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Pay to view, sports fans urged.

Armchair sports fans tuning in to the Olympics could be in for the high jump in a blitz on TV licence dodgers in Middlesbrough.

Teams of TV licence inquiry officers will hit the streets during the competition's major events in a bid to catch out viewers who have not paid their licence fees.

Anyone caught could face a trip to court and a fine of up to pounds 1,000.

During a similar crackdown during Euro 2004, officers netted 212 football fans in Middlesbrough who had failed to pay for a TV licence.

Deborah Copeland, TV Licensing spokesman for the north, said: "Our database of more than 28 million addresses shows us which properties are unlicensed, so while our athletes go for gold, we'll be going for licence evaders.

"Having said that, we always prefer people to pay for a TV licence rather than be prosecuted so we are urging all local evaders to buy a licence before they get caught."

* For more information on how to pay for your TV licence, contact TV Licensing on 0870 241 5590 or visit the website at www.tvlicensing.co.uk
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 16, 2004
Words:188
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