Interview under caution question

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Saperstein, 7 Jun 2019.

  1. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    If the validity of the ticket is questioned then it is appropriate to give your name and address.
     
  2. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    but what if the challenge is incorrect, as has been documented so many times on this forum?
     
  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    In that case it depends on the legislation under which the name and address are being requested.

    RoRA does not permit the detainment of an individual because an employee or agent of the TOC suspects that one has not complied with RoRA. It is a pure black-and-white matter for that law; if you are detained but end up having been in the right because you actually did comply with RoRA then you may have grounds for recourse for false imprisonment (though this is much less dramatic than some people might imagine; damages are likely to be far less generous than some people might expect, too).

    By contrast, the Byelaws permit authorised persons to demand names and addresses if they reasonably suspect that the person has breached, or attempted to breach, a Byelaw, and it is an offence to fail to comply with such a request (it being a valid request, and hence an offence, only if the suspicion is reasonable - which again, is a bar far lower than most people might imagine). The issue is that there is no common law right to arrest or detain someone merely for a breach of the Byelaws. This means that if the BTP are not present, then it is a very risky gamble detaining someone who appears to be in breach of RoRA, but insists it is not so.
     
  4. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    The power to detain wouldn’t be present at the stage of cautioning because the RPI would have already obtained a name and address from their passenger in order to establish their identity. If an RPI or other staff member cautioned as soon as s/he believed an offence had been committed, and before asking for a person’s name and address, this would at least in part contradict the caution, or at least make ‘demanding’ someone’s name and address somewhat challenging. “You do not have to say anything.....Apart from give me your name and address”.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jun 2019
  5. Elwyn

    Elwyn Member

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    What sometimes happens with criminal investigations is that someone suspected of an offence is interviewed and says nothing (perfectly legal) and then later when the case comes to court and they have had time to consider things, they come up with an explanation that they didn’t volunteer previously. (A cynic might suggest that the explanation might occasionally be suggested to them by other parties, but of course that may not be fair).


    Prior to the current PACE caution it wasn’t normally possible for prosecutors to comment on the fact that someone had been accused of something and that they didn’t offer any explanation at that time, which an average jury or judge might have expected to them to do, and that only offering the explanation at trial might look a bit suspicious, to put it mildly. The new wording allows the prosecution to suggest that to a court.


    So, it’s absolutely right that you don’t have to say anything when interviewed under caution. But you also need to consider what impact that may have on any decision to prosecute and on the view which might be taken by a jury or judge. Why didn’t the accused simply explain that at the time? Each case on its merits etc, but it can harm your defence, as the caution accurately says, if you don’t offer a perfectly obvious explanation at the time. That’s what many innocent people would do. So staying silent can increase your chances of being prosecuted. Something to bear in mind.
     
  6. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    It depends which offence the RPO thinks you are committing as to whether they can detain you, surely? The railway has prosecuted people (or, more commonly, transferred prosecution to BTP) in the past for indictable offences. An RPO confronted with a ticket which looks deliberately defaced or altered may reasonably suspect the person of fraud, even if the railway plumps to prosecute for a lesser offence.

    We may be dancing on the head of a pin here.
     
  7. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    I’d say to suspect for an offence of fraud (thus being indictable), it would have to be something more than a ticket matter to warrant an any person arrest, and the ‘suspicion’ wouldn’t justify such an arrest in these circumstances. If an RPO suspects a passenger of committing any offence which otherwise warrants arrest, they probably wouldn’t have cautioned them as they’d not be investigating it themselves.
     
  8. Fawkes Cat

    Fawkes Cat Member

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    If I've understood things properly, the current question is 'when might a railway employee detain me, rather than letting me walk away from a ticketing interview?'

    As quite thoroughly discussed, the legal position is confusing. But from past threads, the practical answer is clear: you can always walk away: the potential consequences of a railway worker laying hands on you are so undesirable (a charge by you against them for assault/unlawful arrest, or violence from you to someone just doing their job) that railway companies instruct their staff not to detain people.

