Caught and admitted engaging in fare evasion

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Ohhdear

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Hi,

I was caught this morning at Liverpool Street engaging in fare evasion. I have been buying tickets from Tottenham Hale to Liverpool Street since my season ticket (from Stansted Mountfichet) expired last month.

They made me open my phone and they deduced that I had been evading fares for weeks. I admitted it. The term fraud was explicitly used - rather than the lesser crime of travelling without a ticket

The RPO said a prosecutor would call me today, and that in 99% of cases it doesn't go to court.

I said I was sorry in my witness statement, and I don't have any previous convictions or penalty fares of any kind.

I am desparate to settle out of court, even if it involves a big fine. What's the best way to achieve this? Is there a limit to the fine size, or how large it can be?

Using the rule of thumb mentioned elsewhere on this forum (n of working days * cost of two single tickets) the amount is £774! Plus the administrative and investigate fees, this could stack up... is this a likely figure the prosecutor will accept or offer?

It was foolish and I'm not looking for sympathy - I understand I did wrong and I've come clean. I won't do it again. I'm looking for advice now on what happens next and how to minimise the fall out.

Thank you for your time.
 
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30907

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An out of court settlement cannot involve a fine - as you guess, a substantial amount in compensation for unpaid fares plus reasonable administrative costs.

The train operator cannot prosecute you for Fraud as such, and I doubt they will refer the matter to the Crown, but could well prosecute under the Regulation of Railways Act.

It may be some time before they get in touch, but be co-operative and honest, don't make excuses, undertake never to repeat the offences, and start saving! If they offer a settlement, take it; if not, ask!
I think you are already on the right track...
 

Ohhdear

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Thank you for the response! The hard part, I think, is the not knowing.

Do you think they will prosecute if I have stated I'm willing to pay any settlement?

The whole thing is very frightening. I will update this thread when I have spoken to the prosecutions. The RPO said they would contact me by phone within the hour (3 hours ago). Apparently they only do this in exceptional circumstances, so I am a bit worried.
 

MJN11

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12 Jan 2019
Messages
28
Hi,

I was caught this morning at Liverpool Street engaging in fare evasion. I have been buying tickets from Tottenham Hale to Liverpool Street since my season ticket (from Stansted Mountfichet) expired last month.

They made me open my phone and they deduced that I had been evading fares for weeks. I admitted it. The term fraud was explicitly used - rather than the lesser crime of travelling without a ticket

The RPO said a prosecutor would call me today, and that in 99% of cases it doesn't go to court.

I said I was sorry in my witness statement, and I don't have any previous convictions or penalty fares of any kind.

I am desparate to settle out of court, even if it involves a big fine. What's the best way to achieve this? Is there a limit to the fine size, or how large it can be?

Using the rule of thumb mentioned elsewhere on this forum (n of working days * cost of two single tickets) the amount is £774! Plus the administrative and investigate fees, this could stack up... is this a likely figure the prosecutor will accept or offer?

It was foolish and I'm not looking for sympathy - I understand I did wrong and I've come clean. I won't do it again. I'm looking for advice now on what happens next and how to minimise the fall out.

Thank you for your time.

9/10 they’ll ask you for your side of story before taking it any further. This could take up to 6 months, upon request you should reply back being honest, apologise for your actions, reassure them you won’t do it again and offer to pay towards their losses. Majority of train companies are actually reasonable and allow issues like this to be dealt with without court involvement as it’s cheaper and quicker for them (unless it’s not your first offence of course). Also do not give them an exact figure of how much you’d want to pay, wait for them to breakdown the costs to you.
 

Ohhdear

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I'll bear that in mind about not offering a figure. I'll wait for them to give me one.

The only thing I'm worried about is that they'll be compelled to prosecute me due to the scale of my evasion.

I'll update once I hear from the prosecutions team. Hopefully they call me rather than having to wait for the big letter.
 

gray1404

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I am not saying that the train company won't call you, but it is usually the case that they will write to you inviting you to give you account of events (or in severe cases invite you for an interview). Do not take it as gospel what you were told today that they will call you.

In your favor you say that your season ticket expired last month. This might help the train company work out with a level or certainty how long you have been doing this for and thus work out how much you owe them. I say in your favor because in the absence of such an indicator (i.e. your season ticket running out) they may decided to work on the assumption you had been doing it much longer then you have. When you say they made you open your phone, do you mean that you showed them your ticket on the app on your phone and they asked to look at your ticket history? Keep hold of this information for now your end.

All you can do now is wait to hear from the train company. This can take anything up to 6 months, sometimes sooner but it can still take some time. Once you receive contact from them come back onto this post and you can get further advise depending on what they say. Make sure you keep an eye on your mail in the mean time or have someone do this for you if you are going to be away as you will have to respond promptly.
 

cuccir

Established Member
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18 Nov 2009
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3,520
The only thing I'm worried about is that they'll be compelled to prosecute me due to the scale of my evasion.

Train companies have settled out of court where people owe tens of thousands of pounds. The sum you mention is larger than most but not extraordinary.
 
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