Open consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion

The Government believes that it is right to look again at decriminalising TV licence evasion in order to ensure a proportionate and fair approach to licence fee penalties and payments is in place, which protects the most vulnerable in our society.

The consultation will seek responses on whether to decriminalise evasion and give consideration to how this could happen. The determining factors that the Government will consider include:

  • Would an alternative, non-criminal enforcement scheme be fairer and more proportionate?
  • What the cost is and how difficult it would be to implement any alternative scheme?
  • What is the potential impact on licence fee payers, particularly the most vulnerable and those with protected characteristics?
  • And what is the overall impact on licence fee collection?

Considering these objectives and factors, together with the information set out in this consultation document and other information you believe appropriate, DCMS invites respondents to answer the following questions:

  • Should TV licence evasion (the use or installation of a television receiver without a TV licence) no longer be a criminal offence? Why do you consider that TV licence evasion should no longer be a criminal offence?

  • If, alternatively, you consider that TV licence evasion should remain a criminal offence, why is this the case?

  • If you have a view, what alternative enforcement scheme models do you consider to be most appropriate? Why?

  • What steps could the Government take to mitigate any impacts that may result from decriminalisation of TV licence evasion?

  • Please provide any evidence you consider appropriate in answering these questions and any other information that you believe the Government should consider, especially where there is an impact on those with protected characteristics or the most vulnerable.

The CMA is collecting responses to the consultation in a mini-survey here: