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Can ticket examiners arrest you?

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suzanneparis

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Mod Note: Posts #1 - #22 were originally in this thread.

What legal rights do ticket collectors have?

Can they arrest you?

What would happen if a passenger simply said 'I am sorry but I have lost my ticket but I refuse to give you my details and I am now going to walk off into Loughborough' ?
 
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najaB

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What would happen if a passenger simply said 'I am sorry but I have lost my ticket but I refuse to give you my details and I am now going to walk off into Loughborough' ?
It is a legal requirement to give your name and address to an officer of the railway if they have reason to believe that you have committed and offence. They also have the legal power to detain you until you can be brought before an officer of the law.
 

suzanneparis

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Thanks najab.

I presumed it was a legal requirement but are you sure they have the power to detain you? Can you point me to the legislation please.

Specifically if someone said I refuse to be detained can they PHYSICALLY detain you?
 

greatkingrat

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What legal rights do ticket collectors have?

Can they arrest you?

What would happen if a passenger simply said 'I am sorry but I have lost my ticket but I refuse to give you my details and I am now going to walk off into Loughborough' ?

Almost certainly they are instructed to not try and physically detain people in this situation.

If you are unlucky there will be plain clothes BTP lurking round the corner to arrest anyone refusing to show a ticket and then you will be in much more trouble than you would have been for the initial ticket offence.
 

najaB

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Almost certainly they are instructed to not try and physically detain people in this situation.
That is generally the case, but they do have the legal power to detain an uncooperative passenger if it's safe to do so - e.g. they have BTP backup about to arrive.
 

LowLevel

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What legal rights do ticket collectors have?

Can they arrest you?

What would happen if a passenger simply said 'I am sorry but I have lost my ticket but I refuse to give you my details and I am now going to walk off into Loughborough' ?

You would probably be most surprised and maybe even concerned at what you subject yourself to in terms of the railway's rights and your person by choosing to use it.

Failing to provide a valid name and address can indeed result in you being detained until you can be brought before a magistrate. Having had a person dragged along a train floor and off up the platform for failing to comply and being mouthy, it's a less than pretty thing to watch.

There are various tactics trained officials can use. As a guard I've only ever physically touched someone when I felt that safety was immediately at risk, I've got better things to do with my time and it's quite correct that we generally have a 'hands off' policy. But the Railway do use plain clothes police constables, some railway enforcement officers are trained in physical intervention if required, and passive detention also can take place where by the officials refuse to move out of your way, and if you shove them, it could be assault.

You'll also probably be filmed nowadays by body cameras and Loughborough would be a particularly stupid place to try and set sail as being a student town with a few drink related issues to deal with it has a decent network of council operated CCTV cameras that conveniently start outside the station, the operators of which the local rail staff and BTP can contact to follow any persons trying to make an escape.

As such, I'd suggest by far the simplest thing to avoid a situation blowing up out of all proportion is to comply with any revenue protection exercise.
 
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DaveNewcastle

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What legal rights do ticket collectors have?

Can they arrest you?
. . . .are you sure they have the power to detain you? Can you point me to the legislation please.

Specifically if someone said I refuse to be detained can they PHYSICALLY detain you?
Detention and arrest are, of course, not identical actions, (See Albert v. Lavin [1982]) and a restraint without an arrest may be considered an assault (See Woods v DPP 2008).

The Regulation of Railways Act 1889 Section 5.2 Section authorises the detention of a passenger when they fail to produce a valid ticket OR fail to pay the fare, AND ALSO refuses to give their name and address. This can be invoked at any time and at any place.

But while fare evasion is not an arrestable offence, it is not unknown for Police officers to make arrests of non-paying passengers for other arrestable offences such as MOWP (Making Off Without Payment - Theft Act 1978 Section 3), Fraud by deception (Fraud Act 2006 Section 2), Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, or obtaining services by deception. Then there's the PACE 1984 Section 25 power of arrest for a person failing to provide details etc.