    Of course, if BTP or the civil police are present, they can arrest you - but that's under their powers as police officers, which are wider than those given to railway workers.
     
  9. RPI

    RPI Member

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    When interviewing someone we give a "Caution +3", this means that we tell the person that they are not under arrest, free to leave at any time and are free to get legal advice at their own cost, we then ask "are you happy to proceed?", if the answer is yes then we crack on with the interview, if they say no then it's noted and they're reported exactly the same way as if they said yes.... Just without the interview, any other evidence is still submitted and they may be asked to attend an interview at a later date.
    Occasionally people will phone a solicitor.
     
  10. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    We started to do this, however it was deemed we didn’t need to advise about legal advice as we were using the caution +2 anyway, which states they are not under arrest etc. If they don’t want to be questioned under caution, they can simply say so and leave. Also, how can free legal advice be offered, at their cost? Not sure if that was an error, but it’s not free if it’s at a cost. Police also don’t routinely state this now either.
     
  11. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    The post reads free “to get” legal advice, not free legal advice...
     
  12. island

    island Established Member

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    I do wonder sometimes if a person is spoken to by an RPI inside a gateline whether them being free to leave extends to someone opening a gate for them...
     
  13. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    Indeed it does, my mistake :)
     
  14. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    In your experience how many people just walk(ed) away?
     
  15. Fast Track

    Fast Track Member

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    Anyone attending for a BTP or police voluntary interview under caution should obtain legal advice however trivial the allegation seems. The consequences of declining a solicitor are horrendous. Accepting a caution as an alternative disposal may sound great but the caution will currently remain on the police national computer for a hundred years!
     
  16. Fast Track

    Fast Track Member

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    Yes a caution remains on the police national computer and shows up on DBS checks.

    If the offence is one that can tried in either the Magistrates or Crown Court you need legal advice - you can elect Crown Court trial get a jury and far better odds of getting it dropped or acquitted by the jury.
     
  17. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Please re-read the thread from the beginning. This is NOT what is being discussed.
     
  18. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    It's unfortunate, and to many people confusing, that the word 'caution' is used to describe the rights read to a suspect (or potential suspect) before interview and the method of disposal, where guilt is admitted, which avoids resorting to a prosecution.

    However, I think @Fast Track, has used the word correctly in both its sense in posts #45 and #46.

    Police often try to encourage a suspect to admit the offence when interviewed under caution and accept a (police) caution as a means of disposal, by suggesting that no charge/prosecution implies no consequences. Without advice, it can be a tempting proposal, but a solicitor or other legal advisor would be able to explain the potentially serious consequences of accepting a (police) caution.
     
  19. RPI

    RPI Member

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    Very few, and when they do it's usually because they have to go somewhere or catch a train. In our training we were also told that anything such as a zero-fare and receipts should be issued before caution so that the passenger doesn't feel obliged to stay just to get their onward ticket.
    I have to say that I've done the job the best part of 20 years now and it's only the past five years or so that things have really become more passenger friendly from our point of view and standards have raised significantly, we now have a PACE/PF refresher at least every year (I think in my first ten years I didn't have any) and when legislation changes we are obviously briefed too.
    Having a clear Revenue Protection policy also helps.
     
  20. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    It’s the same where I am in terms of becoming more customer friendly, although because I’m not revenue protection, we sometimes get forgotten about where briefings are concerned when things change. I find some people have more people walk away from them than others too. I guess it’s the same everywhere. I like to do a full Q&A if I can so will try and get the customer to stay and talk, whereas others tend to actively encourage their ‘customer’ to leave because they can’t be bothered to question them (or aren’t confident enough?).

    We never have PACE refreshers, and few revenue staff where I work actually Q&A under caution (we have RPIs who caution and RPAs, who don’t). We are gradually losing RPIs through natural staff turnover and only replacing them with RPAs too.
     

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