Hundreds caught in Portsmouth without a TV licence

Scot Mackenzie

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IN THE first six months of the year more than 500 people in Portsmouth were caught watching TV without a licence.

TV Licensing has released figures showing almost 197,000 people – five per cent of those with a television – were found to be breaking the law.

Portsmouth’s figures compare to more than 1,000 people in Southampton who did not have a licence and 90 in Fareham.

Pauline Gillingham, TV Licensing spokeswoman, said: ‘While the vast majority of people in the UK pay their licence fee, to be fair to those who pay, we have to be firm with those who try to get away without paying. We take TV Licence evasion very seriously and we will not hesitate to prosecute if people continue to break the law.

‘We would always prefer people to buy a TV Licence than risk prosecution and give people every opportunity to pay. However, 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.’