Search warrants - conduct of search

S Holloway made this Freedom of Information request to British Broadcasting Corporation

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir,

My enquiry relates to search warrants obtained by the BBC or its representatives operating as TVL.

I am interested in the the manner in which searches under warrant are to be conducted, and in the breadth of those searches.

(1) Please supply a copy of any BBC Code of Conduct, Guidelines, Policy Statement, or similar relating to this matter.

(2) I also request individual Yes or No answers to the following situations.

Is it considered appropriate to:

(i) attempt a search of the person? Or to search (ii) unconverted lofts, (iii) under floorboards, (iv) inside jewellery boxes, (v) inside locked safes, (vi) inside filing cabinets, and (vii) folders of papers?

(3) Does the BBC consider that a search warrant includes power of seizure?

Yours &c,

S Holloway

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

Hello there. We keep a leading blog on the subject of TV Licensing, so already know the answers to some of your questions. Indeed we were recently crowned "TV Licensing's Most Prevalent Activist" by the BBC, which is quite a feather in our cap!

The warrants you refer to, granted under section 366 of the Communications Act 2003, allow agents of the BBC (e.g. Capita employees) to search premises for TV receiving equipment and test any such equipment they find.

The warrant does not allow them to search any individual. It does not give them carte blanche to search through (and read) private documents, as clearly there will be no TV receiving equipment in there.

Technically speaking a warrant would allow them to search inside a locked filing cabinet/under floor boards/loft space etc, although it would be extremely difficult (e.g. virtually impossible) for them to prove any equipment found there was installed or used. Anything found by searching obscure parts of the property would therefore be evidentially worthless.

You may like to read our free ebook all about TV Licensing's sinister operation: http://tv-licensing.blogspot.co.uk/p/fre...
Please feel free to share it with others too.

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

I would also add that warrants granted under section 366 of the Communications Act 2003 DO NOT ALLOW the seizure of equipment found during the search.

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Holloway,

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 21st October 2012. 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 RFI2012122.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

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

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

Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Mr/Ms Holloway,

Please find attached the response to your request for information, reference RFI20121122.

Yours sincerely,
Lisa Quarrell

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room BC2 B6 Broadcast Centre
Wood Lane
London W12 7TP

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

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Dear Sir,

I request an internal review of your handling of my FOI request 'Search warrants - conduct of search' RFI2012122.

I do not believe that the reason given for the redactions in your response is justified. Kindly disclose the document in full.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/se...

Yours &c.,

S Holloway

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr/Ms Holloway,

We have received your request for an internal review relating to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your request for an internal review was received on 16 November. 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 IR2012047.

Yours sincerely,
The Information Policy and Compliance Team

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London, W12 7TP

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

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Holloway,

Please find attached the response to your request for an internal review, reference IR2012047.

Yours sincerely
The Information Policy and Compliance Team

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room BC2 B6 Broadcast Centre
Wood Lane
London W12 7TP

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

show quoted sections