A recent change in the law means that TV dealers are no longer under any legal obligation to grass up their customers to TV Licensing.
As much as we support the repealing of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967, it did throw a spanner in the works with the original concept of goon fishing.
Goon fishing, for the benefit of anyone who didn't read our post last month, is the fine art of attracting TV Licensing goons to a property with the intention of filming them. Before the change in the law TV dealers played a pivotal role in sending TV Licensing goons towards their baited hook. Now that TV dealers are no longer involved the goon fishing process has been amended slightly.
As we mentioned last time, goon fishing is a sport only for those fearlessly dedicated to the legally-licence-free cause. The thrill of goon fishing is that you'll end up face to face with your prey, so it's not a pursuit for shy and retiring types. Only attempt goon fishing if you're prepared to follow-through and land your catch.
Before hooking a TV Licensing bloater it may be prudent to read our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare. The book explains your legal rights when dealing with TV Licensing. In short, as you have no legal need for a TV licence, you are under no legal obligation to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing at all. For all their goon will arrive with a pretentious air of pseudo-officialdom they have no more rights than any other visitor to your property.
The new simplified goon fishing technique is:
Dangle your bait
This now involves someone making an incognito telephone call (0300 790 6131) or email (email@example.com) to TV Licensing to report you for TV licence evasion. TV Licensing will be happy to believe their story, as their mentality is such that anyone without a TV licence is an evader. The person making the report is advised to use a pay as you go mobile or disposable email address for this purpose. TV Licensing will schedule a visit to your property to see if there is any truth in the rumour that you're a licence dodger.
Wait for a goon to bite
Have your camera charged up and waiting by the door. Sooner or later a TV Licensing goon is going to knock on the door, so you need to be ready to start reeling.
Film your catch
A lot of anglers like to keep a permanent record of their best catches, so be sure to get some video of the freshly landed goon flapping around on your doorstep. The vivid colours of their pouting face and rippling underbelly will undoubtedly make a memorable keepsake. For legal reasons the use of keep nets and barbed hooks is strongly discouraged. It is perfectly legal to film anyone who visits your property, however undesirable they may be. If the goon is following TV Licensing rules they should slink back into the gutter at this stage, but your encounter doesn't need to end there.
There are a lot of fake goons out there, because even the most unskilled of Blue Peter presenters can make a convincing TV Licensing ID card in less than 30 seconds. I'm not quite sure why anyone would be sad enough to Walt-it-up as a TV Licensing goon, but there are some sick attention seekers in the world. That being the case, you may choose to follow the suspect goon in an effort to verify their identity. If they are a charlatan (ignoring the obvious fact they probably are anyway) then you'll be doing a public service by passing their description and vehicle registration number to the police. As the BBC is a shining beacon of morality and legal correctness, they would surely approve of such community-mindedness: they are, after all, assisting with a number of investigations into the "dubious" conduct of their own staff and associates. If you do decide to follow the goon you should remain completely passive, keep the camera rolling and maintain a safe distance. You must avoid, at all costs, any accusation that you were harassing or intimidating the goon. They're happy to dish it out, but when the boot's on the other foot they squeal louder than a teenager pinned in the corner of Jimmy Savile's dressing room.
Remember that it was TV Licensing who chose to visit you. You did not invite them and, as you still don't use TV receiving equipment, they have no legal business whatsoever at your property. In the eyes of the law they have no more rights than unsolicited God-botherers or people selling lucky heather. You are under no legal obligation at all to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing at all.
Share your catch
Upload your video to YouTube, as you're legally entitled to do. Add some humorous captions if you wish.
You might be wondering why anyone would want to entice TV Licensing scum to their property. The answer is simple: TV Licensing harass people who have no legal need for a TV licence.
If you've found this article useful please share it with your friends and help spread the word. An information sheet summarising the key points can be downloaded from our Resources page.
Good luck and happy fishing!