TV LICENSING chiefs are warning young people they face being slapped with £1,000 fines after 130 Hartlepool students were caught without one.
More than 27,000 people aged 18 to 25 were caught watching live TV without a licence nationwide in the past year, including 62 offenders in the Peterlee area.
TV Licensing officials are reminding freshers they could face prosecution and fines up to £1,000 if they are caught watching TV on any device without a licence.
Matthew Thompson, spokesman for TV Licensing, said: “On average, students own three devices capable of streaming live TV, so it is important they understand the law when it comes TV and devices.
“Watching live TV on any device is illegal, without a TV Licence, and could result in prosecution and fine of up to £1,000.
“If you’re a student and you are worried about paying for a TV licence, get in touch.
“We know some people struggle to pay, which is why we have many payment options available to spread the cost in smaller, more manageable chunks.
“Once covered, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy TV legally.”
Offenders were caught between September 2013 and August this year.
Students in any doubt about whether or not they need a licence are encouraged to check by visiting www.tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo or call 0300 7906113.