Northern's STM Security overkill

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Leeds1970, 18 Apr 2015.

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  1. Leeds1970

    Leeds1970 Member

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    I have recently been to Wakefield Kirkgate.

    Due to renovations the only entrance to the station is a small gate at the end of platform one. On more than one occasion there has been 10, yes 10, STM staff and one or more BTP officers.

    Why? Do other stations suffer from this type of intimidation? Especially as STM staff are not even revenue trained, they just look at dates on tickets.
     
  2. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Dunno, but I accidentally put my Keighley-Bradford NOT via Leeds ticket through the gateline at Leeds instead of my Donny ticket. Nice lady undid the machine and gave it back to me without reading it with a smile! :D
     
  3. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    Because Northern are absolutely obsessive. They have been known to take people to court over pennies of unpaid fares.
     
  4. grid56126

    grid56126 Member

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    In what way is this intimidation?

    I suggest that to the vast majority of law abiding citizens a police and staff presence would be quite welcome.
     
  5. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    I agree, it's so intimidating for those who might not be playing to the rules. There is an easy fix there.
     
  6. CalderRail

    CalderRail Member

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    Even if you "play by the rules", Northern's hired thugs at the outlying stations are rude, intimidatory and don't actually understand the rules of the railway.

    I actually had to quote Railway bylaws at a pair of them a few months back. Response: "The rules are what I say they are, mate".

    Complaint to Northern Rail on that one, right sharpish.
     
  7. ANorthernGuard

    ANorthernGuard Established Member

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    from the 26th Piccadilly will be in Lockdown regarding barriers so a mixture of all TOCs revenue protection will be there for the majority of the day for the foreseeable future we have been told..Let the games begin.
     
  8. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

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    It was reported recently that Northern had "nicked" somewhere around 700 people in South Yorkshire in the last year for fare avoidance.
    Ignoring for the moment the fines and/or admin fees that this activity will raise, if the average (avoided) single fare in South Yorkshire is around a fiver, that amounts to all of about £3500 avoided and caught.

    The question in my mind is - how much did they spend in order to catch £3500 worth (or so) of avoided fares?
     
  9. TheNewNo2

    TheNewNo2 Member

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    It sounds to me like this is one of the occasional attempts to catch fare dodgers. From that First Great Western TV programme I understand that what they do is pick a particular station and set up shop there for a day, on the grounds that fare dodgers, like other travellers, likely have a fairly regular route.
     
  10. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    I previously posted some mornings at Knutsford there can be around 7 RPIs, which seems stupid when you consider there's less than that covering platforms 10,11, 13 and 14 at Piccadilly. However, when you consider one morning arrival at Knutsford from the Manchester direction sees around 200 alighting and there's two exits from that platform it doesn't seem as excessive.
     
  11. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It can be intimidating for people who do 'play to the rules', such as johntea. STM staff do not know, let alone 'play to', all the rules.
     
  12. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Quite. I feel intimidated by them because personal experience tells me even though I have a valid ticket I'm likely to run into trouble with a rude jumped up pseudo official who's been given a position of authority and who often fails the 'attitude test'.
     
  13. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Personal experience tells me that passengers are self righteous, ignorant, arrogant, rude and sometimes downright offensive.

    How much was paid in fines ? How much is the average fine ? How many of those "nicked" haven't paid on numerous occasions ? How many will now pay on a regular basis ? How many passengers who were thinking about fare evasion will now keep buying a ticket ?

    Your maths and logic failed. It is not about the fare evaded but a much bigger picture.
     
  14. Tracky

    Tracky Member

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    I get the intimidation comment too.

    These people are subject to poor pay, terrible conditions when compared to directly employed staff and very limited training. Yet they tend to be more 'keen' than regular railway staff presumably as they have to justify their job.

    Then there is the buck passing when you complain to the TOC.
     
  15. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Wow! Here's hoping that's not your universal perception of passengers! True a very very small minority are rude and self righteousness. The vast majority of us are really quite polite and friendly and sometimes even jolly. Some of us do take offence however when presented with a rude and unprofessional member of staff (yes, a few do exist) who are seemingly out to get you despite paying your fare and presenting your valid ticket with a smile.
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That can be true of anyone, though it is a minority of people. The rail industry is not exclusive of that category of people either!
     
  17. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Pot, Kettle.

    But that's the thing isn't it. When you make a universal comment about staff and then forget that passengers can also be just as bad then you realize how ignorant sweeping generalizations can be.

    I see and hear passengers all day but a single member of staff says one bad thing and all hell breaks loose. In no way am I defending poor staff but they have a right to do their job without the rampant abuse.

    Intimidation... innocent people have no reason to fear.
     
  18. mph1977

    mph1977 Member

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    kirkgate is rife for missed fares - especially now there are (albeit card only) ticket machines on Normanton and Castleford platforms
     
  19. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I know you're rail staff and you therefore will naturally want to defend other rail staff, but the security contractors working on behalf of Northern tend to only be defended by staff at companies far away, such as yours.. The staff who actually encounter these individuals are far less likely to defend them. On the contrary, see...:
    Given the comments above, it sounds like crehld's claim that he is "likely" to run into trouble and that they "often" fail the attitude test, is unlikely to be far off the mark. This is in stark contrast to your own comments about passengers, which you appear to be applying to all.

    Everyone has the right to go about legitimate business without abuse, false allegations, and intimidation.

