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Using someone else's travel pass

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R1971

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Short Story

I was caught using my Sister's oyster card (it was a BTP card), why was I using it because I was waiting for my annual season ticket to come through work. Before you all lay into me yes I know using it was a very very bad thing to do and should not have done so and I know that now and the severity of what I have done.
When the inspector stopped me he was a TFL man he asked did I have a warrant card (I thought he said photocard) but in any event answered no. He then took me to one side and said is this your ticket to which I immediately admitted that it was not my ticket but was my Sisters. He did seem very very nice about the whole thing I have to say. He said does she know you have the ticket but then said "off the record" if you say she knowingly gave this to you then she could get in severe trouble. I said no she does not know I took it I know I should not have done so. He said how often have you used it I said only during the past 2 weeks whilst waiting for my season ticket. He took my address, date of birth and said I may or may not receive a letter from TFL. I apologised at the end of the meeting, shook his hand and left the station. He said he would keep the card and destroy it and she would not be told of this and that she would have to apply for a new card, I obviously said I would have to tell her what I have done.
My question is I fully expect a letter of some sort, I have broken the law and need to deal with that. But is this a straight to court action as I realise and have subsequently read they come down very hard on people using other peoples passes?

Or could I offer to settle out of court, happy to write a letter stating that I am extremely sorry, I should not have done what I did etc but is there any point to that if they automatically through the book at you. I am guessing this will also result in a criminal record which in turn would stop me for example travelling to the US or Canada?
I have never done anything like this before in my life, never had points on licence, always legal and above board.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
 
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najaB

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My question is I fully expect a letter of some sort, I have broken the law and need to deal with that. But is this a straight to court action as I realise and have subsequently read they come down very hard on people using other peoples passes?
They aren't likely to proceed directly to court without first giving you an opportunity to either (a) provide a statement of mitigation; and/or (b) an opportunity to plead guilty (which would result in a smaller fine being imposed).
Or could I offer to settle out of court, happy to write a letter stating that I am extremely sorry, I should not have done what I did etc but is there any point to that if they automatically through the book at you.
You aren't necessarily going to get the book thrown at you, but you are correct that this is a serious situation.
I am guessing this will also result in a criminal record which in turn would stop me for example travelling to the US or Canada?
That depends on what offence (if any) you are convicted of. In any case a conviction doesn't mean that you are barred from travelling to either country. In the case of the USA it does mean that you would no longer be eligible to travel under the visa waiver programme and would need to apply for a visa before visiting. In the case of Canada you would need to tick the appropriate box on the E/D form.
 

DaveNewcastle

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If the Company decides that your actions over the past couple of weeks can justify a Criminal Prosecution, and, if they determine that they have adequate evidence to convict and so proceed to issue a Summons, and, if your attempts to negotiate an Out of Court settlement with the Company fails, and, if the Company persists in pursuing that Criminal Prosecution against you in the Magistrates Court, it still remains a possibility that on the day of the hearing, you will be able to negotiate a settlement with the Prosecutor just before your case is called. If it does get that far, then you will probably have to instruct a solicitor to act for you - they might spot some evidence to negotiate with, or have doubts over the Prosecution evidence to negotiate with, neither of which you would be likely to achieve.

This last minute negotiation wouldn't be an option with a Criminal Prosecution brought by the CPS following an investigation by the Police, but as this is a Private Prosecution, that potential remains open to you (despite statements to the contrary on otherwise authoritative websites).
 

R1971

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Thank you for reply and information

If the Company decides that your actions over the past couple of weeks can justify a Criminal Prosecution, and, if they determine that they have adequate evidence to convict and so proceed to issue a Summons, and, if your attempts to negotiate an Out of Court settlement with the Company fails, and, if the Company persists in pursuing that Criminal Prosecution against you in the Magistrates Court, it still remains a possibility that on the day of the hearing, you will be able to negotiate a settlement with the Prosecutor just before your case is called. If it does get that far, then you will probably have to instruct a solicitor to act for you - they might spot some evidence to negotiate with, or have doubts over the Prosecution evidence to negotiate with, neither of which you would be likely to achieve.

