helping guard with a fare dodger

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pethadine82

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I was on a SWT from Waterloo and I noticed a smartly dressed kid get on at clapham junction.
As the train approached stains the guard started to check tickets.
She asked this kid (about 17yo) for his ticket and he started to pocket dance.
She asked him where he got on at, he said Feltham.
I was just observing what was going to happen.
she asked where he was going, his reply was "the next stop"

she offered to sell him a ticket under a fiver, but he refused saying that he was not going to pay for something that he already had paid for.
At that point from his body language fearing he may lunge or attack the guard I moved closer to the guard to protect her just in case.
Egham came and he was told to leave the train, which he reluctantly did.

I then told the guard that he boarded at Clapham and she said she gets it all the time. She was a lovely lady, and I told her that I would have helped her if it became confrontational. She was very appreciative.

Would others have done the same or minded their own business.
Having reflected on this if a passenger did not have a ticket, could the train guard keep them on the train and turf them out at a remote station.

I was thinking something like Longford, in the middle of the Wentworth Estate
where some of the world's billionaires reside. Good luck getting home from there!
 
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CheesyChips

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I think it's the right thing to do, to put yourself in a position to assist. A TOC uniform and a position of relative authority count for nothing when your lip is split and some waste-of-skin is getting violent.

The problem is, once you intervene, you do have to justify any force you use and if something goes awry, you'll be in the dock like a nonce.
 

scott118

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You'll never do right for doing wrong....

I've known of guards who have tipped out such undesirables, where trains only call perhaps twice a day or indeed, off of the last trains home, only to be reprimanded, as the locals then complained, of having to wake, to the sight of these 'so called', having made a bed for the night, upon the station. Damned if you do, damned if you don't....
 

gray1404

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I would never get involved. A passenger getting involved can make a situation worse. TOC employees are expected to avoid conflict and another person getting involved in a matter which is between another passenger achieves nothing expect making it worse. It is basically none of my business.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Was there not a case that was reported on this website early last year where a quite large sized passenger "assisted" the train staff and the miscreant ended up being very forcibly ejected onto a station platform. I think the incident ended up in the courts.

Can anyone remember the case in question?
 

najaB

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I would never get involved. A passenger getting involved can make a situation worse.
There's a difference though between actively getting involved at the 'war of words' stage, and being prepared to intervene if it goes beyond that. I would never do the former - as you say it's up to the Guard to try and control the situation - but if it was starting to get physical I would do what I could reasonably do to help.
 

trentside

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There's a difference though between actively getting involved at the 'war of words' stage, and being prepared to intervene if it goes beyond that. I would never do the former - as you say it's up to the Guard to try and control the situation - but if it was starting to get physical I would do what I could reasonably do to help.

As you say, people wading in at the 'war of words' stage often doesn't go well. They either take the ire of the miscreant or the guard, or sometimes both. I must admit I'd rather be left alone at this stage as it makes it easier to deal with the situation and make a mental note of the individual.

When it comes to anything "getting physical" a member of rail staff would no doubt appreciate some assistance. I think most of us would prefer it if the person intervening did not end up in court.
 

Stigy

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Having reflected on this if a passenger did not have a ticket, could the train guard keep them on the train and turf them out at a remote station.

I was thinking something like Longford, in the middle of the Wentworth Estate
where some of the world's billionaires reside. Good luck getting home from there!
I assume you mean Longcross? In which case this would be ideal, with only a few services a day. However unless this is the next stop the train calls at, you'd not be likely to turf a fare evader off here. Certainly can't keep them on the train....Well I guess you could using Regulation of Railways Act legislation, but it'll likely end in the fare evader kicking off so wouldn't really be worth it!
 

Stigy

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For someone fare dodging? Good luck with that
I assumed that was meant for if they kicked off. Fare evasion alone isn't an emergency so shouldn't use 999 for this....I'd like to think common sense would prevail, but this is the railway and we all know how it really is sometimes. ;)
 

mbreckers

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As to the getting involved scenario, best not to in almost all cases. Unfortunately getting involved puts yourself at risk, TOC staff at risk, other passengers at risk, and the fare dodger at risk.

