Northern Rail - Exchange Students?

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cagilistic

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I am looking after two exchange students from Poland who didn't buy tickets before boarding a short train journey which I met them at the station for, (knowingly or unknowingly I am unaware due to the language barrier,) and I stupidly forgot to ask.

Upon arriving at our destination, approached by Revenue people as we were leaving I produced my valid season pass and both of the students were stumped. We were collectively taken to one side and informed that since they had no permanent British residence, they would have to use my address. I disputed this as I had a feeling they were trying to palm the students' fines off on me. The Revenue team then called the police who arrived and made several comments about the great strip clubs in Poland and how I was supposedly obstructing justice (lovely I know.) In the end, I had to give my address for them, I am just wondering what will happen now as they will leave in 3 days and I will be left with two letters from Northern Rail in their name I presume.

Help???
 
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trentside

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On the issue as to whether you'd be liable, I don't believe so but I'll leave that to someone more versed in the intricacies of these matters than me.

Northern would normally approach these situations with an £80 fixed penalty charge, essentially an out of court settlement.

So we can advise better, could you advise on the following?

1) Were the students under 18?
2) Were your details taken down, apart from your address?
3) Where was this from and to?
4) Were there any other allegations apart from lack of a ticket? e.g. Short faring
5) What prompted the Police to be called? They don't tend to come out to these sorts of things unless someone's behaviour warrants it.

Thanks
 

najaB

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In the end, I had to give my address for them, I am just wondering what will happen now as they will leave in 3 days and I will be left with two letters from Northern Rail in their name I presume.
How old are the students in question?
 

cagilistic

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On the issue as to whether you'd be liable, I don't believe so but I'll leave that to someone more versed in the intricacies of these matters than me.

Northern would normally approach these situations with an £80 fixed penalty charge, essentially an out of court settlement.

So we can advise better, could you advise on the following?

1) Were the students under 18?
2) Were your details taken down, apart from your address?
3) Where was this from and to?
4) Were there any other allegations apart from lack of a ticket? e.g. Short faring
5) What prompted the Police to be called? They don't tend to come out to these sorts of things unless someone's behaviour warrants it.

Thanks

1) The students are both 18
2) Not to my knowledge
3) Lancaster - Preston
4) None whatsoever
5) The police were at the station anyway, they were simply brought over as I was disputing the idea that I had to give my address when I so clearly had a ticket merely because they did not and their revenue service doesn't pursue fare evasion outside of the UK.
 

6Gman

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I am looking after two exchange students from Poland who didn't buy tickets before boarding a short train journey which I met them at the station for, (knowingly or unknowingly I am unaware due to the language barrier,) and I stupidly forgot to ask.

Upon arriving at our destination, approached by Revenue people as we were leaving I produced my valid season pass and both of the students were stumped. We were collectively taken to one side and informed that since they had no permanent British residence, they would have to use my address. I disputed this as I had a feeling they were trying to palm the students' fines off on me. The Revenue team then called the police who arrived and made several comments about the great strip clubs in Poland and how I was supposedly obstructing justice (lovely I know.) In the end, I had to give my address for them, I am just wondering what will happen now as they will leave in 3 days and I will be left with two letters from Northern Rail in their name I presume.

Help???

Obtain an address for the students.

Forward the letter(s) when it arrives.

Forward to the students.

Leave it to them.

Nothing to do with you.
 

cagilistic

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They are responsible for their actions, not you. As 6Gman said, forward any letters to them and inform Northern that you have done so if they pursue the matter with you.

Whilst I understand this would probably be the objective thing to do. They don't seem to understand the gravity of this in the UK and how serious it could become. The culture is very different in Poland and I worry they would just ignore it which could escalate it and incur serious problems for them and neither are financially well disposed, am I correct?
 

DaveNewcastle

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I agree with najaB and 6Gman. You cannot be responsible for, either, a Criminal Offence committed by your two friends, nor for a Civil debt incurred by them. You should respond to any correspondence sent to yourself, but (as it appears to me from what you have said on here) there is no need for you to do any more than answer any reasonable questions about the circumstances and, if asked, to confirm that you have forwarded any mail addressed to other people to their stated address.
And no more.
 

323235

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Is the only reason they could possibly want the OPs address be so they can act as an auto forward for correspondence? if they do not then could they could say he/she was obstructing justice and attempt to prosecute them?

Sounds a very unusual case
 
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najaB

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The culture is very different in Poland and I worry they would just ignore it which could escalate it and incur serious problems for them and neither are financially well disposed, am I correct?
It might, but to put it bluntly: it's their problem, not yours.
 

30907

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Whilst I understand this would probably be the objective thing to do. They don't seem to understand the gravity of this in the UK and how serious it could become. The culture is very different in Poland and I worry they would just ignore it which could escalate it and incur serious problems for them and neither are financially well disposed, am I correct?

