MORE than 1,200 people in South Tyneside were caught watching TV without a licence last year.
Figures for 2012 show that about 790 people were caught watching TV without a licence in South Shields last year, along with more than 230 in Jarrow and about 210 in Hebburn.
The average evasion rate remains at just over five per cent.
A TV Licensing spokeswoman said: “The data shows evasion remains at historically low levels of approximately five per cent, with the overwhelming majority of people ensuring they are correctly licensed.
“In order to be fair to the law-abiding majority who do pay for their licence, we’ll continue to pursue the minority of people do not pay.
“We understand some people may find it difficult to pay in one go, which is why we offer numerous ways to spread the cost.
“We also work with a range of money advice organisations. Their staff can provide useful information and payment advice to help people budget for a TV Licence.”
For further information about licensing requirements and ways to pay, visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk