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A THIRD of all convictions for women are for TV licence non payment

(82 Posts)
dianebrewster Sun 29-Nov-20 15:49:49

I found this totally mind-boggling and totally shocking

"TV licence fee evasion accounts for nearly a third of women's convictions, official figures have revealed, prompting calls for its decriminalisation and warnings that the BBC could be guilty of "indirect gender discrimination".

An increasing proportion of women are being landed with criminal records for non-payment of the fee and are nearly 10 times more likely to be convicted for it than men, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data published on Thursday."

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/26/third-female-convictions-uk-due-tv-licence-fee-evasion-moj-stats/

OP’s posts: |
Ereshkigalangcleg Sun 29-Nov-20 15:54:47

There's no such thing as "indirect gender discrimination" in law. They mean "indirect sex discrimination" under the EA 2010.

But yes, women have always been pursued for TV licence fee fines more and are more likely to receive a custodial sentence for it. This should not be a custodial matter.

midgebabe Sun 29-Nov-20 15:55:00

Does it give any reason why?

Aesopfable Sun 29-Nov-20 15:56:00

BBC could be guilty of "indirect gender discrimination".

That would be a surprise. hmm

Ereshkigalangcleg Sun 29-Nov-20 15:56:53

I remember reading about this in Marie Claire when I was a teenager in the 90s.

PlanDeRaccordement Sun 29-Nov-20 16:02:16

I don’t like the logic behind it. That simply because women are ten times more likely than men to commit a certain crime, then that crime should be erased. Where would it end? Men are more than ten times more likely than women to be convicted of a long list of minor crimes like harassment, upskirting, urinating in public, indecent exposure, etc...but we’d never say that it’s discriminatory to have these as criminal offences. Not paying the TV license is in essence a type of theft and should stay a crime. If you can’t pay for the license, then don’t watch live TV or BBC iplayer.

midgebabe Sun 29-Nov-20 16:06:50

I amnt thinking that the crime should be erased, I am interested in understanding why this occurs.

Are women more likely to be struggling for cash?
Are they more likely to be taken to court?
Is it just that women commit so few crimes that this type of offence is just about the only wrong thing women do?
Is there a systematic bias in the system that is revealed by this fact?

I didn't manage to read the article, I think I need to sign up to do so

Circusoflove Sun 29-Nov-20 16:07:57

This has indeed been well known since the 90s. Women don’t evade the licence fee more than men, they’re just more likely to be convicted of it. It’s outrageous that it’s still a criminal matter.

calllaaalllaaammma Sun 29-Nov-20 16:08:13

Is it because women earn less than men?

womaninatightspot Sun 29-Nov-20 16:09:38

I'm glad they are decriminalising the offence so women won't end up in prison for this.

SequinsandStiIettos Sun 29-Nov-20 16:12:21

I would have thought the conviction rate is sadly slanted because:

More women than men are SAHP and therefore at home when checks take place
Men may be more likely to not give in to the strong arm BS tactics of the outsourced TV licensing thugs - they will refuse to let them in - You do NOT have to let them in, likewise for signing anything
Once allowing them in, not sticking to your guns that you may have equipment but it is NOT plugged in (if it isn't then officially you cannot be prosecuted - but if you plug it in to appease the inspector you then break the law - allegedly women have been asked to do this by inspectors who then say gotcha!)
Disparity in income

Any or all of the above may be factors. I shall let you know once I cancel my license post-Strictly and detox from the telly/disconnect from screen time.

PlanDeRaccordement Sun 29-Nov-20 16:13:56

Decriminalising= erasing it as a crime.

I think more women don’t pay the TV license because they are more likely to head a household than men, are more likely to be in poverty and have a lower risk of a custodial sentence than men (they know they will not be put in jail especially if they have children- it will just be community service or a fine).

