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Hi All,

 

I'm not going to lie, I'm here to try and drum up some support for a little "direct action" against Southeastern.

 

There's quite a bit of back story and I won't bore you with all the details, the low down skinny is this:

 

I took pictures of Rail Enforcement Officers on the platform. They were also on the train so I took pictures of them there too. They eventually confronted me and demanded to see the pictures and demanded I delete them. On both occassions I refused. They then threatened me with arrest took me off the train at Dartford and held me against my will until the BTP arrived. When the BTP arrived I was released as the BTP confirmed I was well within my rights to refuse to delete said pictures.

 

This is a very shortened outline of what's happened you can see more here:

http://youve-been-cromwelled.org/?p=1079

http://youve-been-cromwelled.org/?p=1116

http://youve-been-cromwelled.org/?p=1125

http://youve-been-cromwelled.org/?p=1134

http://youve-been-cromwelled.org/?p=1139

 

Lots of links however there have been some follow up developments and have all been documented.

 

If anyone here has any legal qualifications or is in fact a solicitor and would like to help me out please let me know.

 

Southeastern operate a Meet the Manager event once a month and I'm planning for a group of dissatisfied Southeastern customers to join me in giving management a bit of hassle.

 

Cheers

Olly

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For starters, the three links in your Blog to information about power-hungry 'REOs' are not all REOs, I assume you are aware of this? Now maybe I'm a little biased here, as I am to all intents and purposes an REO (Same job, different title and company), but it annoys me when people take my picture on-duty, as I really don't want people like you, seeing half an incident unravelling, making a Blog about be and giving me a bad name. Although not prevellent to this case, I trust you weren't using a flash on the platform? BTP appear a tad on the unproffessional side if what you say they said was true, in that they are well aware that REOs are known to be power hungry, as they too probably only see certain sides of situations, as they are more often than not a reactive force, as opposed to a proactive one (REOs and other Accredited Staff). Are you honestly seeking legal advice on this one? As a side note, we have the power to take YOUR photo, too...Also, just seen Mark Reckons' Blogspot thingy that is linked in yours, that states REOs have NO Police-Like powers....Well, he clearly, unlike you, does not know his rights ;)

 

What more do you want people to say? You know your rights, remember?

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Stigy, firstly how do you mean they're not all REOs? The two guys that were involved were clearly REOs, unless of course you're being a little pedantic, yes the other posts may not have ben about them directly but the follow up posts about Southeastern.

 

Secondly people like me? When I arrived at the station I had no intention at all of taken pictures until I actually saw the REOs. (without a flash since the pictures were taken on my phone), and I was actually attempting to just get the text on the back of their hi-vis vests, not because they'd done anything wrong (at that stage) but because I wanted a picture of their vests.

 

I am seeking legal advice because I was detained by two power hungry REOs who clearly have no authority to do so, especially since the basis for detaining me was because I refused to delete pictures. Not even the police can ask you to see pictures on your phone, and nor can they ask you to delete images.

 

Yes I know my rights and REOs have no police powers whatsoever. They may have a remit to perform police like duties if you believe that statyement to be untrue I'd like you to put me straight.

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Stigy, firstly how do you mean they're not all REOs? The two guys that were involved were clearly REOs, unless of course you're being a little pedantic, yes the other posts may not have ben about them directly but the follow up posts about Southeastern......

 

 

.....Yes I know my rights and REOs have no police powers whatsoever. They may have a remit to perform police like duties if you believe that statyement to be untrue I'd like you to put me straight.

