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The British Broadcsting Corporation

Letter to the Editor of The Independent

9 October 2001

"Twenty per cent of people who tell TV Licensing that they do not have a TV do in fact have one, leading to a potential loss of £9m revenue a year. People who genuinely do not have a TV have no cause for concern and visits from a TV Licensing Enquiry Officer are routine and only take a matter of minutes. This has the advantage that, once the Enquiry Officer has ascertained that there is no set, we will only contact the resident occasionally.

Our Enquiry Officers do not have right of entry: we rely on the goodwill of the person involved to allow the officer to visit the property, although in rare cases, where there is strong evidence of evasion, we can apply for a search warrant. All Enquiry Officers operate under a strict Code of Conduct; they also carry identification with a phone number, in order that their identity can be verified.

We strongly feel that it is not fair on the honest majority who with pay their licences or do not have a television, that a dishonest minority should deliberately try to escape payment."

Director of Operations
TV Licensing
London EC1

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