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Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by PoorGuy, 4 Jul 2019.
On what grounds? Depending on exactly what:
means, they might well have been within their rights.
For example, section 154 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 might be considered, amongst other options.
Once a valid ticket is produced (a matter of fact - the opinion of the inspectors as to its validity is irrelevant) the part of RORA you quoted doesn't apply.
While the inspectors had no authority under that part of RoRA to detain after he showed his valid ticket, it might be hard to prove guilt under s.154 - "intentional harassment, alarm or distress".
A very plausible explanation for the detention, if he did refuse to give his name or address, and if a court would see it as actual detention rather than a request, is that they thought the ticket wasn't valid (even if for a flimsy reason) and that they were dealing with a case of fare evasion. I suspect they thought the system wouldn't be wrong. Then the detention component wouldn't seem a strong reason for conviction, and it would have to rest on the other behaviour, which may be hard to establish and would also need proof of intent.
If he did give his name and address, and they detained him, what might be the explanation? Could they be ignorant about that as well?
But, if it were a case of detention, this isn't allowed because they thought a ticket wasn't valid. Only if someone does not "deliver up" when requested "a ticket showing that his fare is paid". The OP complied in doing this. Gross incompetence as an excuse for ignoring the law is meaningless.
Yes, and if they also don't give their name and address.
I'm addressing the requirements to convict under the other law, which concerns intent to cause distress and so on. In that kind of case, incompetence from the inspectors, those who have trained them or both may be relevant.
If the travelcard is valid in all the zones being passed through one cannot "time out"
Maybe one might show intent if the distress was readily apparent and the behaviour didn't stop? Other sections (S5 doesn't need intent but the words spoken would need to meet the threshold) and unlawful detention might be considered too - the title of the thread claims "I was detained" and there's no luxury of 'reasonable suspicion' (even if it was considered reasonable) so it could be about consent e.g. whether the OP was informed and understood that they were free to leave unimpeded (with their Oyster card and anything else they might have handed over for inspection) at any time. Anyway, it looks like a minefield to me, so I'd anticipate the company making an acceptable unsolicited offer to settle.
Thank you all for participating in this thread and for the help you've provided.
Special thanks to this Forum in general! Great place to seek for help, administration is doing a great job!
And the Ultimate Special Thanks to MikeWh! A brilliant guy and a very professional expert of Oyster/Rail system! I can't be more happier with the outcome.. 100% was worth to meet! Helped me to save my brain cells and a lot of money as well! MikeWh did a brilliant job helping me to understand the situation of my case and explained me a lot about public transport system in UK in general. Also prepared me for a meeting with Fraud Investigators and helped me to communicate them in the most professional way. I really appreciate that Mr. MikeWh! Wish you all the best!
Superb work MikeWh
If wrong accusations automatically resulted in dismissal there'd soon be nobody willing to work in law enforcement!
Railway staff aren't the police.
Glad to hear it is all sorted and yes @MikeWh has done a fantastic job with this case.
The staff acted in an utterly incompetent manner in this case; I see no value in comparing it to the work of law enforcement but it would be akin to someone thinking that a totally legal act was illegal!
If I behaved in the manner that the staff members concerned behaved, I would fully expect, and deserve, to lose my job.
Before we get too far down the road of if people deserve to be sacked, I think it behoves us to keep in mind that, other than the OP, none of us was present when the interaction took place.
While I don't doubt that the OP's description of the events was truthful, it was, naturally, their recollection of their interpretation of the staff members' behaviour. What to them seemed rude and aggressive might, to someone else, be robust questioning.
Equally, I doubt that I'm alone in having a significantly different recollection of precisely what was said by whom during a verbal discussion than another participant. How many times have we either said or had said to us "No, I never said that..."
Fact: the passenger was touched in.
Fact: staff can see that fact.
End of case.
+1 for heralding MikeWh's intervention in this matter.
Some TOCs have a bit of a funny approach with Oyster. After all these years, the product still doesn't seem to be well understood and we occasionally hear these stories of customers using an Oyster card correctly, revenue protection staff wrongly taking a view that the use is illegitimate and management staff supporting them when the case is appealed.
When something isn't well understood, it usually makes sense to defer to a subject matter expert to look at things more forensically. TOCs have staff on their books who can do this with Oyster and TfL is an obvious place to seek advice given the administer the Oyster fares and logic. For whatever reason, revenue protection departments don't like utilising the people with the correct knowledge to provide an informed view on something that is clearly a complex technical matter.
However, looking at this pragmatically, if this is the first time in 10+ years of Oyster PAYG that such a phenomenon has become apparent, it's likely it'll be ruled that nobody is at fault. This may come as a disappointment but in a unionised industry, there are inherent issues with disciplining staff for getting something wrong when they haven't been specifically trained on it in sufficient detail. I also don't have the railways down as a business that likes making reparation to people it has wrongly put through experiences like this, but are likely to if their hand is forced.
Given the Single Fare Finder suggests a Zone 1-5 fare is the default* between Lee and East Croydon, a Zone 1-2 fare should have been charged. Once the logic is fixed in the Oyster system, I wonder just how many savvy passengers had accidentally or otherwise realised this for similar journeys and will suddenly start being charged correctly as a result!
*Default meaning the zones TfL determine to be most likely to be passed through if there are no intermediate validations.
The member of staff losing their job would likely do the OP no good whatsoever. Also for all we know the incorrect assumption was caused by poor training.
I know analogies aren't always helpful, but...:
Many retailers have on-site security personnel, who will detain suspected thieves until the he police arrive. If one detained a (long-standing) customer for what they believed was fraud, but turned out to be a misunderstanding of their employers own rules, I'd expect the retailer's customer service team to be offering a healthy amount of vouchers or similar to retain the customer's goodwill.
Something similar to that in this case would surely be far better for the OP than someone being sacked?
We know that they *should* have been able to confirm that the OP was correctly touched in, we don't know that they actually did.
Even so, it's still a bit extreme to more or less say that they should be fired based on hearing an account of one side of one interaction.
Perhaps there was a deficiency in their training or supervision and they literally had no idea that what they were saying was wrong.
I stand by the words I used above; I said that If I behaved in the manner that the staff members concerned behaved, I would fully expect, and deserve, to lose my job.
Time to move on people.