15 year old denied travel due to smoking

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Bungle73, 8 Nov 2011.

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  1. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

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    Oh this reply is a classic:

    Apparently this woman has no problem with her 15-year-old smoking, and seems to think the fact that he didn't have any ID is someone else' fault, and that officials should be able to tell someone's age by telepathy, and also thet they should just let passengers travel on their own say so that they're the correct age for a child rate tickets, when they have grounds to suspect otherwise.
     
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  3. robertbishop

    robertbishop Member

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    I don't know whether to me amused or awfully depressed after that.
     
  4. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    We don't know whether she has a problem with her 15-year-old smoking or not, it's not really relevant to the story. Do people have to have ID on them at all times in this country? I didn't think that the ID cards legislation had been passed yet. There are usually avenues of questioning that will trip up 16-17-year-olds without unfairly persecuting genuine 15-year-olds. And unless the person in question is known to the staff, surely confiscating a ticket from someone who 'could' be a vulnerable person is against all kinds of guidelines and should get the staff member in a fair amount of hot water.

    I'm just thankful that in London my 15-year-old pretty much has to carry a zip Oyster card with his picture on, which provides conclusive proof of his entitlement to child fares.
     
  5. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

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    The smoking is relevant because its indicative of her general attttude IMO.

    Also, I don't know what it's like now but when I was a kid 14 and 15-year-olds were required to possess a child rate photo card in order to obtain a child fare on the buses; and try purchasing an acholoic beverage without proof of age if you look young. Why should train travel be any different? Otherwise the network would be open to all sorts of abuse.
     
  6. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    When I was a kid 14 and 15-year-olds had to pay adult fares! Purchasing alcohol is slightly different IMO as it is a controlled product. I'm not aware of any requirement to have ID to buy child tickets. In London the zip card acts as ID anyway, but when my kid went roving round Kent in the summer there was no instruction to carry ID when we purchased the tickets.

    I take it you agree that potentially stranding a minor is not acceptable behaviour by an officer of the railway?
     
  7. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    The article also heavily implies he was smoking indoors and/or on railway property which I believe has been forbidden in Scotland for years.
     
  8. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The fact he was smoking was, surely, a good enough reason to refuse him entry onto the train.
     
  9. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    If this was at Edinburgh Waverley station, it's hard to believe that he was seen smoking outside the station, in which case he could have been in further trouble for smoking on station premises.
     
  10. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    The whole story doesn't make sense really.


    How did he get there in the first place?

    Why is there no complaint about the cost of cigarettes?

    Why was he not fined for smoking in a station?


    I can't think of a way of googling it in an appropriate way... But there was a case fairly recently when a bloke "got away" with engaging in inappropriate activities with a minor in a club. He made the reasonable assumption that as under 18s were not permitted in the club, that the individual must be over 18...

    On that basis, it doesn't seem unreasonable for someone who is of an age close to the cut-off who is seen to be engaging in an activity that you must be over 18 to do to be considered to be over 18 for the purposes of a charging structure.
     
  11. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I'll put my hands up, I've never been a smoker so I've not taken too much notice of the penalties for being caught smoking on a railway station. However, does the penalty really include the confiscation of travel tickets? Am I really the only person on here who is concerned about a 15-year-old potentially being stranded in a big city? If my son was left at London Bridge without the means to travel home to Crayford then I'd be absolutely hopping mad.
     
  12. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Where was this quote/comment originally from?

    I'm always amazed by people who very openly drink alcohol/smoke and then attempt to present themselves as a child for the purpose of obtaining a cheaper ticket, lacking the intellect to appreciate the otherwise obvious problem with the situation. If you will insist in indulging in practices reserved for the adult population when you know that you need to persuade somebody you are a minor, then you really have nobody to blame but yourself (and perhaps the ignorant, p*ss poor parenting you may seemingly have received).

    I see absolutely no reason at all why the member of staff should have been reprimanded for 'stranding' anybody, in this situation the fact they were happily smoking in public would be enough for me to happily make a decision to consider them adults. As for removing their tickets, there are procedures in place for this which should be correctly followed of course, if they weren't then there are other issues to look into. Either remove the tickets and 'process' them properly, or keep it simple and just refuse them travel. Either way, I hope this is a lesson learned both to smoking child and hapless parent (I doubt it :roll:).
     
  13. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

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    See here. It's a comment on the OP's blog.
     
  14. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    I've never been a smoker either so can't definitively answer you. However, smoking is an adult activity (iirc you can smoke at 16 but have to be 18 to purchase? Either way the point is moot) and in the absence of any ID how would the guard ascertain he was a child and not an adult attempting to fraudulently deny the railway revenue by using child tickets?
     
