A RETIRED university professor who recently moved to Cardigan has hit out at the ‘heavy-handed’ approach adopted by BBC TV Licensing.

Dr Stephen Dalton said that within days of moving into his new home, he received a visit from a BBC enforcement officer demanding to see his TV licence.

“I explained that I did not have a TV and have not had one for seven years,” said Dr Dalton.

At the end of September, he received ‘a less than civil letter’ from the BBC demanding a license payment by October 6. That has since been followed by another letter saying he can expect a visit very soon to hold an investigation with a threat of a £1,000 pound fine.

“It makes you feel guilty. The letter says another enforcement officer will visit and I could be interviewed under caution. The letter also says they can apply to the court for a search warrant to gain access to the property,” said Dr Dalton.

“No-one has turned up as yet but it could be at four in the morning like the KGB!

“It is just preposterous. I think the whole approach is at the very least heavy-handed and intimidating. I am worried that elderly people will all be getting the same treatment. I am sure it is not just me and wonder what effect it has on others.

“Why do they assume that everyone has a television or wants to watch the BBC. I don’t have a television, I don’t watch anything from the BBC and don’t see why I should feel threatened in this way. If this was some other company behaving in this way rather than the BBC I am sure there would be action taken.”

“I used to have Sky and the whole package but then found myself watching Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday – and I am a Crystal palace fan!

“If there is a game I now want to watch I go to the pub but I don’t watch or download anything from the BBC.”

A TV Licensing spokesperson said: “These letters were in response to a previous occupant at this address who cancelled their licence in April.

“Our subsequent attempts to make contact to establish the property’s licensing requirements were not responded to – possibly due to it being unoccupied - so we therefore scheduled a visit.

“We would like to apologise to Mr Dalton for any concern caused. We have updated our records to reflect the fact that he does not need a licence and will be writing to him to confirm this.”