Rail ticket penalty statement

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greendave110

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Hi there,

I was travelling through a station this morning and binned my ticket for the station i was travelling to once I got there so I could continue my journey. in the same station I was travelling through so am now on a second leg of the journey to work only this time I am covered from here on able to prove I had swiped...he stopped me after I swiped, is this relevant?

The policeman interviewed me and asked me if where I had come from. He put me under a lot of pressure and I am going through health problems at the moment and had other things on my mind.

He then asked me several questions to which I said yes. Could you provide evidence. He made me sign then formally cautioned me. He said it is a cautionable offence and spoke about magistrates court etc

He told me it is up to the train company to decide whether to write to me..I do not know quite what that means.

I don't know what to do from this point, is it worth writing a letter in advance to offer a settlement?
How likely would they be to settle out of court?
I really would do anything at this point to make sure it doesn't go any further. Can anyone offer any constructive advice?

I had a season ticket until recently too which frustrates me even more to be had for something so ridiculous..I moved back home temporarily so have been buying day tickets when I need to go in to work.

Thanks
 
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yorkie

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Welcome to the forum.
I was travelling through a station this morning in the UK and binned my ticket for the station i was travelling to once I got there so I could continue my journey using an oyster card. I swiped my oyster card in the same station I was travelling through so am now on a second leg of the journey to work only this time I am covered from here on able to prove I had swiped...he stopped me after I swiped, is this relevant?
There is so much information missing, it is very difficult for me to comment. It certainly sounds odd but without knowing full details, we'd be speculating.
He told me it is up to the train company to decide whether to write to me..I do not know quite what that means. If they think I am lying are they likely to send a court summons. I am worried I have not given the correct details for the ticket and so they may check...
They may write to you asking for a written Statement.

If they do, then what happens next will depend on what you write in that Statement.
I don't know what to do from this point, is it worth writing a letter in advance to offer a settlement?
How likely would they be to settle out of court?
I'd wait until you are asked for a Statement.

I cannot say how likely it is, because there is clearly a lot of missing information and therefore I do not have any idea what has actually happened on your journey, which is also unknown to me.

I also do not know who "they" are.

I really would do anything at this point to make sure it doesn't go any further. Can anyone offer any constructive advice?
Yes. Wait for the Statement, then ensure that you do not say anything that incriminates yourself any further, that's the only basic advice I can give, I cannot say much about an unknown incident on an unknown journey.
I fear I am an example waiting to be set...since it was the police.
Is my oyster issue not a point to make?
I don't understand the question, but I am surprised that anyone who has touched in would be challenged for not having a valid ticket, therefore I can only assume that there is some other evidence they have against you. I have no information on what that evidence might be, apart from a guess that you were seen touching in within a gateline and they thought you may have reached that point from a destination beyond that station without a valid ticket, and you were unable to produce one.

The rules do require you to be in possession of (a) valid ticket(s) for your entire journey at all times.

Throwing away a ticket before your journey has completed is unwise, but of course you realise that now.
I had a season ticket until recently too which frustrates me even more to be had for something so ridiculous..I moved back home temporarily so have been buying day tickets when I need to go in to work.

Thanks
If you want to claim you had purchased a valid ticket, you'd need some evidence of that, as otherwise merely saying you bought a ticket and threw it away, isn't credible evidence.
 

greendave110

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Sorry Yorkie,

Yes you got it exactly right, I couldn't show a ticket for the entire journey, only for the second leg as I was passing through a station.

He wrote down everything I said, including my ticket details and where I had come from. How often I travel through London etc and made me sign it.

I am worried the TOC will think I didn't buy a ticket at all when I did. I don't see how I could prove I bought a ticket with cash with no ticket or receipt.
I am guessing I am stuffed.....he said they will decide whether to write to me so I am either hoping they give me a FPN or nothing at all..how often are these court summons sent out do you know?
 
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DaveNewcastle

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I expect that someone, in whichever train Company's Revenue Protection or Investigations department was involved, will send you a standard letter asking you for your version of events.
It is unlikely that whatever you have said will immediately lead to a Court Summons, but of course we don't really know what you did say, so we can never be positive. But it is a real possibility that your reply to that letter will be considered carefully alongside the Statement from the Officer on duty who Interviewed you, and a decision on whether or not it is in the Company's interest to prosecute will be based on that consideration.

There is much about the incident that is unclear.
Was the Police Officer a railways' officer, from the British Transport Police, a regional Constabulary Officer, a Company Ticket Inspector or a Security Guard?

