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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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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Capita TV Licensing Court Presenter's Manual

Happy new year to our loyal readers and thank you for coming back to us in 2018.

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Apologies that the past month or so has been pretty slow in terms of new material on the TV Licensing Blog. December was a slow month in general for TV Licensing news, which was compounded by a festive lack of blogging motivation.

Shortly before Christmas we asked the BBC to provide the most recent edition of the Capita Court Presenter's Manual, which you can download from the Documents section of our Resources page. A redacted version of the manual had been disclosed previously, so we reasoned that the BBC would have no valid grounds to refuse our request.

The manual has undergone significant revision as a result of the recently introduced Single Justice Procedure, which you can read about in our earlier post.

Given that the overwhelming majority of TV licence evasion cases are channelled down the Single Justice route, we surmise that there is now much less work for the average Capita TV Licensing Court Presenter.

Hopefully that means there has been a lot of redundancies recently!

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Fred Bear said...

I note that the first redacted section on page 2 refers to basic human rights as guaranteed by the European Convention of Human Rights (incorporated in UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998. Although the BBC has decided not to share this dangerous information, a little googling brings us the relevant passage from the ECHR.


The redacted passage is a reference to article 6(2) of this act, that is, the right to a fair trial. Or as the section says:

"Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law."

I wonder why the BBC's lawyers are so touchy about this?

Bureaucrat said...

I'm very concerned by the redactions. For example, they have redacted points around section 76 of PACE, which governs the rules around confessions and when they are inadmissible. We know that TVL rely on confessions for nearly all of their prosecutions. It's therefore worrying that they would redact something that may assist defendants, as it gives the impression that they are simply trying to suppress an inherent legal weakness. TVL are a quasi-public prosecutor and should therefore place the interests of justice above their own commercial interests (which is obviously impossible given the conflict of interest the BBC and Capita have in the whole enforcement process).

Also, I've said it before but it bears repeating: it's very concerning that TVL choose to prosecute their cases using "court presenters" that are not legally qualified, not regulated by a professional body and have no overriding duty to the court like a lawyer has.

Fred Bear said...

The BBC uses the court system as a handy revenue raising organisation. It is the UK government that has given them the powers to do this. It is not surprising that given the financial incentive, and the powers to carry out a door-to-door prosecution service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, large numbers of vulnerable people end up trapped in this unfair system. It is notable that other jurisdictions, such as Scotland and Jersey have moved away from prosecutions to out-of-court settlement. The BBC can't carry out private prosecutions in these jurisdictions and some common sense can, therefore, prevail.

Of course the BBC could encrypt its programmes and get rid of the whole licensing system - but why do that when they can use the magistrates as enforcement agents?