FYI in Poland it is also a requirement to have a ticket before boarding, and even at an unstaffed station (which description does not fit Lancaster!) the rule is that you board via the guard's door.
 

gray1404

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I do not think you were under any duty to give your address whatsoever. If the police gave comments about the strip clubs in Poland then that is very unprofessional and should be reported. The students do not live at your address so anything Northern send, in essence, is to someone who does not live at your address. I would therefore follow the advise given above and advise Northern - I would also inform them to kindly stop sending mail to your address to someone who doesn't live there. What would they have done if the visitors had been staying at a hotel? Send the letters there? I really do think their revenue contractors should have accepted their addresses in Poland, as they were telling the truth, and that be the end of it. There is nothing stopping them sending their fake £80 PF letter there.

I personally, would not give Northern the forwarding addresses either (to the students in Poland). You are not under any legal duty whatsoever to provide that information. It sounds like these were offered at the time by the students and not taken by Northern. It is therefore Northern's problem. I also hope the details that were submitted back to the office by Revenue Protection were correct. i.e. they noted that they were only staying with you a few days.

My Uncle from Australia came over and took the train to Southport. From there he decided seconds before the Manchester service was about to depart that he wanted to go there so, jumped on. When he got to Manchester he was asked for his address when he asked for a ticket from Southport. He said once he told them lived in Australia they just let him go through tell him to make sure he got a ticket next time. He is a very straight talking type of guy so I'm glad they didn't press him too much or I could have seen it escalating into something bad.
 
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bb21

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I don't think it is wise to refuse to provide details when asked to do so by the police. If it is nothing to do with oneself, this can always be resolved at a later stage.

The way the system is, people coming from abroad can get away with a lot if they were so determined due to the lack of effective follow-on, but unfortunately this is the only realistic and pragmatic approach. Equally people from abroad are also more likely to be bewildered and confused by the system in this country, so there is generally more reason to show discretion.
 

Bletchleyite

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It might, but to put it bluntly: it's their problem, not yours.

Indeed.

TBH I would have pushed further that I had no intention of giving *my* address, even if it would have resulted in a trip to the Police station. You have not committed an offence and were not in any way required to be involved. The correct address to be collected is their Polish home address. Giving your address would be like giving the address of a hotel.

Forward the letters on and be done with it, it is not your problem.

FWIW if you have details I would make a formal complaint about the conduct of the Police officer; joking about strip clubs is not how I would expect one to behave.
 

Bletchleyite

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FYI in Poland it is also a requirement to have a ticket before boarding, and even at an unstaffed station (which description does not fit Lancaster!) the rule is that you board via the guard's door.

Technically - a Polish friend said it's normal not to do that, and you just get charged a small extra on-board fee. The exception is the New Pendolino services where I believe you just get chucked off.

The approach is not nearly as formal as here. It's more like it was here 20 years ago, where the penalty for not buying a ticket was, er, being sold a ticket, and First North Western (as was) had no revenue team as such - or at least I never saw them. A bit more like Scotland, really, where prosecutions are not really an option in most cases.
 
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bb21

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Indeed.

TBH I would have pushed further that I had no intention of giving *my* address, even if it would have resulted in a trip to the Police station.

I cannot possibly advocate a trip to the police station over providing an address and be on your way.

I know some people think it is a matter of principle, but I think pragmatically this is causing unnecessary hassle for oneself.

Since these students do not reside at said address, a simple letter advising the TOC of the fact should suffice, with no further communication entered into.
 

cagilistic

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Indeed.

TBH I would have pushed further that I had no intention of giving *my* address, even if it would have resulted in a trip to the Police station. You have not committed an offence and were not in any way required to be involved. The correct address to be collected is their Polish home address. Giving your address would be like giving the address of a hotel.

Forward the letters on and be done with it, it is not your problem.

FWIW if you have details I would make a formal complaint about the conduct of the Police officer; joking about strip clubs is not how I would expect one to behave.

Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing, I'm 18 myself and not a particularly big physical presence. I just kind of allowed the uniform to dominate me and just took it :/
 

Bletchleyite

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Fake? Could you elaborate???

For a first offence they will usually allow it to be disposed of by the payment of a fixed £80 settlement.

It's known on here as a "Penalty Fake" because it is to all intents and purposes very similar to a Penalty Fare, except being higher, but is issued outside the remit of that specific legislation.

If guilty, they are still best advised to pay it, as all other options will result in escalation to a much higher cost.

If, OTOH, you just get UFNs for the actual fare due and not an £80 Penalty Fake, I'd personally do them a favour and pay their fares for them, then that'll be that.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I cannot possibly advocate a trip to the police station over providing an address and be on your way.

I know some people think it is a matter of principle, but I think pragmatically this is causing unnecessary hassle for oneself.