Section 16 of the rarely used, but still 'live', 1840 Regulation of Railways Act provided a power of detention to railway staff, and while the words "seized and detained" have been removed in England and Wales, they still apply in Scotland : ". . . any person shall wilfully obstruct or impede any officer or agent of any railway company in the execution of his duty upon any railway, or upon or in any of the stations or other works or premises connected therewith, or if any person shall wilfully trespass upon any railway, or any of the stations or other works or premises connected therewith, and shall refuse to quit the same upon request to him made by any officer or agent of the said company, every such person so offending, and all others aiding or assisting therein, shall and may be seized and detained by any such officer or agent, or any person whom he may call to his assistance, until such offender or offenders can be conveniently taken before some justice of the peace for the county or place wherein such offence shall be committed, and when . . . . "

And then there is the contentious power of an 'any person arrest' (formerly known as a 'citizens' arrest') under which a Railway officer may make an arrest if they "hold a reasonable suspicion that such an offence has occurred" SOCPA 2005 Section 24(a). Where the suspected Offence is indictable (such as a Fraud against the Railway by forging a ticket or claiming to have begun a ticketless journey at a station closer to the destination) then SOCPA authorises the 'any person arrest'. This is specifically in addition to the powers under the RoRA.

The Theft Act 1978 Section 2 states "Any person may arrest without warrant anyone who is, or whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects to be, committing or attempting to commit an offence under this section." though it would be remarkable if a Railway officer put themselves in this position - they would normally request attendance by HO Police or BTP.

Where the accusation of commiting an offence is unfounded (and sometimes even if it is substantiated), the arresting officer may expose themselves to the counter claim of 'unlawful detention' (See Hicks & ors v Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis 2015 - the excellent Brian Hicks and his 'peace camp' on Parliament Square), or with the tort of false imprisonment (See Austin v. Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis 2008 ), or to the tort of malicious prosecution (See Hunt v AB [2009]).
 
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319321

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Persons interested in seeing some TOC policies and training materials on this matter may be interested in the response to the following Freedom of Information Requests:
TFL - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/penalty_fares_issued_by_tfl, in particular Day 4 (PDF | HTML) and Day 5 (PDF | HTML) of the Revenue Control Inspectors training course
East Coast Trains - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/kgx_gateline_risk_assessments_an#incoming-244312 (I cant remember where the interesting information is, but its there)
 

319321

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I will add to my previous post that it is actually Day 8 of Transport for Londons Revenue Control Inspectors training that covers their power of arrest (PDF | HTML)
 

suzanneparis

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So if someone refuses to give their details but doesn't move they can't be arrested for MOWP because they haven't made off. Meanwhile, as you cannot be arrested for not having a ticket the station staff cannot touch you. Result stalemate.

Can't see how losing a ticket is fraud by deception?

Until the perp gets hungry or needs the loo.

Not meaning to be silly but I can genuinely imagine an instance where one could lose a ticket. I was in a rush a year or so ago and did drop mine after going through the automatic barrier thing. Luckily the person behind me shouted after me and I retrieved my ticket.

But had that not happened then I too would have been in the situation of facing a prison term all for dropping a ticket which seems disproportionate to say the least. FYI I usually buy my tickets with cash at either the machines or in the ticket office - don't like using cards. So, I wouldn't have had any proof of purchase.
 
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najaB

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So if someone refuses to give their details but doesn't move they can't be arrested for MOWP because they haven't made off.

Meanwhile, as you cannot be arrested for not having a ticket the station staff cannot touch you. Result stalemate.
But you can be detained for not having a ticket when travelling by train and refusing to give your details.
Can't see how losing a ticket is fraud by deception?
Losing your ticket isn't. Maintaining that you did purchase one when you haven't potentially could be.
But had that not happened then I too would have been in the situation of facing a prison term all for dropping a ticket which seems disproportionate to say the least.
No you wouldn't. Byelaw offences cannot result in a custodial sentence, and merely not being able to present a ticket is highly unlikely to result in a prosecution under any of the more 'serious' laws.
 

suzanneparis

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Sorry but I cannot see that would be the case at all.

You say 'No you wouldn't. Byelaw offences cannot result in a custodial sentence, and merely not being able to present a ticket is highly unlikely to result in a prosecution under any of the more 'serious' laws.'

BUT in my particular case I had bought a ticket for cash and hence had zero evidence of buying it. So how would I prove that I had bought and lost a ticket??? Impossible.

Anyway, IF that was acceptable to the authorities surely every criminal who tries to evade buying a ticket would also simply say 'oh sorry guv I lost it, i did 'ave one, honest'.

I just don't see railway staff believing the lost ticket story. Because it isn't a system that could operate in reality as it's often not provable. There are obviously exceptions where somebody has bought online, or paid by credit card. But otherwise there is zero evidence to prove the truth of buying a ticket that was subsequently lost.
 

najaB

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Sorry but I cannot see that would be the case at all.
It's quite simple. You said that you would end up with a prison sentence for forgetting your ticket on the train.

