back to article Nearly three-quarters of convicted TV Licence non-payers are women

Nearly three-quarters of TV Licensing criminal convictions in the UK last year were secured against women, according to data gathered by an anti-Telly Tax campaigner. Of the 184,595 people across the UK charged with non-payment of the TV Licence by Capita TV Licensing, 21,300 were found not guilty – and 90 people were jailed …

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Abolish the TV tax. Problem solved.

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No because the BBC still do things well and are making in-roads to slimming down, no commercials is also not to be sniffed at. Once the licence fee is gone and the BBC carry adverts it is more than likely gone for good and the BBC will be no better than any broadcaster which could then cause its complete demise. Not a light or easy decision to make.

There is an argument for the BBC to encrypt and only licence fee payers can access the TV content. This would take years for the filter through of the new capable hardware to reach people unless they went all out and forced people to change their hardware. Can you imagine that?!.

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Anonymous Coward

>This would take years for the filter through of the new capable hardware to reach people unless they went all out and forced people to change their hardware.

No it won't the technology is already there in freeview receivers, virgin media boxes and satellite boxes. What scares the BBC is that very few would actively subscribe.

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"No it won't the technology is already there in freeview receivers, virgin media boxes and satellite boxes. What scares the BBC is that very few would actively subscribe."

I don't recall seeing a conditional access module in every receiver or TV I've come across and there isn't one in my Freesat box either. If the technology was there in the boxes to go cardless then why do Sky bother sending them out?

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Megaphone

An old and redundant argument .. a bit like the BBC.

1) Name something that the BBC still does well. Their commentary on Wimbledon this year was truly atrocious - I thought that some of the commenters were perhaps on hard drugs.

2) No, they are not 'making in-roads to slimming down', that is unless 'slimming down' means increasing their management spending while not addressing waste and unused resources.

3) In this age of record and watch later, adverts are something that can be bypassed or easily skipped.

There are some things that the BBC does do really well, such as Radio 4, wildlife documentaries, period drama or occasionally sports coverage. Sadly those do not represent enough of the huge "trebles all round" that the monolith spends.

Sorry, but the BBC is now an anachronism.

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Can you imagine a programme like Watchdog on a paid-for-by-adverts tv channel?

It would be muzzled so heavily it couldn't breathe properly, producers would be told that certain topics cannot be covered, because companies that pay their bills through advertisments would not want their products being the focus of the programme.

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"1) Name something that the BBC still does well."

I don't need to as you answered your own question at the end of the comment. Plus what people think is done well is subjective.

"2) No, they are not 'making in-roads to slimming down', that is unless 'slimming down' means increasing their management spending while not addressing waste and unused resources."

Citation needed. Although I don't have one to hand for my assertion that they are slimming down I can say at least visibly they've moved in to modern easier to maintain buildings in Manchester that would have otherwise stayed in an expensive London property to produce a large part of their output.

"3) In this age of record and watch later, adverts are something that can be bypassed or easily skipped."

Yes but that's not going to last as the ads pay for the content whether we like that or not. On demand players already stop you skipping ads so what is to stop them implementing that technology on a PVR to used to record a broadcast?

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Anonymous Coward

>I don't recall seeing a conditional access module in every receiver or TV

https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/vutv-adds-13-extra-channels-to-your-freeview-box-for-6-99/

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Can you imagine a programme like Watchdog on a paid-for-by-adverts tv channel?

Wasn't The Cook Report on ITV a bit like that?

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But the BBC do that anyway. Ask them to cover the 100k+ wages they pay a majority of there staff and how they covered up Saville and many other stuff BBC is just as corrupt yeah we the tax payer have to ay their wages...

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Citation? The BBC's own 2016 accounts: staff salaries increased to £990 million (up from £977 million) with headcount only cut by 54 leaving 18,920 on the payroll - that many people just for two and a half telly channels and some radio, why?

They did save £154 million but mostly from cutting content rather than bureaucracy. Entirely the wrong thing to do.

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I don't recall seeing a conditional access module in every receiver or TV I've come across and there isn't one in my Freesat box either.

