We at TV Licensing Watch are truly grateful to D Westwood. Whoever you are D Westwood thank you very much indeed. We hope you do not object to our using your annotation for an educational purpose. The educational purpose of proving yet again why people should never, ever talk to Capita BBC TV Licensing™ and why it is an exercise in futility to ever do so. The following annotation posted by D Westwood in response to other annotations is an education in itself. It comes from a freedom of information non-response by the BBC on a related matter and is the starting point for this blogpost. Perhaps, when you have done as we have and read through carefully and given equally careful thought to the content and full implications and meaning of D Westwood’s annotation you will realise why it is we at TV Licensing Watch have been labouring the point about always exercising the right to remain silent. We have to admit we were somewhat slow in realising fully the implications of Capita BBC TV Licensing’s clarification “response” contained in D Westwood’s annotation. We would like you to do as we did and pay particular attention to the latter part of Capita BBC TV Licensing™’s “response”. While you do so, please bear in mind that what you are reading is written for and on behalf of the BBC by Capita BBC TV Licensing™ and represents Capita BBC TV Licensing™’s “understanding” of their obligations, remit and brief under the TV Licensing™ Service Provision Agreement between the BBC and Capita Business Services as well as their “understanding” of the will of Parliament under the relevant legislation.
“D Westwood left an annotation (26 September 2013)
On 21 Jun 2013, at 15:08, "TVL - Customer-Relations"
Thank you for your email of 14 June 2013, which has been passed to me for reply and has been recorded under your reference blah blah. Please use this number if you wish to contact us again.
I am very sorry that we have not been able to resolve your enquiry to your satisfaction, and hopefully I can clarify the exact position now. I must also apologise for the fact that the advice you were given in our email of 13 June was incorrect, and I have now referred this error to the advisor’s manager for feedback and training.
You asked the following question:
“Is there any legal/lawful objection to a cash-strapped household taking a 1 year “TV Licence Fee Holiday” by simply switching off their fully functional TV and ensuring that, without exception, it remains switched off for a 12 month period, thereby spending the entire year never using it to watch or record live programming as it is broadcast?”
The answer in response is:
There is no objection to a household taking this decision. Legally, the ownership of a television receiver does not require a TV Licence. Therefore if you choose not to switch your television receiver on for twelve months, you do not need a TV Licence during that period. Under the Communications Act 2003, a TV Licence is only required to watch or record live television programmes.
I trust that this has provided a clear answer to your question.
I would also like to take this opportunity to explain why we always ADVISE people in these circumstances to disconnect the aerial and remove the TV set from a power source as a precautionary, NOT A MANDATORY, measure.
I appreciate that you requested that we do not mention TV Licensing Officers in our response. HOWEVER, in order to give as full an explanation as possible, I would like to clarify that the reason we give this advice is because IF a TV Licensing Officer WAS to visit an address and WAS permitted to enter, AND the officer WAS to see a television receiver connected to an aerial and a power source, he or she would have reason to SUSPECT the unlicensed use of a television receiver. This COULD be observed without attempting to turn on the television set. IN TURN, this COULD POTENTIALLY lead to a Court case where the Court MIGHT reasonably (?!) believe that a TV receiver set up ready for use, was SUFFICIENT evidence of licence evasion.
However, as you have quite rightly said, the option remains for a person to deny entry to a Licensing Officer.... Clearly, in this instance, a Licensing Officer would not be able to see the television receiver connected to an aerial and a power source.
I trust that this has provided the clarity that you required, and I would like to apologise again for any frustration caused due to the misleading information that you were given following your initial enquiry. Yours sincerely Etc
^^ That letter is on the TV Licence Resistance forums. I have CAPITALISED some of the words for my own amusement.
Hope it helps :)
Once again, thank you very much indeed D Westwood. D Westwood’s own highlighting has been preserved so as to convey as best we can D Westwood’s own personal observation and message. It is not for us to tell you what to think or not think but it seems to us at TV Licensing Watch that in its entirety Capita BBC TV Licensing™’s “response” is a classic of what could be described as the Mixed Message genre. A classic piece of what Watchkeeper describes as BBC “bluster, intimidation and misinformation” cynicism. Arguably, it is bureaucratic enforcement doublespeak issued on for and on behalf of the BBC by Capita BBC TV Licensing™. In their “response” to D Westwood they have both set out firstly the situations and ways in which a person may lawfully be “unlicensed” in compliance with the Communications Act and according to the will of Parliament and then secondly the means by which being lawfully “unlicensed” may be subverted by Capita BBC TV Licensing™ door to door visiting party filth for and on behalf of the BBC and subsequently be presented as “unlawful” to a Court by the presentation not of actual evidence but on the basis of mere suspicion followed by unsubstantiated allegations to a Court that watching/recording live television programme services unlicensed “could happen”. In other words Capita BBC TV Licensing™ seem to be saying that lawfully “unlicensed” people who are unwise enough to follow Capita BBC TV Licensing™’s “advice” and the will of Parliament who then compound their error by having dealings with Capita BBC TV Licensing™ door to door visiting party scum can be summonsed and prosecuted for a “tv licence evasion crime” that they have neither intentionally commissioned nor intentionally committed. Please view videos on the web for examples of what we are blogging about.
