520 TV licence dodgers caught in one town

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WALLSEND is North Tyneside’s biggest blackspot for TV licence-dodging, new figures reveal.

More than 520 people in the town were caught watching television without a licence last year, well ahead of the more than 440 caught in North Shields and 100 in Whitley Bay.

More than 8,740 people were caught watching TV illegally in Tyne and Wear and almost 400,000 across the UK in 2010.

However, the average evasion rate remains at a low, at just over five per cent, meaning that the vast majority of properties ensure they are correctly licensed.

TV Licensing spokesman Tim Downs said: “It’s not fair on the vast majority of people in North Tyneside 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.”

To find out how to buy a licence, call 0300 790 6112.