- Almost 2,500 ‘goodwill payments’ in the last five years
- They went to householders wrongly threatened with prosecution
- One was a grieving son hassled to buy licence for his dead mother
PUBLISHED: 18:33 EST, 6 February 2014
The BBC has admitted handing out more than £100,000 in compensation to innocent people hounded by ‘aggressive’ TV Licensing officers.
Over the past five years it has made almost 2,500 ‘goodwill payments’ to householders who were wrongly threatened with prosecution, bombarded with leaflets and taken to court.
They included a grieving son who was given £250 for the stress caused when the BBC repeatedly ordered him to buy a licence for his dead mother.
Peter Troy, of County Durham, was threatened with a £1,000 fine unless he paid the fee, despite the fact his mother had died six months earlier and her house was empty.
He repeatedly explained the situation to officers from Capita – the firm with a £560 million contract to collect the fee for the BBC’s TV Licensing – but received an apology only when he threatened to sue.
Another viewer was eventually given £100 after reporting TV Licensing officers who repeatedly turned up on his doorstep threatening legal action, even though he did not own a TV.
He said: ‘I even considered buying a TV licence in my panic … because I was so worried about the whole situation.
‘I was shaken up by the brazen way in which an organisation could ignore legal restrictions to literally bully people in their own homes. This is clearly harassment … to force people into buying licences they do not need, simply to increase revenue.’
The revelation – uncovered by a Freedom of Information request – comes amid growing anger at the heavy-handed way in which the £145.50 fee is collected.
Last night Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘It’s bad enough that Auntie has squandered cash on various digital debacles without then wasting money on chasing people who have already paid for the broadcaster’s profligacy.’
TV Licensing prosecutions are clogging up the courts, with the BBC accounting for one in ten cases brought before magistrates. More than 180,000 people were prosecuted for non-payment in 2012.
Last year, the Daily Mail revealed the corporation’s army of 334 ‘enforcement officers’ – who have no legal right of entry to homes – are paid a bonus every time they gather evidence leading to a successful prosecution.
Critics say it means they have a strong incentive to harass those they suspect of not paying.
A TV Licensing spokesman said: ‘Sometimes we get it wrong and work hard to put things right.’
Paul Pindar is the ex-CEO of Capita- Rothchilds Gillian Sheldon took his place on the board of Capita as an Independent Non-Executive Director in 2012. Paul Pindar was hired by Carlyle Group in 2012 for their giant Integrated Dental Holdings. In 2013 Pindar became a boardmember of Towerbrooks Senior Advisory Board. The vast majority of Towerbrook are Soros agents – click links. Paul Pindar was making 900,000 pounds with Capita – who knows what he makes now – these bankster gangsters take good care of their own.
Carlyle Group: Government, CIA Contractor Booz Allen & Hamilton,… – this is a good read – needs updating – need to add that Carlyle via their Riverstone Holdings partnered with Goldman Sachs Capital in the acquisition of Kinder Morgan one of the largest pipeline operators in the US. The buyout was backed by Richard Kinder, the company’s co-founder – a former president of Enron. Kinder Morgan is keeping the US and Canada from building the Keystone pipelines. Obama (got big bucks from Carlyle etc for his campaign) therefore likes Kinder Morgan so won’t okay Keystone XL. Democrats Who Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline Own Shares in Competing Companies
I don’t know much about the licence fees but wonder why the BBC is beholden to pay the compensation? What kind of contract did they make with Capita one might wonder.