WREXHAM has the highest number of TV licence dodgers in North Wales.

Latest figures reveal that 1,313 evaders were collared by TV Licensing last year – by far the largest number in the region.

The figure is six times higher than neighbouring Mold, which had just 216, and eight times higher than Flint, where 169 dodgers were caught.

Across the UK 417,000 people were detected watching TV without a licence during 2009, almost 4,000 more than the previous year.

The average evasion rate is currently just over five per cent, meaning that almost 95 per cent of properties are correctly licensed.

According to Warren Carr, TV Licensing spokesman for Wales, the large number caught in Wrexham was probably more down to its larger population than any local trend towards licence evasion.

He said: “On behalf of the vast majority of people who pay for their TV licence, we work hard to catch those who attempt to cheat the system.

“These figures demonstrate that there really is no hiding place for TV licence evaders, and we continue to be highly effective at catching them.

“We do, of course, recognise that some people can find it difficult to pay for their TV licence in one go, which is why we offer a range of ways to spread the cost, including monthly Direct Debit, which can be set up very quickly online or over the phone.

“We also offer weekly or fortnightly payment cards, which can be topped up online, by phone, by text message or at one of 22,000 PayPoint outlets.”

A colour TV licence currently costs £142.50 and is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are broadcast on a TV set, computer or any other equipment.

Anyone not holding a TV licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

For details about how and where to pay for your TV Licence can be found at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info