An ever expanding collection of TV licence related words and their meanings. If you'd like to contribute a word or meaning please email us.
BBC: The British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC, in its statutory role as the Licensing Authority, is responsible for all aspects of collecting and enforcing the TV licence fee and administering the TV licence system.
Capita: A private company that currently holds the BBC TV Licensing operations contract. Capita employees, acting under the guise of TV Licensing, are responsible for the majority of customer-facing TV licence administration and enforcement work.
Close Proximity Visiting (or CPV): TV Licensing jargon that means more than one goon knocking on doors in a particular locality.
Code 8: The code used by TV Licensing to signify that a prosecution statement (e.g. TVL178 Record of Interview form) has been completed under caution. TV Licensing Visiting Officers are required to obtain one Code 8 every hour of the working week as a basic condition of employment. We consider that target pretty hard to achieve by legitimate methods of enquiry. Goons receive a bonus for any Code 8s in excess of the weekly target.
Code 9A: The code used by TV Licensing to signify that an "evader" has been caught in Scotland by a goon acting alone. Sadly for them, prosecutions in Scotland can only take place when there is corroborating evidence (e.g. a second goon is present and tells the same story as the first).
Code 9S: The code used by TV Licensing to signify that a goon has sold a TV licence to the occupier of an unlicensed property during an enquiry visit.
Code 9N: The code used by TV Licensing to signify that a goon has made contact with the occupier of an unlicensed property, but has been unable to sell them a TV licence.
Court Presenter (or CP): A particularly repugnant sub-species of TV Licensing goon, which prosecutes alleged licence fee evaders in court. Also presents TV Licensing's evidence to court during the (exceptionally rare) search warrant application process. Court Presenters are employed by Capita and must have the ability to maintain a straight face when presenting evidence to the court.
Deceit Weaver: See PR Harlot.
Detection: TV Licensing's term for the dark art of spying into people's homes, purportedly using electronic devices, in the hope of obtaining evidence of unlicensed TV reception. Detection evidence has never been presented in open court. According to TV Licensing, detection is used only a means of obtaining search warrants.
Detector Van (or DV): A vehicle, often mentioned by TV Licensing although rarely seen by anyone else, which may or may not contain TV detection equipment, but whose evidence has never been presented in open court.
Enforcement Division: A mythical sub-unit of area, which TV Licensing often mentions to portray the idea of an all-seeing, all-knowing enforcement regime.
Enforcement Officer: A sub-species of TV Licensing goon whose primary purpose is to scare the occupiers of unlicensed properties into paying for a TV licence they probably don't need. These goons are more menacing that their Visiting Officer counterparts. They tend to get wheeled out when the occupier is known to be awkward, or during the (extremely rare) execution of a search warrant. Experience suggests that many Enforcement Officers weigh about 25 stones, are covered in tattoos and look like escaped prisoners. That's just the female ones.
Free Licences for the Over-75s System (or FLOSSy): TV Licensing database containing information about over-75 TV licence holders and their properties.
Goon: A term used by members of the legally-licence-free community to encompass all variants of TV Licensing employee.
Handheld (or HH): TV Licensing's term for the electronic gizmo a goon carries around during visits. As well as allowing the goon to plan their visits, the HH gives realtime information TV Licensing holds about a property.
Licence Administration Support System (or LASSy): TV Licensing's primary database containing addresses and licence details.
Legally Licence Free (or LLF): A person who does not legally require a TV licence for their property. Many LLF people continue to be harassed by TV Licensing, despite having confirmed their LLF status.
Legal Occupier: Term used in TV Licensing threatograms to describe the occupier of a (usually) unlicensed property.
Needlecraft Division: An alternative name for the TV Licensing Prosecution Team.
No Licence Needed (or NLN): The term used by TV Licensing to describe those properties where the occupier has voluntarily declared they do not legally require a TV licence.
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (or PACE): Legislation governing the collection and processing of criminal evidence. In theory TV Licensing should conduct all prosecution interviews in accordance with PACE. In practise it doesn't.
PR Harlot: A particularly loathsome sub-species of TV Licensing goon, which is tasked with synthesising and distributing articles to sympathetic media outlets. PR harlots need the ability to cast even the most negative of TV Licensing stories in a positive light, so a flair for creative writing is essential.
Speculative Prosecution: The fairly regular situation where the TV Licensing Needlecraft Division has a person summoned to court on the basis of often inadequate (occasionally non-existent) evidence, on the assumption that most of them won't respond or contest the charges.
Strike Rate: TV Licensing term for the percentage of enforcement visits that result in Code 8 prosecution statement being taken. Much to the BBC's annoyance, we can confirm that the strike rate isn't very high.
Threatogram: Generic term for TV Licensing correspondence, which is often daubed in accusatory red-print and riddled with legal half-truths and innuendo. Threatograms are best ignored by placing them straight in the bin unopened. The BBC authorises the final wording of every TV Licensing threatogram.
TVL178 (or 178): The Record of Interview form completed by TV Licensing goons when they suspect licence fee evasion is taking place at a property.
TVLMT: The BBC TV Licensing Management Team.
TV Licence: A licence that covers the reception (e.g. watching or recording) of TV programmes within a property.
TV Licence Fee: The annual cost of a TV licence. The fee currently stands at £145.50 for a colour TV licence and £49 for a monochrome (black & white) TV licence. There are a variety of payment options available, some costing more than others.
TV Licensing: A group of companies contracted by the BBC to undertake its TV licence fee administration, collection and enforcement work.
TV Licensing Authority: A name often incorrectly used to refer to TV Licensing. The BBC is the Licensing Authority, responsible for all aspects of collecting and enforcing the TV licence fee and administering the TV licence system.
Visiting Officer: TV Licensing term for your bog standard door-knocking goon. This sub-species of goon is also known as an Enquiry Officer or Sales Officer, depending on who you speak to. Not to be confused with what TV Licensing describes as an Enforcement Officer, which is slightly different. The TV Licensing Blog understand that there is just over 300 full time equivalent Visiting Officers across the whole UK (read more).
Withdrawal of Implied Rights of Access (or WOIRA): An occupier can issue TV Licensing with a WOIRA instruction, which basically removes TV Licensing's common law right to visit the property. There are some disadvantages to using WOIRA, which you can read more about here. TV Licensing no longer accepts WOIRA instructions pertaining to Scottish properties.