MORE THAN half of all people in Newport found without a TV licence were caught “out of hours”, according to new figures.

A new survey by TV Licensing enquiry officers found that around 11,000 evaders across the UK were caught watching live TV or programmes on BBC iPlayer in the early morning, evening and at weekends.

Despite almost a third of adults thinking it unlikely that they could be caught without a licence, officers caught 31 people (61 per cent of evaders) outside weekday working hours in July.

Elsewhere, 50 evaders (67 per cent) were caught at similar times in Monmouth, a further 29 (59 per cent) in Pontypool and 42 (60 per cent) in Caerphilly.

Richard Chapman, TV licensing spokesman for Wales, said that more than 10,000 doors are knocked a day by investigation officers – the equivalent of one every five seconds.

A total of 256,600 evaders were caught in 2016/17 but Mr Chapman stressed that the authority would rather help people to pay than prosecute them.

“We offer a variety of ways to spread the cost, including a weekly cash payment plan, a savings card or a monthly Direct Debit scheme, which can be set up very quickly online or over the phone,” he said.

“We also work with almost 500 money advice and community organisations across the UK to offer information on when a licence is needed, ways to pay and concessions.”

Enquiry officers focus their visits on unlicensed addresses where occupants have ignored previous attempts to make contact.

The vast majority of first time evaders are not prosecuted if they buy a licence before their case is reviewed by the courts.

Around 99 per cent of TV Licensing cases taken to court in England and Wales result in a conviction.

Ron Hand, TV Licensing field operations lead, added: “In order to be fair to the majority who do pay for their licence, we’ll continue to pursue the small minority of people who do not pay.

“We make sure some of our visits are scheduled when popular programmes such EastEnders are aired or football matches are screened, outside normal working hours.”

A colour licence costs £147. A TV Licence is needed if you’re watching or recording programmes at the same time as they’re shown on TV, or watching BBC programmes on iPlayer, and can be bought online in minutes at

For more information about when a licence is needed, visit