MORE than 40 young people in Bangor were interviewed by officials for watching live TV without a valid licence.

The 18 to 25 year olds were checked out by TV Licensing Visiting Officers for watching live TV or BBC iPlayer figures have revealed.

The TV Licensing statistics relate to visits to unlicensed properties between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019.

It was also found that 1,375 people aged 18 to 25 were interviewed for watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a valid licence across Wales.

A total of more than 200,000 young people were caught across the UK.

Nationwide TV Licensing makes more than 7,500 daily visits to unlicensed addresses where occupants have ignored attempts to make contact.

Not all visits lead to prosecution and the majority of first-time offenders are not prosecuted if they buy a licence before their court date.

There are over 120,000 students at Welsh universities, and with 84 per cent of UK undergraduates aged 24 and under.

If they are caught, they risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

The rules apply to any device, not just a TV set. Despite the explosion in popularity of smartphones and tablets, a television is still the most used device for students watching live or recorded TV, with nearly two thirds of students taking a TV to university.

For those watching BBC iPlayer, most use a laptop, with 65% watching on their portable computer and 28% watching on their smartphone.

The law on TV Licensing is:

The law applies to students living away from home in halls or shared accommodation. Covered by a TV Licence is required to:

Watch or record programmes (such as sports, news, music, dramas and documentaries) as they’re being shown on TV, or live on an online TV service (e.g. YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)

or downloading or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

It applies to any device, such as a TV set (including smart TV), laptop, desktop computer, tablet, mobile phone, games console, digital box, etc.

If students live in halls of residence and watch live TV or BBC iPlayer programmes in their room, they will need to be covered by a TV Licence.

Students in shared houses will also require their own licence if they use a TV or device in their room and have a separate tenancy agreement, but if they have a joint tenancy agreement for an entire house or flat, one licence usually covers the whole property.

Helen Wild, spokesperson for TV Licensing in Wales, said: “Students will now have settled into their new term and every year myths circulate around about when you do and don’t need a licence.

“Most students own at least one device capable of showing live TV or watching BBC iPlayer - such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet computer – it’s important they know the law around being correctly licensed, so we would encourage them to visit to find out more.”

A standard TV licence costs £154.50 and there are many payment options available, from paying in one go to spreading the cost over the year. They can buy and manage their licence online and if they don’t need their licence for a full 12 months, they could apply for a refund.

Students can check if they need a licence at – or by calling 0300 790 6113.