Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

TV Licensing: TVL178 Record of Interview and Self-Incrimination Form

TV Licensing like to harp on about their massive database of unlicensed addresses, imaginary detection equipment and rarer than hen's teeth search warrants, but nearly all of their prosecutions hinge on a single piece of evidence - the TVL178 Record of Interview form.

An example TVL178 can be viewed in this earlier post.

The law requires that a licence is obtained for those properties where equipment is used to receive television programme services. In simple terms that means you need a licence to watch TV programmes on any channel available to others in the UK at the same time.

Anyone that does not require a TV licence is under no legal obligation to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing and we strongly advise they remain silent and immediately close the door on any goon that visits.

Should the occupier make the mistake of engaging with a TV Licensing goon, they may find that he/she attempts to caution them and begin to complete a TVL178 form. The form must only be completed when the occupier is under caution otherwise any evidence recorded thereon is worthless.

At the end of the doorstep interview the occupier is asked to sign the completed TVL178 to confirm its accuracy. The occupier does not need to sign the form, but may choose to do so. Suffice to say the form should only be signed once it has been carefully read and understood. We have heard of cases where the occupier has signed the form on the basis of what the goon says it contains rather than what it actually does. As you can imagine, signing an inaccurate form has the potential to cause all sorts of problems for the occupier.

Alarm bells should instantly start ringing if the goon wants to add anything to the form once the occupier has signed it as an accurate record. The occupier will be given a copy of the completed form for their own records, which they should keep safe until it is needed later on.

The completed TVL178 will almost certainly be the pivotal evidence in any TV Licensing prosecution case. As such it should be completed with the highest standard of accuracy and detail, but experience shows that is not always the case. In our experience the average TV Licensing goon is a bit dim, so their TVL178s are often completed with illegible handwriting and contain contradictory evidence that could be easily discredited in court.

Anyone summoned to court should scrutinise the completed TVL178 very carefully. The official copy provided with the summons should be compared to that received at the time of the goon's visit. If there is any doubt about the accuracy or completeness of the information on the form the occupier should contact TV Licensing's prosecution team, highlight the evidential weaknesses, and indicate their willingness to plead not guilty. Quite often TV Licensing will withdraw the case in these circumstances, as they want to avoid the possibility of their evidence being discredited in court.

For further information please download our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare.


Ray Turner said...

Close the day and say nothing, except perhaps that the Goons Implied Right of Access is hereby withdrawn...?

admin said...

You must mean close the door?
It's been a long day!
Thanks for your regular comments and support Ray.

Ray Turner said...

I do indeed, and yes it has...!

Unknown said...

Don't sign it.

Anonymous said...

If I didn't sign the tv78 form where do stand with the courts

Admin said...

An unsigned form still has evidential value, although clearly not as much as a signed form. You could be prosecuted even if the form went unsigned. If escaping prosecution was as simple as not signing the form, then no-one in the entire world would ever be prosecuted for TV licence evasion.

Anonymous said...

Escaping prosecution is as simple as not answering the door to them in the first place (or closing the door as soon as you realise it is them). But sadly a lot of people fail to do this.

worried said...

Thanks found that really useful. I had a visit today and he got through the door entry system by claiming I had a delivery (wasn't expecting one, can't believe I fell for it!!). Soon as I realised he was from TVL I cut the convo short and closed the door. He left a copy of the TVL178 he filled out by himself after I'd closed the door (I didn't sign it) in my mail box. Promptly got on the phone and set up a new direct debit with payment up front for first month. Hoping not to hear anymore but I guess you never know :-(

Anonymous said...

having recently won an appeal in the higher court and having an in depth experience of TV Licencing trickery people need to be made fully aware that you only need a TV Licence for watching LIVE TV when it is being Broadcast. Many Capita enquiry officers misrepresent themselves as being Enforcement officers They are not, Ask them to leave and DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS regardless of if they tell you you could be prosecuted if you have been asked Questions the one question on the form which will incriminate you is When did you last use the set for watching live TV programmes here ? If you have not let them into your home and you have been duped into signing this form you may also find that the question asked by the enquiry officer was not read to you as it should have been. In my case the question was When did you last watch TV? I have had conviction and sentence quashed because the evidence was insufficient breached PACE 1984 Guidelines. if the officer has been into your home Pay your fine If you were convicted in your absence and any of the above occurred in your situation Appeal to the crown court to have it overturned.

Anonymous said...

Worried:- you only need a TV Licence for watching Live TV by going out and buying a licence could be incriminating yourself best to cancel DD write to TV Licencing saying that you have been advised that you do not require a TV licence because you do not watch Live TV and felt pressured to by one because you were unsure following the visit from an enquiry officer TV Licensing have No right of entry into your home and they are more than likely to register your property as not needing one