Figures have revealed almost a third of women’s convictions are for not paying the TV licence fee.
Almost a third of convictions for women are for not paying TV licence: They are 10 times more likely not to pay the fee, which currently stands at £157.50 annually, than men the figures say. Ministry of Justice data shows that a growing number of women are receiving criminal records for this reason. Also the report reveals that the main reason for them being fined is they are more likely to open their door to inspectors.
Dame Vera Baird QC is battling to decriminalise non-payment of the fee. And say that all it does is penalise less well off women. She said “I remain concerned that so many women are prosecuted for TV licence evasion. It’s an unnecessary conviction. Serving only to criminalise poverty and disproportionately punish poorer families and women.”
Chief Executive of the charity Women in Prison, Kate Paradine, said “Debt-related issues should not be criminalised. The 30 per cent figure shows how many women are criminalised for extraordinarily minor so-called offences. Even when you get down to all convictions and look at women in prison and arrests. The majority are there for very low level offences.”
Appeal, a leading charity battling miscarriages of justice, has been campaigning for years for TV license non-payment to be decriminalised. However the BBC stated that non-payment of the licence did not carry a criminal record. And a spokesman for them said “Details of the offence are not held on the Police National Computer. So while there is a criminal conviction there is no criminal record.”
Millions of over-75s became liable for paying the TV licence fee this summer in a controversial policy change. Although those who get pension credit do not have to pay.
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