Licence Free Title
Licence Free Title

Introducing TV Licensing

... the Great British Hoax Off

TVL staff (and pirate)

TV Licensing: who are they and what are they authorised to do by law?

We'll show that they have little power, they lie persistently, even when directed not to by the law, and they have very little respect for integrity or the values of our society.

The Technicalities

Firstly, TVL is not a Government agency, and the acronym "TVLA" is not accurate. The old "NTVLRO" acronym dates from the GPO (Post Office) days and ceased to mean anything decades ago.

TVL is actually a brand name of the BBC, and is one of its internal departments.

TVL is not independent of the BBC, in fact Comic Relief is more independent of the BBC than TVL. This raises questions of conflict of interest and non-accountability.

TVL is a hybrid created as a BBC department but also as a way to distance Licence enforcement from the BBC and to cover a series of outsourcing arrangements, the main one being with Capita.

It is the BBC that is legally the licensing agency, and TVL is simply the brandname that it chooses to trade under for that activity.

[By the way, we'll use the word "organisation" a lot in this site. It's just easier. TVL is NOT a separate organisation to the BBC, it just thinks it is.]

The Practicalities

Pixie detector van

What do TVL do? The two main items in the TVL arsenal are their threatening Letters and their threatening Doorsteppers (aka Goons). They also have the option to request Search Warrants when there is evidence of evasion, but these are incredibly rare, and so can be discounted by most people who do not need a TV Licence.

And what don't they do? The first thing to know is that detector vans are firmly a part of history. Whether they ever worked is open to speculation, but now they are never routinely used, and they have never been used as the basis of any Court case.

The Remit

The hoax nature of TV Licensing starts with its lack of remit. The BBC spends over £100m a year on TVL, but doesn't have a remit for it? That's ridiculous.
TVL pretends to be what it isn't, and is incapable of telling the Public the truth about who it is and what it does. Over the coming pages, you'll see why TV Licensing is probably the biggest, most audacious hoax ever perpetrated on the British Public.

What BBC/TVL says

We asked: What is the remit of TVL?
They said: "That information is a matter of legal privilege and we will not disclose it to the public".
* Or words to that effect

The Consequences

If TVL were a well-behaved organisation then it wouldn't matter if their remit was weak or non-existent. Unfortunately, that's far from being the case. TVL policy issues include:-
We're here to call "time" on all of that. Enough is enough.

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