If there’s one thing I hate more than rubbish cops, it’s people pretending to be rubbish cops: Bailiffs, Security Guards, the RSPCA and PCSOs to name but a few. All of whom come equipped with uniforms, identity cards and the desperate urge to give an impression of authority they don’t possess.
One of the worst abusers of this is Capita. Those telly tax scavengers who enjoy nothing more than bullying their way into the homes of the decent, the innocent and the meek so nobody at the BBC has to go out and get a proper job.
In this video, two Capita thugs enter some poor guys home (assisted by the usual clueless plod henchmen), rig up his TV to an aerial and then insist he self-incriminate when they start firing questions at him.
They even go so far as to suggest that if the occupant doesn’t talk then he can be prosecuted for obstructing their investigation.
This is of course 100 carat gold crap.
Not only are you committing no offence by refusing to talk to TV Licensing – (on the million to one chance they turn up at your house with a warrant) – you are actually doing yourself a great disservice if you do talk. Because in nearly all but a handful of exceptional cases throughout the years, TV Licensing rely exclusively on the public’s weakness for doorstep confessions as the sole means of prosecution.
Also in this video, one of the Capita agents suggests that he is authorised to conduct an interview under PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act) which gives him further rights to issue a caution. The impression being that a PACE interview is reserved for prosecuting authorities and can only be undertaken by a select few.
A PACE interview is not some kind of brand name that gives gravitas and legal weight to the questions being asked. A PACE interview is simply an interview that is conducted to a certain evidential standard. ANYONE can conduct a PACE interview if they so decide. And ANYONE can issue a caution.
But the Capita agent then proceeds to give a perfect example of what a PACE interview is not. And that is abusing the terms of a search warrant and conducting an oppressive interview with an occupant in the comfort of his own home.
Firstly, the Capita goons have no powers of arrest for telly tax evasion. Therefore any interview given must be done so voluntarily. A fact that must be made clear before the interview begins so that the subject knows he can get up and leave at any time.
How exactly are you supposed to walk out of an interview conducted in your own house?
You can’t. Nor can you request the Capita agent leaves your house if you have already let them in and they have a search warrant. Therefore they have automatically breached PACE by making a voluntary interview involuntary.
Secondly, anyone undertaking a PACE interview should be given the opportunity to consult legal advice if they so desire. The Capita thug doesn’t even mention this fact.
Thirdly, and most importantly, an interviewer should never resort to oppressive methods to get the suspect to speak. Such as telling the interviewee that if he doesn’t cough up a confession then he will be committing a further offence of obstruction. Thereby contradicting the first part of the caution just given which states quite clearly:
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING.
Of course the two uniformed officers in the background allow this oppression to continue unchallenged. They see Capita as one of their own, and are always willing to flex their warrant cards whenever they need a helping hand bullying the public. And don’t be palmed off with this ‘we are only here to ensure a breach of the peace isn’t committed’ crap. The police are there for one reason and one reason only. To put the frighteners on the occupant. To deliberately give the impression that if you don’t comply with Capita they will cart you off to a cell and have you up before a magistrate the following day.
Besides which, the police MUST check in advance if the occupant is likely to commit a breach of the peace by checking out any history of violence or previous altercations before they go assisting Capita with their door to door bullying.
The bottom line is that this collective of high-handed idiots commit so many breaches of PACE, everything they take down could be tossed out of court as inadmissible, the search warrant voided and Capita’s entire ‘investigation’ struck out as an abuse of process.