This last minute negotiation wouldn't be an option with a Criminal Prosecution brought by the CPS following an investigation by the Police, but as this is a Private Prosecution, that potential remains open to you (despite statements to the contrary on otherwise authoritative websites).
Sorry but just so I understand this can go one of two ways either I'm fortunate that they may accept a out of court settlement or they may take it all the way.
 
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Master29

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Firstly as NajaB and Davenewcastle have pointed out you will be asked to give your side of events or asked how to plead. As you have said you admit you were clearly in the wrong. A little grovelling may not harm your case and you have been honest enough to admit you have used this card on more than one occasion. That may seem bad but it does show honesty. I`m willing to bet most who end up on here have done this but go down the line of "it was my first time guvnor".

It`s not a magic elixir so no guarantees. At best you can expect an out of court settlement. As you said, you`ll just have to wait until you get the letter.
 

GadgetMan

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Short Story

I was caught using my Sister's oyster card (it was a BTP card), why was I using it because I was waiting for my annual season ticket to come through work. Before you all lay into me yes I know using it was a very very bad thing to do and should not have done so and I know that now and the severity of what I have done.
When the inspector stopped me he was a TFL man he asked did I have a warrant card (I thought he said photocard) but in any event answered no. He then took me to one side and said is this your ticket to which I immediately admitted that it was not my ticket but was my Sisters. He did seem very very nice about the whole thing I have to say. He said does she know you have the ticket but then said "off the record" if you say she knowingly gave this to you then she could get in severe trouble. I said no she does not know I took it I know I should not have done so. He said how often have you used it I said only during the past 2 weeks whilst waiting for my season ticket. He took my address, date of birth and said I may or may not receive a letter from TFL. I apologised at the end of the meeting, shook his hand and left the station. He said he would keep the card and destroy it and she would not be told of this and that she would have to apply for a new card, I obviously said I would have to tell her what I have done.
My question is I fully expect a letter of some sort, I have broken the law and need to deal with that. But is this a straight to court action as I realise and have subsequently read they come down very hard on people using other peoples passes?

Or could I offer to settle out of court, happy to write a letter stating that I am extremely sorry, I should not have done what I did etc but is there any point to that if they automatically through the book at you. I am guessing this will also result in a criminal record which in turn would stop me for example travelling to the US or Canada?
I have never done anything like this before in my life, never had points on licence, always legal and above board.
Any advice would be much appreciated.

Reading between the lines I suspect you and your sister (who should know better) may have had a very very lucky escape.
 

najaB

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Reading between the lines I suspect you and your sister (who should know better) may have had a very very lucky escape.
I suspect so too, but the OP should be prepared for the worst as there's no guarantee the RPI didn't have a change of heart.
 

R1971

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Thank you all for the posts. I know I have been extremely stupid in doing what I have done and have felt awful since it happened, sick to my stomach.
Yes my Sister should have known better, we both should have.
Will keep you all informed of what happens next once letter is received.
If you are reading this and are doing the same thing or even thinking of it, don't it is not worth the worry if you have a conscience just do what every one else does (including myself) use your own Oyster card.
 

jrh2254

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What is a BTP card ? Googled this and came up with British Transport Police so assume it a free Oyster card.
With a normal Oyster card are you saying that once it's registered to someone only that person can use it ? Surely only one person at a time can use it so surely assuming it's an adult non concessionary why is there a problem ?
 

najaB

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What is a BTP card ?
This.
With a normal Oyster card are you saying that once it's registered to someone only that person can use it ?
An Oyster card with only PAYG credit can be used by anyone, registered or not. One that contains a travelcard or season can only be used by the registered holder.
Surely only one person at a time can use it so surely assuming it's an adult non concessionary why is there a problem ?
It is a concessionary card.
 

thw6

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This.An Oyster card with only PAYG credit can be used by anyone, registered or not. One that contains a travelcard or season can only be used by the registered holder.
It is a concessionary card.

