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Caught with Freedom Pass - Old CodJA/ UNDERGROUND help! What to do?


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I've a few questions I really really would appreciated the answer to

 

I was stopped using a friends freedom pass the other day and went through the entire interview process (an hour!) and gave all details correctly.

 

 

I said I mistakenly thought it was my pass that was being used, which I surrendered along with the freedom pass,

which had money on it (despite not being what I now understand as being 'validated' or swiped in)

and evidence of my past journeys made, which they printed out.

 

 

The freedom pass didn't have a photocard with it, which I guess makes me look more guilty.

I take care of my friend occassionally as he is disabled,

and this was my excuse as to why I had it in my possession.

 

Admittedly I have used this pass for the past two weeks (maybe 5 times in all) as am unemployed and just don't have the money at the moment.

I really didn't think it would be this huge a deal or taken this seriously and really didn't mean to cause this much offence..:confused:

 

The officer said they would bring up CCTV evidence as he believed I had made other journeys on it other than the one in which they took the pass.

Does anyone know if this is true? If so,

how far back are they able to go?

 

Since I didn't admit to the intent of evading a fare and disagreed with the officer,

should I still write to them asking to settle out of court or will this be taken as me admitting everything?

 

 

I haven't received any letters yet but would like to sort this out as soon as possible.

It was a plain clothed officer who showed me his badge

- is this the metropolitan transport police or who would I write to?

 

I really, really don't want this go to court and be on a CRB, despite this being my first offence. And most definitely last too.

 

Since I am disagreeing with the officer and didn't admit to everything does this automatically mean it goes to court?

 

Also will my friend whose freedom pass it is get into trouble - will he be questioned? And will it affect him?

I would hate for him to have any trouble as it's entirely my fault.

 

Thanks very much, really appreciate all your answers and advice on what to do..

 

A quick addition- would it be better at this point to admit everything or stand by the original claim that I had used it in error.. Thanks

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You're right SPRO, I should be heavily fined and I completely accept responsibility for these actions.

 

However I disagree that it should be as 'serious' as to be prosecuted, possibly leading to a mark on a CRB which seems rediculously excessive. After all no one or no property has been harmed and with a heavy fine LU would be getting back more than they lost and I have definitely learned my lesson.

 

My main question was whether anyone else has had CCTV evidence used against them..

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So you had your normal oyster card on you which had a pre-pay balance on it, but was not used. You also had a freedom pass which was used.

Please remember it is your responsibility to make sure your using the correct ticket for travel.

 

CCTV is mainly used for security purposes, the inspector's MG11 statement and evidence (the freedom pass + oyster print out) is good enough to convince the courts.

 

You admitted that you used the freedom pass for two weeks? did the inspector question you about which dates you traveled for the past two weeks? You also admitted that you have no income, that is a sort of intent to avoid your fare.

If you are found guilty you could receive a fine of up to £350, £100 costs and the price of a single fare plus recorded on CRB.

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Thanks for your reply imucky.

I didn't admit the other journeys, the inspector said that I was obviously lying and playing naive and that based on the journey history from my pre-paid oyster print out, he believed I had made other journeys on the freedom pass, and that they could prove this with CCTV. Whether this was to force a confession or if it's true, I'm not sure. I was asked whether I was a student or working and so my response was that I'm looking for work, so yes that is sort of intent.

 

Are there any steps I can take to avoid having the mark on my CRB or not have this go to court? I understand I will have to pay a fine and completely accept that willingly, but really, really want to avoid the CRB mark..

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You're right SPRO, I should be heavily fined and I completely accept responsibility for these actions.

 

However I disagree that it should be as 'serious' as to be prosecuted, possibly leading to a mark on a CRB which seems rediculously excessive. After all no one or no property has been harmed and with a heavy fine LU would be getting back more than they lost and I have definitely learned my lesson.

 

My main question was whether anyone else has had CCTV evidence used against them..

 

You may believe this is not a 'serious' matter, but it is worth taking note of the CPS view on the subject. In their own words:

 

'Fare Evasion is the principal form of dishonesty to affect public transport. The fact that it is widespread is a relevant public interest factor and we must also take account of the general principles covering prosecution for all offences of dishonesty'

 

Your post suggets that you admitted using the Freedom Pass during the previous two weeks, but unless you mentioned specific dates & times and were questioned under caution for those additional offences, you should only be charged with the one offence for which you were detected and reported.

