Publication - FOI/EIR release

Number of prosecutions of unpaid television licence: FOI release

Published: 2 Jul 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
2 Jul 2021
Number of prosecutions of unpaid television licence: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100213156
Date received: 11 Jun 2021
Date responded: 1 Jul 2021
Information requested

The number of prosecutions raised in Scotland in the last three years for non payment of a television licence and how many of these have been successful

Response

In the UK the non-payment of the licence fee is a criminal offence. The television licence fee and whether or not evasion of it is a criminal offence is a matter reserved to the UK Government. The prosecutorial function is, however, devolved and in Scotland we place greater emphasis on alternatives to prosecution, such as direct measures, than the rest of the UK.

The latest available information on criminal proceedings is for the financial year 2019-20 and is provided in the following tables. Statistics are presented on the number of people dealt with by the Scottish Criminal Justice System where proceedings have concluded.

Number of people prosecuted in Scottish courts for offences of TV licence evasion1,2

 

Number of people receiving direct measures from COPFS for offences of TV Licence evasion1

 

2017- 18

2018-19

2019-20

 

 

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

Total prosecuted

6

7

4

 

Total Direct Measures

6,395

5,767

4,203

Not Guilty

1

1

-

 

 

 

 

 

Guilty

5

6

4

 

 

 

 

 

1. Communications Act 2003 section 363(2)&(4)
2. Where main charge.

Further breakdown of this information is available from our website, where it is published as an additional dataset alongside our Criminal Proceedings in Scotland statistical bulletin, under 'supporting files': Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2019-20 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot). Further explanation on direct measures is noted at section D12 page 107 of the main bulletin.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG