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    • I have read through some of the Hermes threads
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It was an HMRC officer who stopped and questioned me.

 

Although it doesn't change any of the advice given, using the correct terminology might be less confusing for some of the experienced people who use this forum.

 

In these cases the correct job title is normally Revenue Protection Inspector (RPI) or, Revenue Enforcement Officer (REO) where matters reported in London and the South-East are concerned.

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Maybe it was a joint customs/railway exercise.

Maybe, recently saw a joint railway/immigration exercise in Exeter!

Views expressed in this forum by me are my own personal opinion and you take it on face value! I make any comments to the best of my knowledge but you take my advice at your own risk.

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...Revenue Enforcement Officer (REO) where matters reported in London and the South-East are concerned...

You mean 'Railway Enforcement Officer'? ;-)

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Lots of 'bits' in this thread:

 

Old Codja is right, wait for a letter. You wouldn't be the first case that got lost in the system.

 

Can you be fingerprinted? Well, yes and no. I know of no railway staff that can fingerprint for you not having the right ticket, but, if there is clear doubt about the name that you have given, and Police 'join in' the business, they now often carry a mobile fingerprint reader. If things get way out of hand, and you were arrested and taken to a police station, maybe there could be some much more serious issues, then yes, you would probably end up giving 'prints' and DNA samples. But not just for failing to show a valid ticket.

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You mean 'Railway Enforcement Officer'? ;-)

 

Quite right Stigy, thanks for the correction, I get so used to typing Revenue Protection Inspector for RPI that I repeated myself wrongly!

 

Railway Enforcement Officer is correct for REO

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hiya

 

Hope you're all having a good day. I've just got a few question about fare evasion and hope you can help me answer them- some of the question may seem stupid but its just a curiosity I have and hope people can help me out with them and you never know some people might find it useful :)

 

1. Is fare evasion a civil case or a criminal case?

2i) Are TFL liable to prosecute first offenderds or do they go for other options or is it depeendant on wach case.

2ii)Are certain type of fare evasion more likely to lead to prosecution i.e. using other person freedom pass, travel without sufficient fund or with a cheaper ticket (i.e. child ticket, buying ticket for A-B when going from A-C), repeating of fare evasion.

3) Do you know how long Tfl keep someones details in their internal system if a the case results in a) Given a penalty fare b) Given a final/ formal warning c) Settled out of court d) Prosecuted. This question is bascially about the data protection act of 1998- Do Tfl have to abide by it or can they keep as person details permanently.

4) Can a fare evasion case that has settled through a formal/final warning or by penalty fare (and all admin fee or pentaly fare had being paid) be revisited/ reopened if new evidence came to light? (Basically can the SAME case be punished twice if new evidence came to light such as previous caution, previous penatly,previous warning OR person found to be lying to RPI. If so, won't it be double jeopardy-which is against the Criminal Justice Act 2003 or is fare evasion exempt from the act.

5) Can a previous case of fare evasion be used to punish for new case of fare evasion.

Once again thanks for the answers and hope the question made sense - i did try my to make it easy to understand..

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1. Is fare evasion a civil case or a criminal case?

 

CRIMINAL - A penalty Fare is a civil remedy, but Fare Evasion is a matter that may be Summonsed before a Magistrates Court. Both breach of Byelaw and breach of Section 5 of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889) as Summary offences.

 

2i) Are TFL liable to prosecute first offenderds or do they go for other options or is it depeendant on wach case.

 

TfL may prosecute any breach of Byelaw (where appropriate) or Fare Evasion at their discretion in accordance with their policy statement.

 

2ii)Are certain type of fare evasion more likely to lead to prosecution i.e. using other person freedom pass, travel without sufficient fund or with a cheaper ticket (i.e. child ticket, buying ticket for A-B when going from A-C), repeating of fare evasion.

YES, certain offences will almost certainly lead to prosecution, even if a first offence. Transferred Freedom Passes / Season tickets, forged or altered tickets and giving false details are serious offences.

 

3) Do you know how long Tfl keep someones details in their internal system if a the case results in a) Given a penalty fare b) Given a final/ formal warning c) Settled out of court d) Prosecuted. This question is bascially about the data protection act of 1998- Do Tfl have to abide by it or can they keep as person details permanently.

TfL will abide by the general principles of data protection, though a history of offenders can show a written warning / settlement / conviction against a a name and date of birth for some years.

