A Wainfleet takeaway owner caught without a TV Licence has been ordered to pay £680 by magistrates.
Mr Martin Chan, owner of Canton House, on High Street, Wainfleet, was fined £440 in his absence for the offence of using a TV without a licence on the business premises.
He was also ordered to pay £196 costs and a £44 victim surcharge following a magistrate’s review of the case on 9 January at Leamington Spa Magistrates’ Court.
Any business showing television programmes as they’re broadcast on TV, whether for customers’ use or in staff areas, must be covered by a valid TV Licence.
If there is living accommodation on the premises where a TV is also in use, this must be covered by a separate licence. Those without a valid licence are breaking the law and run the risk of a court prosecution and fine of up to £1,000 per offence, plus costs. Businesses found guilty are also required to buy a TV Licence at £145.50, or they could face a potential second prosecution.
According to research, long-term business reputation is more important than any gains made by cutting corners, particularly when it comes to keeping on the right side of the law.
A survey of over 250 managers at UK businesses, conducted with the British Chambers of Commerce on behalf of TV Licensing, showed that where a business needs to make cutbacks, just 14 per cent would consider not paying for a TV Licence where one was needed. The BCC survey also showed that, of those asked what would motivate them to ensure they were correctly licensed, 98 per cent answered the potential reputational damage from negative press coverage of a prosecution for TV Licence evasion.
Mark Whitehouse, TV Licensing spokesperson for East Anglia, said: “We appreciate these are tough times for businesses, but to be fair to the majority who do pay the licence fee, we have to take action against those who watch TV illegally. As our survey shows, those businesses who do try to get away with it might find the price of being caught to be higher than just a fine.
“We’d rather businesses think ahead and check if they need a licence than risk being prosecuted. A licence costs £145.50 and can be bought in minutes online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/businessinfo.”