Young people under 25 warned TV licences apply as much to them as 36 in Wisbech are caught in clampdown

TV licence warning

TV licence warning - Credit: Archant

Young people are being warned they face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if they are caught watching live TV – on any device – without a licence.

The warning comes after 36 youngsters aged between 18 and 25 were caught in the act in Wisbech, as part of a nationwide clampdown that saw some 26,000 young people brought to task.

Mark Whitehouse, of TV Licensing in East Anglia, said: “We recognise that young people are early adopters of digital viewing platforms such as smart phones and tablets. However, the law is clear when it comes to watching live television: you need to be covered by a valid TV license regardless of the kind of device on which programmes are being viewed.

“We work hard with young people, including students, to ensure they understand the law and to help them budget and manage payments.”

Recent research by TV Licensing says that 29 per cent think TV Licensing can’t catch people watching live TV on a computer, laptop or mobile device and just over half of students believe that people in general are unlikely to be caught if they watch live TV without a licence.

Mr Whitehouse added: “Every year myths circulate about when you do and don’t need a licence. A TV Licence costs on average £12.13 a month which goes towards services like Radio One’s Big Weekend, BBC iPlayer, Newsbeat and BBC One Match of the Day.”

Anyone can check if they need a licence on – or by calling 0300 790 6113.