Statements Taken Without Caution
An undercover investigation has confirmed that enforcers for the monarchist British Broadcasting Corporation can earn bonuses of £15,000 a year when they collect the TV licence fee from more than 28 unlicensed people a week.
A Daily Mail reporter posing as a candidate for an enforcement job was told by a manager that ‘We will drive you as hard as we can to get as much as we can out of you because we’re greedy.’
The enforcers are paid £20 – £25 for each person above the first 28 a week that they get to pay the licence fee.
According to the Mail “Officials are encouraged to snoop on neighbourhoods to try to work out when residents are in”.
The enforcers are required to get a “conviction statement” from citizens who they get to pay up. The information for these statements is supposed to be obtained after a police-type caution has been given that the information may be used in court. However, the manager who interviewed the Mail reporter advised him that evidence could be gathered by chatting informally before giving the caution.
Those who pay up when the enforcer calls are still prosecuted and have to pay a fine and court costs.
Following the report the Corporation said that it would investigate the allegations.
Andy Parker, the Chief Executive of Capita, which employs the investigators on behalf of the BBC said “We are investigating the allegations and we take any allegations of inappropriate behaviour seriously. There were some silly things said and bravado but I’m not going to pre-judge the investigation. Our relationship with the BBC is very strong.”
British citizens are not allowed to watch TV from any broadcaster if they cannot afford the BBC licence.