The CI+ slot in the back of your TV. Unless it's a small TV it'll have it.

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The TV licence also funds local TV, welsh TV, radio, broadband rollout, online services...

I know, "I don't watch local TV, welsh TV, listen to radio, use broadband or online services."

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how they covered up Saville

" how they covered up Saville " you can't blame them for that, he was the darling of the public for years though I always thought he was creepy and couldn't understand his popularity.

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"There is an argument for the BBC to encrypt and only licence fee payers can access the TV content. This would take years for the filter through of the new capable hardware to reach people unless they went all out and forced people to change their hardware. Can you imagine that?!."

The fact is that the BBC had the PERFECT opportunity, when we went from analogue 625 line transmission to digital TV (ie Freeview), to ensure that EVERY Freeview box had a CAM slot, so that everyone who wanted to watch the digital BBC transmissions, could do so. A simple CAM card could have been issued to the viewer when they got their new TV licence.

But they FAILED to do so.

Even now, they could encrypt their signals on the Sky and Virgin platforms and said broadcasters could increase the subscription to those viewers and monies would come in (if they fully went over to the encrypted route). And many Freeview and Freesat viewers could get a CAM card if their receiver accepted it, or buy a cheap new set top box.

But the fact is, that like so many other technologies, (DAB for one), the BBC has failed to see beyond it's limited, blinkered views and still relies on 1960's methods of extracting money from people who might not even want to watch the BBC.

Time will come when the BBC will have to cut its expenditure, if more people decide the TVL is not worth the money anymore, esp with other channels online and from satellite.

PS: It also seems that if you want to watch ANY programs on the BBC iPlayer archive, that were made (say) 5, 10 even 20 years ago, you have to agree to the statement that you currently have a TV Licence. Given that these programs were all paid for "way back when" they should now be in the public domain and they should not require your agreement to something that isn't relevant to the archived programmes.

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Unfortunately the Beeb now carries many adverts. For itself and its own products, maybe, but still annoying adverts. On TV every gap between progrmmes is filled with adverts for other programmes and pointless, expensive looking "idents" that seem to serve no purpose except self promotion. On radio, programmes are routinely interrupted right in the middle, as that honeyed voice says, for the 11th time, something about a furure programm you don't wish to listen too.

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Can you imagine a programme like Watchdog on a paid-for-by-adverts tv channel?

Why would I want to imagine a programme like Watchdog on any channel? Lightweight tripe focused on minor consumer woes. The BBC cancelled all real investigative journalism after they shat their own pants over the Gilligan episode, and haven't done anything decent since.

If they won't do proper news, they should hand the job over to somebody who will.

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To clarify, I don't agree with how the licence fee is administered, its cost, or the structure of the BBC itself and all the bad things it does including how biased its news coverage is. I think all the down votes assume that I'm a raving BBC supporter and I'm not. I just think we could work with and improve what we have rather than abolish it.

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Anonymous Coward

>Citation? The BBC's own 2016 accounts: staff salaries increased to £990 million (up from £977 million) with headcount only cut by 54 leaving 18,920 on the payroll - that many people just for two and a half telly channels and some radio, why?

BBC1, BBC2, BBC News, BBC Parliament, BBC Alba, CBeebies, CBBC, BBC3 and BBC4. Even if you discount BBC3 (online only) and BBC4 as a half that still gives you plenty more than two and a half TV channels.

Another 10 National Radio stations - 1, 1xtra, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5xtra, 6, Asian and World Service.

Plus all the local coverage. It soon adds up.

Not that the BBC is perfect by any means, but it does have plenty of good stuff - irrespective of taste.

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Anonymous Coward

> their hugely biased lefty liberal metropolitan reporting.

Which version of the BBC do you get? - the one I get is very Tory biased. Had to stop watching Breakfast over the election period it was so bad.

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Subscription service

The BBC had a golden opportunity to change to a subscription service at the time it went digital. It could easily have specified that digital TV's and STBs had to be capable of accepting decryption cards.

It did not do so - probably because it knows full well that it would get far less by charging only those people who watch its content than it gets by charging people top watch other products.

