TV licence dodgers caught out

MORE than 1,250 TV licence dodgers were caught watching television in Ipswich last year, according to new figures today.The TV Licensing statistics show the town has the dubious honour of topping Suffolk's league of shame for the second year in succession.

By Colin Adwent

MORE than 1,250 TV licence dodgers were caught watching television in Ipswich last year, according to new figures today.

The TV Licensing statistics show the town has the dubious honour of topping Suffolk's league of shame for the second year in succession.

The number equates to one in a hundred people in Ipswich being licence dodgers.

A total of 3,253 evaders were caught throughout the county in 2006 - enough to fill 50 double-decker buses. Nationally, nearly 400,000 licence evaders were netted.

Kate Fisher, spokesperson for TV Licensing in Suffolk, said: “The number of evaders caught in Ipswich remained high in 2006 - and remaining top of this losers' league is certainly nothing to be proud of. Time is running out for evaders - with a UK estimated evasion rate of around five per cent.

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“We are clearly making it harder for people to avoid paying for their TV licence.

“We are committed to ensure that no one is watching television illegally and that everyone is aware of the consequences of not being properly licensed.

“We continue to catch, on average, around 1,000 TV licence fee evaders a day, but we would much rather people pay for their licence than risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”

She added that it was appreciated there were some who genuinely struggle to pay the licence fee but pointed out that there are many flexible payment options, including paying over-the-counter at any of the more than 16,000 PayPoint outlets across the UK.

For more information on the concessions available and ways to pay, please call 0870 241 5590 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info

Suffolk top five licence dodging towns:

Ipswich 1,254

Lowestoft 511

Bury St Edmunds 241

Sudbury 238

Haverhill 235

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