MORE than 450 people were caught watching television without a licence in Reading in the six month period up to the end of last month.

Reading trails a long way behind Slough's 690 illegal box watchers over the same period but is well ahead of Bracknell's 190 and just 90 in Newbury.

Nationally Television Licensing detection teams caught 204,000 dodging the �145.50 annual licence during the first half of the year - an evasion rate of just over 5%.

Victoria Sykes, TV Licensing spokeswoman, said: "Today's figures paint a very positive picture as the vast majority of people in the UK continue to pay their licence fee. Unfortunately, a minority do not pay, which is unfair to the law-abiding majority.

"If people decide to watch TV without being properly licensed they risk prosecution and a fine of up to �1,000. We do understand some people may find it difficult to pay their licence fee in one go, which is why we offer numerous ways to spread the cost, including a weekly cash payment plan, a savings card and monthly Direct Debit scheme, which can all be set up very quickly online or over the phone."

A colour licence is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on television, whether they are using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment.

Information on how and where to pay the licence fee can be found at