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  1. #1
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    BBC News TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    Not paying the TV licence fee could become a civil offence, rather than a criminal one, under plans being considered by ministers.

    Culture Secretary Maria Miller said "decriminalisation of the licence fee should be on the table" during the BBC's charter review before 2017.


    The licence fee currently costs £145.50 a year

    The BBC said changing the law could lead to more people failing to pay.

    In 2012 about 155,000 were convicted and fined for not paying the £145.50 fee and about 70 were sent to prison.

    In total 180,000 people were prosecuted for not paying their licence - which is needed to watch or record live broadcasts on any device - accounting for more than one in 10 criminal prosecutions that year.

    Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Daily Telegraph "serious work" would be done on the proposal to make non-payment a civil offence and that it could ease the pressure on criminal courts.

    Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: "The culture secretary and I both agree that this is a really interesting idea - particularly given the pressure on our courts system.

    "Our departments will be doing some serious work on the proposal."

    Culture Secretary Maria Miller


    Maria Miller said timing on the matter was 'crucial'

    Ms Miller said: "This is an interesting idea but timing is crucial and decriminalisation of the licence fee should be on the table during charter review not separate to the process.''

    The BBC's current Royal Charter, which expires in 2016, sets out how it should be funded, what it does and how it is managed.

    A spokesman for the culture secretary added: "Maria will put decriminalisation of the licence fee on the table during charter review discussions, but to do it before makes no sense.

    "She has made clear that the BBC needs to get its house in order, particularly when it comes to governance and transparency, having decriminalisation on the table during the negotiations will focus the BBC's minds."

    But Conservative MP Andrew Brigden is seeking to introduce the change through an amendment to the government's Deregulation Bill.

    It would make non-payment of the licence fee a civil matter, with a fine for offenders set by the government.

    He told the Daily Telegraph: "It is outrageous that so many people are brought in to the criminal justice system through this means.

    "I believe that non-payment should be treated in the way that parking tickets are.

    "It is absurd that the courts are being clogged up by such a minor offence."

    The newspaper reported that the amendment had been backed by 101 cross-party MPs.

    A BBC spokesman said: "Legislation is a matter for the government, however changing the law could lead to higher evasion.

    "Just a 1% increase in evasion would lead to the loss of around £35m, the equivalent of around 10 BBC local radio stations."

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  2. #2
    DF Admin 4me2's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    Why do get the smell of privatisation out of this ?

    Which high ranking politican/s will have fingers in a firm that these civil prosecutions will be outsourced too ?

    Maybe a large corporation that helps fund the Cuntservative party.

    I definately get the feeling that there is some major pig troughing going on behind the scenes here and it is being marketed at saving Tax payers money.



    2 Thanks given to 4me2

    AD (8th March 2014), Bald Bouncer (8th March 2014) 


  3. #3
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    I think we need to decide whether or not we want to keep the BBC in it's current form. They bring some very good programming. I like the documentaries and the BBC4 bits. So... I am in favour of keeping the licence fee.

    However, at my flat there is no TV as no-one lives there and it's not in a liveable state. So there is no TV licence. But.... They send me at least one letter a week.

    Like said above... I think the BBC will end up being privatised.

  4. #4
    DF PwNagE SiE's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    Radio 2 is great, the rest is meh.

  5. #5
    DF PwNagE liveseytowers's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    So what happens if you don't pay for it because you don't need one? Currently they have to catch you watching tv without a license. It wouldn't surprise me if they want to introduce automatic fines.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    DF PiMP Mr Slippyfist's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    Since i don't watch telly in the house and only download or stream my shows on things like Dare tv i filled in a section on the tv licence web site stating i do not want or need a licence. That was 6 months ago and no hassling letters or people knocking at the door. As it states on their site you only need a licence if you are watching telly or streaming live shows. Saves me £150 a year

