TV licence offences jump a third in one year
THE number of people prosecuted for not paying TV licence fees has increased by a third in a year, writes Fiona Ellis.
An Post said the jump in numbers was because people were having difficulty finding the €160 price for the licences.
Some 20,000 people were taken to court and prosecuted last year for not paying the fee, compared to just over 15,700 in 2009.
More than 60 people were jailed for failing to pay court fines after they were caught without a licence in 2009. Comparative figures for 2010 were not available from the Department of Justice.
An Post said prosecutions were always "a last resort" and that people were given every "opportunity to pay online and using other methods".
"These are challenging times for people generally and especially for people's budgets, and that has obviously affected the figures.
"There are a number of payment options. There is an online option and there are part-payment options."