More than 214,000 TV Licence evaders caught

TV Licensing today revealed that more than 214,000 people were caught watching TV without a licence across the UK during the first six months of 2009.

The cities with the highest number of evaders were London (19,260) followed by Glasgow (11,941) and Birmingham (4,831).

Approximately 5,000 more licence fee evaders were caught in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period last year. The average evasion rate is currently just over five per cent, meaning that almost 95 per cent of properties are correctly licensed.

Additionally in the period 2008/2009 TV Licence collection costs fell to 3.4 per cent of total income collected from 3.6 per cent the previous year.

The areas where the most TV Licence evaders were caught in the UK were:

Evaders caught (Jan - Jun 2009)
London 19,260
Glasgow 11,941
Birmingham 4,831
Liverpool 4,387
Manchester 3,656
Nottingham 3,161
Belfast 3,114
Bristol 2,419
Hull 2,385
Leeds 2,213

Joanna Pearce, TV Licensing spokesperson, said:

“These figures show our continued effectiveness in catching people who watch TV illegally and therefore penalise the honest majority who do pay. While evaders come from all income groups, we understand that in the current economic climate some people may find it difficult to pay their licence fee in one go. This is why we provide numerous ways to spread the cost, including monthly Direct Debit, which can be set up very quickly online, and a weekly cash payment plan.”

A colour TV Licence currently costs £142.50 and is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are broadcast on a TV set, computer or any other equipment. Anyone not holding a TV Licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Further information on how and where to pay the Licence Fee can be found at

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For more information, please call the TV Licensing press office on 020 7544 3144.

Who needs a TV Licence?

If you use or install television equipment to receive or record television programmes as they are being broadcast, you need to be covered by a valid TV Licence. Viewing television without a licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Paying for a TV Licence:

A colour TV Licence currently costs £150.50. A black and white TV Licence currently costs £50.50.

TV Licensing aims to make it as easy as possible for people to buy a TV Licence, which is why there are many different ways to pay.

  • Over-the-counter – people can now pay at any of almost 20,000 PayPoint outlets across the country
  • Direct Debit - monthly, quarterly or annual Direct Debit payment schemes are available and can be set up online at
  • To find out more about paying in weekly instalments over the counter, online, by text message or over the phone on the cash payment plan, call 08457 289 289
  • Online – people are now able to pay online at by Direct Debit or with a debit or credit card
  • Debit or credit card over the phone - this facility accepts payment from a range of debit cards including Maestro, Delta and Connect
  • By post – send a cheque made payable to TV Licensing to: TV Licensing, Darlington, DL98 1TL
  • To find out more about paying in weekly installments over the counter, online, by SMS or by phone on the cash payment plan, call 08457 289 289 or view payment methods.

For more information about any of our payment options and concessions, to set up Direct Debit payments or to pay by debit or credit card please visit or call 0844 800 6732.

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