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Caught with National Rail Anytime Travel Ticket - Inspector took other card produced by mistake & took Travel ID Card


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This happened earlier this week. I took the bus early morning around 7.00 am to travel just 2 bus stops to the nearest London suburb train station. I showed the bus driver my Anytime Return Travel Ticket and the bus driver allowed me in. I have always been confused over what sort of Trave tickets are allowed and aren't allowed on the buses. On certain occasions, Anytime Return tickets have been allowed on London Buses and on certain occasions they have been refused. As I had to catch the train within the next 5-7 minutes, I jumped into the bus and showed my Standard Anytime Return Ticket purchased earlier.

Upon getting in the bus a revenue inspector came down from the upper deck of the bus and asked me for my tickets. I somehow panicked, lost my sanity and started digging my bag where I dropped my travel tickets and picked out another card from my bag which was basically my Photo Travel ID Card and the OLD travelcard photocopy ticket of someone else that I had on me.

I had used this photocopy card in the past to claim additional travel costs from my old company for travel costs - over and above that it costs to travel within London.

Before I could explain anything, the inspector started doubting and investigating this travel card Photocopy, removing it from the card, viewing the whole episode as a high level Fraud and showing it to the bus driver.

I was asked to produce a proof of my another Photo ID card, my details (name and address) noted and then my Train ID card was also taken away.

I tried explaining again that I have neverever used this card to travel on the bus or train and said that I must pay the fine which I was happy to do but the inspector was not ready to listen anything that I would say and simply took down my name and address details in his small pocket diary.

I was then allowed to get off at the train station bus stop but was not told what would happen next. I did have my Anytime Travel Ticket and have retained this for any evidence required.

Now I am very very worried that I shall be send a Summons Letter stating that I have committed a huge Fraud and Fare Evasion crime, booked under a Recorded Criminal Offence and face a £1000 fine.

I have never been booked or had any penalties or fare evasions previously.

I have been extremely nervous and under severe stress - having sleepless nights and cannot concentrate on anything I do - ever since and fear on the type of charges I could be booked under.

My family is completely distraught over the things that happened and fear me facing a criminal offence being booked. I am a Non EU resident in the UK, due for my PR (Permanent Residency ) and fear this charges would severely hamper my chances for a PR.

May I kindly request all knowledgeable and helpful people to share their knowledge and educate on best course of action to clearly explain my situation and find a solution.

Any assistance would be helpful.

 

Thanks

M

Edited by LittlingtonM
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Ooops. Wait for a letter from Tfl. (Transport for London) Let this forum know what laws they mention. Normally, within their letters, there will be some indication of what 'charges' they are contemplating.

 

Depending on how 'they' see it, at this stage, we would be uncomfortable to give 'advice'. It could range from 'don't worry too much' to 'go and see a solicitor'.

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Thanks for your reply Wriggler. Would you suggest that I write to th TFL now- trying to explain the complete situation, apologise for whatever happened and agree to pay the fine for travelling on the Anytime Return Travel Ticket?

The wait for the letter is making me anxious and perhaps even tense when I would receive and would not know how to go about resolving the matter?

Any suggestions?

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if this is your 1st offence you have nowt to worry about

 

follow the usual tact of a grovel letter

 

read a few threads here

 

the guys will be alone later to help further

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thanks for the response. I did go through some of the threads floated here.. I understand that there have been instances of being drafting and sending a Apology and Grovel letter to the relevant authorities.

May I request people to share/PM some of these letters drafted/send earlier. Also, am I correctly understanding that once TFL or other authorities send their Summons Letter, it is required for us to respond within 1-2 days time?

Appreciate if people could share their experiences on this ? Also if someone could provide details of Solictors who handle such cases that would be highly appreciated?

Also can other experts/knowledgable people (OldCodJa and others) share their viewpoints on this case?

Thanks

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For a solicitor, most high streets have loads of them, you need to ask the receptionist if they do 'criminal defence' work. Or pop along to your local magistrates court and ask the guy on the front door to point out a local solicitor.

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As to my views on the case, I am a little 'nervous'. You couldn't find the valid ticket that you claimed to have, but you did find the photocopy of a friend's ticket, that you seem to admit using for fraudulent claims for expenses at work.

 

My guts suggest that the photocopy was not a sheet of A4 with an image in the middle, but a neatly trimmed copy, exactly the same size as a ticket with the corners all nicely rounded.

 

I suspect that the prosecutor is rubbing his hands and just wondering which book to throw at you. Hence my suggestion that you wait for a letter, and thenlet us know what act & section they are contemplating using. Maybe not what you wanted to hear, but that is my current view.

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The 'act & section' will also change you chances of legal aid, help by 'duty solicitors' and so on. Unless there is something I have missed, you will not get legal aid for Byelaw or 'fare dodging' offences, but if they go for one of the more exotic charges, theft/forgery/uttering it may be that you will get 'aid'.

 

The one certainty is that you will not be locked up until after a long process (and probably not then), so you do have time to chill out and wait for the letter. Enjoy your weekend, forget about it, until you get their letters.

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Wriggler 7 is right. It is difficult to give specific advice in this case until you have had a letter from TfL outlining what they are likely to charge you with.

 

From the prosecutor's perspective, one simple fact will lie behind the decision making process. It is an offence to make a 'false instrument' such as a 'forgery' or 'copy' of a rail ticket, with intent that it should be passed off as genuine.

 

Wait until you get that letter and then you will know how seriously they have viewed this case.

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In response my aforementioned case, today 15th Nov 2010, I received a letter from TFL stating that

“On 10th Nov 2010 at 06.05 am on a Bus XXX you were reported to TFL for failing to produce a valid ticket, Pass or OysterCard for your journey. The facts of this incident are being considered and I must advise you that legal proceedings may be taken against you in accordance with TFL’s prosecution policy.

