HC Deb 21 December 1989 vol 164 cc384-5W
Mr. Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions have been obtained concerning television licence fee evasion for each year of the past 10 years; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten

The following information has been supplied by the national television licence records office. Provision of details for earlier years would involve disproportionate cost.

Offenders found guilty of television licence fee evasion
United Kingdom
Financial year Number of convictions
1984–85 110,042
1985–86 123,122
1986–87 174,509
1987–88 158,182
1988–89 172,604

The increase in recent years results from improvements in the detection rate.

People who find the licence fee hard to pay in one lump sum can now take advantage of the new budget payments scheme. This enables colour licence payers to obtain a licence on payment of the first of four quarterly direct debit instalments.

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