Silver Voices house to house visits are continuing “unabated” despite the country under tough coronavirus restrictions. Although enforcement is not being carried out on the over-75s yet, other senior citizens have been sent “threatening” letters and had enforcers turn up on the doorstep, the campaign group said. It has warned the BBC the visits “are dangerous and irresponsible” and should stop immediately. Director Dennis Reed said: “It is irresponsible for enforcement visits to continue when all unnecessary contact is being discouraged.
“We will be advising our members not to engage with these TV licence hounds on the doorstep as their physical and mental health is being put at risk.
“For these visits to continue as normal, when millions of older and medically vulnerable people are shielding, shows the lack of compassion and empathy there is at the top management levels of the BBC.”
The BBC confirmed this month that enforcement action is not yet being taken against the over-75s despite free licences for the age group being scrapped in August.
But Silver Voices said other pensioners, particularly those approaching their 75th birthday, are facing action despite the country being in lockdown.
The group, which is supporting older pensioners who are refusing to pay their £157.50 licence fee in protest at the policy change, said it has raised the concerns with the BBC.
TV Licensing insisted coronavirus guidelines are being followed by enforcement officers.
A spokesman: “TV Licensing are not visiting any households registered as having held a free over 75s licence during this time, however we safely resumed visits to other households in August in line with government guidance having introduced a number of strict safety measures including the mandatory use of face coverings, maintaining a two-metre distance at all times and not entering people’s homes during visits.”