More than 2,000 young people in London were caught watching live or catch-up TV without a licence over the last year, new figures have revealed.
Statistics published by TV Licensing show 2,033 people aged 18 and 25 were caught in the capital, with inner London postcodes accounting for more than half the offences. More people were caught in London than in Kent, Hampshire and Essex combined.
The licensing company has warned that watching live TV or BBC programmes on iPlayer on any device without a licence can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
A spokesperson for TV Licensing London and South East, said: “Every year there are myths which circulate around campus about when you do and don’t need a licence. 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.”
Research carried out by TV Licensing revealed over a quarter of students take a television to university, an increase from last year. While most students use a television to watch live and recorded TV, the majority watch BBC iPlayer on their laptop or smartphone.
Students living in halls of residence need to be covered by a licence if they watch TV in their room. Those in shared houses also need a licence if they use a television or mobile device in their own room and have a separate tenancy agreement.
Pippa Mackie, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Kingston, said: “ We encourage all students to be sure they’ve got their TV Licence sorted – especially new students who might not be aware of all the rules.”