In 2013, 178,332 people in England and Wales were proceeded against under the Wireless Telegraphy Acts. 153,369 were found guilty. However, only 32 of those went to prison that year.
If you look at the figures, you’ll see that the great majority of people who are found guilty of fee dodging don’t end up doing time. Why is this?
Under the current system, if you are found guilty of licence fee evasion you will in the first instance receive a fine, which in most cases can range from under £25 and up to £1,000. The amount varies, but data from the Criminal Justice System (England and Wales) shows that in most cases the fines vary between £150-£200.
Your local magistrate, district judge or sheriff can send you to prison if you wilfully and repeatedly refuse to pay the fine.
The TV Licence Enforcement Review states: “Under the current system individuals found guilty of failure to hold a TV licence do not receive a criminal record as the offence is not a recordable offence and therefore does not appear on the Police National Computer.”
If an offence is not on the PNC, it won't show up on any DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks - the new name for CRB (Criminal Recods Bureau).