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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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Thursday, 8 March 2012

BBC Hides TV Licensing Withdrawn Cases

Incensed is too weak a word to describe our feelings about the BBC's mishandling of our most recent Freedom of Information Act request, which sought to establish how many Magistrates Court cases they had abandoned before the first hearing.

Under the terms of the 2000 Act we asked the BBC to disclose the following: "The percentage of people summoned to court for offences under s.363 of the Communications Act 2003 who have the case against them withdrawn by TV Licensing before it is heard. Please provide this data annually from 2008 to date."

Predictably, and rather tellingly, they refused to respond, saying: "Disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime, the collection of the licence fee and the BBC’s ability to discharge its public functions in respect of such matters. This is because it would provide information of use to those seeking to evade and/or assist others in evading payment of the licence fee."

So why is the BBC so tetchy about revealing this information? Why won't they reveal the percentage of TV Licensing prosecutions they've backtracked on? What harm can revealing those percentage values really do?  How can they possibly assist people evading the fee? It's not as if the percentages could be used to calculate the actual number of cases involved.

The only logical answer is that the BBC don't want to reveal those percentage values because they are quite significant. They are significant because TV Licensing, realising just how tenuous some of their evidence is, would rather withdraw from court than have their dishonest operation scrutinised too closely. TV Licensing are so lacking in confidence about the quality of their evidence they'll cut their losses rather than risk public humiliation.

Court is like a "sausage factory" to TV Licensing. They'll book an afternoon of court time and throw literally dozens of cases at the Magistrates for what is tantamount to a rubber-stamping exercise. TV Licensing know this, so they sometimes throw in dubious cases in the hope they'll evade the Magistrates' bullshit detector as they dispense justice on autopilot. TV Licensing do not want the dubious cases being publicised. If there's the slightest chance their evidence or employees will be discredited then they'll walk away from it.

The BBC has yet again failed on its statutory obligations to provide information because they want to avoid embarrassment. It's what they do, over and over again.

They might think they're clever, but we're not finished yet.

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