TV licence evaders caught in Forfar

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More than 180 people were caught watching TV without a valid licence in Forfar in 2011, TV Licensing has revealed.

This compares to more than 350 in Arbroath and more than 80 in Brechin. TV Licensing catches more than 1,000 evaders every day.

There were more than 62,000 people caught watching TV illegally across Scotland and almost 390,000 across the UK.

However, the estimated evasion rate remains steady at around 5%, as it has done for the last five years.

This means the vast majority of people, or 19 out of 20 households and businesses, are correctly licensed in accordance with the legal requirements.

Fergus Reid, TV Licensing spokesperson for Scotland, said: “TV viewing is as popular as ever, with the percentage of households who have a television set at 96.7%*, 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 Forfar, we are committed to tackling evasion and enforcing the law amongst 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 and the penalty is a fine of up to £1,000.

“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.”

TV Licensing wants to make it as easy as possible for people to pay for a TV Licence and therefore offers numerous ways to spread the cost, including Direct Debit and a weekly or monthly cash payment plan. Information to help people decide which payment option will work best for them can be found on the TV Licensing website – www.tvlicensing.co.uk.

A TV Licence doesn’t just cover you to watch TV at home on a TV set. With today’s technology, you can watch TV on more devices than ever, whenever it suits you best, including online via a computer, tablet or smart phone.

TV Licensing has over 30 million UK addresses on its database TV Licensing and can tell at the click of a button which addresses are unlicensed. Detector vans and handheld detectors can be used by enquiry officers to check if an unlicensed property is watching TV illegally, but the database is the main enforcement tool.