Threw away York to Garforth ticket - help!!

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Ritson, 5 May 2015.

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  1. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    Hi, I have a bit of a problem.

    Me and My 13 year old niece were traveling back from a day in York and disembarking at Garforth.

    We had our tickets checked by the conductor on the train, so when we got off I put our tickets in the bin on the train.

    I was then approached by two men who asked to see my ticket. I explained what had happened and they said everything would be ok but they took my details.

    I received a letter asking me to explain what had happened which I responded to, saying it was a stupid mistake and that, as Garforth was an un-barriered station I didn't think I'd need them after I got off. I've offered to pay any fines etc., and have made an official request for the CCTV of me buying tickets at the station.

    I'm just really scared as there was stuff about prosecution etc.

    Does anyone know what happens in these situations?

    Many thanks
     
  2. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    How did you pay for the tickets? Where exactly (ticket machine or ticket office) & when did you buy them?

    I don't think you will be prosecuted and asked to pay a fine, and I certainly wouldn't offer to pay a fine.
     
  3. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    Unfortunately I paid cash
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Can you go to the station today and see if that person remembers you? If so perhaps ask if they'll write a witness statement for you.

    Opening hours are supposedly:
    Monday - Friday 06:00 - 14:00
    Saturday 06:00 - 14:00
    Sunday Closed

    What time was this? Wish I'd known; I was in the area yesterday. If anyone knows where/when these people are out and about it may be worth letting us know, as I'd like to 'mystery shop' them. <D
     
  5. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    Yes I'm sure I could do. It was on 9th April. She might not of course but it's worth a shot I suppose!
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Many CCTV systems are set up to record 31 days. You'll need to be very quick but given that you'll need to make a subject access request I would think the data will have gone by the time they download it.
     
  7. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    This is a long shot but is there any chance that the ticket sales for that day could be checked to see if an adult and child return to York had been sold at the appropriate time as I assume Garforth isn't such a busy station.
     
  8. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    https://www.gov.uk/request-cctv-footage-of-yourself

     
  9. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Interesting. A lot of CCTV is held electronically, and automatically overwrites after a set period of time. In the case of CCTV that I am involved with most of that is after less than 40 days (around 30, I think). Is there any legislation governing how long CCTV images should be retained?
     
  10. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    Not at all. The legislation requires organisations holding data (including CCTV footage) about individuals to provide said individuals with a copy of said data, but doesn't mandate that they keep it at all.
     
  11. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    Sorry, just got back home and seen the replies to this!
    To be fair, the actual staff who I've dealt with so far have all been really pleasant; I made the request for CCTV (with a data protection template etc.) a week(ish) after the incident when I first got Northern's letter.
    I've done all I can do, offered to pay penalty fares etc. and and apologised in writing saying it was an honest mistake I left my ticket on the train.
    I can't do much more until I know what they want to do with me!
     
  12. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I was acquainted with a theatre company based in the SW whose style of operation was to perform in public places and then request the CCTV recording of their performance which, in turn, became the product.
     
  13. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Out of interest how is cctv going to help the OP? Cctv of him buying a ticket won't prove anything, for the same reason that a TOC won't accept a receipt or bank statement as proof of ticket. Cctv may show the OP buying a ticket, not necessarily the correct ticket for the journey. It won't then prove that the op didn't give the ticket to someone else and then board a train with no ticket...

    Unless I'm missing something?
     
  14. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Indeed.

    CCTV isn't going to provide proof, but it would provide some evidence, which could be combined with other evidence.

    However there is no need whatsoever to bother if the booking clerk remembers selling the OP a ticket and is prepared to write a statement confirming that fact.

    Sadly time is now against the OP, and the letter from Northern has already been replied to, so any help we can provide is going to be rather limited now.
     
  15. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    But as A-driver says, that wouldn't prove that the OP (for example) didn't then give the ticket to someone else to travel with.
     
  16. IanXC

    IanXC Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This thread is now reopened, can all contributors please ensure that posts remain on topic, and useful to the OP. If a post anywhere on the forum causes you concern please continue to use the report function.
     
  17. reb0118

    reb0118 Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Whilst mainly agreeing with you I would counter with the fact that whilst the TOC does not have to accept CCTV or a receipt in lieu of a ticket there is nothing in law that compels them to reject that evidence.

    This is also true, but sometimes the investigator may feel some sympathy with the party involved and any evidence, however slim, may tip the balance in their favour.

    Almost on a daily basis I encounter passengers without tickets who claim to have lost them &c., most are in fact telling the truth, I use various methods to try to work out the facts of each case as I see fit - and yes producing a receipt, although not absolute proof and not always accepted, is a step in the right direction.
     
  18. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    If the guard had checked all tickets on the train then this would imply the OP had a ticket. This seems a much stronger argument although it does depend exactly where the tickets were checked etc.. It still does not absolve the OP from not having a ticket.
     
  19. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Just to back up what reb0118 says, there may be as many situations where the individual dealing with a case is looking for reasons not to pursue it than looking to nail the passenger regardless. I know it's my starting point, (unless they fail the attitude test!)...
     