You cannot be given a custodial sentence for a Byelaw violation. Only offences under the Regulation of Railways Act, the Railway Clauses Consolidation Act or the Fraud Act carry the possibility of prison time. In order to be found guilty of an offence requires a much higher level of proof than Byelaw offences - the TOC has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that your actions show intent and it wasn't just a mistake.

Even if they can make the case, a prison sentence would only be appropriate when the level of loss was significant and you had several previous convictions for the same type of offence.

Edit: Actually, the RCCA only provides for fines.
 
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suzanneparis

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OK but even if not a prison sentence you could still be taken to court and fined!
All for dropping a ticket on the way along the platform.
 

DaveNewcastle

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OK but even if not a prison sentence you could still be taken to court and fined!
All for dropping a ticket on the way along the platform.
Remember that a Criminal Conviction follows where the evidence is proved "beyond all reasonable doubt". That's a very high threshold. A passenger who admits to having lost the ticket which authorised their travel and where there are no other incriminating factors, has NOT provided evidence "beyond all reasonable doubt" of any recordable offence.

But it is correct to advise that loosing a ticket during travel can lead to the situation that a passenger is unable to present it when required to do so, which, if no other remedy is satisfied, could lead to a conviction, albeit a non-recordable one. I'm sure that you can work out for yourself what evidence would have to be provided of a more intentional attempt to leave without paying that would be "beyond all reasonable doubt".

I often hear announcements on trains referring to 'travel documents', which is a phrase that is also familiar on long distance travel where it is likely to include in its scope, passports, marriage certificates, customs authorisations, visas, work permits, medical certification and other evidence of authorisation. The consequences of loosing of any of these can be far more damaging than the loss of a train ticket - but there will be consequences.

And from the other end of the spectrum, I could list a lot of much more benign actions that could, but probably wouldn't, result in a Criminal Prosecution, such as quietly playing a flute in Hyde Park, or parking in a staff parking bay at Dover port, or pruning a low hanging branch of a tree in your local conservation area, or . . . . .
 
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najaB

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OK but even if not a prison sentence you could still be taken to court and fined!
All for dropping a ticket on the way along the platform.
In theory, yes. In practice, if you engage positively with the TOC concerned they would close the matter without taking you to court.
 

infobleep

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I once dropped a ticket, I assume in a shop at Waterloo. On the train I couldn't present it. I had to purchase another, which I did. My fault ticket lost. No problems encountered doing so.

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I dont think there is any sensible RPI out there that will actually physically detain a passenger. It is far safer for their own safety to just let the passenger get away.
 

najaB

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I was merely trying to raise the issue that a genuine mistake can lead to a conviction which seems counter to our legal and moral system.
The question I have for you is simple: what's the difference - from the perspective of a RPI - between someone who has made a mistake and dropped their ticket and someone who is chancing their luck?
 

the sniper

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But while fare evasion is not an arrestable offence, it is not unknown for Police officers to make arrests of non-paying passengers for other arrestable offences such as MOWP (Making Off Without Payment - Theft Act 1978 Section 3), Fraud by deception (Fraud Act 2006 Section 2), Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, or obtaining services by deception. Then there's the PACE 1984 Section 25 power of arrest for a person failing to provide details etc.

Maybe I've misunderstood you, but every offence is essentially 'arrestable' now by a police officer under S.24 of PACE, post SOCPA 2005. The concept of specific 'arrestable offences' ended with SOCPA 2005. S.25 of PACE was also repealed by SOCPA 2005.
 

AlterEgo

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The question I have for you is simple: what's the difference - from the perspective of a RPI - between someone who has made a mistake and dropped their ticket and someone who is chancing their luck?

Very true, of course, but you might ask why ordinary and decent people should ever find themselves in front of a magistrate for losing a ticket.

It is very un-British.
 

najaB

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Very true, of course, but you might ask why ordinary and decent people should ever find themselves in front of a magistrate for losing a ticket.
You say "lost", I say "never paid for".

Would you say it's British that if you steal you face the law?
 

duncanp

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"Ordinary and decent" people would not find themselves in front of a magistrate just for losing a ticket.

You find yourself in front of a magistrate if you fail to present a valid ticket for inspection when asked to do so, and you refuse to either pay either for a new ticket or the appropriate penalty fare.

It is your responsbility to make sure you have a valid ticket before you travel (unless there are no ticket purchase facilities of course) and to keep that ticket until your journey is finished.

Some years ago I lost my ticket on a journey from Cheltenham Spa to London. When the RPI came round, I said that I had lost my ticket, and I had to pay for a new one. The RPI said that if I found the original ticket I could write in and asked for a refund.

So you see I lost my ticket but didn't find myself in front of a magistrate.
 
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