GAME'S UP FOR TV LICENCE DODGERS; Olympics crackdown.
ARMCHAIR sports fans are being warned they could be for the high jump themselves as TV licence watchdogs launch a crackdown on dodgers in the town.
Millions of viewers are expected to tune in to watch the Olympic Games from Athens and TV Licensing enquiry officers are targeting Nuneaton during the major events to track down local licence evaders who could face a trip to court and a fine of up to pounds 1,000.
In a similar crackdown during the recent Euro 2004 soccer tournament, TV Licensing netted 112 football fans in the Nuneaton area.
Now, detector vans are poised to hit Nuneaton's streets again as the Olympics prepares for its opening ceremony tomorrow.
The crackdown comes only a month after Nuneaton was named and shamed as one of the worst towns in the Midlands for dodgers.
TV Licensing published their half-year ranking league tables for the region - their League of Shame - and it showed Nuneaton had leapt into the top 10.
Nuneaton was not even ranked at the beginning of last year, but with 426 evaders caught in the town from January to June, it now ranks in eighth position in the TV Licensing table.
Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesman, said: "We've been warming up for this campaign.
"Our database of over 28 million addresses shows us which properties are unlicensed, so while our athletes go for gold, we'll be going for licence evaders.
"But having said that, we always prefer people to pay for a TV licence rather than be prosecuted so we are urging evaders to buy a licence before they get caught."
He added: "Our recent recruitment drive has paid dividends, with more enquiry officers out on the streets.
"The odds are stacked against evaders. The message is clear - buy a licence."
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|Publication:||Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)|
|Date:||Aug 12, 2004|
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