The TE/conductor will be able to assess the situation better than a passenger, they may have encountered the fare dodger before and know they can get violent, the TE/conductor will have the best judgement in this scenario

That being said, I understand the feeling of wanting to assist if you see someone getting assaulted, happened to a colleague where I used to work. And I did get involved and nothing bad came of it, no-one injured etc. But if the assaulter? (i dont know the correct word) had been injured, I would have been liable.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I assumed that was meant for if they kicked off. Fare evasion alone isn't an emergency so shouldn't use 999 for this....I'd like to think common sense would prevail, but this is the railway and we all know how it really is sometimes. ;)

I read it as for the fare dodging oops
 

Stigy

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As to the getting involved scenario, best not to in almost all cases. Unfortunately getting involved puts yourself at risk, TOC staff at risk, other passengers at risk, and the fare dodger at risk.

The TE/conductor will be able to assess the situation better than a passenger, they may have encountered the fare dodger before and know they can get violent, the TE/conductor will have the best judgement in this scenario

That being said, I understand the feeling of wanting to assist if you see someone getting assaulted, happened to a colleague where I used to work. And I did get involved and nothing bad came of it, no-one injured etc. But if the assaulter? (i dont know the correct word) had been injured, I would have been liable.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


I read it as for the fare dodging oops

Legally, if you step in and assist a member of staff when s/he is being assaulted and the assailant is injured, as long as you can justify your actions, you have nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately it's ultimately not the same if the TOC wish to pursue the matter and discipline their staff (the sad truth unfortunately!).
 

najaB

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But if the assaulter? (i dont know the correct word) had been injured, I would have been liable.
As long as any force used was proportionate to the threat, you would have been okay from a legal point of view - both civil and criminal. Unlike the States, our judges seem to be able to apply common sense and logic, for the most part.

And in any case, personally, I would rather face a frivolous lawsuit knowing that I helped someone in danger than go home knowing I did nothing while someone was being assaulted.
 

gray1404

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The big guy who got involved in the Scotrail case deserved to end up in the courts. From the You Tube video it showed the RPI being very confrontational to the passenger (who I recall was disabled) and failing to use discretion following an error made by the booking office clark. I also recall seeing the RPI responding to the "big guys" offer to remove the disabled passenger from the train.
 

Jonfun

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I would hope that someone would step in if someone was being assaulted, but I can understand reasons they wouldn't choose to. But before it reaches that stage, it's far better to just leave the member of staff to deal with the situation. They'll be trained in conflict management, and where before it was one on one, having more people side with the staff member can make the other party feel threatened, and either go on the defensive, or worse, on the offensive. Although it is always nice when someone offers to write in afterwards to back you up in case the aggrieved party starts playing the racist card or whatever - if nowt else it shows that your efforts to enforce the rules in a professional manner are appreciated.
 

gray1404

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and sometimes it better for rail staff to just walk away from such situations. For the sake of everyone involved and those around.
 

Master29

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and sometimes it better for rail staff to just walk away from such situations. For the sake of everyone involved and those around.

So by that argument you have just given every scrounger (who may be reading this) a green light to go ahead with doing precisely that. So, I`ll not bother buying tickets anymore if we are just all to avoid situations like that. Nobody likes a tealeaving git who is so open about his misdemeanor it is sometimes hard not to get involved.
 

jon0844

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So by that argument you have just given every scrounger (who may be reading this) a green light to go ahead with doing precisely that. So, I'll not bother buying tickets anymore if we are just all to avoid situations like that. Nobody likes a tealeaving git who is so open about his misdemeanor it is sometimes hard not to get involved.

That is indeed the case now for a lot of people. If caught, be threatening to staff and chances are you'll be okay. I've seen it and I'm sure we all have.

You become unstuck if there are a group of RPIs, or police assistance, or the police are called and take an interest, but in most cases I'd expect staff will back off and just hope to have the odds stacked in their favour next time.

It's no different to people who are stopped for a ticket irregularity and just walk off. Rarely will staff attempt to detain anyone.
 

gray1404

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So by that argument you have just given every scrounger (who may be reading this) a green light to go ahead with doing precisely that. So, I`ll not bother buying tickets anymore if we are just all to avoid situations like that. Nobody likes a tealeaving git who is so open about his misdemeanor it is sometimes hard not to get involved.

Not in the slightest. You are wrong. That is not what I have said at all. As someone who works in the customer service industry, which rail staff also do, it is important to know when it is better to walk away from the situation rather then staying there and it becoming worse or putting yourself or others at risk of harm.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It's no different to people who are stopped for a ticket irregularity and just walk off. Rarely will staff attempt to detain anyone.

At least just walking off doesn't involve violence or threats.
 