 

There are no guarantees, but your best option is to write to the rail company, offering to pay the fares due and any reasonable costs incurred by them in recovering the fare as an alternative to being prosecuted.

 

Make sure that you apologise for your uncharacteristic use of someone else's Oyster

 

Be sure to give an undertaking to always ensure that you hold a valid ticket before travelling in future.

 

Have a look at the 'MissyLow' thread for further detail.

Edited by Old-CodJA
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You're right SPRO, I should be heavily fined and I completely accept responsibility for these actions.

 

However I disagree that it should be as 'serious' as to be prosecuted, possibly leading to a mark on a CRB which seems rediculously excessive. After all no one or no property has been harmed and with a heavy fine LU would be getting back more than they lost and I have definitely learned my lesson.

 

My main question was whether anyone else has had CCTV evidence used against them..

 

 

With Oyster cards ALL journeys are kept on file, if the officers can pin down dates and times as to when they think that you have travelled using such pass, then yes they can request a copy of the CCTV for the gateline area, to see if they can spot you tapping in or out, but they would ahve to be specific as to a day and time span. we recently done it for someone to prove that they didnt come into work, we ask for the cctv footage between the time that they say they came in and left, to see if we cld prove or disprove what the employee has said.

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With Oyster cards ALL journeys are kept on file, if the officers can pin down dates and times as to when they think that you have travelled using such pass, then yes they can request a copy of the CCTV for the gateline area, to see if they can spot you tapping in or out, but they would ahve to be specific as to a day and time span. we recently done it for someone to prove that they didnt come into work, we ask for the cctv footage between the time that they say they came in and left, to see if we cld prove or disprove what the employee has said.

 

Absolutely right, I do the checks too where justified, but the 'suspect' still has to be made aware of the specific charges alleged and must be given an opportunity to respond.

 

Yes, all Oyster journeys are kept on file. However, only the most recent 8 weeks are immediately accessible and any CCTV footage that may exist is not available indefinitely unless a serious incident has been captured and preserved during the given time-span that you are asking to be examined.

 

Where staff travel Oysters (and nominee) are concerned, as suggested in your example, it is of course quite a bit easier too.

 

I am a firm believer in making everyone aware of the penalty that they might face, but I also like to see it done in a fair manner and try not to increase any fears unnecessarily.

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It was interesting to read about the use of CCTV evidence... I am interested in this but for a different reason: to try and provide some form of proof that I did touch in using my oyster card at the start of a journey where I was later checked by an inspector who then told me my card was not validated and reported me :mad:

 

I guess that some of us need CCTV to show we did something, while others need it NOT to show that we did something !

 

I do not yet know if footage is still available for the date I was stopped, but earlier I found the following reply by TfL to a 'freedom of information' request which seems to confirm that for the tube (and presumably the buses also?) they only keep CCTV for 14 days, which is not long enough to help me :(

 

How long is London Underground CCTV stored? - WhatDoTheyKnow

 

Does anyone know if this is correct across the board, or does it in fact vary depending on the actual tube station or something? I thought these days most places kept CCTV for at least a month.

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In the four years I spent as an RCI with LU there were NO fare evasion cases where CCTV evidence was used, and as far as I'm aware this is still the case. The only occasion where it may be used is where violence is involved.

 

Oyster data is used but this is usually to catch people who regularly and systematically evade their fare, for example using two Oyster cards to 'dumbbell' or for people abusing the Customer Charter scheme. These are highlighted by automated analysis software which produces 'Oyster Intelligence' reports which are followed up with investigation.

 

A couple of points:

 

- LU don't like cases to get complicated, with CCTV it could

 

- If you are stopped by an RCI on London Underground you will only be reported for the offence they have witnessed and written up

 

Regards

UNDERGROUND :D

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In the four years I spent as an RCI with LU there were NO fare evasion cases where CCTV evidence was used, and as far as I'm aware this is still the case. The only occasion where it may be used is where violence is involved.

