8.6 Offences used in Current Practice 8.6.1 Background to Fare and Ticketing Offences The right of a ticket holding person to be conveyed between the two stations printed on their ticket is a Contractual right and conforms with Contract Law. There is a popular misconception that it is not, that it is a retail supply or consumer service. As a Contract, it takes the form of an offer which is accepted with obligations by both parties - the Railway Operators will convey the Passenger, and the Passenger will make the due payment; the Ticket is not merely a receipt but a summary of some of the Terms of the Contract whose acceptance implies acceptance of all of the Terms. This distinguishes the Railway Contract from a mere retail 'invitation to treat' and there are many cases and Judgements to support this practice dating from 1867 to recent times which underpin this model of a Contract. It is a regrettable fact of life that the Railways experience a vast degree of Fare Evasion on a continuous basis. As a consequence, there are commercial, moral and statutory pressures on Railway Operators to put in place measures to control that haemorrhage of potential revenue and to sustain those measures with innovative strategies ; measures which are proportionate, do not expose its staff to risk, which can differentiate the Fare Evader from the passenger making the innocent mistake and which curb continuing evasion. There is frequent criticism of Railway Operators, both for being excessively 'heavy-handed' in their enforcement and, equally, in being far too lax in failing to detect much of the fare evasion which takes place every day. In practice, the evidence available can make it hard to differentiate between the regular and deliberate Fare Evader and the confused or mistaken passenger who has every wish to pay for their travel. However, staff working on the railways have a number of techniques and clues, learned from experience, which they can use to make that distinction and will routinely exercise some discretion in applying the rules. It will nearly always be easier to differentiate the Criminal from the mistaken at the point of discovery, by a consideration of their actions and words, than by attempting to differentiate them after the event, by studying the Evidence passed to a Prosecutor. Similarly, when evaluating a first-time suspect for possible irregularity, it will generally be preferable to reach a negotiated settlement rather than proceed to hear the matter in Court , this is even more likely to be the preferred route in the case of a simple Byelaw offence where no intention to defraud the Railways is suspected. 8.6.2 Summary of Most Common Fare and Ticketing Offences Travelling with the intention of avoiding paying the Fare Due. This may include: attempting to leaving a station on arrival at a destination without buying a ticket; travelling with another person's Season Ticket; buying a Child ticket while an adult; naming a station which is closer than the actual start of the journey when leaving a train without a ticket; etc. This will be captured by the RoRA Section 5 Offence. See Section 8.2.1 It is central to this claim that the passenger was wilfully avoiding payment, even if that was only for a brief moment while an opportunity was available, not a long-term intention to avoid payment. The 'intention' to avoid payment will be determined by reference to their actions and their words, and not to their thoughts (see above). Failure to produce a valid ticket. This may include: travelling on the wrong train with an Advance ticket; travelling with a Railcard-discounted ticket without the necessary Railcard; being unable to produce both parts of a two-part ticket. These errors are captured by Railway Byelaw 18 (in a non-Compulsory Ticket Area) or Byelaw 17 (in a Compulsory Ticket Area). See Section 8.2.2 This is a 'strict liability' matter and there is no implication that the passenger had intended to avoid the proper fare. Travel in the wrong 'class'. Passengers holding a ticket for travel in Standard Class but travelling in First Class are captured by Railway Byelaw 19. Alternatively, it would also be possible for the Company to claim a breach of RoRA S.5, as such a passenger would not have paid the correct fare for their journey. An Inspector would have the choice of treating this either as a 'strict liability' Byelaw Offence, where the passenger 'remains' in first class after being questioned and there is no implication that the passenger had intended to avoid the proper fare, or, as an Offence under the RoRA where it is believed that the passenger had intended to avoid the payment of the proper fare due. (There are exceptional circumstances in which 'First Class' accomodation is 'de-classified' from which it becomes possible for a passenger to sit in that 'de-classified' First Class area while holding a Standard Class ticket with impunity). Altering tickets. Railway Byelaw 20 refers : Once again, 'intent' is evidenced by a person's actions or words, not by their thoughts. Where the offence is serious, such as suspicion of habitual or repeated alterations, a Prosecution for Fraud might be considered. Forgery (of tickets). The forgery of false tickets or passes, or the use of false tickets or passes will be treated as a Fraud with Criminal intent. Where the bulk manufacture or distribution of false documents is suspected, it is most likely that the Police would be informed and the potential for an investigation into Serious Organised Crime may follow. Failure to pay within the time allowed. If a passenger is given an Unpaid Fares Notice and fails to pay within the time allowed then this may either be pursued as a civil debt or the original fare could be pursued as one of the Byelaw Offences above. Failure to give name and address. This is a requirement created by Railway Byelaw 23 See Section 8.2.2 : It is also a requirement under Section 5 of the RoRA, where there is an interesting variation:- Here, Section 