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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.

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Saturday, 7 September 2013

TV Licensing Court Costs: Shrouded in Secrecy


In an alarming admission the BBC has confirmed that it has no say over how Capita spends the overgenerous court costs it recovers during the successful prosecution of TV licence evasion cases.

A brief calculation reveals that Capita, the TV Licensing contractor responsible for enforcement of the licence fee, could be making in excess of £14 million a year in prosecution costs awarded by the court. The actual figure is likely to be significantly larger than that, as we haven't factored in the number of successful prosecutions in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

We reasoned that the BBC, the statutory Television Licensing Authority, would have an interest in how these costs were spent once recovered. During our recent visit to North Tyneside Magistrates' Court the court awarded Capita more than £4000 in costs in less than an hour. Each person convicted was ordered to pay Capita an average of £90, which we consider significantly greater than the true costs incurred investigating and prosecuting their alleged offences.

In response to our recent Freedom of Information Act request Rupinder Panesar, yet another BBC lawyer, said: "I should explain that enforcement activity, including the investigation and prosecution of cases, is carried out by our contractor Capita on the BBC's behalf.

"As the prosecutor, Capita may apply to the court for reasonable costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting cases and it is up to the court to decide whether to award these; but the purpose of the costs is to reimburse the prosecutor and not enrich them.

"I should also clarify that the BBC does not receive these court costs."

That last sentence is the most galling of all as it confirms that Capita, a private company responsible for delivering results to shareholders, has free-rein over the amount of costs it claims and how it spends them.

We doubt they are ethical enough not to pursue a court room profit at the expense of TV Licensing's victims.

Edit (6/7/16): Please see our more recent post about prosecution costs awarded to Capita.

1 comment:

Watchkeeper said...

"... the purpose of the costs is to reimburse the prosecutor and not enrich them."

But Capita's Colin Jones says more prosecutions = more INCOME. Costs are an INCOME STREAM. See
http://watchkeeperslog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/we-have-technology.html

The BBC knows this and turns a blind eye. Odious organisations, both.