I can’t fathom why people still believe the BBC’s every word. It is a fact that they changed the way they counted their average reach in 2009 to artificially feed the myth that the BBC’s popularity is forever growing and that their “reach” is near absolute. It’s also well documented that the BBC ignored the public’s views during the recent consultation and instead used a paid-for-study to represent the views of the population. The bottom line is: the BBC is a self-serving institution that does not mind spinning facts until everyone is giddy.
The facts remain: 195,269 people were brought to court in the UK in 2015. Of them 25,162 were found not guilty. That’s a national average of 12.8% of all cases (1 in 8). In the eyes of the law, all those 25,162 people are equally “not guilty” because the Ministry of Justice doesn’t take into account if said cases were withdrawn, rejected because of insufficient proof or plainly, because someone was innocent. Cases are initiated by the BBC on a speculative basis, in the hope that people will either plead guilty or won’t challenge the prosecution.
Conviction rates are so far from the 99% bragged by TV licensing reps, one can only wonder if they suffer from rarefied air, up there in their ivory tower. They also said that, unless there are aggravating circumstances, TV Licensing will apply to withdraw the case if a defendant is a first time offender and buys a licence before the case is heard. However, the official paper work used by TV licensing (and therefore approved by the BBC because the two are two sides of the same coin) states that “Even if you purchase the appropriate licence, you may still be prosecuted for the offence”. The system is driven by the quotas for TV licensing enforcement employees so there is no “get out of jail free card”
as both Samantha (Tyne and Wear, England) and Sarah (Wrexham, Wales) discovered. They both contacted me and showed me their paper work. Samantha had simply forgotten to buy a licence and Sarah had not renewed hers on time. They were prosecuted even though they agreed to buy a licence on the spot, having not understood that the paperwork they signed was in effect a confession. Sarah told me she even made a cup of tea for that TV licence officer. Now, tell me what sort of aggravating circumstances is that? TV licensing only dropped her case after her local newspaper investigated the story. As for Samantha, her case was dropped after a lengthy battle of emails between her caring brother and TV licensing.
The moral of this story is: don’t open your door unless someone has a warrant.