 

4) Can a fare evasion case that has settled through a formal/final warning or by penalty fare (and all admin fee or pentaly fare had being paid) be revisited/ reopened if new evidence came to light? (Basically can the SAME case be punished twice if new evidence came to light such as previous caution, previous penatly,previous warning OR person found to be lying to RPI. If so, won't it be double jeopardy-which is against the Criminal Justice Act 2003 or is fare evasion exempt from the act.

If a case has been settled, it will be just that, a closed case. If evidence of a second offence came to light, but linked to the closed case, that might be pursued if it was very serious, though I suggest it would have to be a very serious matter. If a traveller was caught using a fake ticket for example and was very exceptionally allowed to settle administratively out of court because there was no previous record against him in any form, but later, it was found that this particular traveller had been making the forged tickets and selling or giving to other people, then of course the offender would be likely to face much more serious consequences.

 

5) Can a previous case of fare evasion be used to punish for new case of fare evasion.

Yes, if a person has a previous conviction for a similar matter, the prosecutor may choose to cite that previous conviction in any new case and will advise the offender of the intention to do so.

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Thanks Old Coja you've more or less answered my question.

But I think I'm still uncertain about a few thing.

 

1) The question that deals with double punishement. NOTE: This is concerning your typical case of fare evasion, as in having insuffient fund/ wrong type of or ticket etc NOT your more SERIOUS offence of fake tickets and its distribution :eek:.

Say if a person was given a formal warning (or even a penalty fare) despite it being their second or even third type being caught by RPI (and were given the same 'punishment' on the previous occassions) and the fines have being paid, I'm I right in believing thats the end of the matter and Tfl can't reopen the case to seek a conviction as it is against their prosecution policy (which i've read) and it states.

 

TfL Prosecutors will endeavour to ensure the right perpetrator is identified and prosecuted for the offence. In so doing, prosecutors must always act in accordance with the principles set out in this policy and local procedural manuals and not solely for the purposes of obtaining a conviction.

 

2) Also with the data protection act thing- I'm I correct in guessing legally tfl can't keep your details permanently as 'Personal information may be kept for no longer than is necessary'.

 

NEW QUESTION (hope you don't mind)

 

I've being going through different thread and PACE arguement comes up alot and alot of people think that they can use it as an arguement. So

1) Are RPI suppose to caution you and read you your 'right' (The 'you don't have to say anything but.....etc etc) before or after questioning or can it be done anytime.

2) Do you actually have to stay and answer question OR NOT. and if not and then you don't, what are the options available to the RPI.

 

3)Can you clarify if this is true or not:

"OP don't listen to any of these people. Fare evasion is classed as a non recordable offence and is classed in the same bracket as speeding or driving without insurance. This is contrasted against recordable offences which include any crime that can involve a prison sentence or certain other specific crimes such as begging.

 

Non recordable offences are not stored on the PNC(police national computer) but are kept at the court where the offence was judged on.

 

To assess the suitability of an applicant a financial institution can apply for a standard CRB check. This checks against the PNC only and thus fare evasion will not show.

 

An application for ANY job (even government) can only be checked on a basic, standard or enhanced level which only uses the PNC for recordable offences.

 

You are not a criminal and you haven't commited a criminal offence as they are defined by law as recordable offences ONLY.

 

TFL uses this process as a scare tactic and I hope you will be more responsible in the future but live your life in peace and say no on all application forms."

Edited by gokunamoto
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Gokunamoto;

 

To clarify some of your questions...I am not in position to offer advice on what to do, but hopefully this will clarify some things.

 

1)I'm I right in believing thats the end of the matter and Tfl can't reopen the case to seek a conviction

A) Yes...Once a matter has been settled out of/in court, that is it. You cannot be convicted of an offence that has been settled. However, in saying that, it can be used as evidence against you of previous behaviour. The courts are allowed to take this into consideration and TFL will do aswell.

 

2) Also with the data protection act thing- I'm I correct in guessing legally tfl can't keep your details permanently as 'Personal information may be kept for no longer than is necessary'

The Data Protection Act only defines how data should be stored and kept. It is a legal requirement to ensure that your information is used appropriately. In saying this, TfL will keep your data secure for as long as they deem necessary. I am sure that they have been through the process of finding out how long they are allowed to keep it, but reckon that a 1st offence would be about 5-7yrs, and any more offences for longer. I dont know how long, but i would assume that you will be on record.

New Questions

1) RPI suppose to caution you and read you your 'right' (The 'you don't have to say anything but.....etc etc) before or after questioning or can it be done anytime.