  15. HH

    HH Established Member

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    Having two children who have recently been through that age I can say that they and their friends always carried (and still do) proof of age. But then I wouldn't be letting them smoke when they were 15, and thankfully they still don't at 19 and 17.
     
  16. p123

    p123 Member

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    I like this story. I, personally, feel that the minority who misbehave on our railways aren't really given proper punishment and more often than not get away with it. Well done to Scotrail (I assume so seeing as they're the ones with ticket inspectors at Waverley) for putting this guy in his place. Why?

    a) If he was on a child's ticket and was smoking it's illegal. Twice. One, because he's under 18 and two because it's against the law to smoke in Waverley. Or Haymarket, actually, in case anyone thinks I've misunderstood 'Edinburgh' in the original post. You break the law, you should be punished.

    b) If he was over 18 and happened to be in a part of the station where smoking was legal (e.g. no roof), then he bought a child's ticket as an adult which is illegal. You break the law, you should be punished.

    Ok, right-wing rant over. But seriously, looking at it from all angles, no matter what the situation I'm glad he was pulled up and dealt with!
     
  17. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    OK, Perhaps as the parent of a 15-year-old (with two more to reach that milestone later) I'm more sensitive to the worries that most parents have when their kids start asserting their independance. I agree that if you do adult things you are giving yourself problems if you also want child privileges.

    How do you ascertain someone is a child? A good way I've heard is to inadvertantly say "you need to be under 18 to use that, when is your date of birth?" If they are trying it on then they may well be lulled into giving a 16 or 17 year old's date of birth. If they give a 15 year old's date of birth then I'd be more inclined to believe them. You can also ask what year at school they are in. 15 becomes 16 during year 11. If they hesitate about answering the question then it can be taken as a sign that they are working out what they need to say. I'm sure there are other lines of questioning that can be employed as well. It can be difficult to expect the unexpected when trying to lie about ones age.
     
  18. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Someone called Louise on Wordpress.com. There is no further information available than what is posted here, however you can reply to Louise directly here. As Bungle73 says, it was a reply to a comment posted on a blog that was referred to in the Glasgow-Edinburgh single instead of return topic, however it has nothing to do with that issue, so it has been split into a new topic.
     
  19. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Thing is, it shouldn't really be the job of Guards to play Miss Marple. There are obviously times when you have somebody trying it on and you need to do what you can to work out whether they are or aren't a child, but if they answer the question through a display of their own actions then as far as I'm concerned I have nothing to ask them. If they're smoking, drinking, tattooed etc then, provided they're not obviously pre-pubescent or something, I have no issues whatsoever treating them as adults, and that would include refusing them travel if necessary.

    If my manager approached me advising me that the troublemakers/fare dodgers/etc I left behind were minors, I would fully expect a response of "well I'm sorry about that, but they were smoking and so I believed them through their own actions to be of adult age" to be a sufficient answer to close the matter.
     
  20. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Just a minor point. It is not illegal for a 15yo to smoke. It *is* illegal for a shopkeeper to sell smoking materials to them, however.
     
  21. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

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    I think you'll find that it is.
     
  22. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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  23. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Deleted - MikeWH has posted the same info
     
  24. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

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  25. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    although policemen have a duty to confiscate cigarettes from anyone they see smoking in public who appears to be under 16.
    because there isn't a law about that?
     
  26. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    I wondered when that would come up :)

    I'd venture that the specific legality of it isn't really the issue, though it comes into it if he was illegally smoking on a station (I'm always slightly baffled by the plethora of different views on how it works in Scotland!). Either way, it isn't helpful or clever to make yourself apparent to the Guard of your intended train whist smoking and then proclaim yourself to be entitled to hold a child ticket. I'd make the obvious point about common sense and all, but it was clearly not an element in this particular instance...
     
  27. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    That link doesn't apply to Scotland either.
     
  28. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

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  29. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    The Children And Young Persons Act of 1933 (specifically section 7) makes no mention of it being in contavention of the Act, excpet that any tobacco can be seized by a policeman (or a park-keeper in uniform!):
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo5/23-24/12
    (3)It shall be the duty of a constable and of a park-keeper being in uniform to seize any tobacco or cigarette papers in the possession of any person apparently under the age of sixteen years whom he finds smoking in any street or public place, and any tobacco or cigarette papers so seized shall be disposed of, if seized by a constable, in such manner as the police authority may direct, and if seized by a park-keeper, in such manner as the authority or person by whom he was appointed may direct.
     
  30. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    It was passed and the scheme introduced as compulsory for some people (airport workers and some immigrants) and voluntary for everyone else pending a full compulsory roll out (in 2012/ 2013 I think).

    The coalition government however scrapped it as soon as the necessary legislation could be passed.
     
  31. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

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    She says he spent all of his money on a child train ticket. But surely he didnt, as he had enough spare for some ciggies!
     
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