I have received a letter from TV Licensing – those nice people who presume you are guilty until they pronounce you innocent.
Sick of the filth on the BBC four years ago (Jerry Springer, the Opera was the last straw), I decided I was no longer prepared to support this vile organisation through the TV tax.
I told TVL last year (yet again) that I don’t watch broadcast telly and so don’t require a licence. Surprisingly, they left me alone after just two or three letters!
This latest letter states: “If you are still not using TV receiving equipment at this address, you needn’t take any action. Just expect a visit from us soon.” (My emphasis)
Do you know your rights, because many ‘enforcement’ officers don’t seem to know their restrictions?
I originally downloaded this interesting document (a freedom of information request) from one of the BBC’s websites, but I can now only find it at TelevisionLicence.info.
Basically, if one of their ‘enforcement’ officers turns up at your door, you are “not obliged to assist them”.
“If a person advises TV licensing, in writing, that their officers must not enter on their property, this would normally be honoured unless there was a good reason to believe that an offence had been committed, when options such as a search warrant application could be considered.”
“TV Licensing officers have no legal right of entry without the occupier’s permission, except when a search warrant has been granted in relation to the property.”
In light of this, I am concerned by this job description for a TV Licensing ‘visiting officer’:
“As a visiting or sales officer for TV Licensing, your responsibilities will include making door to door calls to business and residential properties to ensure they are properly licensed.
“As well as updating our extensive database, visiting officers will also enforce prosecution proceedings by taking statements under caution.
“A self motivated individual you will be driven by your desire to exceed set goals and targets and will have a flexible attitude to attendance patterns and working hours.
“Your perseverance and flexibility will be rewarded with a basic salary plus a bonus scheme that has no upper limit.”
So they think they can take statements under caution. How do they have the authority to do this?
A bonus scheme with no upper limit? No wonder this sort of thing happens:
Notice at the end the two goons from TV Licensing refuse to show their ID cards. They think they are a law unto themselves.