TV licence offences responsible for a tenth of all UK court cases

(26 Posts)
ariadneoliver Sat 24-Aug-13 08:41:12

180,000 people were charged last year, two thirds of them women.
www.cityam.com/article/1377046054/exclusive-tv-licence-offences-responsible-tenth-all-uk-court-cases

niceguy2 Sat 24-Aug-13 12:41:13

It's about time really they binned off the TV license. It really has no place in the 21st century.

Just let the BBC compete commercially instead. Already a lot of people have switched to iplayer/netflix/Youtube not to mention piratebay torrents.

We cancelled Sky ages ago because we just didn't watch anything of value. It was really on for background noise or children's cartoons. Despite various mails offering me a 50% discount, it's still not worth it to me.

SilverOldie Sat 24-Aug-13 13:06:01

I would prefer to keep the license and not have bloody ads every five minutes. Also would pay it just for BBC4, let alone all the other channels and radio.

If people don't pay the license and still watch BBC programmes, it's right they should be sent to court.

JakeBullet Sat 24-Aug-13 14:05:58

They can also be extremely punitive though....a friend who can cancelled her TV licence while her TV was broken forgot to set it up again when it was repaired. They called two weeks later and she was done for it......despite being able to prove she had NOT had TV for most weeks of no licence.

TheCrackFox Sat 24-Aug-13 14:30:05

It should be treated like a civil offence (speeding ticket) and not like a criminal offence.

TBH the BBC isn't as good as it was. It fills its programme with fluff so that it can sell them on to commercial channels and then be edited to make room for adverts. Frankly, I would rather have adverts so at least I could pop to the loo.

hermioneweasley Sat 24-Aug-13 14:34:46

I've said it before and will say it again - the BBC is the gold standard of journalism and broadcasting around the world. We are incredibly lucky to have it. Privately owned TV funded by adverts is at the mercy of individual agendas.

nennypops Sat 24-Aug-13 15:45:40

I couldn't agree more, Hermione. It's also incredibly cheap for what you get - something like 30p per day for the whole family, covering the whole range of BBC radio and TV channels, plus iPlayer. I would hate to have to sit through hours of adverts on BBC, and I would also hate the inevitable dumbing down that would happen if they had to play to the lowest common denominator in order to deliver the audiences that advertisers want.

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 18:28:41

Who would they prosecute in a household?

JakeBullet Sat 24-Aug-13 18:31:56

I think the BBC is fabulous for the service....Sherlock anyone just as an example?

I still think TV Licensing are VERY quick to condemn though.

And they seem to trawl sink estates doing random checks. ....the number of times I answered the door to TV Licensing people who looked disappointed when I produced one was amazing. In comparison since I moved to a naice area I never see them.

Drove me nuts because I had a licence which their database showed if they bothered to check it.

utreas Mon 26-Aug-13 15:20:24

The BBC should compete commercially and the tv licence abolished, the idea that you have to fork out £145 every year to fund State tv has no place in the 21st century.

chocolatemartini Mon 26-Aug-13 15:23:36

When I was abroad I LONGED for the bbc. Commercial television and radio is mostly shite and I can't abide adverts.

LtEveDallas Mon 26-Aug-13 15:25:35

Agree with niceguy and utreas. The TV licence should be binned. I resent paying it wholeheartedly, esp as I don't use any of their services.

What a bloody waste of time and money prosecuting people

Greige Mon 26-Aug-13 15:31:55

In Ireland we have the worst of all worlds - €160 for a TV license and ads every 10 minutes. The programmes are shite and the presenters seriously overpaid.

I don't remember when I last bothered watching the channels.

ivykaty44 Wed 28-Aug-13 12:42:41

I don't have a tv as I was to lazy to get the aerial fixed. We do watch some programs on youtube or catch up services.

TBH I struggle to find anything I want to watch on either BBC or ITV, most of the programs seem to be reality tv which is cheap to produce.

I have watched one series this year and that was the white queen, I did enjoy it but I know it got slated in the press for the inaccuracies with the filming.

I have just been to the website to see what is being aired on BBC one this morning news followed by four reality tv programs then the news followed by a drama they actually made with actors then a reality show and then a quiz show then two more reality shows so that is roughly 7 or eight reality shows in the day.

So the evening must be better a cooking show and a family history show.

So 7-8 reality shows with two drama, documentary.

Sorry but I don't think this is a fabulous service with 80% of programs reality shows which are cheap and tacky

they are not very forgiving either. I moved house and forgot to change my tv licence address. cue rather large scary man knocking on my door, after I'd been living there 3months ish. He gave me a formal warning but said I would probably be ok now I'd changed the address with him as he realised it was a genuine oversight. 2 weeks later I get a court summons for non payment of tv licence.

