Leading criminal law barrister, David Perry QC has been appointed by the Government to lead the review of whether non-payment of the BBC licence fee should be decriminalised. Appointed by the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, Perry was worked in various high profile cases including the prosecution of Abu Hamza. He has also advised the Crown Prosecution Service, on the potential to bring criminal proceedings over the cash for honours scandal.
The Culture Secretary’s intention to review the £145.50 licence fee system itself was revealed when he published a written ministerial statement announcing Perry’s appointment and the terms of the review.
Perry will consider whether non-payment should continue to be a criminal offence. Further, whether the sanctions for contravening the offence are appropriate and proportionate.
According to BBC, if TV licence fee evasion is de-criminalised, it would cost them £200 million pounds per year, and would potentially lead to the shutting down of subsidiary channels like BBC4, CBBC and CBeebies.