Change television licence sentencing guidelines
I am a magistrate and would like to suggest a change to the process of handling television license fees. This should be changed to an offence with a sentence of a fixed penalty notice . Those found without a television license should be issued with a fixed penalty notice and if this is unpaid enforcement proceeding used to recover the cost. Should the person challenge the fixed penalty notice they could appeal to magistrates as is the case for all fixed penalty notices.
Also, the law should be changed to include cable and satellite companies having to establish the legal status of the person applying for, or renewing, their subscription in regard to them having a valid television license. It appears that a majority of those appearing in the magistrates courts for non payment of television license are satellite / cable subscribers. I believe a similar process is used within the dvla for non payment of vehicle tax.
Why does this idea matter?
At a time when magistrates courts are been closed and the ministry of justice is seeking to reduce its costs – it seems absurd to waste resources in dealing with television licensing offences when there are far more effective and economical methods.