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Maidstone is worst town in the South East for watching without a TV licence

By William Janes

Kent is the worst county in the South East for young people tuning in to BBC programmes without a TV licence.

New figures released by TV Licensing, a branch of the BBC, revealed that 694 viewers between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a licence in the past year.

This was the highest number for the entire South East region.

Maidstone had the highest number of viewers without a TV licence. Stock image
Maidstone had the highest number of viewers without a TV licence. Stock image

The worst offending town was Maidstone, where 63 people were caught, followed by Rochester and Ashford with 53 each, Chatham with 45, and Gillingham with 44.

Coming in lower were Canterbury and Dartford at 42 each, and Dover with 40 watching the box without a licence.

The statistics are a stark comparison to Oxfordshire where only 43 were caught in the same period, and still far ahead of the second worst county - Hampshire with 594.

The BBC is now reminding students in particular to sort out their licensing before viewing.

Cody Want, spokesperson for TV Licensing London and South East, said: "Every year there are myths which circulate around campus about when you do and don’t need a licence.

"As most students own 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.

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

Students can easily check if they need a licence on the TVL website – www.tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo or by calling 0300 790 6113.

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