Stigy

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The big guy who got involved in the Scotrail case deserved to end up in the courts. From the You Tube video it showed the RPI being very confrontational to the passenger (who I recall was disabled) and failing to use discretion following an error made by the booking office clark. I also recall seeing the RPI responding to the "big guys" offer to remove the disabled passenger from the train.
I don't recall the fare evader in that scenario being obviously disabled. I thought he was just a typical gobby oik...

Recently saw the one on YouTube of a Guard on an EMT service giving as good as he got, but to be fair he was on the whole, very unprofessional himself. I believe he was disciplined for that one? If you're going to give as good as you get, you need to be a bit careful as to who's watching, both on CCTV and members of the travelling public.
 

gray1404

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti9WaR7N50U

This one. Regardless of the ticketing situation for the guard to swear at a customer, and get aggressive, grab his hat and personal belongings is violent. I'd argue its actually theft. I'd expect a so called professional to know better.

A friend of mine who is a driver for Northern was recently told by his guard he wasn't giving right away while they waited for the police arrive over non payment of a fare. My friend told the guard straight to get the doors shut and give right away on the basis that he didn't see why every other passenger should be delayed, himself be delayed getting home, other trains be held up on the line and the company be fined by network rail for a late running service.
 

Ritson

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So by that argument you have just given every scrounger (who may be reading this) a green light to go ahead with doing precisely that. So, I`ll not bother buying tickets anymore if we are just all to avoid situations like that. Nobody likes a tealeaving git who is so open about his misdemeanor it is sometimes hard not to get involved.

I'm curious, however, if you saw fare evasion going on, would you alert the guard/ticket inspector? Say if a group of lads got on and you could hear them bragging about how they got a free train ride, would you make a point of telling the guard?

I don't think I would.
 

yorkie

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As for whether, and when, one should get involved... it really depends on the situation. Certainly, you need to be careful.

I have assisted staff, but usually by having a quiet word out of earshot of the passenger. For example, a group of people who were bragging about how their false story was being believed, on a VTEC train somewhere between Peterborough & Doncaster. After the Guard had gone to do the doors, I pretended to get off at somewhere like Newark and had a word with the Guard.

On the other hand I have assisted passengers who were in the right.
.... But if the assaulter? (i dont know the correct word) had been injured, I would have been liable...
Not necessarily. Certainly not if you act reasonably.

I have, relative to most people, I'd guess quite a lot of experience of breaking up fights or stepping in while someone is being attacked. It's instinctive for me. However in all cases the people involved were teenagers, not fully grown adults, so I can't be sure how I'd react. I'd like to say I'd step in if I was witnessing an assault, but I guess it would depend on how much danger I sensed. It would certainly be against my instincts to stand by and do nothing if an innocent person was being assaulted.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
There was a thread about that at the time: Altercation on Hucknall train The situation could have been handled better.
 

Stigy

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti9WaR7N50U

This one. Regardless of the ticketing situation for the guard to swear at a customer, and get aggressive, grab his hat and personal belongings is violent. I'd argue its actually theft. I'd expect a so called professional to know better.

A friend of mine who is a driver for Northern was recently told by his guard he wasn't giving right away while they waited for the police arrive over non payment of a fare. My friend told the guard straight to get the doors shut and give right away on the basis that he didn't see why every other passenger should be delayed, himself be delayed getting home, other trains be held up on the line and the company be fined by network rail for a late running service.
I'm surprised he got his job back....Not sure if he was a Guard or Revenue, as there's another EMT uniform keeping a low profile in the background. Always wonder what the conversation was like prior to filming...If he just goes off on one like that without being provoked, he's in the wrong job! (even after being provoked to be honest....but hey, we all have bad days!).
 

Antman

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I would never get involved. A passenger getting involved can make a situation worse. TOC employees are expected to avoid conflict and another person getting involved in a matter which is between another passenger achieves nothing expect making it worse. It is basically none of my business.

Generally speaking I would agree with this although there are different situations.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
the first thing to do is dial 999

If somebody is being threatened or worse
 

timbo58

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Whilst it was/is often the TOCs 'line' that trains should not be delayed whilst waiting for police assistance to fare evaders and I would agree with that policy, IME (repeated and frequent) by the time you have to wait for the police to get someone off they've already made threats of violence to the guard/ticketing staff/all & sundry so it isn't a ticketing matter the train is being delayed for.

That combined with the fact that 'control' promising that BTP would be waiting at the 'next' station is laughable in it's veracity means that most guards in my time would rather stay put until BTP came to them eventually.
 
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