TV licence dodgers caught

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NEARLY 4,000 people in Sheffield were caught watching television illegally without a licence last year, new figures show.

The statistics from TV Licensing also reveal more than 2,270 people in Doncaster were caught, with 1,510 in Barnsley and over 1,890 in Rotherham, during 2011.

Across South Yorkshire, there were more than 9,760 people found watching TV without paying for the privilege.

Tim Downs, TV Licencing spokesman for northern England, said: “On behalf of licence fee payers in Sheffield, we are committed to tackling evasion and enforcing the law amongst the small minority who should pay, but don’t.

“It’s only fair.”

“People are given every opportunity to pay, but, if they fail to do so and watch TV illegally, we will seek a prosecution.”

In 2010 there were over 4,270 people in Sheffield caught without a licence. But TV Licencing said the way its research was carried out had changed so a ‘like for like’ comparison could not be made.

If prosecuted, residents risk a fine of up to £1,000, plus court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.