The first part was referring to when you linked us to similar power hungry roles, and one of which was that of an REO on Southeastern Trains, one was a South West Trains Rail Community Officer and one was some security type person working for Merseyrail. With regard to REOs having no Police powers, well that's just incorrect. Full stop. REOs, as with all Accredited Staff (although certain things differ from role to role taking in to account business needs etc) have certain police powers. I will list them for you;

 

  • The power to request a name and address from a person acting in an anti-social manner
  • The power to request the name and address from a person for the issue of a Penalty Notice for Disorder
  • The power to seize alcohol products from a person under 18-years of age
  • The power to seize tobacco products from a person under 16-years of age
  • The power to take a photo (ironic?) of a suspect away from a Police Custody Suite

They are the five main police powers that Accedited Persons, Accredited by the British Transport Police have. Point number two relates to the issue of a Penalty Notice for Disorder, or PND, which, in itself is a power given by BTP, to the extent that they supply the PND pads, which they also give real, non-plastic, non-Hawaii 4.5, bonafide Police Officers! So, yes you know your rights....Just not all of them.

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Sorry to double post, but I can't find the edit button on this new layout!

 

When I said about you linking us to other REO type roles, I meant in your Blog itself, as opposed to here.

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Ok do REOs have the power to detain anyone?

Do REOs have the authority to demand you delete photographs?

 

I think you'll find that the answe to both those questions is no. So I don't see why you have a problem with my particular incident.

 

Here's a quote from a spokesperson from the BTP regarding this incident:

 

“BTP were called to Dartford rail station after staff reported a man taking photographs. “After attending and speaking with the man, officers concluded that no offences had been committed and he was allowed to go on his way.

“The power to stop members of the public under the Terrorism Act resides only with police officers and with police community support officers when accompanied by a police officer, and only when that power is authorised by an officer ranking Assistant Chief Constable or above."

 

Taken from here

 

I see where the misunderstanding was with regards to the links on my blog.

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Ok do REOs have the power to detain anyone?

Do REOs have the authority to demand you delete photographs?

 

I think you'll find that the answe to both those questions is no. So I don't see why you have a problem with my particular incident.

 

Here's a quote from a spokesperson from the BTP regarding this incident:

 

 

 

Taken from here

 

I see where the misunderstanding was with regards to the links on my blog.

I don't actually have a problem with your particular incident, however, I can see why the staff concerned would be disquieted with you, given that you were taking their photo without so much as a word in their ear. I don't condone their actions, however, you come accross as very arrogant in parts of your Blog. Forgive me if I'm quoting you by mistake here, as I have read a number of Blogs relating to this tonight, as I'm sure you can appreciate, but when you refer to an e-mail sent by SET stating that out of courtesy, it would be good practice to speak to staff to see if they are okay with being filmed/having their photo taken before going about such actions, you seem very angry and state that you have never, nor will you ever do such a thing in the future. Why not? your (or maybe a blogger friend's?) reasons about CCTV etc, which, after all is meant to deter crime and bring those who comit it to justice, are just plain poor.

 

With regard to the powers thing, you said REOs have NO Police powers, your situation thereby was irrelavent to my repsonse, which stated that REOs DO have certain Police powers.

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Although not relevent to this particular case, any officer of the railway has the power to use reasonable force in order to detain offenders under the regulation of railways act 1889 for fare evasion offences, so railway emplyees do have "police" type powers if thats how you like to dub it.

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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I am not sure about 'REO's. Are they employed by Southeastern, and therefore 'officers of the railway', or are they 'contractors', and therefore 'servants of the railway'?

 

Section 5,2 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 gives alimited power of detention, whilst other laws give a power to 'eject'. Only way I can think of 'ejecting' a person who won't move is to grab hold of him & shove! (Actually, I know a few other tricks, but they all involve touching in one way or anothyer)

 

Seems to me that railway staff do have some real powers, which may seem like 'police' ones.

 

Always makes me smile a bit when people complain about police powers, they are nothing like as great as 'customs' ones.

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I am not sure about 'REO's. Are they employed by Southeastern, and therefore 'officers of the railway', or are they 'contractors', and therefore 'servants of the railway'?

