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Legal Remedies

... stopping TV Licensing in their tracks

Using the Law

We've already said that the TV Licensing approach provides many legal rights, although TVL likes to keep them hidden, if it can.

Ultimately, though, it has no choice under the Law but to respect them and they can be used to disrupt or even prevent TVL's intentions towards you and your home.

In Scotland, the issues are similar, but different, and we will have a Scotland-specific page in due course. For the time being, this page relates to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

No Contact

The various flavours of "No Contact" have been tried and tested solutions for years. In effect, you are using your legal rights to have no contact with TVL, and there is nothing they can do about it.

It's also simple to understand and easy for small households to do. Where it starts to become less suitable is with larger, more complex households, when the adult who least understands the principle becomes the weakest part of the strategy, and as the same time puts themselves in a vulnerable position with regards to TVL abusing their rights, and rogue TVL operatives potentially setting them up.

For that reason, No Contact may not work effectively in all cases, and Legally Licence Free households may need to look for something more pro-active, such as the strategies discussed below.

Cease & Desist

Cease & Desist is a device in law by which one party warns another that their behaviour is unacceptable, with the implication that if nothing is done then legal action will result.

For the legally minded, it sits somewhere between a Formal Complaint and a Letter Before Action.

In this context, it lends itself to seeking the cessation of the threatening letters, but less so to the TVL home visits.

PACE Code C Section 3.22

This section of PACE states a couple of useful things that apply when a non-Police organisations seeks to interview you under Caution in your own home.

What PACE says

If the other location mentioned in paragraph 3.21 is any place or premises for which the interviewer requires the person's informed consent to remain, for example, the person's home, then the references that the person is 'not obliged to remain' and that they 'may leave at will' mean that the person may also withdraw their consent and require the interviewer to leave.

This clear statement regarding "informed consent" is very useful, and TVL is in breach of it (their approach is to avoid providing this kind of information to suspects or indeed the General Public).

TV Licensing is also in breach with the other requirements of this section, since they never state that a Suspect is free to cease the interview and to require the TVL operative to leave the premises. There are also reports that Suspects have actually asked TVL to leave, and they have refused, which is a further breach.

In this case, asserting these rights in advance is useful both to ensure that they are applied and to prevent them being breached. The useful side effect is that TVL is unable to conduct an Interview under Caution, which makes the chances of prosecution quite small.

There are more general PACE rights like Right to Silence and Right to Counsel that can also be useful.

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