Anything you say before the PACE has been 'read' to you cannot be used as evidence against you. However, the RPI can say it at anytime they wish. You are not legally obliged to answer any questions under PACE, but this will be noted

2) Do you actually have to stay and answer question OR NOT. and if not and then you don't, what are the options available to the RPI

NO you can leave. The RPI will make note that you did not stay to answer questions. If the RPI felt that you have committed a serious offence, then they can call the police. The way to see it is, in the station or on TfL property, RPIs can act as Transport Police Officers. In saying that, they have no powers of detention, and holding you against your will is not legal. (but they would just call the police in this instance)

 

3)Can you clarify if this is true or not

This is treated as a Summary Offence, NOT an Indictable Offence. It is regarded as 'dishonesty'. Assuming that this a first offence, then the chances are you wont have your fingerprints taken and placed on PNC. Repeated offences could be. We all make mistakes once, but twice is taking the proverbial.

 

In relation to employment checks etc. Most companies will only be able to see Indictable Offences and not Summary Offences, as such you will not come up in these checks. However, other positions are exempt from this and are able to have a full check, security cleared positions for example, and this may or may not show - depending on the level, so for these you should be honest with them

 

The way to look at it is, if found guilty (by admission or court), then you have had a 'walking offence' similar to that of a speeding ticket. You wouldnt care whether your employer knew you sped through the streets and were given a fine.

 

Yes there is a lot of scare mongering going on.

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Bad advice is worse than no advice, 'officers of the railway' do have powers to detain.

 

They are very specific, and not used much, but section 5,2 of the Regulation of Railways act 1889 confers a power to detain.

 

What is said before a PACE caution can be used in evidence. Imagine the scene, standard ticket check, Inspector says "Hello, may I see your ticket?" As he has no reason to suspect an offence, he has not cautioned, and yet that is the most important part of the evidence, indeed for Byelaw 18, the only part that matters.

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The best evidence is rarely obtained by questioning, it is normally obtained from 'real' evidence, and whilst a failure to properly caution before interview damages the evidence, if the rest of the evidence is 'solid', it may not harm the case that much. It may, for example, cause the Prosecutor to use a lesser offence where the 'interview' ceases to matter, but the idea that a mistake by the Inspector destroys the case ceased to be worth looking into a very long while ago, unless it turns all of the evidence into nonsense.

 

If you fail to show a ticket, the evidence is 'complete', if the Inspector says 'why didn't you have a ticket', your answers (unless you are truly stupid) tend to mitigate your offence, and it is likely that 'Defence' would not want them excluded from 'evidence'.

 

Failure to adequately caution would not stop the 'evidence', but might cause a Court to give it less weight. Again, a defence might be quite pleased to allow it to be read, and then might use the 'mistake' to cast doubt on the rest of the evidence.

 

As I have said many times before, if you are on the wrong end of a summons, see a solicitor.

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Gokunamoto;

 

1) RPI suppose to caution you and read you your 'right' (The 'you don't have to say anything but.....etc etc) before or after questioning or can it be done anytime.

Anything you say before the PACE has been 'read' to you cannot be used as evidence against you. However, the RPI can say it at anytime they wish. You are not legally obliged to answer any questions under PACE, but this will be noted

 

2) Do you actually have to stay and answer question OR NOT. and if not and then you don't, what are the options available to the RPI

NO you can leave. The RPI will make note that you did not stay to answer questions. If the RPI felt that you have committed a serious offence, then they can call the police. The way to see it is, in the station or on TfL property, RPIs can act as Transport Police Officers. In saying that, they have no powers of detention, and holding you against your will is not legal. (but they would just call the police in this instance)

 

Yes there is a lot of scare mongering going on.

 

Whilst I agree with most of London1979s replies here there are just a couple of points worth noting:

 

1) RPI suppose to caution you and read you your 'right' (The 'you don't have to say anything but.....etc etc) before or after questioning or can it be done anytime.

The Police & Criminal Evidence Act (1984) is clear in making a requirement that the investigating officer (which can be Police Officer, RSPCA inspector, Local Authority employee, TV Licensing inspector, Railway inspector etc...) must caution as soon as he/she believes that an offence has been committed.

This may be after a few questions have been asked to ascertain whether or not there are grounds to caution, but there is no strictly defined point other than 'as soon as he/she believes...'