It seems to us that Capita BBC TV Licensing™’s “response” to D Westwood suggests there is yet another powerful motive to never, ever talk to Capita BBC TV Licensing™ in addition to the ones already mentioned here and at other anti-tv licence fee sites. With characteristically cynical disregard for the contradictions in what they have actually written, Capita BBC TV Licensing™’s “response” spells out the “lawfully unlicensed yet allegedly unlawful” conundrum at the core of BBC enforcement activities. It is but one of a catalogue of conundrums and nonsenses which exist but have never ever been properly challenged because when they are prosecuted by Capita BBC TV Licensing™, people do not fight they just give up thereby making it a piece of very profitable cake for the BBC and Capita BBC TV Licensing™ to carry on with business as usual. A Communications Act enforcement scenario so bizarre that it could have come directly from Joseph Heller’s absurdist novel “Catch#22” if you like, the practical real world application of bureaucratic enforcement rules and practises as cynical exercises for purposes of mere financial gain, uncapped commission and revenue raising which is what BBC enforcement activities have seemingly now become.
Quite how all the “facts” presented in Capita BBC TV Licensing’s “response” to D Westwood would be and could be adequately, accurately and truthfully recorded on the infamous TVL178 Record of Interview self-incrimination form and then presented to a Court in prosecution we at TV Licensing Watch are not entirely clear about. Then, we do not have to be do we? Capita BBC TV Licensing™ have already figured out how to do that; to their own and the BBC’s financial advantage of course. Doubtless BBC tv licence funded TV Licensing™ Court Training sessions also play their part in indoctrinating the Courts to ensure that people get convicted on the basis of mere allegations alone. By the way, did you know that the BBC in their capacity as TV Licensing Authority in the UK the BBC is the only prosecuting body in the UK to carry out such Court Training sessions? If the warped enforcement priorities, methodologies and ideologies presented in the clarification “response” to D Westwood are true, and we have no reason to suppose they are not, and Capita BBC TV Licensing™’s “response” is not an explicit written admission of a culture and policy of framing householders who meet the “lawfully unlicensed” criteria set out by Parliament and then stitching them up to prosecute them then it seems to us that circumstantially, at least, it veers perilously close to an admission of such a culture and policy. The BBC are the television licensing authority in the UK and repeatedly and publicly claim that they have overall responsibility for all matters relating to the BBC tv licence and its enforcement so perhaps someone at the BBC, Pipa Doubtfire, Head of Revenue Management, BBC TV Licensing™, for example, would care to step forward and take responsibility for the Capita BBC TV Licensing™ apparent policy promise to stitch-up people potential contained within the clarification “response” sent to D Westwood. We doubt it. We suspect the BBC will apply the “dignified silence of dignified scorn” rule to us as they do to other anti-tv licence sites. So be it. However, people from the BBC and their odious hangers on, like criminals returning to the scene of their most recent crime, will come here and will no doubt read this and have some sort of vicarious thrill.
However, we wonder just how many people have followed Capita BBC TV Licensing™’s “advice” and comply with the “lawfully unlicensed” criteria set out by Parliament have then either been bullied and cornered into buying mis-sold BBC tv licences at the door or have stood their ground when visited by Capita BBC TV Licensing™ and then been prosecuted and convicted for alleged tv licence “evasion” by the stitch-up policy seemingly set out in the clarification "response" D Westwood received. The whole rotten BBC broadcast receiving licence and its equally rotten Capita BBC TV Licensing™ enforcement scam is an absolute discredited disgrace. Rogue, not fit for purpose processes operated by the BBC and Capita two rogue, not fit for purpose organisations.
The value of domestic cctv surveillance and handheld video camera can prove invaluable in gathering evidence of the serial abuses and misdemeanours perpetrated by employees of Capita Business Services under cover of the BBC TV Licensing™ contract. TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ to make an audio-visual record of those dealings in their entirety covertly or overtly with cctv and handheld video cameras.
For people who have not exercised their right to remain silent, TV Licensing Watch advise anybody who has had the misfortune to have face to face dealings with Capita Business Services TV Licensing™ and have received a summons as a consequence to contact a licensed law practitioner if: there is the slightest discrepancy between the actual situation regarding viewing habits and/or what actually happened during the interview compared with what has been written on the TVL178 Record of Interview self incrimination form.