MORE than 400 Moray residents were caught watching TV without a licence last year.
Figures show over 250 people in Elgin risked a possible £1,000 fine by evading paying for their TV licence in 2012, along with more than 60 from Forres.
TV Licensing say the average evasion rate remains at a low of just over five per cent nationally, meaning the overwhelming majority of people are ensuring they are correctly licensed.
"If people decide to watch TV without being properly licensed, they risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000," warned TV Licensing spokesman Fergus Reid.
"In order to be fair to the law-abiding majority who do pay for their licence, we’ll continue to pursue the small minority of people do not pay.
He said a number of ways to spread the cost of a TV licence are now available for those who find it difficult to pay in one go.
"Payment options include 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. "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. Yvonne Gallacher, Chief Executive of Money Advice Scotland said: "We urge members of the public to seek money advice at the earliest stage, to avoid prosecution. There are a number of different ways to pay for a TV licence which hopefully will help many clients budget accordingly."
A colour TV licence currently costs £145.50 and is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV, whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment.
For further information about licensing requirements and ways to pay, visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk