TV Licensing Scunthorpe Magistrates` Court L.J.A3

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Dyfed Powys Magistrates
21st March 2013
Confidential
What will today’s presentation cover?

A summary of our work

The prosecution process

The local picture

An opportunity to ask questions
What is TV Licensing?



TV Licensing is a trade mark used by agents contracted by the BBC to
administer the collection of TV Licence fees and enforcement of the TV
Licensing system
Capita manages prosecutions, call centres and the field force
iQor administer TV Licensing’s cash payment schemes, including call
centres
Administration and
collection of TV
Licence fee
Enforcement of TV
Licensing system
Help for those who
need a licence,
provision of
information and
payment methods to
suit all
Prosecution: a last
resort against those
who evade paying the
licence fee
Some facts
Did you know?

A colour TV Licence costs £145.50; a black and white licence costs £49

You need a TV Licence if you watch or record programmes as they are being shown on TV

The law is the same regardless of the technology used: laptop, mobile phone, iPad

Around

The vast majority are correctly licensed - only

97% of households own a TV
5.2% evade the Licence Fee
30% of those prosecuted last year were found to have satellite or cable subscriptions when
their property was checked
Some more facts
Did you know?

People aged 75 or over qualify for a free licence

Blind and severely sight impaired people qualify for a 50% concession


The Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) Licence costs £7.50 a year and allows certain
residents who live in homes qualifying for the scheme to install and use TV receiving
equipment in their unit of accommodation
TV is as popular as ever with people watching more than ever before
How people pay
70.2%
Pay by Direct Debit
9.5%
Pay by Credit / Debit card
8.0%
Pay by Payment Card
5.9%
Pay by PayPoint
2.2%
Pay by Savings Card
0.2%
Pay by home banking
0.1%
Pay at Post Office on Jersey,
Guernsey and Isle of Man
All figures are for 2011/12 financial year
Helping people to pay



The Payment Card helps people spread the cost of their TV Licence
•
Pay online, over the phone or by text message
•
There are 23,000 PayPoint outlets – currently 1.5m people choose to
make payments in this way
•
Check account status, payment schedule and arrears online or via our
automated telephone service
TV Licensing sends over 60,000 text message reminders each month to
Payment Card members who have opted into the service
70,000 new members join the scheme each month,
but year on year growth is just 60,000
Working with stakeholders


TV Licensing works with third parties to provide information through
the legal system and a range of stakeholder organisations including:
•
Citizens Advice
•
Institute of Money Advisers
•
Age UK
•
RNIB
•
Mencap
•
National Union of Students
•
Federation of Small Businesses
And not just national organisations. We also work with regional and
local organisations such as:
•
Citizens Advice Bureaux
•
Councils and housing associations
Speaking your language



TV Licensing provides a range of information in
foreign languages
There are:
•
16 languages available on
www.tvlicensing.co.uk
•
180 languages available via our telephone
translation service
We also distribute leaflets to community
organisations in 18 languages
Who are evaders?
E
AB
D
AB
D
C2
C1
Social grade distribution of
properties needing a licence –
licensable base
AB
C1
C2
D
E
E
C1
C2
Social grade distribution of
unlicensed properties
Middle class and above: doctors, architects, lawyers, senior managers
Lower middle class: middle management, policemen
Skilled working class: nurses, salesmen, publicans
Working class: manual workers
Lowest subsistence level: state pensioners, casual workers, unemployed
According to BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) around 97% of households
currently own TVs
The enforcement process
Address is shown as
unlicensed on TV
Licensing database
Reminder letters
sent , telephone
contact may also
be attempted
If no response,
an enquiry
officer visits
20 weeks to avoid court for 1st time evaders
First-time evaders may
avoid prosecution if
they purchase a
licence immediately
Individual advised
to buy a licence
and informed of
the payment options
TV Licensing monitors
the database to see
if a licence has been
purchased
Repeat evaders are
prosecuted with no
further letters
An interview
conducted under
caution when evasion
is suspected
TV Licensing will apply
to withdraw prosecution
where first time offenders
purchase a licence
The general rule: no prosecution for first-time evaders who subsequently buy
a TV Licence and keep up payments
A popular excuse
Many evaders claim that an enquiry officer told them they would not be
prosecuted if they bought a licence
It is a disciplinary offence for an enquiry officer to say or suggest this
The Record of Interview clearly states:
“Please note: the enquiry officer who conducted this interview does not have
the authority to give you time to pay. Even if you purchase the appropriate
licence, you may still be prosecuted for the offence. If you pay for your
licence in instalments, you must ensure that your payments are kept up to
date.”
And (by the signature line):
“I have been told that it is in my own interest to obtain a TV Licence
although I may still be prosecuted for any unlicensed use.”
Our prosecution policy


TV Licensing policy is based on the code for Crown Prosecutors
A decision to prosecute is taken by the Court Administrator, treating each case on
its individual merits

Each decision must satisfy both evidential and public interest tests

Public interest is rarely served by prosecuting:

•
Genuine babysitters
•
Seriously ill, disabled or otherwise mentally incapacitated
TV Licensing prosecutes those with a black and white licence who have a colour
TV
The regional picture
 From March 2012 to November 2012 there was an estimated
£1,376,576 in potential lost revenue due to licence fee evasion
in the Dyfed Powys area.
 Around 441
evaders were caught
 TV Licensing prosecuted c. 185
evaders
Dyfed Powys monthly fines
£250
£209.57
£200
£180.24
£164.47 £165.00
£150
£140.25
£100
£50
£0
£134.81
£172.31
Welsh average fines and costs
Area Comparison
£197.70
£200
£180
£160
£140
£120
£100
£80
£60
£40
£20
£0
£141.83
£140.17
£108.90
Thank you!

We take on board your feedback and implement changes
where possible. This has resulted in:
•
Redesign of the TV Licensing interview form
•
Requests for:
– National Insurance numbers
– Dates of birth
– Telephone numbers
•
Continued cleansing of data
•
Quicker processing of repeat evaders
But…what more could we do?
Thank you
Warren Carr, TV Licensing Campaign Office
xxxxxxxxxx, Capita Court Presenter
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