HUNDREDS of young adults in Bradford have been caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer illegally in the last year.

Figures released by TV Licensing revealed 310 people in the city, aged 18 to 25, have been interviewed by visiting officers for watching without a licence, between September 1 last year and August 31 this year.

That equates to more than 20 per cent of total figure for West Yorkshire (1,355), during that time period.

Anyone watching programmes, recording them, or using the iPlayer to download or access them could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1000.

The majority of first-time offenders are not prosecuted, if they buy a licence before their court date.

TV Licensing has put out the figures as a reminder to people, particularly focusing on students who are living away from home.

The rapid advancement of technology has meant regulations surrounding TV licences are constantly changing.

This includes covering the use of BBC iPlayer on smartphones and laptops.

There are more than 91,000 students throughout West Yorkshire and 84 per cent of UK undergraduates are aged 24 and under, Higher Education Statistics Limited 2018 shows.

In the last year, the University of Bradford had 8,564 students attending.

The university offers on-campus accommodation at The Green, but a TV licence does not come included.

There is also private accommodation available, and also houses in later years, but these also require TV licences on a case-by-case basis.

It is important not to get caught out.

Having a valid licence at home does not mean a student can watch TV in their university accommodation.

This is particularly poignant when looking at research conducted by Harris Interactive in May 2018.

It showed that nearly two thirds of students take a TV to university, but it is still illegal to use this, if you do not have a valid TV licence.

For BBC iPlayer, 65 per cent of students watch on their laptop, while 28 per cent watch on their smartphones.

A valid TV licence is also needed for these instances, and other items that have to be covered in order to be used are: games consoles and digital boxes.

One licence per person in student accommodation is required for all items.

It is the same in a shared house, if there is a separate tenancy agreement.

But, a joint tenancy agreement for an entire house or flat, means one licence usually covers the whole property.

Tim Downs, spokesperson for TV Licensing in the north, 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."

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