MORE than 140 young people in Wiltshire have been caught watching live TV or a BBC iPlayer without a TV licence in the past year, according to new figures released by TV Licensing.

In Wiltshire, a total of 144 young TV licence evaders were caught during the period from September 2016 to August 2017.

Of these, 53 were from Swindon, 25 from Trowbridge, 16 from Salisbury, 11 from Chippenham, nine from Calne, eight from Westbury, six from Melksham, four each from Devizes, Marlborough and Warminster, two from Corsham, and one each from Bradford on Avon and Malmesbury.

Across the UK, a total of 33,684 young TV license evaders aged 18 to 25 were caught in the same 12-month period.

With 78 per cent of undergraduates aged 24 and under, TV Licensing is reminding new 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 TV licence.

Richard Chapman, spokesperson for TV Licensing in the South West, said: “Students and young adults need to be aware of their legal responsibilities.

“If you’re watching live TV on any device, including mobiles and tablets, or watch catch up programmes on BBC iPlayer, you need a TV licence.

"Anyone caught watching TV without a TV licence can face prosecution and a fine of up to a £1,000.

“With many students owning 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.”

Recent research by TV Licensing shows BBC iPlayer continues to be the most used service for catch up and on demand by students, with 82 per cent of students using the BBC platform.

The study also revealed more than 50 per cent of students think it would be very embarrassing to get caught without a licence.

Mr Chapman added: “If students are concerned about paying for a TV licence, they should get in touch.

"We know some people struggle to pay, and there are many payment options available, from paying in one go to spreading the cost over the year.”

If students live in halls of residence and watch live TV or BBC iPlayer programmes in their room, they will need their own TV licence.

Students in shared houses will also require their own licence if they use a TV or device in their room and have a separate tenancy agreement. Shared houses with joint tenancy agreements require only a single licence for the home.

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