    I wish that were the case, but it's not. There have been numerous instances of people being denied travel or worse, including on your TOC.
     
  20. island

    island Established Member

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    Ignoring the admin fees makes your argument completely ludicrous, given that many of those passengers will be chinged for £80.
     
  21. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Yes. Perhaps I should have made it clear I was referring to many of the STM staff dealt with in this thread. Not all railway staff everywhere, the vast majority of whom do stirling work.

    This is the nature of customer / people facing roles. It only takes one to soil the reputation of a whole profession. It's the same in my and many other's professions, and why my employer deals with complaints relating to the conduct of staff swiftly and decisively. I appreciate it can go both ways, but in the same way you criticized me for tarnishing all staff with the same brush (which was by no means the intention), perhaps you should avoid doing the same with passengers? You must have met at least one nice one!

    I couldn't agree more.

    This is quite how it should be. However when I present the most simple A to B anytime tickets which are legitimate and valid, and I am met with threatening language and threats of arrest then I'm going to come away feeling intimidated despite my total innocence. If it were once I could let it go, but it'a happened on a number of occasions. As some posters have suggested above there appears to be some fundamental training issues with this group of contractors.
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2015
  22. johntea

    johntea Member

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    At my station I commute to every day for work (Saltaire) there are (were) two distinct operations :

    Morning at the Skipton bound platform. On the most part, several rude and aggressive STM staff with no facilities to sell tickets and almost treated it as a game as to how many people they could catch out.

    Afternoon / Early Evening at the Leeds bound platform. Courteous STM staff (Usually the same two guys) one of which with a ticket machine, politely checking tickets and selling them where necessary.

    After my little incident with the morning operation back in November and after complaining to Northern Rail and Passenger Focus guess which operation is still running and which is not!
     
  23. island

    island Established Member

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    I find that not only do Northern Rail's contract ticket inspectors have limited customer service skills, but they also tend to give more trouble to passengers who seem more pliable such as young females. I base this on my experience and other stories I've been told — it's not scientific by any stretch.
     
  24. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I can understand why Northern are keen to come down hard on fare evaders - it's quite obvious they have a *massive* issue in some areas, especially in some of their urban areas. Some of these areas also tend to produce types who can become quite aggressive or problematic when challenged.

    However, Northern need to have their house in order too. There are parts of the Northern network where it can be quite problematic to purchase tickets - many of their stations have no ticket purchasing facilities at all, and if the guard doesn't get to you on the train then you can end up with quite a long queue at your destination. Also some of their 'security' types clearly have no knowledge of tickets at all, which I find unacceptable, however badly trained staff is sadly now often the way of the privatised railway.
     
  25. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    I will never defend poor staff. If you have a problem with a specific member of staff then report them. However; when sweeping generalizations and basic name calling takes place then someone needs to defend those who do not have a voice.

    This is unnecessary and comes equally from both sides. Its astonishing that I get pulled up for a comment about passengers but others are free to take pot shots at TOC's and staff.

    Providing a ticket block en mass has positive results for the TOC and has long term effects. Not only that the more revenue is protected then the lower the ticket price needs to be. The honest passenger with a fully paid fare should be grateful that those who travel without paying are being caught and you are no longer subsidizing their travel.

    Yes yorkie I too made a generalization and for that I apologize for those who cannot see that it was done to highlight my point.

    My personal feelings towards passengers are my own. If you wish to hear them then fee free to ask. But I will play devils advocate when mud slinging takes place.
     
  26. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    It seems that it's time to put your smartphone into voice recording mode when your tickets are about to be inspected. If these inappropriate encounters are recorded and repeated to the TOC verbatim, there may be some change of attitude. There may of course be a reduction in the number of complaints because hearing the actual recording of the dialogue tells a different story that the passenger is trying to convey.
     
  27. Leeds1970

    Leeds1970 Member

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    the reason i think it is intimidating at kirkgate is because as previously mentioned there is currently one exit which is roughly half the width of the average driveway so do not know what northern hope to atchive by having ten stm staff + btp, givern the fairly low (compared with other locations) passenger numbers. to the person who has complained to northern about stm you won't get anywhere- stm can do no wrong in northerns eyes- they previously chased kids on to the track at heben bridge- used the track to change platforms at steeton (instead of the bridge) and at leeds a couple of stm staff like to put police badges into the clear plastic pockets on their coats.---
     
  28. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    I feel I have to make comment in this thread. It was mentioned a few posts ago how many Northern Rail shacks have no or limmited ticket vending facilities and this fact has caught me a number of times and on 2 occasions nowI HAVE BEEN TEMPERARILLY CRIMINALISED ON ARIVAL AT manchester. As a Visually Challenged passenger, a touch screen TVM is no help to me what so ever and being in effect penalised for my disabilitty is just wrong, to the point that its put me off traveling by rail from this TOCs unmanned stations and so now get the bus or a taxi if the journey is not planned to the point of being able to buy in advance.
     
  29. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    To clarify, my comment stating Northern were 'obsessive' was a reference to the fact that they've been known, on multiple occasions, to take action against passengers for the sake of literally just a few pence - usually an honest mistake on the part of the passenger.
     
  30. johntea

    johntea Member

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    ...I had great pleasure in reclaiming my £0.40 off them! Bit saddened it was a Bank Transfer as opposed to a cheque so I could frame it but hey ho!
     
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