New fig­ures re­veal 70pc of court cases are to pros­e­cute TV li­cence dodgers

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

NEARLY 70 per cent of cases at mag­is­trates’ court in War­wick­shire are to pros­e­cute TV li­cence dodgers.

New fig­ures from the Min­istry of Jus­tice (MoJ) show that of the 34,438 who ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trates in War­wick­shire in 2016, 24,062 (69.9 per cent) were for in­stalling or us­ing a TV re­ceiver with­out a li­cence.

This was the sec­ond high­est num­ber of cases in England and Wales be­hind only Cleve­land (28,984).

Of those pro­ceeded against last year at the county’s two jus­tice cen­tres in Nuneaton and Leam­ing­ton, 89 per cent pleaded guilty or were found guilty.

In com­par­i­son, just 2.3 per cent of peo­ple taken to the mag­is­trates’ courts in the West Mid­lands - in­clud­ing Coven­try - were for fail­ing to have a TV li­cence.

In­di­vid­ual courts may have much higher lev­els of TV li­cence pro­ceed­ings, which may be down to cases from the local area be­ing block listed at one court.

The MoJ fig­ures, re­leased fol­low­ing a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest, re­veal that across courts in England and Wales, one in eight cases heard at mag­is­trates’ courts in 2016 was for in­stalling or us­ing a TV re­ceiver with­out a li­cence.

Over­all, 1.46 mil­lion peo­ple ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trates last year, with 11.8 per cent of these for not hav­ing a TV li­cence - a to­tal of 171,628 cases.

Most of those charged ei­ther pleaded guilty or were found guilty (88 per cent).

The av­er­age fine for those con­victed, where TV li­cence eva­sion was the prin­ci­pal of­fence, was £188.35 in England and £123.40 in Wales.

The sta­tis­tics show that women are more likely to be pro­ceeded against than men for in­stalling or us­ing a TV re­ceiver with­out a li­cence - 71 per cent of cases in England and Wales in 2016 in­volved a woman.

The num­ber of peo­ple pro­ceeded against has fallen in re­cent years, from a peak of 193,032 pro­ceed­ings in 2012.

The num­ber of pro­ceed­ings in 2016 was the low­est since 170,636 in 2011.

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