2,350 Gwent people caught watching TV without licence
10:10pm Monday 23rd July 2012 in News
AROUND 2,350 Gwent people were caught watching TV without a licence in the first six months of the year, new figures show.
Figures from TV Licensing taken from January to June this year, show the number was highest in the Caerphilly county borough where 780 people were found not to have a licence.
Newport had the next highest number of licence evaders with 700, followed by 380 in Torfaen, 360 in Blaenau Gwent and 130 in Monmouthshire.
They are among just over 10,500 people caught across Wales 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 at a cost of £145.50 a year for a colour TV.
During 2010/11 there was a total of 4,072 licence evaders across all Gwent areas - which fell five per cent from 4,288 the year before.
Warren Carr, TV Licensing spokesperson for Wales, said: "Unfortunately, a minority of people do not pay for their licence, which is unfair to the law-abiding majority who do pay.
"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". A TV licence 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 who fails to buy one risks facing prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000