MillieVanilla Sun 29-Nov-20 16:14:40

It doesn't surprise me.
They knock during daytime hours so it's most likely for women to be home with the children and in my experience they are often into intimidating males who knock.
I don't have a licence on principle as I don't believe in how the BBC operates and as far as I'm concerned since the analogue system was turned off requiring people to pay for sky or other operators I feel I pay enough already.
One afternoon, in half term about 4 years back someone started hammering like mad on the door. Straight away I found that intimidating.
I looked out the side window and saw a large male pressing his face against the glass in my door. He then shouted "open up now, open up".
He was holding something up so I assumed it was a police officer.
The night before unfortunately a neighbour had passed away at home and police had turned up due to the nature of his death. I saw a male matching the guy at the doors description walking past my house very slowly, he stopped outside and was kind of trying to see in. I had thought that was weird and did wonder if he was wondering if we had seen anything. A police officer did later knock and asked if we heard anything.
Anyway, I opened the door and said "there's no need to shout, can I help you?"
He then sticks his foot in my door to stop me shutting it and says "TV licence" and starts reading my rights!
I said "excuse me, you've not shown me your badge properly, you need to move your foot now, get off my door". He then put his hand on the door and pushed it back at me.
At that stage I picked up my mobile and said "get out now or I will scream". "Oh what will that do love" he says, walking into my house. " I said shall we find out- I'm a young woman and you are an unknown male, you are intimidating me and have gained entry to my home without my say so, you are threatening me and I will scream unless you leave now". He laughed until I fully opened my mouth and went to scream, at that point he went out the door and threw a form at me.
He knew what he was doing, he knew he was trying to bully me and she knew if I screamed he would be screwed if the police came. As it was my next door neighbor was at his car and came over telling him to eff off.
That's why they catch more women, they can't try the bully tactic on men.

RealityNotEssentialism Sun 29-Nov-20 16:15:58

PlanDeRaccordement

I don’t like the logic behind it. That simply because women are ten times more likely than men to commit a certain crime, then that crime should be erased. Where would it end? Men are more than ten times more likely than women to be convicted of a long list of minor crimes like harassment, upskirting, urinating in public, indecent exposure, etc...but we’d never say that it’s discriminatory to have these as criminal offences. Not paying the TV license is in essence a type of theft and should stay a crime. If you can’t pay for the license, then don’t watch live TV or BBC iplayer.

I think that the reason why women get caught more than men is that they are more likely to be in the house when the inspectors call and more likely to allow them in. It's not that they are more likely to not pay their TV licence than men.
Happy to decriminalise it. We don't sentence people in the criminal court when they don't pay their credit card so why is this any different? The real crime is having to pay it in the first place, as well as their refusal to let you spread payments over a year when you first get one. I don't have one anymore (but I also don't have a TV anymore). Doesn't stop them sending threatening letters about how they know I am watching tv.

IrenetheQuaint Sun 29-Nov-20 16:18:34

The TV licence situation is insane. We can't get sent to prison for not paying our gas bill etc, so it is ridiculous that we can for not paying our TV licence. Decriminalisation can't come soon enough. (Honestly I think the TV licence is outdated anyway, but that is a separate question.)

RealityNotEssentialism Sun 29-Nov-20 16:21:25

MillieVanilla

It doesn't surprise me.
They knock during daytime hours so it's most likely for women to be home with the children and in my experience they are often into intimidating males who knock.
I don't have a licence on principle as I don't believe in how the BBC operates and as far as I'm concerned since the analogue system was turned off requiring people to pay for sky or other operators I feel I pay enough already.
One afternoon, in half term about 4 years back someone started hammering like mad on the door. Straight away I found that intimidating.
I looked out the side window and saw a large male pressing his face against the glass in my door. He then shouted "open up now, open up".
He was holding something up so I assumed it was a police officer.
The night before unfortunately a neighbour had passed away at home and police had turned up due to the nature of his death. I saw a male matching the guy at the doors description walking past my house very slowly, he stopped outside and was kind of trying to see in. I had thought that was weird and did wonder if he was wondering if we had seen anything. A police officer did later knock and asked if we heard anything.
Anyway, I opened the door and said "there's no need to shout, can I help you?"
He then sticks his foot in my door to stop me shutting it and says "TV licence" and starts reading my rights!
I said "excuse me, you've not shown me your badge properly, you need to move your foot now, get off my door". He then put his hand on the door and pushed it back at me.
At that stage I picked up my mobile and said "get out now or I will scream". "Oh what will that do love" he says, walking into my house. " I said shall we find out- I'm a young woman and you are an unknown male, you are intimidating me and have gained entry to my home without my say so, you are threatening me and I will scream unless you leave now". He laughed until I fully opened my mouth and went to scream, at that point he went out the door and threw a form at me.
He knew what he was doing, he knew he was trying to bully me and she knew if I screamed he would be screwed if the police came. As it was my next door neighbor was at his car and came over telling him to eff off.
That's why they catch more women, they can't try the bully tactic on men.

