New research shows people in respected professions frequently break the law

Workers in the insurance, finance and legal sectors are among the professions who have admitted to committing petty crimes, according to new research by TV Licensing.

Bucking the stereotype of the typical offender, the research shows significant numbers of people with jobs in respected professions - including finance, medical and education sectors - break the law with some frequency, including evading their TV licence fee.

People working in the financial, insurance and legal world were the most likely to say they knew a lawbreaker (26 per cent). They were closely followed by those working in manufacturing sales and retail and media, PR and publishing sectors.

Although 97% the same group agreed that speeding should be against the law, almost one in five admitted to doing it in the previous week.

Insurance, financial and legal employees were among the most likely to travel on public transport without a ticket with three per cent of those interviewed saying they had done it in the last week.

People working in these sectors were among the least tolerant of petty theft, with 55 per cent saying they would tell the police if they knew someone was committing this offence.

The research was commissioned by TV Licensing to examine the discrepancies between people’s views of themselves as law-abiding citizens and their behaviour.

TV Licensing spokesperson, Joanna Pearce, said: “We already know that licence fee dodgers, like other petty criminals, come from all walks of life. But these part-time criminals should not make the mistake of thinking they can get away with it.

"Our increasingly sophisticated detection techniques, including our database of over 29 million UK addresses, which allows us to see at the touch of a button which properties are unlicensed, and our new hi-tech handheld detectors, mean that people who are watching TV without a licence have nowhere to hide."