HC Deb 15 December 1998 vol 322 cc418-9W
Mrs. Fyfe

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many prosecutions arose from non-payment of television licence fees in the last year for which figures are available; if he will estimate the number of such prosecutions against women; what was the average fine for non-payment; how many people are currently in prison for non-payment, and how many of these are women; and if evidence from television detector vans or hand-held detectors has been successfully used in any such prosecutions. [62441]

Mr. McLeish

The available information is set out in the table. Custodial sentences for non-payment of a television licence are not available to the courts as a first disposal. Information on the method of detecting such offences is not collected centrally.

In 1996, there were 30 fine default receptions (21 of which involved females) into Scottish penal establishments for non-payment of fines for offences committed under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

Persons proceeded against where the main offence was under the Wireless Telegraphy Act1 1949, Scotland, 1996
Main disposal Males Females Total
Persons proceeded against 1,917 3,817 5,734
Persons with a charge proved 1,841 3,762 5,603
Of which:
Persons fined 1,575 3,207 4,782
Average fine (£) 60 54 56
Persons admonished 251 540 791
Other disposal 15 15 30
1 Most prosecutions under this Act relate to non-payment of a television licence. Where known, prosecutions for other offences under this Act have been excluded from the table

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