Hundreds Caught Without A TV Licence In Merton

Average UK evasion rate is just over five per cent

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More than 470 people were caught watching TV without a licence in Merton during the first six months of 2010.

This is better than neighbouring boroughs though - where the figures were 831 for Wandsworth, 971 in Lambeth and 620 in Southwark.

They are among almost 209,000 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.

Ian Fannon, TV Licensing spokesperson, said: "The vast majority of people in Merton pay their licence fee, and to be fair to those who pay, we have to be firm with those who attempt to get away without paying.

"We take TV Licence evasion very seriously and, while we give people every opportunity to pay, we will not hesitate to prosecute if people continue to break the law. We do understand that 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"

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 at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info

August 20, 2010