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blubber25

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  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334254/Britains-justice-37-000-thugs-year-escaping-just-caution.html He said: ‘We have an incoherent justice system – a system in which a court is asked to adjourn two separate charges of fare evasion of £1.30 – a matter that could have been dealt with outside of court. ‘Yet set against these examples, in one year 37,000 offenders received a simple caution for an offence that in court would have attracted at least a community order if not custody – assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
  2. HB - certainly not picking on anyone -- sorry i tend to write in CAPITALS to emphasise certain words but on reading it back perhaps it seemed as if i was shouting which was not my intention! re: picking.....could almost argue the other round with things like " there you go again saying..." and "your mish mash"....but then i am not that sensitive! cant work out how you insert someone else's comment in the reply....... to the new poster -- i think the rules here are that you start a new thread, otherwise it looks like you are hijacking mine personally i dont mind myself but i learned this a couple of days ago and you are more likely to get replies/help if you start your own thread....am sure HB can help you here
  3. So bazza can I clarify....in your opinion.... EVERY FIRST TIME OFFENCE should result in a CRIMINAL RECORD? My personal opinion is that every first time offence for PETTY CRIME should result in a warning or caution as EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE. Obviously I am not talking about VIOLENT CRIMES HERE. maybe the disagreement between us boils down to how serious one classes FARE EVASION compared to other other crimes? Obviously the LAW clearly seems to rate it very seriously given it allows TOCs to prosecute for first offences, but this is what wtlh explains quite nicely about the law being in favour of the TOCs....and upon first reading these posts I tend to agree.
  4. thanks wtlh for you excellent post you have explained my point far better than my "mish mash" and my only addition would be to go one step further (and directly answer bazza's qn) and say that IMO, I do not agree that people should be handed out criminal records for first time fare evasion (whether intentional or not). there has even been one revenue inspector on here who has posted that he left the job because serial evaders know what they are doing and "lie when cautioned" and escape prosecution, whereas it is usually the one-off's who post on sites like these that end up being prosecuted because they were honest when interviewed. This is why as an impartial person reading these threads, I felt the need to challenge the current process as to a rational person it seemed unjust. have heard that for shoplifting (ie direct stealing) if you hand back goods and say sorry you are let off for first time offence so why not for fare evasion? And this is something that would be perceived by most as a more serious crime.
  5. hi HB, actually neither......my interest in law was more related to the initial article I tried to post relating to more violent crimes and the need for harsher penalties there, overuse of cautions etc.....in researching all of that I came across a few articles regarding harsher penalties for lesser crimes and then accidentally came across these threads which i was reading with interst for a while before posting anything. Actually one of the other articles i came across was people being prosecuted by a train company for putting their feet on seats!! now again.....am not sure what the law says here, but to me this seems even less of a crime than the fare issue. Bazza- i dont think anyone was saying fare evasion wasn't a crime,only that is was a lesser crime than many others, hence the penalty should fit the crime and my opinion was that first time offenders perhaps should have lower penalty. obiovusly you dont agree and thats fine! HB - take your point re: laws changing etc, but my understanding that was even working with what we have now that TOCs should use discretion? dont some of the laws say , as bazza says, that you should have tickets on all trains beforehand ...but many train companies allow you to buy tickets on trains......so obviously they must use discretion in those cases?? i was just generically wondering whether people here believed that the punishment does fit the crime and if so does everyone hence think that all the violent crimes i mentioned should all have even more hash penalties. my big picture view was if the courts are being clogged up with so many fare evader, feet on seats and whatever other cases, is this stopping more serious crimes being tried? and thus is this is public interest?
  6. bazza think you have misunderstood me i do agree with you that first time gbh offences should be harsher but i also think first time fare evasion should be a lesser penalty due to reasons suggested am not sure why you think im picking and choosing...... i agree if someone has previously had a warning, or refused to pay fine or is serial evader should go to court.....i am only saying First time offences (mistake or intent) should be lesser penalty... and you didnt actually answer my question .....in that, what is the AIM of the ToC in persisting IF it is deemed reoffence is minimal for first time offence? shouldnt TOCs use their discretion in these cases? obviously if they have done and have decided to pursue anyway then fair enuf, but it seems from the posts that they automatically try to prosecute. apologies if this is wrong...but this it what all the posts tell me as the advice is always try to settle out of court but highly unlikely. i am just asking why it should be so for first time offence -- i don think there is any inconsistency in my argument? was just trying to see what people thought about the legislation in this area compared to all others ie see the bigger picture......
  7. thanks bazza.....dont know what the solution is - I guess either / or but at the moment the rules are inconsistent. I mean yes i see GBH as pretty serious so it would make much more sense for a harsher penalty for first time offence there than for the fares as someone is inflicting actual harm on another. I understand the fare argument is inflicting harm in a different way, lost payment etc....but is not of the same magnitude as GBH. also i was agreeing with the previous poster in that if the main point of the harsh penalty is DETERRENT then surely this hould be plastered everywhere on the buses and trains etc so everyones knows. eg. i remember all that disabled blue badge thing being in the news a fair bit so i think most people would know about the ramnifications of this, but i think it is clear from these threads that most people dont know that this is the same for someone else's concessionary pass -- though i guess same rule applies. Either way, i guess the point i am trying to make is what is the AIM of the TOC is conviction? 1. if deterrent - surely the threat for repeat offence is enough 2. if revenue, then it sounds like they would get more settling out of court 3. if it is clear that the risk of reoffence is minimal and the first time offender admits guilt and is truly sorry and knows a repeat offence will result in a conviction then what is the AIM of the TOC in continuing to proescute other than retribution? i would have thought that it would be better for everyone all round to not drag it through the courts so they can deal with mroe major offences, no? Thanks RPI for your comments, - that makes sense if that's the case, but from what ive been reading from these forums is that does not seem to be happening for first time offenders who use other people's passes for example? or maybe it does and it's just the few that post on here that are prosecuted, but from others' answers it almost seems the other way round ie most are prosecuted and very few get settled out of court as the legislation says you CAN convict for first time offences? also what is a conditional discharge? does that mean you get a criminal ercord or not?
