Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

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

As the BBC is undoubtedly aware, section 127 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 requires that an information be laid before the court within 6 months of the alleged commission of an alleged offence. If this 6 month time-limit expires then the court will not proceed with any prosecution. It is accepted good practice that a prosecutor will lay information expediently and without unnecessary delay.

I am aware of many cases where Capita Business Services Ltd, acting on behalf of the BBC, has waited until almost the end of the 6 month time-limit before laying information in relation to alleged TV licence offences. Indeed, in one case I am aware of, Capita waited until 3 days before the expiry of the 6 month time-limit before laying information before the court. Such precise timing is unlikely to be coincidental.

Given this observation, there is some concern that Capita is "toying" with court time, by deliberately protracting the prosecution process to the detriment of the alleged offender.

Under the terms of the Act, please provide the following information:
1. Any guidance produced/held by the BBC and/or TV Licensing about laying of information before a court.
2. Any other information produced/held by the BBC and/or TV Licensing that mentions or alludes to the 6 month time-limit imposed by section 127 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980.
3. Any information about the time-frame of TV Licensing prosecution cases (e.g. what actions have to be taken and when, after TV Licensing decides to prosecute).

Yours faithfully,

Peter Jones

Peter Jones left an annotation ()

This request was brought to you by the TV Licensing Blog: http://tv-licensing.blogspot.co.uk

We're here to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing and the BBC.

Anyone seeking further information please contact us via the blog.

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

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 28th May 2014. 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 RFI20140839.

Kind regards

The Information Policy & Compliance Team

BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP

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

Tel: 020 8008 2882

show quoted sections

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Jones,

Please find attached the response to your request for information, reference RFI20140839.

Yours sincerely,

The Information Policy and Compliance Team

BBC Information Policy and Compliance
BC2B6, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP, UK

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/foi
Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2882
Fax: 020 8008 2398

show quoted sections

Looking for an EU Authority?

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

AskTheEU.org