  7. #7
    DF PwNagE burner1's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Slippyfist View Post
    Since i don't watch telly in the house and only download or stream my shows on things like Dare tv i filled in a section on the tv licence web site stating i do not want or need a licence. That was 6 months ago and no hassling letters or people knocking at the door. As it states on their site you only need a licence if you are watching telly or streaming live shows. Saves me £150 a year
    I think you've been lucky mate. I also filled out the declaration on line a year ago and I get a letter a month from them and the letters get more and more intimidating, as though I am breaking the law when I'm doing nothing of the sort. The latest letter has a red border and big letters across it saying 'Be prepared for this investigation to lead to court', and it goes on about 'what to expect in court' ... ffs, I don't watch broadcast TV and I'm breaking no law. Imo, they do it to intimidate people into just paying up to stop the threatograms as they're called.

    From the OP:
    In 2012 about 155,000 were convicted and fined for not paying the £145.50 fee and about 70 were sent to prison.
    They should be more clear with that: You cannot go to prison for not having a TV licence, only if you don't pay the court fine as with any other court fine... then again, it's on the BBC News site so I imagine it's more intended fright tactics.

  8. #8
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    I am not filling out a section to declare I don't need a licence. I don't have a fucking TV in there...! I am not going to waste my time, I'm happier to waste theirs.

    I get the red top letters on a weekly basis, telling me I should expect a visit and that I will possibly be called to court. They don't know my name...!

    If I am at home, I may possibly let them in to have a look. It depends. It's my house, I may not want them in there.

  9. #9
    DF PwNagE burner1's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    Quote Originally Posted by Geko View Post
    I am not filling out a section to declare I don't need a licence. I don't have a fucking TV in there...! I am not going to waste my time, I'm happier to waste theirs.

    I get the red top letters on a weekly basis, telling me I should expect a visit and that I will possibly be called to court. They don't know my name...!

    If I am at home, I may possibly let them in to have a look. It depends. It's my house, I may not want them in there.
    They got no more powers than any other door knocker mate, as much as they might tell you they have. IF you were to let them in, I'd video it and DON'T sign their form 178 (I think it's called). By all means, keep a copy, but don't sign it.

    Thanks to burner1

    Geko (8th March 2014) 


  10. #10
    DF PiMP Mr Slippyfist's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    By the sounds of it i have been quite lucky. I agree that company's get away with these bully tactics and it's disgusting. Almost like legal extortion aimed at people who don't understand their rights in the matter. I only found out from reading a really helpful page on here. I don't know if it makes a difference but in the section online that asks why you don't need a license i picked the one about only using my telly for gaming. To be on the safe side all my aerial leads are either missing the end or are coiled up.

    I couldn't find the page i was talking about but did find this..

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  11. #11
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    Quote Originally Posted by burner1 View Post
    They got no more powers than any other door knocker mate, as much as they might tell you they have. IF you were to let them in, I'd video it and DON'T sign their form 178 (I think it's called). By all means, keep a copy, but don't sign it.
    I definitely won't be signing anything. SKY haven't asked me to sign anything to say I don't have SKY...!

  12. #12
    DF Demi God diablos's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    I would never buy one they can scramble my service and if i want it i will pay it, After all they are a private company.

  13. #13
    DF Probation macmilm's Avatar
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    Default Re: TV licence fee non-payment 'could be decriminalised'

    Quote Originally Posted by Geko View Post
    I am not filling out a section to declare I don't need a licence. I don't have a fucking TV in there...! I am not going to waste my time, I'm happier to waste theirs.

    I get the red top letters on a weekly basis, telling me I should expect a visit and that I will possibly be called to court. They don't know my name...!

    If I am at home, I may possibly let them in to have a look. It depends. It's my house, I may not want them in there.
    It is all over youtube .... simply say "I revoke your implied right of entry" (and ask them to put that on file) then they have just lost what little power they thought they had.
    The only actual powers they have is down to the ignorance of the person they are visiting.

    Also never give your name

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