5.1 of the Act creates a Criminal Offence when a passenger (a) fails to produce a valid ticket, OR (b) fails to pay the fare, OR (c) fails to provide their name and address. But Section 5.2 permits a passenger to be Detained when a passenger (a) fails to produce a valid ticket, OR (b) fails to pay the fare, AND (c) refuses to give their name and address. Providing false Name and Address Providing a false name and/or false address, after not having already paid the fare is an Offence which is captured under Section 5.3 of the RoRA. People with more than one address, or who have recently moved, may find themselves suspected of giving a false address after an initial check on the address given has failed when an Inspector attempts to confirm it by phone with their Company's checking agency. This is a common occurrence, and anyone in this position should not be concerned, they will not have misreported their identity and the accuracy of the address given will become apparent on further investigation. It would be wise to explain the dual addresses or their new address as soon as possible, preferrably at the time of the initial interview, to avoid risking suspicion. It will not be a surprise that people change addresses legitimately, though it might take longer to have the matter confirmed. Similarly, visitors to the UK should be quite open and honest about their address, both a home address abroad and a temporary address in the UK - it will be for the Railway Company to decide how to correspond with a passenger once thay have all the facts. 8.6.3 Summary of Other Common Offences on the Railways (Beyond Fares and Ticketing) Trespass (on Railway Property) Trespass on Railway property includes all areas away from stations and even areas on stations when passengers are instructed not to enter. Trespass may be dealt with under Section 55 of the British Transport Commission Act or Railway Byelaw 13. These create an absolute Offence if a person enters a restricted part of Railway land or property. Damage (to Railway Property). Criminal Damage will normally be dealt with under Criminal Damage Act 1971 [England & Wales] or Criminal Law (Consolidation) Act 1995 [Scotland], these offences do not necessitate permanent damage. Other Law might include the Malicious Damage Act, Public Order Act [England & Wales] or Police, Public Order & Criminal Justice Act 2006 [Scotland]. There are a few specific forms of damage which are captured by the Railway Byelaws. Theft Theft of Railway property Most incidences of theft will be dealt with by the Theft Act 1968. However, other action may be applied where appropriate, For instance, a person stealing overhead power cable was charged with Endangering railway passengers (Offences Against the Person Act 1861). Theft of passenger's property This may be a private matter between two persons or a Criminal matter and theft on the Railways is no different from theft elsewhere, unless the property has been specifically trusted to a Railway Company for carriage as luggage or parcels (this is uncommon in current times although there is ample Case Law to assist). Smoking Smoking in public places in England is prohibited under the Smoke-free Premises and Enforcement Regulations 2006. This extends to all Railway trains and stations in England and Wales and to all trains and some stations in Scotland. In addition, it is captured across the UK by Railway Byelaw 3: Sale of and/or possession of Alcohol The Sale of Alcohol on trains is not regulated by the Licensing Acts of England & Wales nor of Scotland, though the sale of alcohol on Railway premises such as stations is regulated by those Acts. Railway Byelaw 4 prohibits a person who is unfit as a result of intoxication from entering or remaining on railway property, and prohibits, when notice is given, any person from entering a train who is in possession of alcohol. Railway Companies are at liberty to introduce their own restrictions on the consumption of alcohol in specified locations or on specified trains and at specified times. Failure to comply with the instructions of a Railway Officer. Various Railway Byelaws, most specifically Byelaw 12 will require a person to comply with an instruction in the interests of safety and failure to do so will be deemed an Offence. Photography Photographers may be permitted onto most publicly accessible railway property (i.e. stations and bridges) but will always be subject to permission which may be withdrawn at any time (refused at the risk of committing a Trespass), subject to all concerns for safety including proximity to running lines, obstacles or obstructions (e.g. tripods), and a prohibition on the use of 'flash' photography. There are also areas where photography is absolutely prohibited and for the avoidance of doubt it would be wise to checking with specialist photography websites (incl. the Photography Advice section of RailForums.uk). Behaviour and Public Order Offensive or intimidating behaviour can give rise to an Offence under Section 4 or 5 of the Public Order Act. In some cases, this can even be prosecuted if the person witnessing the behaviour was watching remotely on CCTV equipment. Disorderly and offensive behaviour can also be prosecuted as an offence under Railway Byelaw 6 : "Unacceptable Behaviour", and which also includes dropping litter, spitting, soiling and writing on Railway property. Other Specific behaviours such as the Misuse of Level Crossings, bringing dangerous substances onto the Railways, unsafe working practices, endangering the lives of others or general Disorder may be prosecuted under a number of Offences. Some of these may be dealt with by a Civil Penalty Notice. -----------  Simple railway ticketing offences will be heard in the Magistrates Court [England & Wales] or the Sheriff or Justice of the Peace [Scotland]. The Magistrates Court in England & Wales may be formed of 3 lay Magistrates assisted by their legal Clerk or a by District Judge sitting alone.