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Friday, 25 July 2014

TV Licensing Detector Van Collision: BBC Denies Knowledge


Today we're again highlighting the serious lack of communication and transparency between TV Licensing contractor Capita and their BBC bosses.

As you might remember, back in March 2014 we described how a TV Licensing "detector van" was involved in a collision with another vehicle. Video footage clearly shows that the white VW Transporter van, registration number VX09 VEK, made contact with the other vehicle on at least three separate occasions. The driver of the other vehicle, who had earlier observed the occupants of the van conducting surveillance on his property, had pursued the van in an effort to establish the identities of the shady-looking characters inside.

Before going any further can we make it perfectly clear, for the benefit of the BBC and Capita stooges reading this, that we do not doubt for one moment that the van involved was a TV Licensing detector van. Furthermore, we do not doubt that the occupants of that van were Capita employees conducting surveillance authorised by the BBC.

TV Detector Van

Using the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we asked the BBC to provide us with any information it held about this TV Licensing detector van collision. The BBC has previously confirmed that it retains ownership of all TV detection equipment, so we reasoned that Capita might have told the BBC that the van had been damaged in mysterious circumstances. Given the quality of driving captured in the video, it would not have been unreasonable for Capita to at least warn the BBC of the risk of negative publicity.

In their response to our request, which can be read here, the BBC denies holding any information about this incident. This seems a bit unusual, because we know that the BBC spent hours reading our blog post all about it back in March. Supposing, for one small hypothetical moment, that the BBC really doesn't hold any information - that would suggest that Capita "forgot" to inform the BBC that the van was involved in a collision. We are reminded of the Hartlepool incident, where Capita similarly forgot to inform the BBC that one of their goons was being investigated by the police over allegations he'd tried to force his way into a residential property.

Given the inconsistencies in the BBC's response we have asked them to conduct an internal review. We wait with bated breath for the outcome!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You really hate them don't you? Do you write for anyone else? You write like a journo. Keep it up!

Ray Turner said...

That's the problem with FOI requests.

When organisations say they do not hold any information on such & such, how can you prove otherwise ?

Unless of course, there's a leak....

admin said...

Thanks for your comments.

Ray: Section 77 of the Act makes it a criminal offence for a public authority to alter, destroy or conceal information that should be disclosed, however, the BBC does tend to think it is above the law.

Anon: Thanks for your kind words. I do not routinely write for anyone else, but I do share any interesting information with the newspapers.