How do they check because surely the card just let's you through or does it flash differently to allow spot checks?
 

jrh2254

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Thanks for the clarification. I sometimes use my wife's by mistake so good to know !
 

Greenback

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My missus and I use our PAYG Oysters interchangeably. We have no idea which is which!
 

yorkie

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How do they check because surely the card just let's you through or does it flash differently to allow spot checks?
Staff with Oyster readers know exactly what information is held on the card, along with journey history information.

No problem loaning an undiscounted standard Oyster card with no pass loaded onto it (regardless of capping) , but loaning a pass or discount card to someone else (as is the case here) is something entirely.
 

Master29

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Thank you all for the posts. I know I have been extremely stupid in doing what I have done and have felt awful since it happened, sick to my stomach.
Yes my Sister should have known better, we both should have.


You need to be careful here. Are you admitting your sister did know what was going on as you said in your statement she was not aware? Please be honest here. If she admits she acted in the wrong as well then she must have known something. It's not fair to play members of this forum by not telling the truth, particularly the ones giving you good advice. I can understand your reasoning not wanting to daub in your sister but you have kinda let the cat out the bag.
 
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6Gman

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You need to be careful here. Are you admitting your sister did know what was going on as you said in your statement she was not aware? Please be honest here. If she admits she acted in the wrong as well then she must have known something. It`s not fair to play members of this forum by not telling the truth, particularly the ones giving you good advice. I can understand your reasoning not wanting to daub in your sister but you have kinda let the cat out the bag.

I understand your point Master 29 but I would strongly advise the OP to make no further comment on here re his sister's involvement. The OP needs to realise that this is a public forum and he could be identified by the investigating authorities.
 

AlterEgo

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Sounds like the ticket inspector was a decent bloke. The BTP Oyster is something that only a police officer will have and will allow them to access all trains for free. It is a very serious matter either to have it under false pretences, and it is worse for a police officer to loan theirs to someone else. You and your sister are very very lucky this is not going further.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

I understand your point Master 29 but I would strongly advise the OP to make no further comment on here re his sister's involvement. The OP needs to realise that this is a public forum and he could be identified by the investigating authorities.

If his sister is a copper then hopefully she's told him to shut up as well.
 

Clip

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They aren't likely to proceed directly to court without first giving you an opportunity to either (a) provide a statement of mitigation; and/or (b) an opportunity to plead guilty (which would result in a smaller fine being imposed).
You aren't necessarily going to get the book thrown at you, but you are correct that this is a serious situation.
That depends on what offence (if any) you are convicted of. In any case a conviction doesn't mean that you are barred from travelling to either country. In the case of the USA it does mean that you would no longer be eligible to travel under the visa waiver programme and would need to apply for a visa before visiting. In the case of Canada you would need to tick the appropriate box on the E/D form.

If this is lul I seem to remember them not being like
Y to settle out of court most times.

If I was the op I would pm someone like davenewcastle or mikewh for further assistance as this is quite serious due to it being not only a pass but a btp pass at that and no one can give any more advi e apart from possibly see a brief
 

R1971

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I have no intention of "playing" anyone on here and their advice is greatly appreciated. As someone pointed out this is a public forum and I should perhaps say nothing more.
 

CatfordCat

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What is a BTP card ? Googled this and came up with British Transport Police so assume it a free Oyster card.

With a normal Oyster card are you saying that once it's registered to someone only that person can use it ? Surely only one person at a time can use it so surely assuming it's an adult non concessionary why is there a problem ?

How do they check because surely the card just let's you through or does it flash differently to allow spot checks?

partly repeating what others have said, PAYG Oyster cards can be used by anyone - it's not uncommon to keep a spare or two for visiting friends / family.

I'm not sure if it isn't against the rules for two people to use the same card in one day to take advantage of daily capping, but not sure how the authorities would be able to tell.

An Oyster with a season ticket on it generally has to be accompanied by a photocard, and isn't transferrable. A barrier won't be able to tell the difference, but an RPI will.

