IN the first six month of this year over 160 people in the Borders were caught watching TV without a licence, over 70 people in Hawick alone.
According to TV Licensing they were among over 30,900 people caught across Scotland during the first half of this year. However, with the average evasion rate at just over five per cent, it means that almost 95 per cent of properties are correctly licensed.
Fergus Reid, TV Licensing spokesperson for Scotland, said: “Unfortunately, a minority of people do not pay for their licence, which is unfair to the law-abiding majority who do pay.
“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. We also work with a range of money advice organisations.”
Yvonne MacDermid, chief executive spokesperson for Money Advice Scotland, said: “Money advisers will always prioritise purchasing a TV licence within a personal budget. TV Licensing provides many ways to pay and an informative website, which helps to ensure that people are correctly licensed. We would urge anyone having trouble with payments to contact TV Licensing so they can provide additional advice, or Money Advice Scotland who can provide details of a local money adviser.”