Hundreds of people caught watching TV without a licence in Yarmouth

MORE than 830 people were caught watching TV without a valid licence in Great Yarmouth last year, TV Licensing today revealed.

During the same period, more than 1,270 evaders were caught in Norwich.

There were more than 2,860 people caught watching TV illegally across Norfolk and almost 390,000 across the UK. However, the estimated evasion rate remains steady at around 5pc, as it has done for the last five years.

This means that 19 out of 20 households and businesses are correctly licensed in accordance with the legal requirements.

Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for East Anglia, said: “TV viewing is as popular as ever, with the percentage of households who have a television set at 96.7pc, and it’s our role to make sure everyone is aware of when they need to be covered by a licence. On behalf of licence fee payers in Great Yarmouth, we are committed to tackling evasion and enforcing the law among the small minority who should pay, but don’t. It’s only fair.

“People are given every opportunity to pay, but, if they fail to do so and watch TV illegally, we will seek a prosecution. The penalty is a fine of up to �1,000, plus court costs and a victim surcharge.

Anyone found guilty is also required to buy a TV Licence at �145.50 if they still need one or they could face a second prosecution. It’s really not worth the risk.”