An Example Of One Of The Most Common Summary Offenses In England
Two local businesses fined for not having TV licences
The proprietors of a pub and a restaurant in North Warwickshire which were caught without a TV licence have both been ordered to pay £445 by magistrates.
Mr Nicholas Bray, the proprietor of The Fox and Dogs Inn, Orton Road, Warton, was fined £220 for the offence of using a TV without a licence on the business premises. He was also ordered to pay £195 costs and a £30 victim surcharge following a Magistrate’s review of the case on 2 September 2019 at Nuneaton Magistrates Court.
Also, Mr Yourgus Christopher Kafetzis, proprietor of the Funky Bear Tamworth, Tamworth Road, Cliff, was fined £220 for the offence of using a TV without a licence on the business premises. He was also ordered to pay £195 costs and a £30 victim surcharge following a Magistrate’s review of the case on 2 September 2019 at Nuneaton Magistrates Court.
Any business showing television programmes as they are broadcast on TV, whether for customers’ use or in staff areas, must be covered by a valid TV licence. If there is living accommodation on the premises where a TV is also in use, this must be covered by a separate licence.
Those without a valid licence are breaking the law and run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000.00 per offence, plus costs. Businesses found guilty are also required to buy a TV licence at £154.50, or they could face a potential second prosecution.
Rachel Roberts, TV Licensing spokesperson for the Midlands, said: “We appreciate these are tough times for businesses, but to be fair to the majority who do pay the licence fee, we have to take action against those who watch TV illegally.
“We’d rather businesses think ahead and check if they need a licence than risk being prosecuted. A licence costs £154.50 and can be bought in minutes online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/businessinfo.”
TV Licensing is also reminding other businesses to make sure they are aware of their licensing requirements, to avoid the risk of prosecution and a large fine. In the last three years, TV Licensing enquiry officers visited more than 44,000 businesses across the UK, ranging from takeaway restaurants and holiday parks to garages, hair salons and sports clubs, to confirm if they were correctly licensed.
Who needs a Licence?
If anyone at your business watches or records TV programmes as they are being shown on TV, irrespective of the channel they’re watching, the device they’re using (TV, computer, laptop, mobile phone or any other), and how they receive them (terrestrial, satellite, cable, via the Internet or any other), you will need to be covered by a valid TV Licence. A licence is also needed if staff or customers watch BBC programmes on iPlayer on equipment supplied by the business. In general, one licence will cover all the TV equipment your business uses for business purposes on a single site. The only exception to this is hotels, which have separate licensing requirements.
However, if you sub-let any part of your premises to another business or have an on-site social or welfare club, then it will require its own separate licence. Please note that the licence does not cover any residential accommodation on-site or within the premises.
When is a licence not needed?
You do not need a licence for your business premises if the TV equipment is never used to receive or record television programme services, but is only used for closed circuit monitoring or to watch pre-recorded videos.
Penalties for Licence evasion
Using television receiving equipment to watch or record television programme services without the correct licence is a criminal offence. Your business could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Paying for your business’s TV licence
A colour TV licence costs £154.50. A black and white TV licence costs £52. The licence fee is set by government.
TV Licensing aims to make it as easy as possible for people to buy a TV Licence, which is why there are many different ways to pay:
Over-the-counter – people can now pay at over 28,000 PayPoint outlets across the country
Direct Debit – monthly, quarterly or annual Direct Debit payment schemes are available and can be set up online atwww.tvlicensing.co.uk/directdebit
Online – people are now able to pay online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info by Direct Debit or with a debit or credit card
To find out more about paying in weekly instalments over the counter, online, by SMS or by phone using the TV Licensing Payment Card visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cashplans
Debit or credit card over the phone – this facility accepts payment from a range of debit cards including Maestro, Delta and Connect
By post – send a cheque made payable to TV Licensing to: TV Licensing, Darlington DL98 1TL
BACS: Businesses can pay by BACS electronic transfer. Please phone 0300 790 6124 for more information