A bit like having to pay Tesco an annual fee when you shop at Asda.

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Pint

I have a potential solution:

a) only pay tax if you actually watch BBC shows [ok a method for collecting might be difficult]

b) if digital cable systems can track what you watch, use THAT to levy taxes for BBC shows. Then make sure there are plenty of competing channels [and make it so you can block the 'tax' ones to avoid accidental watching]

then when tax bills show up, people will make the choice of watching tax-funded shows [and being taxed], or going to the fridge for another beer while the ad is playing.

(icon for my choice)

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Devil

Re: Subscription service

More 'BBC America' channels on U.S. cable systems might generate a lot of revenue for BBC. Just a thought. [they could also be premium channels, a sort of 'subscription service' in its own right]

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Idents

@Jim 59

expensive looking "idents"

In the old days, BBC1 managed with a revolving globe and BBC2 had a simple animation. No need for expensive "idents" outsourced to "independents".

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Watchdog? Meh. How about real news? Granada told the bloke who created 'World in Action' to cause as much trouble for those at the top as he could. Jonathan Aitken went to jail thanks to World in Action. 'This Week' from Thames shook them as well with 'Death on the Rock'. I'm nostalgic for the good old days of ITV (back in the days it was a federation of franchised local broadcasters), but, the thought that only the BBC can do serious shit is wrong. Would the BBC have shown 'Death on the Rock'? Special mention to Weekend World, and World in Action though, for having the best title sequences with the best music. They dont make em like that anymore.

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"No it won't the technology is already there in freeview receivers, virgin media boxes and satellite boxes. What scares the BBC is that very few would actively subscribe."

Good job that the BBC content is only delivered via TV isnt it... Imagine if they had a stack of FM radio stations* and everyone had an FM radio in their car THAT WOULD BE A NIGHTMARE - good job thats not reality isnt it?...

* For some reason everyone forgets about the radio when discussing the TV Licence....

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1) Name something that the BBC still does well. Their commentary on Wimbledon this year was truly atrocious - I thought that some of the commenters were perhaps on hard drugs.

>> News, Drama, Local Radio, Nature Programs, Comedy - there is literally something for everyone.

2) No, they are not 'making in-roads to slimming down', that is unless 'slimming down' means increasing their management spending while not addressing waste and unused resources.

>> I cant really comment on that, not enough info.

3) In this age of record and watch later, adverts are something that can be bypassed or easily skipped.

>> The age of watch and record later is on its way out, streaming is the future and you cant skip those ads.

Of the content providers available the BBC has the most that I want to watch, iPlayer is better than any other streaming service available... And dont get me started on the quality of BBC radi compared to other stations - I tried a local station the other day ore adverts than music.

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"that many people just for two and a half telly channels and some radio, why?"

Off the top of my head :

BBC1 , BBC2, BBC4, CBBC, CBEEBIES*, NEWS24, BBC Parliment, then theres the relegated to the internet BBC3.

And as for "Some radio"... Bit of an understatement? there are at least 5 national BBC radio stations and then regional ones dotted around the country... "Some" doesn't quite cut it.

* Worth noting that the BBC runs the only kids programs that still seem to have some focus on being slightly educational.

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"Which version of the BBC do you get? - the one I get is very Tory biased. Had to stop watching Breakfast over the election period it was so bad."

Its a fairly good indication of them being unbiased that both sides seem to think they favour the other. :)

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"very Tory biased."

Really? The stereotype of the BBC is "Lefty-liberals" and the Tories are always complaining about the BBC being Labour biased. The logical conclusion is that they are doing something right.

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Re: how they covered up Saville

So you honestly think it was ok to cover what he done up? What bout all the peoples lifes he ruined and how that could of been cut by more than half if they never let him get away with it. They just stood back and watched they ar as bad as him...

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I find it interesting that people on the right wing of politics are always screaming about the BBC being left wing and people on the left wing of politics are always ranting that the BBC is rigjht wing. Which is a fact. Try reading HYS for a few weeks and comments on YT etc.

Stop and think about this.

