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BBC to investigate ‘sexist’ license fee convictions

BBC to investigate ‘sexist’ license fee convictions amid fears of discrimination against women, report says

  • Women make up 76% of those convicted of TV license fee fraud
  • BBC set to investigate discrepancy and whether app discriminates against women
  • Comes after a single mother who faced lawsuits threatened a judicial review for gender discrimination










The BBC is examining whether the application of license fees discriminates against women, it was revealed last night.

Women make up 76% of those convicted of TV license fee fraud.

The company is set to investigate the discrepancy after a single mother who faced lawsuits threatened a judicial review for sex discrimination.

The 32-year-old from Essex had the non-payment charge dropped after being helped by the charity Appeal, who argued it was not in the public interest.

She told The Times: ‘I felt they were targeting helpless people, like single mothers, and that needed to be challenged.’ I did this to prevent other women from being targeted.

The company is set to investigate the discrepancy after a single mother who faced lawsuits threatened a judicial review for sex discrimination (stock image)

The BBC has agreed to conduct an internal review of “gender disparity”.

The woman abandoned her intention to seek judicial review. Women accounted for three-quarters of the 52,376 convictions in 2020 for license evasion.

In 2019, it was the most common conviction for women, the Justice Department said, because women were more likely to be present when an inspector visited.

Appeal’s Tara Casey said: “Criminalizing people for debt is Dickensian.” TV Licensing said a report on disparities in 2017 showed this was largely due to societal factors.

“We have taken action… introducing better oversight, increased levels of transparency on prosecutorial policy and more engagement with women’s organisations.”

The BBC has agreed to conduct an internal 'gender disparity' review (stock image)

The BBC has agreed to conduct an internal ‘gender disparity’ review (stock image)

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