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Making a meal of dodgers; MEALTIME TRAP FOR TV EVADERS.

Byline: JONATHAN GOODE

MORE TV licence dodgers are being caught out in Coventry during teatime swoops by enforcement officers.

Latest figures show that 61 per cent of Coventry viewers without a TV licence are being caught while eating in front of the box.

As the average person now spends 25 minutes a day eating and watching television, TV Licensing has launched a new strategy to target evaders during major sporting events and dramatic soap storylines.

During May and June, TV Licensing officers made more than 137,000 visits between the hours of 5pm and 9pm, catching many evaders midway through their evening meal.

Mark Whitehouse, spokesman for TV Licensing Midlands, said: "Our latest success in catching evaders confirms that the family meal has been replaced by the TV dinner."

TV Licensing caught more than 2,046 evaders in Coventry last year, 820 of whom were caught in the evening.

In the past six months 1,450 licence dodgers have been found in the city.

Anyone found without a licence could face a court appearance and a fine of up to pounds 1,000.

Mr Whitehouse said: "As the nights close in, more and more people will be watching TV as they eat.

"With TV Licensing's increasing focus on dinnertime visits, evaders should fear that knock on the door - it may well be our inquiry officers rather than the pizza delivery man."

jonathan.goode@mrn.co.uk
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 29, 2003
Words:236
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