TV Licensing informs people of the need to buy a TV Licence. We send licence renewal reminders and we process queries, applications and payments. We also maintain a database of licensed and unlicensed addresses and use this technology to identify and visit people we believe may be using a TV without a valid licence.
There are around 25 million TV Licences in force, which include 3.9 million free over 75 TV Licences and around 40,000 licences for customers receiving a 50% Blind Concession.
Our database of approximately 31 million addresses is a critical part of enforcement. Typically, we'll send letters to an unlicensed address, reminding occupants of the importance of being properly licensed and giving information on the many ways they can pay. We may also contact a property by phone, asking whether a TV Licence is needed there. If there is no response, the address will be selected for a visit from an Enquiry Officer. Visits like this can provide us with information on whether an address is unoccupied or derelict and whether there is a TV on the premises. Visits can also result in evaders being caught. On average over 1,000 evaders are caught daily.
We will only use detection equipment to identify evaders when other more cost effective routes have been exhausted. We aim to maximise licence fee revenue by collecting the fee in the most cost efficient way. While we prefer people to correctly licence their properties TV Licensing will prosecute persistent evaders.