TfL letter - how to respond

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by BarryMa, 4 May 2015.

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  1. BarryMa

    BarryMa New Member

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    Dear forum, I would appreciate some help, to respond to a letter from TfL.

    It says "On xx you were reported to TfL for failing to produce a valid ticket, pass or photocard for your journey on the London Underground. The facts of this incident are being considered and I must advise you that legal proceedings may be taken against you in accordance with TfL prosecution policy". I then get the chance to write comments on the back.

    It relates to a recent trip when i got to Victoria tube station, just as i entered through barriers i got stopped by plain clothes policeman/ticket inspector. He asked for my pass/card, i showed it and at that moment realised I had swiped my fathers freedom pass instead of my own (a travelcard season with about 3 months left and zones 2-4 and about £17 credit for PAYG, asI occasionally go into zone 1). it was honestly an accident. I was somewhere else (in my mind). I got pulled to the side and questioned. He took the freedom pass and said why did i have the it? I explained I had just accompanied my dad to a medical centre in nw london. He didnt believe me. Which i can understand. He said i was lying, that I hadnt used my pass (actually I had used it just a couple of hours before to get to Victoria but on the bus not tube)and how come I was in london central area. I explained my dad and i had gotten a cab to the clinic but i had no proof of this with me at the time. I was in shock and forgive me for sounding foolish but I asked what would happen next, penalty, prison? And he said no, its a civil matter and took notes, i explained again why I had the pass with me and then he just quickly showed me his black book cover, said i was being cautioned and wrote down again that I went through the barrier and whether I would have exited using the freedom pass ( i replied I had my own pass) and whether I realised I should have a valid ticket (to which I said yes). i asked for our passes back but was asked to sign his book first and only then got my pass back and i was told I shou!d wait for a letter in the post

    I have never been stopped by any person, in the tube or anywhere else, so this was a traumatic experience for me. Today after searching online for advice I came across this site and its an eye opener. After reading some postings I will avoid the obvious (deep regret, foolish, my fault,embarrasment) but will say it was honest mistake. The question is, how do i reply to the letter and should i put forward some things I learnt after the event:
    - I was sure I had used my pass just before and I dont understand why the inspector couldnt see that. I called Oyster helpline and they confirmed I had used my pass 2.5 hr before the time i accidentally used dads pass
    -they sent me my oyster history which shows I used my pass 135 times during 28/2 to 25/4 (although for some reason the first date entry is 5 March).
    -most journeys were within my zones 2-4 and a few in zone 1 when PAYG was deducted
    - last year in Oct/Nov i used to work actually at Victoria and so I tried finding proof that I always used my own pass. Unfortunateky I could onky find a few mini oyster statements (the ones they print at ticket windows) showing 5 PAYG trips to/fromVictoria and about 25 payg trips to other places.

    I was not seeking to avoid paying a fare home, but prosection seems harsh, which is what there letter says and so I want to give them supporting info but dont know if giving them all info above is wise. I dont know on what grounds they are seeking to take me to court so how can I respond when the letter is so vague?

    I want to sort this out. Please help if you can?
     
  2. Clip

    Clip Established Member

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    Write back to them everything that you have said on here - be truthful and open to them and then wait to hear what they say.

    from an outsiders point of view its a struggle to understand why you would take a cab to the medical centre and then leave without your dad but his freedom pass and even then to actually use it and I am guessing this is what TfL would be wondering also.
     
  3. BarryMa

    BarryMa New Member

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    Thank you for your comment. I can see your point.

    Some entries here suggest that no matter what is written, they do as they wish. I find that hard to believe because surely its real people behind the system and hopefully with some heart. I have to notify work if i get prosecuted and thatd be the end of mycareer.
     
  4. BarryMa

    BarryMa New Member

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    I forgot to mention, Tfl dont know any of info re trip with dad etc because the inspector wasnt willing to note any of it down.
     
  5. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    lt's not really relevant because they are only concerned with the fact that you entered the system with his pass. ln a round-a-bout way you have also admitted that you would not have paid for travel, as by touching out with your own Oyster card, no funds would have been deducted.

    l'm sorry to say that lnspectors hear of the "it was a mistake" when using someone else's Freedom Pass all the time. lt's known as the "fruit bowl" because in most cases people claim that they have a bowl by their front door where they put all their keys/Oyster cards/etc.

    The advice by Clip is good, just write in all what you have said above, and see what they come back with.
     
  6. theking

    theking Member

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    Hopefully they won't withdraw your father's pass for misuse
     
  7. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    This will not happen in the circumstances.
     
  8. island

    island Established Member

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    Or it would have already been withdrawn if it was going to be.

    To the OP, put yourself in a neutral observer's shoes. It is most difficult to comprehend how the circumstances described could have come about by accident. Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary evidence to disprove the presumption. This is where you need to approach your reply from.
     
  9. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    As Judge Judy says, "If it doesn't sound true, it probably isn't"...
     
  10. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    RPIs must get fed up hearing about "honest mistakes".
     
  11. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Doesn't anybody get fed up reading about them?
     
  12. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The pass would have been withdrawn by an lnspector when it was improperly used, and indeed the OP has confirmed this. The (rightful!) passholder now needs to reapply.
     
  13. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I strongly suggest that you presume that the grounds for investigation might lead to the charge that you travelled on a train without having paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment. (A Criminal Offence with a Criminal Record).

    They do, as the law under which they operate intends them to operate, and the business model under which they operate intends them to receive due revenue.
    Yes, of course they "have some heart" and we see many instances of discretion being shown to confused or mistaken passengers, sometimes costing hundreds of pounds in the one 'mistake'. But when there appears to be an intention to defraud a Railway Company, then the knowledge that about half a billion pounds a year is lost through fare evasion is likely to invoke the procedures provided to detect, prevent and prosecute that offence.
    In my case, no, not since a woman half my age plucked her posessions from the "fruit bowl" one morning and arrived at the airport four hours later proudly presenting my passport!
    Wouldn't it be even more miserably painful reading about everyone's "honest intentions"?
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2015
  14. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Not really, but after a while the popcorn starts to make me feel a bit sick.
     
  15. tony6499

    tony6499 Member

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    Do we ever get dishonest mistakes ?
     
  16. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Sorry, I'll get salted, not butter next time:lol:
     
  17. bengley

    bengley Member

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    It is very common for people to be stopped for this on the Tube - I work at Victoria and see this several times a day when revenue are working.

    I'm afraid It's your responsibility to check you are tapping the correct card on the reader before you do it, or you must accept the consequences!
     
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