Officials catch almost 100 Ely residents without a TV licence in just six months

TV Licensing revealed this week that almost 100 people were caught watching their television without a licence in Ely during the first six months of 2012.

This compares to 906 in Peterborough, 287 in Cambridge and 153 in Huntingdon.

They are among more than 204,000 people caught across the UK during the first half of this year, according to the figures, with a nationwide average of about five per cent of people still attempting to avoid paying for a licence.

Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for East Anglia, said: “These 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.”

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.