TV licence -The Jersey, Guernsey and The Isle of Man File

ENFORCEMENT

Enforcement in Jersey is initiated by the TV Licence officers, who pass information onto the Jersey Police who then conduct their own investigation.  In the Isle of Man, a solicitor carries out a vast majority of the TV licence prosecutions– the Constabulary has no part in the process. The BBC instigates the prosecution and the Communications Commission here receives a portion of the fine. TV Licensing Inspectors visit Guernsey once every three to four years. Offences are usually reported following these visits.

FINE

The maximum fine in Jersey is £500, whereas the maximum fine in the Isle of Man is £1,000 and £2,000 in Guernsey.

The average fine awarded in Jersey is £70 (smallest average fine in the whole of the UK). In Guernsey, the average fine is £185. In the Isle of Man, the median Fine was £150 until 2013. In 2015 it has been £200, though a quarter of the 2015 convictions so far have been for £300. In comparison, the average fine in England is £170.

PROSECUTION

Records, back to 2008, showed that 41 cases were investigated in Jersey: 33 cases were resolved at Parish Hall Enquiry, leaving 8 cases which were prosecuted in the Magistrate’s Court.  In Guernsey, there were 27 reported cases since 2008, but the outcome of the cases of 2010 is unclear. There were 451 cases brought to courts in the Isle of Man since 2001. If only 15 people were prosecuted last year, 145 cases were open in the last 8 months, highlighting a great variation, year on year.

CONVICTION / FAILURE RATE

Since 2 out of 8 people prosecuted in Jersey since 2008 were found not guilty, this means a 25% failure rate on a par with Northern Ireland. In the Isle of Man, 93 people out of 451 were found not guilty since 2004. This means a 20.6% failure rate. Ignoring the cases of 2010 in Guernsey, it can be said that 2 of the 19 prosecuted in 2013 were found not guilty. The failure rate is therefore 10.5%. To put these numbers in perspective, England has a 12.4% failure rate. Large numbers of ‘unsuccessful’ prosecutions lends weight to the view that cases are initiated on a speculative basis where it is hoped by the BBC that people will plead guilty or won’t contest the prosecution. This surely is a scandalous abuse of the courts’ process by the BBC.

Interestingly, some people have been prosecuted more than once in the Isle of Man: one person 4 times, six people 3 times each, 21 people twice each, showing perhaps that criminal fines have a lack of deterrent effect.

Recorded TV Licence offence incidents in Jersey
Year Proceeded against Found Guilty Unsuccessful
2008 5 3 2
2009 3 1 fined

1 arrest ordered

1 bound order

Recorded TV Licence offence incidents in Guernsey since 2008
Year Proceeded against Found Guilty Unsuccessful
2008 0 0 0
2009 0 0 0
2010 8 reported cases unknown unknown
2011 0 0 0
2012 0 0 0
2013 19 prosecution 17 fined 2
2014 0 0 0
2015 0 0 0
Recorded TV Licence offence incidents in the Isle of Man
Year Proceeded against Found Guilty Unsuccessful
2001 1 1
2004 39 23 16
2005 60 53 7
2006 35 32 3
2007 21 17 4
2008 19 16 3
2009 5 5
2010 32 27 5
2013 78 62 16
2014 15 9 6

RATIO MEN/WOMEN

It’s interesting to note that only 48% of the people having been investigated for TV licence offences in Jersey since 2008 are female (20 out of 41). This is a complete departure from the rest of the UK. Perhaps the BBC should investigate what they do right. In Guernsey, women account for 68% of all prosecutions. In the Isle of Man, women account for 62% of prosecutions and around two-thirds of the convictions.

PRISON

No one has been jailed in Jersey for fine default in relation to TV licence offences since at least 2008, which shows a great dose of common sense and progressive thinking. In the Isle of Man, when there is a failure to pay the fine they may be imprisoned for a period in lieu of the fine. However, their “non-payment of fines” is not sophisticated enough to ascertain whether a fine for non-payment of a TV licence ends up in a non-payment of fine and therefore a prison sentence.  As far as the Communications Manager for Law Enforcement in Guernsey could tell, no one has gone to prison for not paying their fine.

DETAILS

Jersey

Recorded TV Licence offence incidents in Jersey
Year Sex

 

Age

 

Investigated by the police? Prosecuted?