Also what most proponents of getting rid of the BBC because there are free tv channels seem to forget that they are paying via the ads, whether they use the products being advertised or not. Exceedingly unfair.

They also seem to want people like Murdoch to control the UK media. Total lunacy.

Go to the USA and see what happens there, mostly crap, at least the BBC sets a high standard which other channels have to try and emulate.

End of rant.

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That's not the point. I should be able to choose whether I want to pay for the BBC and use it, or don't and not.

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Re: VuTV

"VuTV will be closing on Thursday 22 October 2015.

[https://twitter.com/VuTV ]

From the information on the web, the VuTV IPTV gismo only worked with a limited number of Freeview HD devices. But you are correct the notable features of this gizmo was the attempt to plug it into the Freeview box rather than the TV and use the Freeview box's remote to navigate the IPTV channels within Freeview channel 238.

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"Go to the USA and see what happens there, mostly crap, at least the BBC sets a high standard which other channels have to try and emulate."

Ive been, the range of choice was astounding... you could have total crap with adverts every 5 minutes or utter shite with adverts every 10 minutes.

At least theres some decent stuff ad free on Netflix over there...

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Facepalm

See me...

TV Licence evasion cases are heard before magistrates’ courts, sitting with a panel of between one and three judges.

Oh purleeese... Magistrates' Courts have Magistrates sitting in them, not Judges. OK it might be a "District Judge" or a Stipendiary Magistrate, but not a "Judge" who would inhabit a Crown Court.

Sorry; that's a very basic error.

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Re: See me...

"Sorry; that's a very basic error."

It's a dreddful error.

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Re: See me...

Not to mention that magistrate courts don't exist in Scotland...

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Stop

Re: See me...

"Cleveland topped the charts for the number of suspected evaders....."

Another very basic error. That county was abolished over 20 years ago and the area divided into 4 unitary borough councils. So really Warwickshire was top and London second.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: See me...

A little off-topic, but magistrates are incredibly archaic and shouldn't exist in the age of modern justice.

Who wants to be deemed guilty by a snob without a law degree on a power trip?

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Re: See me...

Does 'Suspected Evader" = household without a TV licence? There are a large number of people who do not have televisions and who are repeatedly harassed by these dodgy shyster salespeople.

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Re: See me...

And that magistates do not have any great legal skills / knowledge (usually). Most of them (not all, before someone whinges) just seem to be fascist tin pot dictator types - T. May reminds me of a typical magistrate.

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WTF?

Re: See me...

WTF, people as still being conned to incriminate themselves, but then emotional thinking can hurt a women's judgement/resolve! No one should be ending up at these fake courts.

Any informed, alert and assertive person can stop these fishing expeditions dead outside the house, by simply refusing to recognise their supposed authority and turning them away like any unwanted door-step salesman or charity shyster.

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MJI
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How can they make a profit from it?

Repeated visits and letters, loads of them, to homes not yet occupied. New builds or rentals not yet rented are being pelted with them, no occupants, no TVs.

Just two I know of.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How can they make a profit from it?

The website where you can register as not having a TV asks for too much information.

I'm expecting the first visit to a renovation site any week now. It doesn't even have electricity yet.

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Re: How can they make a profit from it?

The website where you can register as not having a TV asks for too much information.

Why do you need to register that you don't need one ?

If you really do not need one, then just don't buy one. If they come round, just say that you don't need one. You don't need to tell M&S that you do not need any new shirts.

If you are feeling nice you could write them a letter, but I cannot see why you are under any obligation to do so.

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Re: How can they make a profit from it?

The fact you have to state you don't have a TV at all is something of an imposition, let alone fill out a load of shite so that you can repeat the process every two years.

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The TV licence is very odd in the 21st century. If I were a sky subscriber and I stopped paying, they'd cut off my service. If you are a BBC subscriber and you stop paying, you eventually go to prison. I'm just not getting the difference......

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Anonymous Coward

One is a license, which most of the money goes to the BBC, which you need if you wish to watch TV. The other is a subscription to channels of your choosing.

The first is required by law to be paid if you wish to view any TV channels.

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