British Broadcasting Corporation Room BC2 A4 Broadcast Centre White City Wood Lane London W12 7TP
Telephone 020 8008 2882 Email email@example.com
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
22 August 2017
Dear Mr Tankard Request for Information – RFI20171144
Thank you for your request of 29th July 2017 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’) seeking
the following information:
“I have heard from various sources that your TV detector vans cannot actually detect if someone is
watching tel y.
Please could you advise if this is the case and disclose any relevant information as to whether these
vans are effectively an empty threat or not?
I appreciate that these days through various unlawful methods you could make a reasonable guess
as to whether someone was watching iPlayer, but I remain very sceptical in regards of your ability
to pinpoint a more traditional TV signal to a specific house.”
Please note that “TV Licensing” is a trade mark used by companies contracted by the BBC to administer
the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television licensing system. The majority of
the administration of TV Licensing is contracted to Capita Business Services Ltd (‘Capita’). Over-the-counter
services are provided by PayPoint plc (‘PayPoint’) in the UK, and by the Post Office in the Isle of Man and
Channel Islands. Marketing and printing services are contracted to Proximity London Ltd. Media services
are contracted to Media Planning Limited trading as Havas Media UK. The BBC is a public authority in
respect of its television licensing functions and retains overall responsibility.
Firstly, please be advised that the Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information
held by public authorities. We are not required to create new information to respond to a request, or give a
judgement or opinion that is not already recorded.
Whilst this is a query rather than a request for recorded information, I can tell you outside the scope of the
Act that TV Licensing detector vans do exist and are an effective means of enforcement. We do publish
information about how we enforce the licence and this is available on the TV Licensing website at the web-
link below. However, please note that specific details about our detection activity and capabilities are
exempt from disclosure under section 31 of the Act which relates to law enforcement. http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/foi-administering-the-licence-fee-AB20
If you are not satisfied that the BBC has complied with the Act in responding to your request you have the
right to an internal review by a BBC senior manager or legal adviser. Please contact us at the address
above, explaining what you would like us to review under the Act and including your reference number. If
you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. The
contact details are: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF.
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate) or visit their website at https://ico.org.uk/
Rupinder Panesar Freedom of Information Advisor, TV Licensing Management Team