Most prosecutions in UK are carried out by authorised government controlled authorities such as the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales and the Procurator Fiscal`s Office in Scotland. Individuals can bring private prosecutions under certain circumstances. And there are, however,organisations such as the R.S.P.C.A., London Buses or virtually any local authority which also prosecute often in Magistrates` Courts where they pay a fee to the court to "hire" a bench to sit in judgement similar to what happens in the criminal cases usually adjudicated.
The C.P.S. is a public service, part of the Ministry of Justice, open to inspection with policies, performance etc available for public scrutiny and monitored by various parliamentary overlords. The C.P.S. does not send mail outs to magistrates on a regular basis.
One prosecuting body which sends mail outs two or three times a year to every member of the Justices of the Peace professional representative organisation, the Magistrates` Association, is TV Licensing. This four page publication "In Brief" more or less extolls this quango`s right to operate and the manner in which it "tries its hardest" not to prosecute non license payers. Tosh!!!!!
Anybody moving to a new address or who does not use a TV set at their current address knows well enough of the bombardment of requests, which soon become demands, to pay the license fee. Their so called inspectors have no right whatsoever to enter premises without the permission of the occupier but of course many occupiers do not know this. Watching a live TV programme on a TV set or on the internet requires a TV license. Failure to have one is a criminal matter and it is criminal prosecutions which take place as mentioned above. Sometimes the results are iniquitous to say the least. A case which has stayed clearly in my mind was that of a Harvard law graduate attending an English university for a term as a post graduate student. He was staying with friends for a few days watching a football match on TV when there was a knock on the door. He was the person least interested in "soccer" and answered the door. To the question from the official with an ID badge whether the TV was on he innocently answered in the affirmative. That young American was in front of us for having no TV license because that is the current situation; s/he who answers the door to the TV license Gestapo is the one responsible in law. There was no doubt that he was guilty but he was given the second lowest disposal available....a conditional discharge. Although his name would not appear on the Police National Computer he now has a criminal record in England.
It is a question for the next government whether or not the BBC should continue to be funded by a license fee. It is a question of justice that non payment of such a fee should be constituted as a civil matter and judged as such and the anachronism of criminal procedings be consigned to history.