More than 170 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught watching live TV or BBC iPlayer without a TV licence in Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough in the past year.
According to new figures released today (Tuesday) by TV Licensing, there were more than 50 youngsters caught in Wellingborough, more than 60 in Kettering and 60 in Corby.
Across the UK, more than 33,000 young people were caught in the same 12-month period.
With 78 per cent of undergraduates aged 24 and under, TV Licensing is reminding new students they could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if they are caught watching live TV, or BBC programmes on iPlayer, on any device, without a TV licence.
Recent research by TV Licensing shows BBC iPlayer continues to be the most used service for catch up and on demand by students, with 86 per cent of students in the Midlands using the BBC platform.
The study also revealed more than 50 per cent of students in the region think it would be would be very embarrassing to get caught without a licence.
About half (53 per cent) of all students in the Midlands think it’s highly likely they’d be caught if watching live TV without a licence.
Mark Whitehouse, spokesman for TV Licensing in the East Midlands, said: “With many students owning 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.
“If you’re watching live TV on any device, including mobiles and tablets, or watch catch up programmes on BBC iPlayer, you need a TV licence.
“Students and young adults need to be aware of their legal responsibilities.
“Anyone caught watching TV without a TV licence can face prosecution and a fine of up to a £1,000.
“If students are concerned about paying for a TV licence, they should get in touch.
“We know some people struggle to pay, and there are many payment options available, from paying in one go to spreading the cost over the year.
“Students can check if they need a licence on our website – www.tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo – or by calling 0300 790 6113.”
If students live in halls of residence and watch live TV or BBC iPlayer programmes in their room, they will need their own 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.
Shared houses with joint tenancy agreements require only a single licence for the home.