Apparently my flat has been targetted by the TV Licensing people for visits by ‘Enforcement Officers’. I know this from the three separate missives I found on the doormat when I picked up the mail yesterday.
The first was a small blue-ish envelope with “Important Information Enclosed” in big bold letters on the front. Inside it informed me that the address still had no TV licence and that it had been passed to the ‘Enforcement Division’ for investigation. Apparently it’s a criminal offence to watch or record TV without a TV Licence, so the (bold) heading at the top of the page says. The letter makes it clear if they visit my address and find evidence that I might be watching or recording TV programmes withough a licence I might be prosecuted and that they catch around 1,000 ‘evaders’ every day. Apparently I can end the investigation by buying a TV license, but if I don’t the leaflet has handy guidelines on what to expect if I’m summoned to a court hearing.
Helpful souls that they are, they wanted to be sure I got the message, and so the second letter comes with a big ‘Action Required’ statement on the envelope. The headline for this one is “Official Warning” and goes on to explain that they have now authorised Enforcement Officers to visit, and that if they find evidence that you are watching TV illegally they will take a statement under caution and that a visit is the first step in their action to seek prosecution. I consider myself to have been duely warned.
The final letter was hand delivered, with a jaunty ‘We said we’d call’ on the front, and inside it clearly hinted at how lucky I was not to have been caught out by their visit, and that I really should buy a licence to stop any risk of prosecution. I should in fact ‘get a licence before I get another knock at the door’.
You know what? I don’t think I’ll bother. I take great exception to the tone of the letters which are quite threatening, and clearly assume guilt rather than innocence. Seeing as they made it so difficult for me to obtain the refund I was entitled to when I moved out and stopped using a TV, I have no problem with them continually wasting money sending people round to catch me using a TV I don’t have in a property that no one is living in.