No escape for TV licence evaders

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TV Licensing''''LICENSE AGREEMENT''This Photograph taken by VisualMedia is supplied with an indefinite license for editorial purposes, but excluding advertorials or competitions. The license also covers internal communications requirements such as newsletters and non-commercial website use. Usage for external marketing / advertising purposes will attract additional fees that need to be negotiated dependent on requirements.''''For further information please contact VisualMedia on +44 (0)20 7613 2555.''''Note to Press:''These images are supplied free of charge for editorial usage.''Mandatory credit: VisMedia

MORE than 130 people in Wisbech have been caught watching television without a licence in the past six months, according to figures released yesterday by TV Licensing.

This compares to more than 130 in Kings Lynn and 750 in Peterborough during the first six months of 2011.

They are among almost 197,000 people caught across the UK during the first half of this year. The average evasion rate remains at a low of just over five per cent, meaning that almost 95 per cent of properties are correctly licensed.

Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for East Anglia, said: “While the vast majority of people in the UK pay their licence fee, to be fair to those who pay, we have to be firm with those who try to get away without paying. We take TV Licence evasion very seriously and we will not hesitate to prosecute if people continue to break the law.

“We would always prefer people to buy a TV Licence than risk prosecution and give people every opportunity to pay. However, we do understand some people may find it difficult to pay their licence fee in one go, which is why we offer numerous ways to spread the cost, including a weekly cash payment plan, a savings card and monthly Direct Debit scheme, which can all be set up very quickly online.”

A colour TV Licence currently costs £145.50 and is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment. Anyone watching TV illegally risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Further information on how and where to pay the licence fee can be found on the TV Licensing website.