Illegal boxwatchers caught in the act

Published: 24 Jul 2012 14:303 comments

MORE than 450 people were caught watching television without a licence in Reading in the six month period up to the end of last month.

Reading trails a long way behind Slough's 690 illegal box watchers over the same period but is well ahead of Bracknell's 190 and just 90 in Newbury.

Nationally Television Licensing detection teams caught 204,000 dodging the £145.50 annual licence during the first half of the year - an evasion rate of just over 5%.

Victoria Sykes, TV Licensing spokeswoman, said: "Today's figures paint a very positive picture as the vast majority of people in the UK continue to pay their licence fee. Unfortunately, a minority do not pay, which is unfair to the law-abiding majority.

"If people decide to watch TV without being properly licensed they risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. We do understand some people may find it difficult to pay their licence fee in one go, which is why we offer numerous ways to spread the cost, including a weekly cash payment plan, a savings card and monthly Direct Debit scheme, which can all be set up very quickly online or over the phone."

A colour licence is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on television, whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment.

Information on how and where to pay the licence fee can be found at

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  • HAMHAMsterMan
    Unregistered User
    Jul 24, 15:41
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    Funny Reading being compared to Slough although I daresay it won't be long before the third world multi-cultural slum ideal is fully realised.

    Recommend?   Yes 6     No 4

  • gretchin
    Unregistered User
    Jul 25, 11:04
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    perhaps just an unintended fallout from years of intergration followed by neglect in those communities that has evolved over the decades.

    I dont have a tv or computer at home or video recorder but I still get the letters and the knock at the door from the non believers at TV licensing. I dont want to pay £145 a year to watch endless repeats and mindless and slow brain washing. TV signal is now digital how does the bbc get to keep this large fee now that it is digital?

    Recommend?   Yes 5     No 0

  • Watchkeeper
    2 posts
    Aug 3, 01:10
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    More misinformation from the BBC.

    Things you should know:

    • The BBC is the Television Licensing Authority

    • TV Licensing™ (without the "Authority") is a BBC trademark like Mr Blobby™

    • TV Licensing™, like Mr Blobby™, does not exist as an organisation. Anything with TV Licensing™ on it comes from Capita Business Services plc or PR agencies employed by the BBC

    • Victoria Sykes, named in this article, is a good example. She actually works for Fishburn Hedges PR agency in London:

    • TV Licensing™ Inspectors/Officers are salesmen earning commission. They are no more "official" than a double-glazing salesman. You don't have to put up with them on your property. You can order (not ask) them to leave and they must comply. They cannot threaten you with a search warrant. Here's a job advert by Capita to prove they are salesmen. Note "Salary + uncapped commission".

    • A TV licence is only for LIVE PROGRAMMES. If you watch programmes on catch-up (the BBC's own iPlayer, 4oD etc) then you don't need a licence - even if you feed the signal from your computer into your TV. The "TV" in "TV licence" doesn't refer to a TV set but to live TV programmes. Get the facts here:

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 0