Evidence from TV Detection Equipment

Peter Jones made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

The request was successful.

From: Peter Jones

29 December 2010

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

I am making this request for information under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In previous FOI disclosures the BBC acknowledges the existence of
TV detector vans and portable detection equipment.

As this equipment is purchased with public funds, I believe the
public has a valid interest in its effectiveness as an aid to the
prosecution of TV licence evaders.

Under the terms of the 2000 Act, please tell me whether or not
evidence obtained by detector van/portable detection equipment has
ever been presented in court during the prosecution of an alleged
licence fee evader.

In this case a simple yes or no answer will suffice.

I am also well aware of the relationship between the BBC and TV
Licensing, so you do not need to remind me during your response.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Jones

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From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

30 December 2010

Dear

Dear Mr Jones

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was
received on 29th December 2010. We will deal with your request as promptly
as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any
queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your request is RFI20101715.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, BBC White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS

[1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [2][BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

26 January 2011


Attachment RFI20101715 final response.pdf
81K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Jones,

Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20101715.

<<RFI20101715 - final response.pdf>>

Kind regards

Louise Wright
Information Policy and Compliance

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [2][BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

[3]http://www.bbc.co.uk
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal
views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in
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Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

References

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2. mailto:[BBC request email]
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From: Peter Jones

26 January 2011

Dear FOI Enquiries,

Thank you for your response, which is exactly as anticipated.

My question was very carefully worded, so as you only needed to
confirm or deny (not quantify) whether or not detector van evidence
had ever been presented in court.

I refer you to a ruling by the Information Commissioner dated 16
Oct 2008, where the Commissioner ruled in favour of the BBC's
decision to withhold similar information under Sections
31(1)(a),(b),(d) and (g) and (2)(a) of the 2000 Act.

In that case the BBC made representations to the Commissioner that:
"It (the BBC) relies on the public perception that the vans could
be used at any time to catch evaders."

It therefore seems strange that you feel unable to give a positive
response, thus reinforcing the public perception that the vans are
effective tool in the prosecution of licence fee evaders.

Unless of course they aren't.

Your significant failure to respond is noted.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Jones

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From: Peter Jones

5 February 2011

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

I am hereby requesting an internal review of my request "Evidence
from TV Detection Equipment".

The basis of my review request is as follows:
- As the BBC has previously admitted (FOIA disclosure
RFI2007000307) that the cost of a "detector van" was £108,474.89 at
2007 prices, it's not inconceivable that at today's prices there is
millions of pounds worth of detector van hardware patrolling the
UK. I argue therefore, given recent public criticism the BBC has
attracted for squandering millions of pounds of licence-fee-payer's
money, that it is definitely in the public interest to know whether
or not these vans have any evidential value. Or are the public
paying for a white elephant, along with the excessive salaries of
BBC executives and presenters? I am pretty sure the Information
Commissioner would also see the public interest in this area of
public expenditure.
- Secondly, given my initial request in no way asked the BBC to
quantify the number of times detector van evidence had been
presented in court, the "prejudicing law enforcement" exemptions of
the Act are barely relevant. My initial request gave the option of
a "yes" or "no" answer which, in the case of "yes", reinforces your
public position on the effectiveness of the technology.
- Thirdly, given the BBC has publicly decreed it relies heavily on
the perception that detector vans are effective and widespread (a
claim the ICO effectively demolished with the wording of their
ruling of 16 Oct 2008), it seems unusual that you would decline the
friendly opportunity I am providing for you to publicly extol the
effectiveness of your detector van technology.

I think that pretty much covers it, although I'll reiterate the
crux of the matter: If detector vans are effective the BBC should
have no problem in saying so.

By refusing to disclose in the affirmative you are just reinforcing
suspicions that detector vans are evidentially worthless.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Jones

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From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

7 February 2011

Dear Mr Jones,

Thank-you for your email below requesting an internal review of our response to a request you raised.

Our records show that we have previously received a number of requests made in the name of Peter Jones about TVL Licensing. To ensure we are conducting an internal review of the correct request, please can you confirm the reference number of the request you are asking us to review. The reference would begin RFI2010 or RFI2011 followed by a 4 digit number.

Many thanks

Louise Wright
BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room 2252
White City
201 Wood Lane
London
W12 7TS

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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From: Peter Jones

7 February 2011

Dear FOI Enquiries,

My internal review request relates to RFI20101715.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Jones

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From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

9 February 2011

Dear Mr Jones,
We have received your request for an internal review relating to use of
information obtained from TVL detector vans. Your request for an internal
review was received on 7th Jan. We shall deal with the review as promptly
as possible and, at the latest, within 30 working days. If you have any
queries please contact us at the address below.

The reference number for your internal review is IR2011006.

Kind regards

L Wright (Ms)
Information Policy and Compliance

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [2][BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

[3]http://www.bbc.co.uk
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal
views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in
reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

References

Visible links
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2. mailto:[BBC request email]
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/

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From: Peter Jones

25 March 2011

Dear FOI Enquiries,

With regard to my internal review request, IR2011006, I note that
you have now taken longer than the 30-days stipulated to provide me
with your review findings.

Please provide me with your response promptly, so I can refer my
request to the ICO if necessary.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Jones

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From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

28 March 2011

Dear Mr Jones

I apologise that the response for your internal review is not yet ready;
we aim to have it to you by this Friday, 1st April. If the response is not
ready by then, we will write again then to update you.

Yours sincerely
The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, BBC White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS

[1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [2][BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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From: FOI Enquiries
British Broadcasting Corporation

1 April 2011


Attachment IR2011006 Internal review decision note.pdf
64K Download View as HTML

Attachment IR2011006 TVL response following IR final.pdf
74K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Jones,

Please find attached your internal review decision, ref RFI20101715 .

Please accept our apologies for the delay in issuing this review decision.

<<IR2011006 - Internal review decision note.pdf>> <<IR2011006 - TVL
response following IR - final.pdf>>

Kind regards

Louise Wright
Information Policy and Compliance

BBC Freedom of Information
Room 2252, White City
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TS, UK

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: [2][BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2883
Fax: 020 8008 2398

[3]http://www.bbc.co.uk
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal
views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in
reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/foi
2. mailto:[BBC request email]
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/

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Peter Jones left an annotation (25 June 2011)

Quote-marks Please see my blog for further background information on this request: http://tv-licensing.blogspot.com

Remember, despite many others reposting this information, we got the answer others couldn't!

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J. Jones left an annotation (22 September 2013)

Quote-marks Yes, well done Peter Country boy!
The scum had to have it dragged out of them.

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Mr Hillas left an annotation (24 September 2013)

Quote-marks quote:
"If, following service of the warrant an individual is found to be evading payment of the TV
Licence, then the evidence obtained via the search warrant is used in court, not the detection evidence."

Except that the service of the warrant does not actually provide evidence that householders habitually watch/record live tv programme services and the BBC well know this. The only evidence obtained by service of such a warrant is merely that Capita TV Licensing entered someone's private property against the wishes of the housohold and installed tv receiving equipment themselves and then make spurious claims under oath that the householders concerned watch/record live tv programme services.

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Bob Billy left an annotation (28 October 2013)

Quote-marks Lol! Well done!

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