TV licence warning to Preston students following city crack down on those watching illegally

Nearly 200 young people in Preston were caught watching TV without a licence in the last year
Nearly 200 young people in Preston were caught watching TV without a licence in the last year
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More than 150 young people were caught without a TV Licence in Preston in the last year.

A total of 174 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a TV Licence in the past year in Preston, according to new figures released by TV Licensing.

With more than 24,000 students at the University of Central Lancashire TV Licensing is reminding students they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if they are caught watching live TV, or BBC programmes on iPlayer, on any device, without a TV Licence.

Matthew Thompson, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “Every year there are myths which circulate around campus about when you do and don’t need a licence.

"As most students own at least one device capable of showing live TV or watching BBC iPlayer - such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet computer – it’s important they know the law around being correctly licensed.

"If you’re watching live TV on any device, including mobiles and tablets, or watch catch up programmes on BBC iPlayer, you need to be covered by a TV Licence.”

Recent research by TV Licensing shows that the number of students taking a TV to university has risen from 23 per cent to 27 per cent since last year.

Despite the explosion in popularity of smartphones and tablets, a television is still the most used device for students watching live or recorded TV.

However, for those watching BBC iPlayer, most are using a laptop, with 65 per cent watching on their portable computer and 28 per cent watching on their smartphone.

If students live in halls of residence and watch live TV or BBC iPlayer programmes in their room, they will need to be covered by a TV Licence.

Students in shared houses will also require their own licence if they use a TV or device in their room and have a separate tenancy agreement.

TV Licensing is asking students who are worried about paying for a TV Licence, to get in touch, as there are many payment options available, from paying in one go to spreading the cost over the year.