MORE than 200 people have been caught watching television without a licence in Morpeth.
TV Licensing has revealed that about 210 people in the town were caught illegally watching television in 2010, while more than 1,760 were nabbed across Northumberland.
In the UK almost 400,000 people were caught, with a licence evasion rate of around five percent.
TV Licensing spokesman Tim Downs said: “It’s not fair on the vast majority of people in Morpeth who pay their licence fee for some people to watch TV without paying.
“We try to give people every chance to get on the right side of the law, but ultimately, if they fail to pay we will take action.
“We take TV licence evasion very seriously and any householder or business caught watching TV without a licence can face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”
It is illegal to watch or record TV programmes, whether on a television set, computer or other equipment, without a licence.
A colour TV licence costs £145.50, while a black and white one costs £49. People can pay online, by direct debit, over the counter at PayPoint outlets, over the phone and by post. A national database, detector vans and equipment are used to check if people are watching TV illegally.
For more information visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info or call 0300 790 6112.