 

Section 5,2 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 gives alimited power of detention, whilst other laws give a power to 'eject'. Only way I can think of 'ejecting' a person who won't move is to grab hold of him & shove! (Actually, I know a few other tricks, but they all involve touching in one way or anothyer)

 

Seems to me that railway staff do have some real powers, which may seem like 'police' ones.

 

Always makes me smile a bit when people complain about police powers, they are nothing like as great as 'customs' ones.

They are employed by Southeastern, and are not contracted to them. Although they obviously have all the powers of a servant of the railway has, they also have some real Police powers, thus it doesn't just sound as if they do....If ya know what I mean?
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I know what you mean. They have real powers of their own, not 'borrowed', not a case of 'they think they have', but real powers.

 

Not huge ones, but my understanding of the law is that if you haven't got a ticket, and you haven't paid the fare, or given your name and address, they really can hold you until the matters is sorted out.

 

Not really a surprised for a law student, railway law is older than some police forces.

 

First signalmen were constables.

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The 'REO's on Southeastern must me accredited then, trained and authorised by BTP?

Yes, they are Accredited under the Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme (RSAS), by the BTP. The training is done through an outside company called Jigsaw, who do Accredited Person training. Home office Police Forces also take part in such schemes, although these are Community Safety Accreditation Schemes (CSAS). Where the byelaws in effect allow someone's detention until Police arrive, most company's frown upon this as it could come back and bite staff on the backside.

 

Yes, there is a byelaw which relates to not adhearing to an Authorised Person's instructions. A slight side note hear, but there's a seperate offence for Assault on an accredited person, which is equal to that of assualt on Police and Assault on a PCSO.

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The Railway bye-laws give the power of removal; the various Regulation of Railways Acts create many non-indictable offences including those for ticket fraud and fare evasion and built-in to that act is the right for railway employees (whether direct labour or contractors) to detain passengers in certain circumstances while looking for a constable; the Theft Act and Forgery & Counterfeiting Act overlap the RRAs to create alternative indictable (and so arrestable) offences for fare evasion; the Common Law provides the arrestable (by any person) offence of Behaviour Likely to Cause a Breach of the Peace (e.g. provoking Railway Enforcement Officers or Police by taking their photograph without permission or jumping a queue at the station taxi rank).

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can anyone help me with my dilema, i was on a virgin train on 13/08/10 waiting to depart to cumbria. i was with my sister, daughter and a friend. we had had 3/4 glasses of wine while waiting for the train ( apart from my sister who had just finished work ) and by no means drunk. my friend needed to use the toilet and we was told by the train manager that this was not possible as the train was still in the station. we returned to our seats. my sister was on her laptop as she was working and the rest of us were sitting in our seats, just generally chatting. we was approached by the train manager anf 4 community police officers saying that we was to leave the train as we were drunk !!!! this was not the case. after a few muinetes i got up to collect my holdall from above the seat and i was forcably grabbed by 1 of the officers and dragged off of the train. i instinctively struggled as i had done nothing wrong and was then wrestled to the ground with 1 holding my arms behind my back and another with his knee on my back and hold my neck to keep my head on the floor. my sister explained that i am suffering with cancer and they allowed me up after people were complaining. as i was talking to my sister a police woman approached me grabbed me and threw me to the ground. i was arrested and taken to the police stn where i have to return in 5 weeks. i have severe injuries to my body but moreso i am severly traumatised by this. please can anyone advise me.

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See a solicitor!

 

Police officers are entitled to 'form the opinion' that a person is drunk.

 

It is possible that when you go back to the Police station, you could be charged with a variety of public order or Railway Byelaw offences, some of which could be imprisonable. Public forums like this one cannot adequately deal with all of your questions.