2) Do you actually have to stay and answer question OR NOT. and if not and then you don't, what are the options available to the RPI

NO you can leave. The RPI will make note that you did not stay to answer questions. If the RPI felt that you have committed a serious offence, then they can call the police. The way to see it is, in the station or on TfL property, RPIs can act as Transport Police Officers. In saying that, they have no powers of detention, and holding you against your will is not legal. (but they would just call the police in this instance)

The answer given here is not strictly true. A power of arrest is available specifically for rail staff in certain circumstances and applies only to rail staff. (The Police don't need a seperate power in respect of this particular legislation)

The relevant section of The Regulation of Railways Act (1889) is reproduced here:

Section 5. (2.) If a passenger having failed either to produce, or if requested to deliver up, a ticket showing that his fare is paid, or to pay his fare, refuses, on request by an officer, or servant of a railway company, to give his name and address any officer of the rail company or any constable may detain him until he can be conveniently brought before some justice or otherwise discharged by due course of law.

In practice, the rail inspector may well call the Police, because it is more convenient to do so, but the authority to arrest is provided by current legislation.

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Reading through many threads like this causes me worry. Its a bit like hearing the virgins saying 'you won't get pregnant first time', there are so many 'misconceptions' about 'the law' and 'powers of an Inspector'.

 

Some become quite 'dangerous', and over the years we have all seen people changing a 'no ticket' offence into an 'assualt' because when the Inspector said 'can you stand still a minute', they said 'my friend/Facebook/CAG forum says I don't have to'.

 

I have always advocated standing still, answering the 'silly' questions, and taking the minimum slap on the wrist that is available. As a mate of mine says 'robbery with violins'. Or, you can give the Inspector a slap, get flattened by the other Inspectors, and explain in the Crown Court why you thought you could treat what most Courts still see as a 'public official' with less than normal courtesy. (Hopefully, the questions weren't silly, but if they are, and you have done nothing particularly wrong, just answer 'em)

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Spot-on. You and I have similar views.

 

I have no time for inspectors who break the rules any more than I have for those who think that the rules don't apply to themselves and seek every avenue to avoid the liability of their own making.

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We have probably both 'been around the ring' too many times, and if we haven't 'seen it all', we have probably seen enough of it that we don't mind missing the rest.

 

The last 'ticket inspector/affray' matter I had a 'bit part' in involved a drunk who wouldn't show an Inspector his ticket (which, for the record, turned out to be perfectly valid)

 

One thing led to another, the Inspector was filmed holding the passenger round the neck for no less than 23 minutes (CCTV is a wonderful thing) Police attended, various people were arrested, at Basildon Crown Court a very competent Barrister, who I have enjoyed on many occasions destroying witnesses for the Crown, did his best. (He always does, even when the case was lost before the Police arrive.) He tried to make the two Inspectors admit that they had assaulted his client, but the CCTV supported the Inspectors.

 

He got 120 hours 'community punishment', the Inspectors were described by the Judge (and for the life of me, I can't recall who it was) as 'public officers simply doing a job, who should be protected from assaults such as the one that led to these charges'. Strangely, that bit never got in the papers.

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Sorry, I have to clarify a couple of things...

 

Firstly, ok detainment issue...the point was 'effective' detainment. That is solely the repsonibility of a uniformed police officer (in england and wales). As has been described here, an RPI trying to interpret a law that they can stop someone and prevent them from leaving is not going to work in practice - power corrupts absolutley and absolute power corrupts, rings true. The advice given to RPIs are call the police, you can ask someone to stay put, but if they decide to leave, then there is nothing the RPI can do. The only time that they are allowed to prevent any action is when there is threat to themsleves, the RPI, the general public or if there is cause for conern for destruction of property.

 

Secondly, no-one other than a uniformed police officer has the powers of arrest (in england and wales). Sorry, but your facts are wrong, if you think otherwise, then you are sadly mistaken. You can read PACE, but you cannot arrest someone (what legislation states otherwise, please clarify). If an RPI thought that powers of arrest were required, then they would call the police.

 

Re PACE and when evidence can be used against you..Wriggler7, try it, you are wrong. Anything said before cannot be held against an individual. in your scenario, yes it can be used to establish circumstances, but not to prosecute an individual. If you disagree, then you are mistreating the law, and are as corrupt as they come.

 

Simply put, if an RPI calls the police, then you are screwed. Secondly, anyone who mistreats (verbally/physically) an RPI should have the book thrown at them. There is no need for it, none whatsoever. I agree that they are a few rouge peeps out there, but to take it out physcially or verbally is not the process.

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Dear 'London'

 

I have presented it, the Courts have tried it. I have briefed it to Counsel, both Old Codja and myself have stood before Benches, maybe not on the same side, but we bring to these forums (or is it 'fora') a degree of experience. What I put in from memory, Old Codja gave chapter and verse on.

 

Many rail companies brief their staff to 'not arrest' or 'not detain' but the powers are there, they are real, and they get trotted out before Magistrates and juries often enough for us to know that an 'officer of the railway' may detain a person who has not shown a ticket, not supplied a name and address and not paid the fare.

