Hundreds of telly cheats caught

Hundreds of telly cheats caught watching TV without a licence in the area during the first six months of 2012.

More than 150 people were caught in Braintree while a further 100 were found out in Witham and 290 in Chelmsford.

They are among more than 204,000 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.

A spokesperson, said: “Today’s figures paint a very positive picture as the vast majority of people in the UK continue to pay their licence fee. Unfortunately, a minority of people do not pay for their licence, which is unfair to the law-abiding majority who do pay.

“If people decide to watch TV without being properly licensed, they risk prosecution and a fine of up to �1,000. 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 or over the phone. We also work with a range of money advice organisations – their staff can provide useful information and payment advice to help people budget for a TV Licence”.


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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.

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