More than 1,000 people were caught watching television without a licence in Doncaster in the first six months of this year.
TV Licensing say that another 4,000 were caught across South Yorkshire.
“While the vast majority of people in the UK pay their licence fee, to be fair to those who pay we have to be firm with those who try to get away without paying,” said Tim Downs of TV Licensing.
“We take TV licence evasion very seriously and we will not hesitate to prosecute if people continue to break the law,” he added.
He continued: “We would always prefer people to buy a TV licence than risk prosecution and give people every opportunity to pay. However, we do understand some people may find it difficult to pay their licence fee in one go, which is why we offer numerous ways to spread the cost, including a weekly cash payment plan, a savings card and monthly direct debit scheme, which can all be set up very quickly on line.”