How does someone "accidentally give the wrong ticket details"?
Could this be related to the people who are regulary checked at stations and accidentally give the wrong name, the wrong address, the wrong station at which they boarded, the wrong explanation of where their ticket is? All of whom have had bad days and/or health issues?
I'm sure your explanation is not related, and you are telling us the entire truth. But I ask this question because, from the point of view of the person in the Revenue Protection or Investigations department who will be considering your entirely factual report, you should be aware that they receive dozens of letters every day from people who seem to have forgotten where they boarded or what ticket they'd just bought.

Please don't think I'm criticising or judging you, I'm merely informing you. When you do receive a letter asking for your version of events, it should help you to know that there is a surprisingly large number of people travelling by rail who are already writing to Rail Company's prosecutors apologising that they had accidentally told the Officer something that was wrong.
If you put yourself in the position of someone whose job it is to read all those letters, every day, from people who forgot their correct name, their correct address or the correct station they boarded, then perhaps you will be able to see what facts you can produce which will help to tip the balance in your favour, and which facts will not.

I hope this helps.
 

greendave110

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Thank you for your input. It has been very helpful indeed.

The fine is fair enough and I wouldn't expect any less should I have been caught on the train itself...the admin fee too. I don't however feel taking people to court out of inaccuracies is necessarily the route to go down. I just hope the investigator goes in my favour. I couldn't imagine anything worse in my life right now than to go to court and receive a conviction!

Thanks
 
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yorkie

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Your last post raises more questions than answers, and it has left me even more confused than I was before. I'd also go so far as to say that it's possibly further incriminating, and also casts doubt on your earlier claim that you were using Oyster PAYG.

If you really are "happy to pay the fine", then simply plead guilty, and the court will issue a fine. You do not have to physically attend court, if that is what you are worried about. In addition to the fine, you'll also be required to pay their costs, plus the fare due. Therefore, it is better for you and the TOC if an out of court settlement can be agreed. There's also the matter that, in addition to a fine, you would get a criminal record (that would show up on a CRB check) if they prosecute you under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889. Given that you later say you do not want a conviction, I suspect that you are, in fact, not happy to pay the fine?

There's a lot of contradictions in your posts, about what outcome you want, and about what happened that day.

I suggest you consider taking legal advice if you do not want a conviction, but ensure you provide a consistent, and fully explained (yet concise) account of what happened that day.
 

greendave110

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I was using both a ticket and an Oyster PAYG when he stopped me. ticket to the station and PAYG to use underground.

I really do not want to get a conviction. Does the conviction still hold if it is settled out of court? I am confused with what you mean by getting a record by accepting the fine? What are the options that are likely given to me...

If it doesn't go down the route of a court is it a FPN? The way I see it is that I didn't have a ticket when asked and I cannot provide evidence..what is the likely outcome!?

I want to avoid a conviction full stop..and would do anything to avoid it.

Do you think I should seek legal advice asap before the letter?
 

bb21

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There have been many previous threads from people seeking help with their prosecutions so you might find it useful to search the forum using the keyword "prosecution" and have a read.

To clear a few things for you to start with:
  • A fine cannot be issued by anyone other than a judge. If you are happy to receive a fine, then that means you will plead guilty to the court, if you get prosecuted. Unfortunately that also means receiving a criminal record if you are prosecuted under the Regulation of Railways Act. This conviction will show up on your future CRB checks.
  • Alternatively you may be prosecuted under the lesser Railway Byelaws. As you were unable to present a valid ticket when requested, due to the strict liability nature of the Railway Byelaws, they stand a very good chance of succeeding with this. If you are found guilty under the Railway Byelaws, the level of fine levied will be less than those for the RoRA offence, and the conviction should not show up in your future CRB checks. (Of course it have been known to happen previously where people's byelaw convictions were recorded on their CRB results by mistake.)
  • If you settle with the company out of court, there is no prosecution and it will not be on your CRB record.
  • A Penalty Fare Notice (PFN) is charged when a passenger is believed to have made an innocent mistake, and is not an accusation of any wrongdoing. It is just a ticket with an inflated price tag. Unfortunately we are past that stage now.

Unfortunately there are many things in your posts that are unclear and I cannot really get my head around some of the things you have said. I would recommend legal advice. However please be warned that practitioners specialising in railway legislations are few and far in between, and they charge accordingly for their services.

I, too, think that you should wait for their letter to arrive in the first place.
 

yorkie

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I was using both a ticket and an Oyster PAYG when he stopped me. ticket to the station and PAYG to use underground.
That's still unclear to me (but what matters is that yoiu

I am also confused about your encounter with the first ticket inspector, but without knowing where you boarded it is difficult to comment.