  8. wtlh - i think that is a great reply and wholeheartedly agree -- there just seem to be too many people on here who find out the hard way and are genuinely sorry (tho appreciate not all who just make excuses) .. i guess some people will counter that by saying that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but what i fear is that the "common sense element" is missing ...in that with something much more serious like GBH, murder, clearly any human being can recognise that this is bad and will result in harsh penalty, but with fare dodging, yes understand it is wrong, but as wrong as many other minor wrong doings that probably many many people have made in their lives and dont realise how bad it is (not saying that's an excuse, but shouldnt this be considered in the penalty)-- didnt george osborne fare evade a couple of times? what about the mp expense scandal? how many people got crimincal records for that? I think having warnings that fare evading is CRIMINAL on all the buses and tubes would be the BEST DETTERRENT......otherwise i would suspect that MOST people dont know this. I certainly didnt until i accidently came across these threads looking for somethign completely different. have noticed that most people seem to justify the fare evading penalty (tho thanks for your expalnation about the mistake element - that makes sense, as there is penalty but is not that harsh).....but everyone seems to avoid the question about "IS IT RIGHT TO PROSECUTE SOMEONE OF FIRST TIME FARE EVASION (am taking the more serious intent charge here as an example) WHEN YOU DONT HAVE TO PROSECUTE FOR FIRST TIME GBH (for eg/).
  9. thanks bazza -- ok so i was wrong and there is increased penalty for repeat offence .....but penalty for first offence is still very high. yes thanks citizen B that was the link -- i couldnt post it as i was new to the site thanks for your response Stigy -- "penalty fares where innocent mistakes have occurred" - if it is proven it was an innocent mistake, surely there should be no penalty?! that is funny re paying penalty versus being reported and i think if people refuse to pay penalties or persistently evade i can see that all the penalties discussed should apply. my initial thought was triggered by the sheer number of people on this forum that are reporting being prosecuted for FIRST TIME offences -- ok some admit offence, some claim mistake etc.....but my immediate thoughts were , if first time and proven, why not a lesser penalty first time. there is still deterrent for repeat offence. and just in the grand scheme of things, because dont know much about this bit of the law.....but when the CPS is trying to try more cases out of court than in because of the effort and cost involved, why does this bit of transport law seemingly seek to do the opposite? ie does everyone on here really believe it is fair/consistent to get criminal record for first time fare evasion, but not for GBH, harassment, child porn etc?! basically am making a rationality argument here - am not disgareeing with firstclass re deterrent issue, but surely you can't just put the penalty for evasion hgiher than GBH just because people need to be deterred more?? what about punishment fitting the crime???
  10. sorry HoneyBee - didnt meant to hijack someone elses thread -- just learning the rules!! thanks firstclass for your answer -- whilst i don't disagree overall with your sentiment, there are a few points i think are worth discussing: 1. just playing devil's advocate re: the deterrence part.....one could argue that a first time offender who has to pay a massive fine and is threatened with a criminal record for a repeat offence is probably MORE of a deterrent to reoffending than handing out the criiminal record straight away -- after all what is to stop the offender thinking he has nothing to lose by doing it again if he already has a record? 2. is 30-40% of offenders have done other other crimes, then i would argue they are not first time offenders (even if first time on fares) my point was only, no matter what the type of evasion, if it a first time and no other history of this or any other type of offence, ie genuine one-off offence, with no or minimal risk of reoffence, as having been caught and fined has educated the offender -- isn't a criminal record disproportionate for the crime? I agree you need to set a high deterrent? but surely the same goes for violent crime too??!! something to me just doesnt seem right that there is no inbetween to not get a criminal record for this, when for pretty much all other crimes there are lower penalties for first time offence. For example (i know this is slightly irrelevant but something that i guess makes my opinion on this) i know someone that was being abused/harassed by their neighbour for 2 years, and because the guilty party admitted it and had never been in trouble before with the police, they just let him off with a warning. So someone that can inflict harm on other people and make their lives a misery doesnt get a record as it was their first time, but someone that uses wrong ticket on a bus can end up paying for life. just doesnt seem fair to me. also with the deterrent argument, it seems that their is NO DIFFERENCE is penalty if you do it the first time or do it again?? or have i got that wrong? if right, it actually strengthens my argument that first time offenders should ahve a lower penalty??
  11. As you can probably tell I am new to this site, but have been reading some of these entries relating to far evasion for while with interest. Whilst I agree with the general sentiment that it is clearly a crime of dishonesty and should be punished, I am quite shocked to hear that the penalties for first time offenders who have made a mistake are so high (ie criminal record + £500+ fine)? I was always of the opinion that punishment should fit the crime, and in these instances (forgive me if i have misunderstood the charges) these seem like petty offences (unless of course one is a serial evader). Hence it strikes me as somewhat unjust that a first time fare evasion offence (whether intentional or not) can end up with a criminal record, when far more serious violent crimes frequently attract lower penalties (see link below). apparently am not allowed to post links but there is a good article in the daily mail published may 2013 highlighting my point /Metropolitan-Police-cautions-quarter-ALL-crimes-including-rapes-drug-trafficking-robbery.html[/url] dont get me wrong, am not saying these petty crimes should not be punished, just that i cant help wonder if the current punishment is disproportionate compared with violent crimes ? Would like to get the opinion of the people on this forum who seem to be very knowledgable about the industry?
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