Young people urged to check TV licence

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Young people on Arran are being urged to check they’re fully covered with a TV licence as figures for evaders caught are revealed.

More than 800 people in Scotland between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a licence in the past year, according to data released by TV Licensing.

With 84 per cent of undergraduates aged 24 and under, 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 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 in the past year. Despite the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, a television is still the most used device for students watching live or recorded TV. However most watching BBC iPlayer are using a laptop, with 65 per cent watching on their portable computer and 28 per cent on their smartphone.

Awareness of knowing when a licence is needed is high, with 92 per cent of students clear that a TV licence is required to watch BBC iPlayer on a TV set. If students live in halls of residence and watch live TV or BBC iPlayer programmes in their room, they also need a licence. Students in shared houses require their own licence if they use a TV or device in their room and have a separate tenancy agreement.

TV Licensing spokesman Fergus Reid 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.’

Students can easily check if they need a licence on the TVL website –  – or by calling 0300 790 6113.