License dodgers done during dinner

TV licence dodgers are being caught while they stuff their faces.Between January and June 368 people were found watching TV without paying in Ipswich.

TV licence dodgers are being caught while they stuff their faces.

Between January and June 368 people were found watching TV without paying in Ipswich.

Three quarters of those were rumbled while eating an evening meal.

TV Licensing detector vans operate mostly during the peak viewing hours of 5pm until 9pm.


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At this time many families tend to settle down to eat in front of the telly.

As more people tune in to watch major sporting events or dramatic soap story lines, more evaders are caught red-handed.

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Detector vans were particularly successful during the World Cup, when huge numbers of football fans followed England on TV.

Vanessa Wood, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: "Our latest success in catching evaders confirms that the family meal has been replaced by the TV dinner.

"When out visiting with our detector vans, officers have often caught evaders with the remote control in one hand and a sandwich or knife and fork in the other."

A TV licence costs £116 for a colour set.

Those people who fail to pay the fee risk a possible court appearance and a fine of up to £1,000.

Ms Wood said: "As the autumn schedules are announced and the nights close in, more and more people will be watching TV as they eat.

"With TV Licensing's increasing focus on dinnertime visits, evaders should fear that knock on the door; as it may well be our enquiry officers rather than the pizza delivery man."

For more information on concessions and ways to pay people can call 0870 241 5590, or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk.

Fact file:

Programmes shown between 5.30pm and 8pm are watched by more than 51 million adults.

Forty per cent of British people own three or more TV sets.

Ninety-three per cent of people who use or install television services have a licence.

The top 10 most viewed shows last year were:

1. Only Fools and Horses, BBC1, 16.3m

2. EastEnders, BBC1, 16m

3. Coronation Street, ITV1, 15m

4. Pop Idol Final, ITV1, 13.3m

5. Jubilee 2000: Party At The Palace, BBC1, 12.54m

6. World Cup: England v Brazil, BBC1, 12.5m

7. World Cup: England v Denmark, BBC1, 12.47m

8. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, BBC1, 12.4m

9. A Touch Of Frost, ITV1, 12.37m

10. World Cup: England v Sweden, ITV1, 12.2m

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