TV Licencing Search Warrants

Tyrone Armatage 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 British Broadcasting Corporation,

If the BBC suspect a householder us watching tv without a licence and then obtain a search warrant to enter a that persons property. On entering that property how can proof be obtained that they are watching live tv without a licence if...

A: The TV is turned off.
B: The TV is turned on and the occupier is watching a film on catchup TV but not on any bbc channels.
C: If an occupier is watching catchup tv (not bbc chanels) and their cat or dog accidentaly stands on the remote control and switches channels to the bbc for a few seconds. Does that occupier then require a tv licence?

Yours faithfully,

Tyrone Armatage

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

As I think you probably realise, they will not respond to this. They will say that they are not required to create new information for the purposes of providing a response. Unless they actually catch a person red-handed in the act of receiving TV programmes, there are several valid defences that could be offered. You might find this article of use:
Of course it is not in the BBC's financial interests to clarify points of legislation. It prefers people to just absorb everything it claims.

Mr Hillas left an annotation ()

"Unless they actually catch a person red-handed in the act of receiving TV programmes, there are several valid defences that could be offered. You might find this article of use: "

Abuse of search warrants by BBC TV Licensing contractor Capita has become little more than an exercise in wanton extra-judicial aggression against otherwise decent and law-abiding people in the UK who know when they should be licensed and when not.

That article of use you link to about the Rudd Defence is in essence about the partial judicial nullification of the BBC TV licence fee enforcement regime and it merely shows that recourse to search warrants by BBC TV Licensing contractor Capita is an exercise in futility in that it can never prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that the reason for the search warrant (watching live TV programmes) has ever taken place in their absence or ever will. ( Rudd V Secretary of State for Trade and Industry) Rudd Defence should be the automatic, recourse reflex defence of everyone who has been subjected to what amounts an act of enforcement barbarism carried out on behalf of the BBC by BBC TV Licensing contractor Capita.

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment


Dear Tyrone Armatage


Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email. Your request was received
on 12/01/2018.  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 RFI20180066.


Kind regards,


Information Rights


BBC Freedom of Information

BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP



Email: [2][BBC request email]


Tel: 020 8008 2882




show quoted sections

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Mr. Armatage,


Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20180066.


Yours sincerely


BBC Information Policy and Compliance

Room BC2 A4

Broadcast Centre

White City


W12 7TS



Website: [1]

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]


[3]Description: Description: \\BBCFS2025\UserData$\myrien01\Documents\My



show quoted sections


Visible links
1. file:///tmp/
2. mailto:[BBC request email]

Karin Mabberley left an annotation ()

I've also made an attempt to get information similar to this but without the hypothetical scenarios.

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site . Find out more .