I really do not want to get a conviction.
Then I suggest you settle the matter out of court, as mentioned above.

Does the conviction still hold if it is settled out of court?
If you settle out of court, then a court cannot convict you, as it would not go to court.
I am confused with what you mean by getting a record by accepting the fine? What are the options that are likely given to me...
There are no options given to you as such, it is up to you to decide whether to attempt an out of court settlement (but up to the Train Company whether or not they will accept!) and, if not, up to you to decide whether to plead guilty or innocent.
If it doesn't go down the route of a court is it a FPN? The way I see it is that I didn't have a ticket when asked and I cannot provide evidence..what is the likely outcome!?
Either the Train Company will drop the matter entirely, or you will settle out of court, or it will go to court and you will then either be found guilty or innocent.

I cannot say what the likely outcome is, for the reasons already stated.
I want to avoid a conviction full stop..and would do anything to avoid it.

Do you think I should seek legal advice asap before the letter?
It's possible the Company may drop the matter and not even send you a letter, in which case it's money wasted. But unlikely; they probably will write to you. I personally would wait until they write to you requesting a Statement, and then promptly seek advice at that stage.

That said, you don't necessarily need to get legal advice to negotiate an out of court settlement, if you are happy to settle out of court and avoid it going to court. Just ensure that the letter is apologetic, concise, does not go into unnecessary detail, yet does convey the crucial missing details.

...
  • A Penalty Fare Notice (PFN) is charged when a passenger is believed to have made an innocent mistake, and is not an accusation of any wrongdoing. It is just a ticket with an inflated price tag. Unfortunately we are past that stage now.
I am guessing he meant Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), but the answer is still no in either case!
 

Ferret

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Thank you for your input. It has been very helpful indeed.

The fine is fair enough and I wouldn't expect any less should I have been caught on the train itself...the admin fee too. I don't however feel taking people to court out of inaccuracies is necessarily the route to go down. I just hope the investigator goes in my favour. I couldn't imagine anything worse in my life right now than to go to court and receive a conviction!

Thanks
The problem with 'inaccuracies' to use your own word is that they can demonstrate intent to avoid your fare, which then becomes a very serious matter as it can lead to a criminal record. You'll need to wait for further correspondance from the Train Company's Prosecution Department to see what they intend on prosecuting you for. If they believe you haven't been truthful in that interview and have evidence to back it up, then I expect them to prosecute under section 5, which covers intent to avoid the fare due, and is a recordable offence.
 

clagmonster

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I am not a lawyer, but those with legal knowledge may confirm whether this is a good idea, but assuming this happened recently, might it be an idea to request relevent CCTV images. I'm thinking of the passenger throwing away the ticket and purchasing the ticket using cash. This would at least prove the existence of a paper ticket, and I suppose the records of the issuing company can confirm what that ticket was.
I think to do this you would have to approach the operator of the stations concerned to obtain these.

If it can be proved that the passenger paid for valid tickets throughout, would I be correct in thinking that this would making it very difficult to prove the more serious RoRA offence. That said, the OP will still presumably have failed to produce a valid ticket on demand (assuming (s)he was actually asked to produce it) so would still be guilty of the byelaw offence.

I hope this helps, and please, don't take this as legal advice, I am not a laywer.
 

LexyBoy

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I'm confused as to what actually occurred here - could you clarify greendave 110?

As I read it, your account is:
1) You buy a ticket at station A for a journey A-B
2) You travel by train only from A-B
3) You arrive at B and discard your ticket.
4) You touch in at B with Oyster PAYG to start a journey from B to C using the Underground. Was this Oyster reader a standalone type, or on a ticket barrier?
5) At some point during your B-C Underground journey an official stopped you. Did they immediately ask what your journey was, or initially just ask to see your ticket? Was this at station B or later in the journey?

I find it hard to see why you would be questioned about your journey under normal circumstances. An inspector would usually check that you have a valid ticket - which if the above series of events is correct you did - and that would be the end of it. If it's a station which is barriered but with a barrierless interchange to the Underground then I can see that you may be questioned.

(PS: in future you should always keep your ticket until you've left railway property - you must be able to present it if reqested, even after alighting from your train).
 

greendave110

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Ok thank you for all the replies.

I am tempted to go down that route but it would probably cost me more than an out of court settlement would. If they think I'm not telling the truth would they consider an out of court settlement since it is my first "offence" or would they try their hardest to pursue it? I just don't want a criminal record where it can be avoided! Whatever the situation states I didn't have a ticket when asked like has been mentioned, therefore I am in breach of something.

Would the TOC just show they don't have a record of the exact ticket I detailed?