 

Result / Sanction

 

2008 Female 34 yes yes Fine £100
2008 Female 57 yes yes Fine £80
2008 Male 26 yes No further action taken
2008 Male 25 yes Written caution
2008 Male 22 yes yes Case dismissed (No evidence offered)
2008 Male 53 yes Written caution
2008 Female 50 yes Written caution
2008 Female 19 yes No further action taken
2008 Female 48 yes yes Fine £50
2008 Female 21 yes yes Case dismissed (No evidence offered)
2009 Female 27 yes yes Fine £50
2009 Male 38 yes Written caution
2009 Male 31 yes Written caution
2009 Male 30 yes No further action taken
2009 Female 41 yes Written caution
2009 Female 35 yes Written caution
2009 Female 22 yes yes Arrest ordered
2009 Male 38 yes yes Bound order
2009 Male 26 yes No further action taken
2009 Female 46 yes No further action taken
2009 Male 22 yes No further action taken
2009 Female 36 yes No further action taken
2009 Male 48 yes Written caution
2009 Female 44 yes Written caution
2009 Male 50 yes Written caution
2009 Female 30 yes Written caution
2009 Male 36 yes No further action taken
2013 Male 31 yes Written caution
2013 Female 19 yes Written caution
2013 Male 46 yes Written caution
2013 Female 26 yes Written caution
2013 Female 63 yes Written caution
2013 Male 40 yes Written caution
2013 Female 45 yes Written caution
2013 Male 59 yes Written caution
2013 Male 42 yes Written caution
2013 Male 52 yes Written caution
2013 Female 27 yes Written caution
2013 Female 21 yes Written caution
2013 Male 29 yes Written caution
2013 Male 28 yes Written caution

Guernsey

Recorded TV Licence offence incidents in Guernsey
Year Sex

 

Investigated by the police? Prosecuted?

 

Result / Sanction

 

2013 Female yes yes Fine £80
2013 Male yes yes Fine £250
2013 Female yes yes case dismissed (no evidence offered)
2013 Female yes yes Fine £150
2013 Female yes yes Fine £150
2013 Female yes yes Fine £250
2013 Male yes yes Fine £300
2013 Female yes yes Fine £250
2013 Female yes yes Fine £100
2013 Male yes yes Fine £150
2013 Male yes yes Fine £150
2013 Female yes yes Fine £150
2013 Female yes yes Fine £200
2013 Female yes yes Fine £250
2013 Female yes yes Fine £150
2013 Female yes yes Fine £200
2013 Male yes yes Fine £150
2013 Female yes yes Fine £200
2013 Male yes yes case dismissed (no evidence offered)

Isle of Man

Recorded TV Licence offence incidents in the Isle of Man
Year Male Female Total
Prosecuted Convicted* unsuccessful Prosecuted Convicted* unsuccessful
2001 1 1 1
2002
2003 1 1 1
2004 14 6 8 25 17 8 39
2005 17 13 4 43 40 3 60
2006 12 12 23 20 3 35
2007 8 8 13 9 4 21
2008 6 6 13 10 3 19
2009 2 2 3 3 5
2010 10 9 1 22 18 4 32
2011
2012
2013 34 25 9 44 37 7 78
2014 9 5 4 6 4 2 15
2015 30 16 14 52 33 19 82
Pending 28 35 63
Total 171 103 40 280 192 53 451

* Convictions includes fines and conditional discharges

Suspected TV licence Evaders from the Isle of Man 2001-2015
Age Range Male Female Total
<20 6 5 11
20-30 51 136 187
30-40 47 71 118
40-50 43 48 91
50-60 16 11 27
60+ 8 9 17
Grand Total 171 280 451

These findings are backed by the following Freedom of Information requests:

FOI 202-03-79460 States of Jersey

Data for Isle of Man has been provided by Information Security, Data Protection and Management of Police Information, Douglas Police Headquarters.

Data for Guernsey has been provided by Communications Manager for Law Enforcement, Guernsey Police Headquarters.

FOI 98525, FOI 97719, FOI 97268 and FOI 98986 Ministry of Justice for England and Wales.

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5 thoughts on “TV licence -The Jersey, Guernsey and The Isle of Man File

  1. its a disgrace the bbc initiating court proccedings against the public for not having a tv licence its

    archaic outdated and outrageous they continue to get away with this the licence fee of £145 a year is no.

    longer viable in todays era of commercial television also many of the less well off struggle to put food on the table thats why we now have hundreds of food banks in this country so my sentiments are get rid of the licence fee once and forall no one should recieve a criminal conviction for not having a licence let them fund themselves like all the other channels have to do, should have been got rid of years ago Australia banned it in 1975 please share this campaing and get it stopped

    Like

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