Thousands of people in Bristol are caught without a TV licence every year
MORE than 5,000 people in Bristol were caught without a TV licence last year.
Anyone who uses a television, or watches television programmes through a computer or other media device as they’re being shown on TV, must buy a licence every year or risk up to a £1,000 fine.
Bristol's evasion figure compares with at least 790 in Gloucester, 420 in Taunton and 330 in Bath.
TV Licensing spokesman Warren Carr said: "In order to be fair to the law-abiding majority who do pay for their licence, we'll continue to pursue the small minority of people who do not pay."
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The current colour TV licence, which funds BBC television, radio and on-line services, costs £145.50 per year.
Mr Carr added: "We do understand some people may find it difficult to pay in one go, which is why we offer numerous ways to spread the cost.
"Payment options include a weekly cash payment plan, a savings card or a monthly Direct Debit scheme, which can be set up very quickly online or over the phone. We also work with a range of money advice organisations. Their staff can provide useful information and payment advice to help people budget for a TV Licence.
"If people decide to watch TV without being properly licensed, they risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000."
Tamra Mannin, services manager for the Bristol Debt Advice Centre, said: "We welcome the many ways to pay. This helps people on lower incomes budget to meet their TV Licensing payments and would ask anyone experiencing difficulty with payments to contact TV Licensing for additional advice on payment options."
For further information about licensing requirements and ways to pay, visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk.