Skip to main content

Television Licences: Non-payment

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 8550, tabled on 27 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, in how many prosecutions for TV Licence fee non-payment charges were withdrawn (a) after a Single Justice Procedure was sent to the defendant and (b) after a plea was entered by the defendant.

Answered on

7 June 2021

The Ministry of Justice has published the number of prosecutions, convictions and sentencing outcomes (including fine amounts) for the non-payment of TV licence fees up to December 2020, available in the Outcomes by Offence data tool:

  • Select ‘191A Television licence evasion’ in the Offence filter; prosecutions can be found in row 23 and convictions are in row 24.
  • To see these figures for females, select ’02: Female’ in the Sex filter.
  • The number of fines issued each year can be found in row 28, and the average fine amount in row 78.

Number of charges withdrawn can be found in the Magistrates’ courts data tool:

  • Select ‘191A Television licence evasion’ in the Offence filter; Charges withdrawn can be found in row 25.

It is not possible to distinguish at which stage the charge was withdrawn, whether the offence was dealt with under a Single Justice Procedure or information regarding plea at magistrates’ court.

Centrally held Ministry of Justice court proceedings data does not record committals for default of fine payment because the offence will be recorded under contempt of court, which will not separately identify non-payment of fines. This information can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.