guilty.  Nobody has mislead them. 

Unfortunately, Which, and other similar 'authorities', do not make UK criminal law.

Techno 3

I'm going to lock this thread for a while....It seems to be getting a wee bit too tetchy.
I'll do this later