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By Tristan Harris Tuesday 19 February 2013 Updated: 20/02 23:30
RESIDENTS in Bromsgrove and Rubery are being warned they will be caught and prosecuted if they persist in watching TV without a valid licence.
The warning comes as figures reveal more than 170 people in Bromsgrove district were caught without a TV licence last year.
That number is lower than neighbouring Redditch, where 530 were caught without one, and Worcester, where more than 680 were prosecuted.
Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for the West Midlands, said: “The data released today shows evasion remains at historically low levels of approximately five per cent, with the overwhelming majority of people ensuring they are correctly licensed. In order to be fair to the law-abiding majority who do pay for their licence, we’ll continue to pursue the small minority of people do not pay.
“We do understand some people may find it difficult to pay in one go, which is why we offer numerous ways to spread the cost. Payment options include a weekly cash payment plan, a savings card or a monthly Direct Debit scheme, which can be set up very quickly online or over the phone. We also work with a range of money advice organisations – their staff can provide useful information and payment advice to help people budget for a TV Licence. If people decide to watch TV without being properly licensed, they risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”
Head of Creditor Relations at StepChange Debt Charity, Richard Haymes said: "TV Licensing makes it easier for us to help clients keep within the law. We welcome the many ways to pay – this will help people on lower incomes plan and meet their TV Licensing requirements and we would ask anyone experiencing difficulty with payments to contact TV Licensing so they can provide additional advice.”
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.
For further information about licensing requirements and ways to pay, visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk
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