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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, 29 July 2009

TVL Search Warrants: Unscientific But Interesting

A survey of police officers shows that instances of TV Licensing executing search warrants are almost unheard of.

Over the past month I have been tracking down long serving and recently retired police officers to ask about their experiences of working with TV Licensing.

Regular readers will know that TV Licensing often threaten householders with the use of search warrants, but how often do these threats come to fruition? Hardly ever it would seem.

The officers in question have all served with Forces in the North East of England, including the large population centres of Newcastle Upon Tyne and Sunderland. I have spoken to 4 serving police officers, with a cumulative service of 28 years and 5 retired police officers, with a cumulative service of 53 years.

I put two simple questions to them:
  • During your time as a police officer have you ever been asked to accompany TV Licensing during the execution of a search warrant?
  • Do you know any other police officer who has been asked to accompany TV Licensing during the execution of a search warrant?
In response to the first question, none of the serving or retired officers said they had accompanied TV Licensing during the execution of a search warrant.

In response to the second question, only one of the retired officers said he was aware of another officer who had accompanied TV Licensing during the execution of a search warrant.

So there you have it - TV Licensing search warrants are as rare as hens teeth.

I should point out that legally speaking TV Licensing can execute a search warrant without the police being present, although they always opt for a police presence to prevent a breach of the peace.

Edit (15/11/14): You can now read a lot more about TV Licensing search warrants in a more recent post on the topic: TV Licensing Search Warrants: Prevention Better than Cure.

Edit (6/7/16): We have now written a more recent post, where we give the official number of TV Licensing search warrant applications in 2014-15. You can read it here.


Anonymous said...

A Freedom of Information request has shown there is no instance of any TV license search war being executed in Scotland. Presumably Scottish Law would make it much more difficult to obtain such a warrant.

Anonymous said...

If they don't know how is living there can they still get a warrant?

Admin said...

In order to get a warrant they need to satisfy the Magistrates' that it is necessary and proportionate. If they don't know the occupier's name, then it suggests they haven't conducted their enquiries very thoroughly, which weakens their case for a warrant. That said, we've heard of warrants granted on the flimsiest of evidence, so never say never.