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24.06.03

ABOUT THE BBC


New generation of television detector vans hit the streets


TV Licensing launches 10th model of van in UK


TV Licensing today (Tuesday 24 June) launches its new generation of detector van, the 10th to be rolled out in more than 50 years.


The new vans use the most advanced technology available and are the first to be designed with removable TV Licensing branding, designed to make them look like any other white van on the streets.


Vanessa Wood, TV Licensing spokesperson, said: "These new vans really are a case of 'now you see it, now you don't'.


"Because we are able to remove the TV Licensing logo, licence evaders won't know we're in the area unless we want them to.


"50 years ago you could spot the first TV detector vans coming a mile off as the aerial on top was as wide as the van. This is the first time we have used covert vans and they will be only one part of our activities to target licence evaders."


Last year TV Licensing caught over 440,000 evaders. The technology developed especially for this new generation of vans means that evaders are even more likely to be caught.


Vanessa Wood said: "The new vans are so powerful they can tell if a TV is in use in as little as 20 seconds. And once the television is detected, the equipment - which works from up to 60 metres away - can pinpoint the actual room that the television set is in.


"However, the technology is so secret that even the engineers working on different detection systems worked in isolation – not even they know how the other detection methods work."


For the first time the detector vans will use GPS satellite technology to track down targeted addresses. This will enable TV Licensing to precisely target individual evader homes using up-to-the-minute information from its database of 28 million addresses.


TV detector vans help TV Licensing catch around 1,200 evaders every day. Anyone caught without a licence risks a trip to court and a fine of up to £1,000.


It is illegal to use or install television receiving equipment to receive television programme services if you are not properly licensed.


For further information about the many ways to buy a licence or the concessions available please call 0870 241 5590 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Notes to Editors


Ways to pay


A colour TV Licence costs £116. There are several ways to pay.


Credit/Debit Card: Simply call 08705 22 66 66 and pay by credit or debit card.


This facility accepts payment from a range of cards including Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Delta and Connect.


You can also pay online using your credit or debit card at www.tvlicensing.co.uk.


Direct Debit: Direct debit is now the most popular and hassle-free way to pay for your licence - more than half of all licence payers now pay this way.


Phone 08705 22 66 66 to set up a monthly, quarterly or annual Direct Debit.


By Post: Simply send a cheque made payable to TV Licensing to the following address: TV Licensing, Freepost BS6689, Bristol BS1 3YJ.


Please write your name, address and reference number on the back.


At Any Post Office: Pay by cash or cheque at any post office branch. Just pick up an application form when you're there or ask at the counter for details.


PayPoint: Cash payments under the Cash Easy Entry scheme at PayPoint outlets around the UK - call 08457 289 289.


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