In a recent letter, a Star reader says it is “mainly women who live alone who are sent to prison for being unable to afford” the licence fee (Letters, May 26).
This is not correct.
Firstly, licence fee evaders are fined not imprisoned. Custodial sentences would only be imposed by the Court in rare cases for an offender’s persistent refusal to pay fines imposed by the Court.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice does not hold any information about those given such sentences other than their age and gender, so it is speculation to suggest most live alone.
We would always prefer people pay for a licence rather than to be prosecuted, and offer a wide range of ways to pay for a licence including small weekly cash payments.
However, on behalf of the vast majority who pay, we take action when people deliberately evade the fee.
TV Licensing North