 

Oyster data is used but this is usually to catch people who regularly and systematically evade their fare, for example using two Oyster cards to 'dumbbell' or for people abusing the Customer Charter scheme. These are highlighted by automated analysis software which produces 'Oyster Intelligence' reports which are followed up with investigation.

 

A couple of points:

 

- LU don't like cases to get complicated, with CCTV it could

 

- If you are stopped by an RCI on London Underground you will only be reported for the offence they have witnessed and written up

 

Regards

UNDERGROUND :D

 

Hi Underground

 

Do you think if I reply to TfL and ask them to look at CCTV to see me touching in at the start of my journey they will check it? That is assuming they somehow still have it after longer than 14 days anyway!

 

By the way what is "dumbbelling"?!

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In honesty CCTV footage is rarely of any value in such cases because the imagery is not high quality and whilst it may show a hand passing over a reader, it cannot conclusively show what the hand held.

 

Now I understand that confirmation of that action may be all you are seeking, but this might easily be discredited for that reason if someone has been charged with fare evasion. Equally, it might give the Magistrates sufficient doubt to acquit, but I would expect the prosecutor would also have evidence that the validation point was working normally and that the traveller's card history showed no valid ticket.

 

Dumbelling is the name given to the practice of avoiding a fare by using two tickets that do not cover a whole journey. Adopting this pracyice guarantees that a traveller will be prosecuted when detected.

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Sorry for hijack, just to confirm really, but:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/show-post/post-2361300.html

 

Am I right in assuming that son is going to lose his Oyster card altogether? Is there any way to avoid this? I know he's an idiot (even HE knows he's an idiot... now), but without the card, guess who's going to get lumped with the cost of travel when he goes back to college. :-(

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Sorry for hijack, just to confirm really, but:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/show-post/post-2361300.html

 

Am I right in assuming that son is going to lose his Oyster card altogether? Is there any way to avoid this? I know he's an idiot (even HE knows he's an idiot... now), but without the card, guess who's going to get lumped with the cost of travel when he goes back to college. :-(

 

This is taken from the DLR/TfL Conditions of Carriage:

 

10.2. If we believe that you have used or tried to use any ticket or Oyster card to defraud us we may cancel and not re-issue it. If this happens, we will not give you a refund of the remaining value of the ticket, or refund any credit or deposit paid for the Oyster card

Your son might try writing to the office with a full explanation and appealling to their better nature.

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  • 8 months later...
Apologies if I'm using this forum incorrectly-first timer- as I've a few questions I really really would appreciated the answer to and I'm not sure if I have to post one thread per issue..

 

Anyways...

 

I was stopped using a friends freedom pass the other day and went through the entire interview process (an hour!) and gave all details correctly. I said I mistakenly thought it was my pass that was being used, which I surrendered along with the freedom pass, which had money on it (despite not being what I now understand as being 'validated' or swiped in) and evidence of my past journeys made, which they printed out. The freedom pass didn't have a photocard with it, which I guess makes me look more guilty. I take care of my friend occassionally as he is disabled, and this was my excuse as to why I had it in my possession.

 

Admittedly I have used this pass for the past two weeks (maybe 5 times in all) as am unemployed and just don't have the money at the moment. I really didn't think it would be this huge a deal or taken this seriously and really didn't mean to cause this much offence..:confused:

 

The officer said they would bring up CCTV evidence as he believed I had made other journeys on it other than the one in which they took the pass. Does anyone know if this is true? If so, how far back are they able to go?

 

Since I didn't admit to the intent of evading a fare and disagreed with the officer, should I still write to them asking to settle out of court or will this be taken as me admitting everything? I haven't received any letters yet but would like to sort this out as soon as possible. It was a plain clothed officer who showed me his badge - is this the metropolitan transport police or who would I write to?

I really, really don't want this go to court and be on a CRB, despite this being my first offence. And most definitely last too.

 

Since I am disagreeing with the officer and didn't admit to everything does this automatically mean it goes to court?

 

Also will my friend whose freedom pass it is get into trouble - will he be questioned? And will it affect him? I would hate for him to have any trouble as it's entirely my fault.

 

Thanks very much, really appreciate all your answers and advice on what to do..

 

Hi, i am in a similiar situation to you and i was wondering what to do? how did you go about the procedure?

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I am in a similar situation havent been able to sleep nor revise.