What I would do would probably depend how much time I had. I would expect a trip to the station to resolve the matter to take a couple of hours, but if I had a couple of hours spare to make an incompetent, rude officer look stupid I would be quite happy to spend it. There would be no grounds for arrest, as there is, so far as I know, no legal requirement to provide an address to a Police officer when no offence is suspected.

The address that should have been recorded, and the Penalty Fakes sent to, is their Polish address.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If I was the OP I would certainly make a formal written complaint about the conduct of the Police, though. Joking about strip clubs is not appropriate.
 
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gray1404

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I don't think it is wise to refuse to provide details when asked to do so by the police. If it is nothing to do with oneself, this can always be resolved at a later stage.

The way the system is, people coming from abroad can get away with a lot if they were so determined due to the lack of effective follow-on, but unfortunately this is the only realistic and pragmatic approach. Equally people from abroad are also more likely to be bewildered and confused by the system in this country, so there is generally more reason to show discretion.

My understanding is that you only have to provide your name and address when you have or are reasonably suspected of committing an offence. Otherwise you are under no duty to provide it whatsoever, even if it is requested.
 

bb21

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but if I had a couple of hours spare to make an incompetent, rude officer look stupid I would be quite happy to spend it.

But what are you achieving by doing that?

My understanding is that you only have to provide your name and address when you have or are reasonably suspected of committing an offence. Otherwise you are under no duty to provide it whatsoever, even if it is requested.

Rightly or wrongly, I do not think acting clever in front of the police is a good way forward. If it were simply the RPIs, it would have been a completely different case.
 

Millisle

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If unable to provide a British address, viz one where a summons can be served on you, you can be arrested for otherwise non- arrestable offences, I believe, obviously that risk lying against the exchange students, not the OP. I should imagine that underlies this scenario.
 
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reb0118

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The approach [in Poland] is not nearly as formal as here. It's more like it was here 20 years ago, where the penalty for not buying a ticket was, er, being sold a ticket...

Although having personally seen some chancer in Poland just give a bit of cheek to the ticket staff on board my train (Rosa Klebb lookalike) she just walked off with an evil glint in her eye. At the next station the chancer was removed by some armed "militia" types and after giving them some aggro on the platform was soundly beaten with rifle butts. Seemingly he was Byelorussian and was not welcome in Poland so there may have been a bit more to it?........
 

sheff1

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Rightly or wrongly, I do not think acting clever in front of the police is a good way forward. If it were simply the RPIs, it would have been a completely different case.

I agree. I would always give my name and address to a police officer, if requested.

As to forwarding any mail for the students to Poland. If it were me I would merely return it to sender saying the person to whom it was addressed does not live here. I would certainly not be paying postage to Poland due to the failure of the RPI to record the addresses proffered.
 

najaB

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As to forwarding any mail for the students to Poland. If it were me I would merely return it to sender saying the person to whom it was addressed does not live here. I would certainly not be paying postage to Poland due to the failure of the RPI to record the addresses proffered.
If going down that route, don't merely return it as 'Addressee unknown', rather return it with a cover letter informing Northern of the correct address.
 

anme

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I agree. I would always give my name and address to a police officer, if requested.

As to forwarding any mail for the students to Poland. If it were me I would merely return it to sender saying the person to whom it was addressed does not live here. I would certainly not be paying postage to Poland due to the failure of the RPI to record the addresses proffered.

I find this insistence on a UK address strange. Could it even be incitement to commit a crime, i.e. giving a false address (a temporary address such as a hotel or the address of a contact is not one's real address, and mail may not be forwarded)?
 

Bletchleyite

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I agree. I would always give my name and address to a police officer, if requested.

That's an interesting question. I would not give it in this case if I knew he intended to pass it on to someone he had no legal entitlement to pass it on to (as that would be a DPA breach, in fact) - namely the Northern RPIs. Indeed, I would be most tempted to say the crime had nothing to do with me, and as such unless I was under arrest I was going to leave and wait for them elsewhere while they gave their correct Polish addresses. I doubt that policeman would be enough of an idiot to attempt an arrest of someone not under suspicion of any crime whatsoever.

The correct address to be given, as tourists, is their Polish addresses.
 
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Tetchytyke

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TBH I would have pushed further that I had no intention of giving *my* address, even if it would have resulted in a trip to the Police station.

It's always a case of principles over pragmatism.

I agree with the principle, and someone who is older and more assertive may have been able to state that. It's not a recommended course of action unless you want to deliberately make life hard for yourself.

Forward the letters on and be done with it, it is not your problem.

I wouldn't even do that, I would send them back marked "not at this address".

FWIW if you have details I would make a formal complaint about the conduct of the Police officer; joking about strip clubs is not how I would expect one to behave.

Complaining about a copper is a waste of time.

And judging by some of the experiences I've seen up here, it is exactly how I would expect some of them to behave.
 
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