Revenue Protection Letter

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by rain.x.girl, 18 Jun 2019.

  1. rain.x.girl

    rain.x.girl New Member

    18 Jun 2019
    Hi y'all sorry for another one of these posts but just had a few questions...

    For reference:
    I use a MCard to commute between Leeds and Huddersfield every week. A few Fridays ago I used my pass as normal during morning rush hour, possibly at the handicap gate I can't recall 100% at Leeds. I got through the barriers and got on the train to Huddersfield. I then went to use my MCard at Huddersfield and walked straight in to the barrier because I assumed it would have opened! Expecting it to just be an issue with the barrier/misread the ticket, I handed it to the railway officer who then told me that it had expired the day before. I was confused as I got through at Leeds, but asked if I could top it up then or pay for a ticket. I was then told to talk to someone from Transpennine Express revenue protection. They took my details, asking how I got through at Leeds. I said I didn't know, I just used it as normal, but it was rush hour and possibly I just followed behind someone too closely? or it was a glitch with the MCard system. That's the only thing I can think of.

    Anyway I have now received the letter in the post asking me to give a statement about the events, and that it could be prosecuted.

    I realise now that it's my responsibilty to make sure my pass was valid, not just relying on the barrier system and I'm sorry for my mistake and it definitely won't happen again! I rely on the trains to get to work, and appreciate they're just trying to do their jobs. I've never had any other incident and have a clean record and at this point I just want the situation resolved as quickly as possible out of court as it's anxiety inducing! I'm willing to pay the penalty fare/any admin costs.

    My question are:

    1. Is it best to write back explaining the above and asking if they'd be willing to settle out of courts, or it better to phone ask about settlements?

    2. If you do write back, how long do they usually take to reply? I'd like to resolve ASAP.

    3. How likely are they to prosecute the case as it's a first time offense? I realise no one can give any certainty but just a general feeling on it. I'd really really like to avoid going to court for obvious reasons, but also I'm going to start looking for new jobs soon and having a criminal record would be very damaging!

    4. If they do offer a settlement, how much are they typically just so I can budget?
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  3. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    28 Aug 2011
    My answers are:
    1. It's best to have everything in writing. Though, that said, it doesn't hurt to have a conversation and then back that up with a letter.
    2. Anything up to a couple of months, though 3 to 4 weeks is more typical.
    3. If you engage in the process and demonstrate that you've learned what you did wrong then it's more likely than not that they will settle. It's overall in their interest to settle rather than prosecute.
    4. Low end £50 + the fare. High end £150 + the fare.
  4. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

    7 Oct 2017
    Yes, give an accurate account of what happened, apologise and explain that you have learnt your lesson and will not do it again (e.g. say you will set a reminder to ensure you always remember to renew from now on). You can then say something like: "In light of the circumstances, I would like to offer to settle the matter out of Court by means of me paying a settlement of your costs and any fares owed." A Penalty Fare doesn't come into it as these can't be issued after-the-fact.

    The only absolute time limit on it all is that they have to lay the complaint/information before the Court within 6 months of the alleged offence, if they wish to prosecute. But even then, it takes a few months for everything to work its way through the system so it would still be possible to correspond about the matter after that - even on the day of the hearing, if it went that far. This being said, the usual process is that you'll get a letter back to your response within a couple of weeks to a month.

    It might be useful to take a look at TPE's Revenue Protection Policy, so you get it from the horse's mouth. In this they have the following to say about settlements (emphasis mine):
    This is a refreshing difference from the likes of CrossCountry, who are far more aggressive in their use of prosecutions.

    They are likely to requests costs in the sum of about £80-100, plus the fare owed. Even if it goes to Court the costs are usually only a low three-figure sum (say, £200 at most) for minor cases such as this.
  5. rain.x.girl

    rain.x.girl New Member

    18 Jun 2019
    Thank you najaB and ForTheLoveOf, I really appreciate your advice. Their telephone system is where you have to call and leave a message and they call you back, so I've done that and in the meantime will write my statement bearing in mind what guidance you've suggested. Will keep you posted on what happens.

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