David Hickson's Silent Calls Victim Blog

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Saturday, 24 October 2009

Emerging from semi-retirement

My re-engagement in this campaign is with the purpose of requiring Ofcom to take a more effective approach to its duties in respect of this matter.

The BIS Department is to consult on whether or not it should grant Ofcom a further increase to the maximum penalty available.

When the previous increase was approved in 2006 it was granted on very clear terms outlined by the Minister.

(more from this debate)

A more effective approach to enforcement action must now be a quid pro quo for the granting of an increased penalty. This time however the precise terms must be stated and agreement gained prior to the granting of Ofcom's request.

If bigger penalties represent a more effective deterrent, then fair enough. Detterence is however only part of the solution. Proportionate action must be seen to be underway for any potential penalty to be seen as a threat. Furthermore it must be seen that Ofcom's duty is to halt and prevent this nuisance (by swift, appropriate and proportionate action) not simply by a few headline-grabbing big cases.

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