Arghh absolutely hating myself for being so lazy to go and topup my oyster.

 

 

Although I understand it was an act of dishonesty I have not been able to accept that I might be prosecuted

and I just cost my brother his photocard.

 

 

What a disaster! I might as well go end up in prison

,its as bad as getting a CRB and oh having to bear up with all the bickering on responsibilty from my dad. Seriously need help.

 

Arghhh..!

Is there any chance I can settle it out of court?

As far as I believed, dont the inspectors ask you to pay a penalty fare once you have been caught?

 

 

In my case,it wasnt so.

I could have simply paid the penalty then and there, otherwise.

I just dont understand why it is directly being taken to court at the first place?!

I have no clue about solicitors and I am not financially capable of affording it either(assuming I would have to cover all the costs by myself).

 

 

I am aware of the degree of seriousness in my case, but is there any possible way I could get a lenient sentence?

I am willing to pay the penalty but I am having doubts if my brother will be issued with a photocard.

 

 

He doesnt know about this, I am solely responsible and shamefully guilty

=(. I know I have to plead guilty but how do I do it without getting into any serious trouble.

( I want my brother to have his oyster back)!

 

Any help would be very much appreciated.

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In the four years I spent as an RCI with LU there were NO fare evasion cases where CCTV evidence was used, and as far as I'm aware this is still the case. The only occasion where it may be used is where violence is involved.

 

Oyster data is used but this is usually to catch people who regularly and systematically evade their fare, for example using two Oyster cards to 'dumbbell' or for people abusing the Customer Charter scheme. These are highlighted by automated analysis software which produces 'Oyster Intelligence' reports which are followed up with investigation.

 

A couple of points:

 

- LU don't like cases to get complicated, with CCTV it could

 

- If you are stopped by an RCI on London Underground you will only be reported for the offence they have witnessed and written up

 

Regards

UNDERGROUND :D

 

 

Awww how nice of you ! That should give people relief :)

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  • 1 year later...

Hi UhOh411 and others,

 

Thanks for all your post.

 

My wife used her FIL (father inlaw) freedom pass without his knowledge and got caught. The pass got confiscated and she is awaiting the letter from the tfl. We called up the council and told them this and now they have it on record. I then learn from the tfl that the card doesn't go back to council and stays as evidence for 7 years instead and I should have reported the card as lost instead. Now that we have already told that the pass is confiscated, could you please advice how to get a replacement pass? and how did you manage to do the same for your friend. Also do we have to wait for the outcome of the case, as her FIL really doesn't have anything to do with this.

 

Please advice,

MrDell.

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Mr Dell, it seems that you have posted the same query on 3 or 4 different threads, which may well lead to a lot of confusion.

 

Perhaps the site team can resolve that so that we can give any suggestions all in one place

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Old CodJA]

 

Need your assistance in finding out more.

Couple of weeks ago, was caught using my partner's Freedom pass as soon as I entered the station and touched in. She is not aware of this at all and would never think I could do such a thing. I am really really worried about this and am my life has stopped.

 

Not sure if it was Underground RPI or Overground RPI but they took my oyster card and also her Freedom pass. They took print outs of both the cards and asked how often I've been using this. I told them 2 days and they made various notes and told me I am under caution. I used to have a travel card onto my PAYG till about March 2011 when I lost it. Henceforth, I have got a PAYG which I use as needed.

 

The thing is my work patterns are quite different and working from home, sometimes going to office, depending on work.

 

1) Will they check CCTV to confirm this?

2) How can I prove to them that I had a regular card till March 2011?

3) Does this mean its the end of my career and I will be definitely convicted? I am starting further studies next

4) Will the case be passed onto the police?

 

I know it was a stupid stupid moment which has already changed my whole life and my thinking. I am dead worried about this for the last few weeks and my partner should not be in trouble as she has no idea. How does she get the pass back from the council?

 

Any advice will be grateful at this stage. Feel like committing suicide.

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Hello there, welcome to CAG.

 

I expect OC and the guys will be along when they can. Are you able to tell us please how many times you used this card? I have a feeling that the RPI people are able to check.

 

When the guys turn up, they will be able to tell you more about your questions above.

 

As for getting your partner's pass back, I think there was a thread about that and will post a link in a minute if I can.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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