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can anyone help me with my dilema, i was on a virgin train on 13/08/10 waiting to depart to cumbria. i was with my sister, daughter and a friend. we had had 3/4 glasses of wine while waiting for the train ( apart from my sister who had just finished work ) and by no means drunk. my friend needed to use the toilet and we was told by the train manager that this was not possible as the train was still in the station. we returned to our seats. my sister was on her laptop as she was working and the rest of us were sitting in our seats, just generally chatting. we was approached by the train manager anf 4 community police officers saying that we was to leave the train as we were drunk !!!! this was not the case. after a few muinetes i got up to collect my holdall from above the seat and i was forcably grabbed by 1 of the officers and dragged off of the train. i instinctively struggled as i had done nothing wrong and was then wrestled to the ground with 1 holding my arms behind my back and another with his knee on my back and hold my neck to keep my head on the floor. my sister explained that i am suffering with cancer and they allowed me up after people were complaining. as i was talking to my sister a police woman approached me grabbed me and threw me to the ground. i was arrested and taken to the police stn where i have to return in 5 weeks. i have severe injuries to my body but moreso i am severly traumatised by this. please can anyone advise me.

 

I suggest that you make these very serious allegations in writing to both Virgin Trains and the British Transport Police.

 

I have worked in the enforcement side of this industry for more than 30 years and it would be very wrong of me to give you direct advice based on what at this time are just your allegations. I am not saying that these are wrong, or that I don't believe you, but where such serious issues are concerned there is a proper and very robust procedure in place for dealing with them

 

On the face of it, it sounds as though you were hard done by, but many trains are equipped with CCTV and an incident such as you describe is likely to have had a number of witnesses who may have made complaints. The Police Officers involved will have made pocket-book records as will any Rail Inspectors present and the train manager will also have made a report.

 

In general, you should make a written complaint, with a truthful detailed account of exactly how the incident developed as soon as possible. As you have mentioned actual body injuries, you should get these photographed and examined by a Doctor and a letter from the medical practicioner should be included with your complaint. Take that along with the details of your allegations and see a good Solicitor as soon as possible.

 

Write your initial letter of complaint to:

 

Customer Relations

Virgin Trains

FREEPOST BM 6613

PO BOX 713

Birmingham

B5 4HH

Edited by Old-CodJA
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Whilst I agree with Old Codja's post, a common problem for solicitors trying to help clients, albeit on a paid for basis, is that things said and done by a potential defendant at an early stage of the matter can sometimes damage a potential defence.

 

my personal advice is to see a solicitor. He/she will expect you to be honest with him/her, as you will want the best defence that you can get, and possibly, subsequently, the best case for compensation that you can build.

 

In an open forum, no-one is likely to say 'I was drunk as a skunk and I called the train manager a little Hitler', whether they did or not, but in the quiet atmosphere of a solicitors office, you can talk through the whole thing with a paid professional, who will endeavour to give you the best advice possible.

 

The outcomes of this incident range from the facts supporting a case for all of you to be charged with (whatever the modern equivalent is) affray through to you getting 10s of £thousands in compensation. They range from all of you becoming familiar with prison cells to all of the officers involved joining the jobless and or the prison population. (And everywhere in between)

 

Look in Yellow pages, find a solicitor!

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Yes, I agree with Wriggler. I tried to cover all options in general terms

 

If your case really is as strong as your post suggests and you have been absolutely truthful here, see a solicitor straight away, but you will be paying for the advice that you get

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I believe both Pendolinos and Voyagers have CCTV so you will be able to use this as evidence.

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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thank you both for your advice which i appreciate.i have been to the hospital today and will be visitng my gp tomorrow. i can say is that i was not drunk as a skunk, a little merry maybe but who has not had a couple of glasses of wine when heading off for a nice weekend away !!!! i have been through a very tough time lately ( again ) and the thought of peace, quiet and fresh air was just what i needed. thanks again.

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i cannot pay for advice as having cancer for the 4th time i was dismissed from work and now on benefits. is there no solicitors that would give good advice to someone in my position ? .

I'm not quite sure how it works, but would legal aid be an option for someone in your position? You could always visit the CAB for advise and see where it goes from there.

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