TV licence dodgers caught out

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MORE than 6,800 people were caught watching TV without a licence in North Lanarkshire during 2012, it was revealed this week.

Figures for the area released by TV Licensing compare to more than 4,900 in South Lanarkshire and over 13,400 in Glasgow City and includes more than 1,100 in Motherwell.

However the organisation says the average evasion rate remains at a low of just over five per cent, meaning almost 95 per cent of homes are correctly licensed.

Fergus Reid, TV Licensing Scotland spokesperson, said: “The data shows evasion remains at historically low levels, with the overwhelming majority of people ensuring there are correctly licensed.

“In order to be fair to the law-abiding majority who do pay for their licence, we’ll continue to pursue the small minority of people do not pay.

“We do understand some people may find it difficult to pay in one go, which is why we offer numerous ways to spread the cost.

“Payment options include a weekly cash payment plan, a savings card or a monthly direct debit scheme, which can 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.

“If people decide to watch TV without being properly licensed, they risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”

Yvonne Gallacher, chief executive of Money Advice Scotland, added: “We urge members of the public to seek money advice at the earliest stage, to avoid prosecution.

“There are a number of different ways to pay for a TV licence which hopefully will help many clients’ budget accordingly.”