  20. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    An update:

    Today I received more communication from Northern:

    They allege that I was travelling from Cross Gates to Garforth without paying the fare and with intent to avoid paying the fare!?!?!

    I actually travelled from York to Garforth, and it looks like the officer wrote the wrong things down!

    So I called them up and they said my case is on hold while they investigate!
    I'm really panicking now!
    Jesus-really at my wits end!
     
  21. thesjd

    thesjd Member

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    Very baffling they've accused you of travelling from that station. That's an accusation with no evidence or weight.
     
  22. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    The officer stopped me as I disembarked at platform 2; a train which arrives from York!!
    How can they have got the details wrong? I don't understand how this has happened?
    I asked the lady on the phone whether I was being accused of two offences or one and she wouldn't say.
     
    Last edited: 11 May 2015
  23. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I suspect an administrative error.

    It would in fact be difficult to travel from Cross Gates to Garforth having already paid the fare if travelling to Garforth on an evening, given that there are no facilities at Cross Gates whatsoever, not much chance of the Guard asking you to pay a fare, and not normally any facility at Garforth (apart from, evidently, on this occasion). However this has no relevance to your case, as you travelled from York.
     
  24. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    I'm just worried this may now harm my case, in their eyes, so to speak.
    I wish they'd just let me pay a FPN and be done with it!
     
  25. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    I paid Penalty Fare, just to get rid of the headache and anxiety that was hanging over me.

    I do have a few questions, however:

    If anyone has read the foregoing posts, they'll know that my tickets were checked on the train, and as I got up to disembark, I, thinking that I would not need them anymore, as Garforth is an un-barriered station, threw them in the bin on the train seconds before I alighted.

    Am I required, then, to retain my tickets after they have been inspected when I'm disembarking at a train station with no barriers? (If I am by law, of course, that's fair enough).
    But if that is the case, and I am indeed required by law to retain my ticket until I have fully exited the station, why is there no warning to people to retain their tickets and not throw them in the bin placed conveniently by train doors? Surely, it would at least be fair to warn people so that they do not fall into the same situation into which I have fallen ?
    Moreover, the tannoy warnings on trains approaching stations such as Leeds, which have ticket barriers, surely suggest that, implicitly at least, rail companies recognise that people throwing their tickets away when they disembark is a common practice, otherwise why would they warn people to keep them when approaching stations such as Leeds?

    Maybe I'm reading too much into these service announcements...

    Yet, if passengers are required to retain their tickets until they have completely exited the station, why, then, are the ticket barriers in Leeds, for example, placed far from the entrance to station? Surely that means, then (and I appreciate it would be unlikely), that any zealous RPO could in theory demand a ticket from you once you'd exited the barriers but not left the station, and you would still be in the wrong?

    I say "zealous" RPO, when perhaps "jobsworth" would do, because, let's face the fact; if the rail company was motivated by a love of "seeing justice done" rather than profit, surely they would never settle out-of-court? I never even knew that, in criminal cases, two parties could settle a matter out of court; I speak as an historian of 18th, 19th, and 20th century crime and legal history, so I'd like to think I have some grasp of the matter; in fact, I'm trying to think of a time when people involved in criminal disputes have ever settled out of court. Naturally I'm glad that they did on this occasion, but does the fact that many rail companies settle out of court in matters such as these suggest that in the past Magistrates have been inclined to dismiss the prosecution altogether?
    Indeed, in the following document (link provided), the writer of Northern's policy there senses that, 'there is a reluctance of Magistrates to convict'.
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/151812/response/375054/attach/4/Document 4a.pdf

    Obviously, this are points for discussion, nothing more.
     
    Last edited: 26 May 2015
  26. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    It's a bit of a grey area - legally speaking the ticket is property of the train company and shouldn't be thrown away at all. But, unless there's a revenue block on you won't get in trouble for not keeping your ticket.
    They announce this because larger stations have barriers, and you need your ticket to activate the barrier.
    Because Network Rail want to maximise their revenue from shop rental so place the barriers to create as large a 'public space' as possible.
    Since the barriers retain the ticket (if you're at your destination station) it would be very hard to make the case 'stick'.
    That doesn't necessarily follow, they may settle in cases where the prosecution isn't in the public interest.
    It happens all the time. It's a private prosecution so it's up to the 'victim' to press charges or not.
     
  27. Ritson

    Ritson Member

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    Okay, then, points taken, but final question: why could they not have warned passengers on the train that ticket checks were in operation?
     
  28. ScotrailINV

    ScotrailINV Member

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    I would imagine that the guard on the train wouldn't have had any prior notification that they were there? I'm assuming if it was publicised where they are operating, those who are normally less inclined to purchase a valid ticket would do so or catch another service/
     
  29. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    The guard wouldn't know where revenue are operating. They arnt told. Plus advertising it means anyone trying to skip the fare may stay on the train and get off elsewhere.
     
  30. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Especially if the train called at East Garforth as this is only a ten or fifteen minute walk from Garforth.
     
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