My god, that's horrible. Well done for standing your ground. They have no right to force entry in your house but, like bailiffs, they are mainly male and they will try their hardest to intimidate women.
In their latest letter to me, they've said they may come round on 3 December, despite telling them various times that I have no TV. While I have no objection to them trying to locate my non-existent TV, there is no way I am letting them in, on principle.

PlanDeRaccordement Sun 29-Nov-20 16:22:06

@RealityNotEssentialism
No we don’t use criminal courts for private debts like credit cards, but we do use them for all public debts like TV license, unpaid income taxes, overpayments of benefits, nonpayment of road tax, etc. The difference is between who you owe the money to- a private company or the state.
I don’t think it’s a crime to pay for a tv license anymore than having to pay road tax. It’s a fee levied by the government to fund infrastructure that you are using.

tommika Sun 29-Nov-20 16:23:45

The ‘third’ element is irrelevant, as that shows a proportion of women’s convictions are for the TV licence, but that men have different proportions of criminal convictions.

It would be more relevant that women are 10 times more likely then men to be successfully prosecuted for licence evasion

It notes that the 10 to 1 ratio relates more likely to answer the door.
This then means that TV licence enforcement that goes all the way to court and successfully prosecuted is for a greater ratio of women then men, which means either men pay up in the end or there isn’t sufficient evidence to show that men are watching TV without a licence then women.
But both men and women have been convicted

Stripesnomore Sun 29-Nov-20 16:26:07

The internet is full of horror stories of the behaviour of tv licence inspectors and their strong arm tactics.

I don’t want live tv or bbc I player but still pay for a tv licence just to avoid the hassle of them turning up.

It should definitely be decriminalised.

RealityNotEssentialism Sun 29-Nov-20 16:26:34

@PlanDeRaccordement non-payment of council tax is not a criminal offence but that's a fee levied to fund infrastructure too. It's also money owed to the state. And just because you owe money to the state doesn't make it a crime. By that logic, it would also be a crime not to pay your rent if you live in council-housing. Or a crime not to pay a parking-fine (again a charge levied by the state).

CaraDuneRedux Sun 29-Nov-20 16:27:02

A prison sentence for 157 quid.

It's not quite transportation to Australia for stealing a sheep, but it's the modern equivalent.

PlanDeRaccordement Sun 29-Nov-20 16:27:27

It's not that they are more likely to not pay their TV licence than men.

Excuses. MRAs apply the same mental gymnastics to crimes that more men are convicted of than women. Arguing that women are just as bad but don’t get caught as much. Yes, women may have more mitigating circumstances like poverty causing then to offend more often. But I don’t think we have any evidence that there are all these men going uncaught.

boredinthouse Sun 29-Nov-20 16:27:57

Similar happened to me. Someone knocked like they were trying to knock the door down, I opened it and he put his foot in the door and forced his way in. I was terrified, fairly young (in my twenties) and had just had my XP removed by the police for DV. I also had two children under 3 with me in the house.

RoyalCorgi Sun 29-Nov-20 16:29:41

I think that the reason why women get caught more than men is that they are more likely to be in the house when the inspectors call and more likely to allow them in. It's not that they are more likely to not pay their TV licence than men.

I'm sure that's some of it, but I would guess also that far more women live in poverty than men, and also there are far more single-parent households headed up by women than by men.

Ifailed Sun 29-Nov-20 16:32:01

You don't go to prison for not paying for a TV license. You can go to prison for not paying any fine levied by the court, whether for a TV license or any other offence.

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