I am becoming increasingly worried now :(
 

island

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I have rarely read of out of court settlement offers of sufficient size being turned down in relation to someone with no history, with the exception of by London Underground, which as it is public sector sometimes proceeds with prosecutions in the public interest for deterrence.

Can you please provide answers to the questions people have asked above, particularly those by DaveNewcastle and LexyBoy?
 

34D

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I'm confused as to what actually occurred here - could you clarify greendave 110?

As I read it, your account is:
1) You buy a ticket at station A for a journey A-B
2) You travel by train only from A-B
3) You arrive at B and discard your ticket.
4) You touch in at B with Oyster PAYG to start a journey from B to C using the Underground. Was this Oyster reader a standalone type, or on a ticket barrier?
5) At some point during your B-C Underground journey an official stopped you. Did they immediately ask what your journey was, or initially just ask to see your ticket? Was this at station B or later in the journey?

I find it hard to see why you would be questioned about your journey under normal circumstances. An inspector would usually check that you have a valid ticket - which if the above series of events is correct you did - and that would be the end of it. If it's a station which is barriered but with a barrierless interchange to the Underground then I can see that you may be questioned.

(PS: in future you should always keep your ticket until you've left railway property - you must be able to present it if reqested, even after alighting from your train).
Yes, from the information given, I understand A to B to be national rail and B to C to be on oyster payg (could be LU or national rail).

We really need to know where station B is - if you don't want to give this information on the public forum could I suggest you PM it to one or more of the people on here who are trying to help you.

Also, and this is important: you need QUICKLY to get a print out of your oyster history. This can either be online, or at an LU ticket office.
 

Ferret

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Ok thank you for all the replies.

I am tempted to go down that route but it would probably cost me more than an out of court settlement would. If they think I'm not telling the truth would they consider an out of court settlement since it is my first "offence" or would they try their hardest to pursue it? I just don't want a criminal record where it can be avoided! Whatever the situation states I didn't have a ticket when asked like has been mentioned, therefore I am in breach of something.

Would the TOC just show they don't have a record of the exact ticket I detailed?

I am becoming increasingly worried now :(
It's quite hard for us to know what to advise, because I can't work out what exactly the railway company suspect you of having done. I'd say the way forward is to wait for a letter to arrive, so we can see what they intend on doing about it.

 

LexyBoy

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I still don't understand why you would have been questioned beyond asking for a ticket - which you had in the form of your Oyster.

Anyway, your actions will depend on what you're charged with I think. If long-term fare evasion is suspected then I think the Fraud Act would usually be used. For a one-off deliberate fare evasion the Regulations of the Railways Act can be used, and as a catch-all there is Railway Byelaw 18. The last is the least serious charge and isn't recordable.

I don't think we can advise on your best course of action until you know what action the TOC is considering.
 

GadgetMan

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If your Oyster card shows you travel B-C and then return C-B, it would be fair for a Ticket Inspector to assume you then also travel back between B & A. IF the assumption is correct, then the member of staff may have expected you to at least be able to produce the Return portion of the paper ticket that you threw away. I'm guessing you failed to show a Return portion.

Reading between the lines, this is what may have aroused suspicion I would think.
 
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Urban Gateline

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I still don't understand why you would have been questioned beyond asking for a ticket - which you had in the form of your Oyster.
Well imagine if you were an RPI, and you saw someone come off a train, touch in at standalone readers and then walk off towards a train, it is a fair assumption that the passenger may not have a ticket before they touched in. This suspicion most likely caused the RPI to challenge the OP.
 

LexyBoy

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Well imagine if you were an RPI, and you saw someone come off a train, touch in at standalone readers and then walk off towards a train, it is a fair assumption that the passenger may not have a ticket before they touched in. This suspicion most likely caused the RPI to challenge the OP.
Indeed, but the OP says that the B-C journey is by Underground which makes it harder to see what's suspicious (to me anyway). Of course the RPI/whoever could still have been on the National Rail side - it's hard to say without knowing which station it was.
 

34D

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Some other thoughts:

If you definitely definitely had a valid paper ticket from A to B (and if cctv at B would show you binning this, or cctv at A would show you purchasing this, or if you still have a receipt or credit card statement) then great.

If there was no A to B ticket that morning (for whatever reason) then your only hope may be to prove that no cctv exists which shows you alighting from an A to B train. Or rather, this is the time to apologise and try to make a settlement.

Being in station B (and thanks to our PM I know which station B is) without a valid ticket isn't an offence on its own, and touching in inside station B so you do have a valid ticket isn't an offence:- the offence would be getting off the A to B train without a ticket.
 
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