If you have comments to make about this incident please write them on the reverse side of this letter and return the whole letter in the freepost envelope provided which does not require a stamp.

Should your pass have been withdrawn because you were unable to produce a valid photocard to accompany it, please enclose a photocopy of that photocard with your reply. If you had been unable to produce a pass because you did not have it with you, please enclose a photocopy of that pass with your reply. In the case of an Oyster Card, please include the full serial number with your reply.

You do not have to reply to this letter but it may harm your defence if you do not mention something that you may later rely on in court. Anything that you do provide in writing may be used in evidence.

Failure to respond to this letter may result in the matter being progressed by TFL without further notification”

May I kindly request the CAG experts (OldCodJA, Wriggler7, Silly, others) to educate on further course of action.

My Questions

1) Would it be suggested that in this case, I do not mention anything on the OTHER CARD produced and focus on forgetting an OYSTER CARD early morning and using the ANYTIME TRAVEL RETURN Ticket (which could also be further validated (if required) as I did use the trains with the Anytime Return Ticket immediately as I alighted the bus) and offer sincere apologies for the mistake undertaken? Can I request people to pm earlier used copies of the APOLOGY letter?

2) In addition to the above apology letter, would it be recommended to send a cheque worth a reasonable amount (say £25 or higher IF RECOMMENDED – suggestions welcome) as the penalty fare and reasonable administration cost to settle the matter out of court and resolve the case?

I did read a case in another thread whereby another individual was provided a similar letter as above and in spite of their response, the authorities issued Summons against them? In which case, is the issuance of such letter a sheer formality or a genuine opportunity to narrate one’s viewpoint on the matter before it goes into the COURT for prosecutions?

Appreciate the expert’s suggestions and viewpoints to resolve this matter. Many Thanks

M

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The letter looks very much like the sort of thing that a very busy prosecution team send.

 

You (and for that matter all 'worried' posters) need to obtain a broader view. Train companies, bus companies have lots of Inspectors, all submitting many reports in one day. 'Someone' in the prosecution office reads them all, and ticks various boxes to show that basic issues are 'correct', and then the report will be fed into some sort of system that produces all the various procedural letter, forms, summons and so on, as well as providing a tracking system for the case progress.

 

The tricky part is for you to reply in such a way that you stop the system from grinding slowly into taking you to Court. It is possible that a decision has already been made. The letter that you have seems to be to verify that the name,address and basic facts have been recorded correctly.

 

If you do not answer, the case will almost certainly proceed to Court.

 

If you do answer, you may avoid Court, but I did say 'may'. the choice is with the prosecuting authority.

 

In your reply, tell them nothing that they do not already know. I would be inclined to tell them how mortified you are by the possibility of going to Court, and ask if there might be an alternative. Offer to pay 'reasonable costs'. And then wait for their reply.

 

I am surprised that they have not indicated what laws they think cover this particular case. I am guessing that their next letter will provide those details.

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Yes, I agree, don't tell them anything they don't aklready know in relation to the alleged offence.

 

You might acknowledge that you have been reported and that the name and address details are correct (if they are) and tailor to your needs one of the template letters that we have suggested in other threads.

 

Try to convince TfL that it is in their best interests to deal with this administratively. From their viewpoint that means 'best financial return for least cost & effort'.

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Thanks for your replies Wriggler and OldCodJA.

I just wanted to confirm what you experts are suggesting " Dont tell them anything that they dont already know in relation to the alleged offence " - meaning which I must not mention anything about the Anytime Return Ticket that I had with me and that intention was to show this Anytime Return Ticket (which was also used for onward journey on the National Rail Trains immediately as I got off the bus)

 

The letter mentions that anything that anything I write may be used in the court at an evidence?

Would it then mean that if I do not write anything in this letter and when the case proceeds further we write about what exactly went wrong? - KINDLY SUGGEST

 

Yes, I appreciate the suggestion that it is good to write about how mortified I am on the possibility of going to court and check if there is an alternative way.

 

Would you suggest I send a cheque alongwith the reply to pay for the penalties and reasonable administration cost?

 

Many Thanks.

M

Edited by LittlingtonM
Grammatical Errors
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Would we suggest sending a cheque with the letter? Well, yes and no. (I am very good at never answering a simple question) I think that making it easier for them to accept a settlement than to let the case go forward improves your chances. If they get a cheque equal to their costs claim and the avoided fare, they then have the choice of sending it back, and doing a whole heap of paperwork, or sending you a receipt and moving the case into the 'case closed' pile.

Another thought in my confused mind is that you sometimes will get a 'cheaper' result by some haggling. That runs the risk of irritating them, and pushing them into a 'stuff the passenger, take it to Court' frame of mind.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. And to put it into perspective, the costs and compensation they will ask for in Court (I guess around £110-£150) is only what it would cost you to take your significant other to watch West Ham at home. Probably better for your peace of mind to send the cheque and spend next Saturday watching the game on telly.

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I agree with Wriggler7 (:wink: comfortingly, it's rare not to it seems)

 

If I were you, I think that I would send an apologetic letter and cheque for £110 plus the fare they claim is due and state that you have enclosed payment for an amount that you ' hope that TfL will accept as a reasonable sum to cover the unpaid fare and the admin costs incurred by them as a result of having to deal with this report'.

 

The worst they can do is send it back and proceed to prosecution, which is the position you are in now.

 

Good Luck

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what it would cost you to take your significant other to watch West Ham at home. Probably better for your peace of mind to send the cheque and spend next Saturday watching the game on telly.

 

...and the OP would probably get the better result too... :evil:

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