I appeared in court with my tenancy agreement showing date of moving and letter from previous landlord o confirm date of moving. Bank statements showing payments for tv licence etc, they didn't want to know, issued me with a fine of £215!!

Next time I move the first bill I will change the address on is the tv licence.

specialsubject Thu 29-Aug-13 11:23:54

some people do seem rather ignorant as to who supplies i-player! Currently if you don't watch anything as it is broadcast (e.g. timeshifted on a laptop) you don't need a licence. Of course if everyone does that, no BBC.

well worth it for no adverts. Although I think it wouldn't hurt any of us if TV didn't start until 5pm and stopped at midnight, as anything shown outside these times is guaranteed crap. Not that items at other times are necessarily any better!

when I'm president: no talent shows, lottery shows, reality TV, talk shows, shrieking-harpy panels, cookery shows, live shows except sport (I'm a big Doctor Who fan but that 'live reveal' thing was cringe-central). All these items should go on to pay TV at a large cost. Then we'd see if we really needed them.

ivykaty44 Thu 29-Aug-13 12:39:14

specialsubject - so where does the 2 billion pound shortfall come from that the licence fee doesn't over?

hagle Thu 29-Aug-13 14:46:13

TV licence should be scrapped. it's a waste of money and impacts most of all on people with low incomes, the type of people who work for the BBC might not t hink £160 is a lot of money but to many people it is.

The BBC might have been great in the past but what great programmes have they made lately? The best programmes nowadays come from America, and there is no equivalent of the BBC there.

alistron1 Thu 29-Aug-13 16:25:19

I'm sure I once saw a bit of research (this was about 10 years ago) that suggested that the most common reason for mothers to be in jail was non payment of the tv licence.

I do agree that the BBC is a gold standard of broadcasting, however I don't think it's right for people to be criminalised for not paying their TV licence.

MousyMouse Thu 29-Aug-13 16:27:25

I am very happy to pay for the tv licence.
knowing tv in many other european countries and the us it def is the best.

Somethingpink Thu 29-Aug-13 16:52:41

Thank you for this thread, I have now just set up my tv license after weeks of forgetting blush

Although I didn't watch bbc until the new series of great British bake off and midwives.

Me and dp have both said that the tv license company should work with all cable suppliers and it should be part of your bill. That way a lot more people would be licensed.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 29-Aug-13 16:58:07

I remember reading something about mothers being imprisoned too, which seems very wrong. Surely it would be cheaper to just pay the licence fee for them.

ChunkyPickle Thu 29-Aug-13 17:04:53

It used to be worth it, but now, I'm really not so sure that 10/month is worth it for the very few programs I actually watch (at the moment, masterchef, great british bakeoff, and some news/the occasional factual program). There's not even an archive, and catchup only lasts so long.

In contrast I pay 6.99/month for Netflix, with original and archived programs, no adverts, all the cartoons DS can watch.

Channel 4 has archive, does have adverts and doesn't even need the license too.

NotDavidTennant Thu 29-Aug-13 18:05:56

I don't get why it's an either/or between keeping the TV licence or losing the BBC. Surely it would be a lot cheaper to pay for the BBC out of general taxation and bin the licence?

I think the statistic about mothers being in jail is that it's probably (and this is a mahoosive generalisation) more likely to be women who'll admit to having a tv and not having a license. AFIA, they can only take you to court if they have good reason to think you have a tv in your house, and if you don't tell them you have a telly then they can't do jack all. If they come to your door, you don't have to let them in unless they have a warrant, and if you say "I don't need a tv license" and "Because I don't" if they ask why, they have to leave you alone. They're all scary letters but with little power unless you let them have it.
If I was in a position where I didn't have enough money to pay everything that I have to pay, the telly license would be the first thing I would be ditching til I had more money.

When I think about what I actually watch on the BBC - CBeebies once or twice a week, sometimes the news. And Top Gear. Everything else we watch is on Comedy Central, Sky One, TLC and C4/E4. Highbrow viewing in my house, I can tell you for free.

KeepTheFaithBaby Fri 30-Aug-13 19:28:34

It frustrates me that they condemn you and send threatening letters simply because they don't have a license at an address. We had a major house fire and had to move into a rented house. I moved our tv license to our rented property (we pay by DD) and I did it by phone specifically so they had on record that our house was uninhabitable while it was repaired. Of course we still received the standard Youre breaking the law letters at our permanent address! I don't actually begrudge paying it I just wish they'd listened to me...

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