 

The evidence sufficient to prosecute the strict liability byelaw offences is obtained before the 'inspector' suspects any offence, and therefore before the need to caution. Byelaw 18(2) of the National Rail byelaws is very simple indeed. The Inspector has to prove that he/she is authorised to check tickets, that he/she asked for a ticket and that no ticket was shown. Job done. It is good practice to ask why the passenger cannot show a ticket, and that should be done after caution, but if it isn't, it does not fatally flaw the case. The defences to the offence are well known, 'no facilities to obtain ticket', 'a member of staff permitted the travel', and it may well be that the prosecution will have supplied evidence, which does not come from 'interview', that the station facilities were in good order.

 

The more onerous offences under section 5,3 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 require an element of 'guilty mind' to be demonstrated. (Mens rea for the Latin scholars) However, this is increasingly shown by CCTV which shows an action, or Oyster histories (or whatever). All defence lawyers are familiar with the tricks to overturn 'confessions', when PACE has been complied with, or when it hasn't. Means that prosecutors look for 'better' evidence than the 'interview' whenever possible.

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Of course, constables not in uniform have most of the same powers as a 'uniformed police officer', the exceptions tend to be related to road traffic matters, where a constable in uniform may stop a motor vehicle, demand a specimen of breath and so on. (I am a bit out of date with RTA stuff, so if I am wrong, perhaps DX or someone will correct me)

 

There are various other bodies, notably what I still think of as 'Customs & Excise' who have equal or even greater powers of arrest that the Police.

 

Then of course there are Churchwardens (Ecclesiastical jurisdiction Act {1861 ot thereabouts}), certain parkkeepers and others.

 

The long and the short of it, if you are caught weeing in the fountain and a man shows you a badge and tells you to stand still, my advice is to do just that. If he is wrong, you may get compensation. If he is right, and you do something that you may regret, it can be very costly. The case I had to sit through and take notes whilst my 'learned friend' tried to save his client's bacon was not a figment of my imagination. The various bits of law were very vigorously explored, the ticket inspectors were found to have acted 'lawfully' in (very) physically restraining the passenger, he was convicted of assault. before the case, I spent many happy hours photocopying sections of Stones and writing briefing notes, after it, the defendant spent many more hours tidying graveyards under supervision. No doubt the ticket inspectors went back to work with the thought 'blimey, don't want to go through that again' whilst knowing that they were right to act as they did.

Edited by Wriggler7
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It is also unusual for the 'full' words of the caution to be given, all the stuff about 'you are not under arrest' and so on. In Court, if the Inspector's evidence is challenged on the grounds that he forgot the 'rest of the words' in the caution, prosecution will normally use the 'proportionality' argument, and normally successfully.

 

Most interviews for minor offences take less time than the full caution, and few Courts will disagree with the silken tongued prosecutor. If the rest of the evidence is solid, few defence counsels will suggest raising the argument.

 

And of course, the old case still holds good, going back many years, an officer (who had watched too many 1970s cop shows) said to the prisoner 'you're nicked son, you know your rights'. Naturally, defence tried to have the first comments of the defendant stricken, only for it to be shown that the defendant did indeed know his rights. Not good practice, but......

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Secondly, no-one other than a uniformed police officer has the powers of arrest (in england and wales). Sorry, but your facts are wrong, if you think otherwise, then you are sadly mistaken. You can read PACE, but you cannot arrest someone (what legislation states otherwise, please clarify). If an RPI thought that powers of arrest were required, then they would call the police..

 

It is sad that it seems you didn't actually read my post, because I already quoted the relevant section of the Regulation of Railways Act (1889) that provides the power of arrest for rail staff. (It was cut and paste as an extract from the Act.)

 

Following PACE in 1984, the power of arrest for Police officers under that Act (RRA) was specifically repealed, because they no longer needed it.

 

The power of arrest was retained for 'any officer of the railway' as stated by the Act and has been used many times, by me when I was an RPI and many, many others and continues in legal use today.

 

In practice, we now train RPIs not to use it unless absolutely necessary, because of the many more onerous responsibilities for care of the suspect that come with it. For example, a lone RPI arrests an alleged offender (for the three F's) at 10 p.m at a wayside rail station. What is he going to do next???

 

It isn't practical in many situations, but the authority is there and can be used nonetheless. At mainline stations where assistance can be quickly at hand and where an incident arises on a train heading to a mainline terminus with a staffed BT Police office or where local Police can be called to attend, it can and is used from time to time.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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