An Oyster that's issued for a specific reason, e.g. a Freedom Pass issued to someone who's London resident and senior citizen / disabled, TfL employee / nominee and so on (and I am assuming here that BTP Oyster is similar to the TfL employee one) can only legitimately be used by that person, and should be carried with the relevant photo ID and both parts shown if requested.

Such Oysters tend to have something like "this pass is only valid for use when shown with a photocard bearing the same pass number" and the photocard something like "this is only valid for use by the person named on the card"

A RPI can clearly see if someone is using a pass that's not theirs when they check it.

And yes, someone at the barriers can tell if a pass is some form of non-standard Oyster that is only valid for a specific person (it's not the same as the different beeps for a child rate Oyster) hence sometimes an RPI will only stop some people and ask to see their pass to make sure it's not being used fraudulently.

In terms of what action's taken here, I can't see how the OP could pass this off as a genuine mistake, and (subject to the disclaimer that i'm not a lawyer, nor involved in the revenue protection side of things) they may well have a reasonable case for whatever offence a deliberate fraud comes under...
 

R1971

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Sounds like the ticket inspector was a decent bloke. The BTP Oyster is something that only a police officer will have and will allow them to access all trains for free. It is a very serious matter either to have it under false pretences, and it is worse for a police officer to loan theirs to someone else. You and your sister are very very lucky this is not going further.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If his sister is a copper then hopefully she's told him to shut up as well.

All noted I don't know if this is going further as no correspondence received as of yet I fully expect something in the post.
 

jon0844

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I hope this is a one off where a BTP officer is letting someone else use their card. I feel police officers need to respect laws and rules if they're going to enforce them and treat others fairly.

Sent from my HUAWEI MLA-L11 using Tapatalk
 

DaveNewcastle

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Are you admitting your sister did know what was going on as you said in your statement she was not aware? Please be honest here. . . . . . It's not fair to play members of this forum by not telling the truth, particularly the ones giving you good advice.
I understand your point Master 29 but I would strongly advise the OP to make no further comment on here re his sister's involvement. The OP needs to realise that this is a public forum and he could be identified by the investigating authorities.
R1971, I strongly agree with 6Gman. You are under no obligation to incriminate yourself or anyone else on this forum. And you are entitled to receive informed advice from those of us in a position to give it, knowing that there are facts which will not be stated publically. Please do not answer Master29's question on here.

I for one am quite happy to give advice in the form of scenarios from which each have their own consequences, so that you receive the information that applies to each of the possible scenarios, without you having to disclose which applies to you the facts of the incident.
 

najaB

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I can understand your reasoning not wanting to daub in your sister but you have kinda let the cat out the bag.
I am fairly sure that R1971 meant their sister should have known better than leave the pass where it could be taken without her knowledge.
 
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R1971

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Thanks to all who have commented on the post. This has literally scared the crap out of me having crazy thoughts of being taken to court slammed with a huge fine and criminal record yes I know you are saying no more than what I deserve. I am going to have to suck it up and take whatever comes my way.
 

Master29

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R1971, I strongly agree with 6Gman. You are under no obligation to incriminate yourself or anyone else on this forum. And you are entitled to receive informed advice from those of us in a position to give it, knowing that there are facts which will not be stated publically. Please do not answer Master29's question on here.

What I should have said to the OP was be careful what you say. That is the point I am trying to make
 

gray1404

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Does the OP actually have any confirmed assurances at this point that nothing further is going to happen here? Yes, it may be the case that reading in between the lines nothing further will happen, but there is that small change a letter may still arrive in the post.
 

najaB

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Does the OP actually have any confirmed assurances at this point that nothing further is going to happen here?
In short, no. That is why the advice is to stay quiet and prepare for the worst.

It will be a long six months.
 

R1971

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In short, no. That is why the advice is to stay quiet and prepare for the worst.

It will be a long six months.

Thank you Najab is that how long it takes for a letter to come through
Yikes I would have probably worried myself into an early grave by then
I was expecting something in the couple of weeks
 
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