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i came to croydon once to see a house i wanted to rent with a friend. i had been to london before and had only been on the bus, train and tube but never on a tram. i had used trams before but that's in south yorkshire in Sheffield. there we can pay for the ticket inside the tram. when i came from london victoria i had topped up an oyster card i got from my friend with £5 and got on the southern rail. i came out at east croydon with my friend and as i saw the tram approach i ran for it and got it. i assumed i could pay for it inside as i saw, what i assumed to be the conductors. turned out to be the tfl police and they came and asked to see my oyster i showed him and then he beeped it and told me i was avoiding to pay and there was -£1 in my oyster. i informed him that i can pay right here as i have the cash and i had just topped up my oyster with £5 if he could check that. he told me to get off the tram with him as he will write me a penalty fine.

 

i tried to explain to him that i don't live here and i don't know how the system is around here. i offered to pay on the spot or he could show me where to buy this ticket. he refused and asked for my details, i gave him my name and address.

 

i was not employed at that time so i couldn't pay this fine, i tried to get the amount they asked for but i was too late, and it increased to £80.

 

i used to live with my mother then i moved to swindon to live with my father assuming it would be easier to get jobs there and now that i have one i was prepared to pay my fine. i called my mother to ask for the details in the letter they'd written and she told me now its £340.

 

i cant afford that. i have no idea what to do.

Edited by honeybee13
Spacing.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I see a couple of the forum regulars are hovering, so hopefully they will have some pointers for you.

 

I think they may want to ask you how the penalty has ended up at this level. Has it been to court at all please?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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i came to croydon once to see a house i wanted to rent with a friend. i had been to london before and had only been on the bus, train and tube but never on a tram. i had used trams before but that's in south yorkshire in Sheffield. there we can pay for the ticket inside the tram. when i came from london victoria i had topped up an oyster card i got from my friend with £5 and got on the southern rail. i came out at east croydon with my friend and as i saw the tram approach i ran for it and got it. i assumed i could pay for it inside as i saw, what i assumed to be the conductors. turned out to be the tfl police and they came and asked to see my oyster i showed him and then he beeped it and told me i was avoiding to pay and there was -£1 in my oyster. i informed him that i can pay right here as i have the cash and i had just topped up my oyster with £5 if he could check that. he told me to get off the tram with him as he will write me a penalty fine.

 

i tried to explain to him that i don't live here and i don't know how the system is around here. i offered to pay on the spot or he could show me where to buy this ticket. he refused and asked for my details, i gave him my name and address.

 

i was not employed at that time so i couldn't pay this fine, i tried to get the amount they asked for but i was too late, and it increased to £80.

 

i used to live with my mother then i moved to swindon to live with my father assuming it would be easier to get jobs there and now that i have one i was prepared to pay my fine. i called my mother to ask for the details in the letter they'd written and she told me now its £340.

 

i cant afford that. i have no idea what to do.

 

The key here is "how is it now £340?"

If it is £340 made up of charges from a debt collecting agency, then you need to seek clarification of the charges.

The rest of this post only applies IF the £340 is from a court fine.

 

If it is £340 from a fine from a court, then you may well end up paying. Did you (at the address you gave : your mother's) get a summons for court?

If you were summonsed to court and didn't attend, you may have been found guilty in your absence, and whilst you can get any such conviction "set aside" if you declare that you didn't receive a summons to court, this would only "reset"

things to the stage where you could be summonsed again.

 

If you've been found guilty in your absence, you could go for a "set aside" by making a Statutory Declaration, and try and persuade TfL to accept an out of court settlement : but they won't have to, and could just re-issue the summons.

 

It it easy to be wise after the event, but, unless someone is SURE they can pay on a service, pay before boarding.

 

If offered a penalty fare : take the paperwork and then appeal. If the appeal (multiple stages if need be) fails, pay up or you'll likely end up in court.

(If you decline a penalty fare, you'll likely be reported for consideration of prosecution : if you get a letter of "intent to prosecute" you can still try to negotiate an out of court settlement)

 

The difficulty in ending up being taken to court is that you might face a less severe charge but that is harder to defend against (a so called "strict liability offence"), such as "failed to show, on demand, a valid ticket".

The "strict liability" part means that it doesn't matter (unless you really couldn't have paid your fare) why you didn't show a ticket : if you didn't show a ticket you are guilty.

 

(The exception is if you had had no opportunity to pay your fare : no ticket office open & no working ticket machine, and TfL will have records if there was a working ticket machine)

"I ran for the team & was used to paying on the tram in Sheffield" wouldn't be a defence to being found guilty, only mitigation once guilty.

 

In general, it is best to stop these things escalating by responding, else things become like a snowball rolling down a hill ( Such as Penalty fare refused or unpaid becoming a summons!)

 

To recap : is the £340 from a court fine ?.

If so, do you have the details of the offence you were found guilty of?

 

EDIT : it notes it is an unofficial site, but

http://tramlink.co.uk/info/gen/tickets.shtml has some useful information, shows the Oyster touch-in pads and the signs on them showing that there are signs saying "must touch ..... Before boarding", and also discusses Penalty Fares, the discount for paying a penalty fare early, and that if a PF isn't paid (or successfully appealed) that prosecution may follow .....

Edited by BazzaS

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the letter is from the tower bridge county court. they just said if i don't pay that amount i'll be called into court, my car will be clamped or something but i don't have a car. i thought £80 was the maximum they'll charge me because the ticket fine said i should pay £40 with in 21 days, and failure to that i'll end up paying £80. so i thought if i can't get the £40 then when i got a job i'll pay the £80 no problem.

 

thanks for the response. i'll keep an eye out for more

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the letter is from the tower bridge county court. they just said if i don't pay that amount i'll be called into court, my car will be clamped or something but i don't have a car. i thought £80 was the maximum they'll charge me because the ticket fine said i should pay £40 with in 21 days, and failure to that i'll end up paying £80. so i thought if i can't get the £40 then when i got a job i'll pay the £80 no problem.

 

thanks for the response. i'll keep an eye out for more

 

Hello again.

 

I think this might require action from you. Can you type up what the letter from the court says please? Don't put any personal information in. How long ago were you in Croydon?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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yes i think its a court fine. it has some admin costs and alot of other costs too. i assumed i could speak to the TFL people but since it's now a court issue then will it be possible to pay it in instalments or something like that?

 

thanks for the response too

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the letter is from the tower bridge county court. they just said if i don't pay that amount i'll be called into court, my car will be clamped or something but i don't have a car. i thought £80 was the maximum they'll charge me because the ticket fine said i should pay £40 with in 21 days, and failure to that i'll end up paying £80. so i thought if i can't get the £40 then when i got a job i'll pay the £80 no problem.

 

thanks for the response. i'll keep an eye out for more

 

Seems that as you didn't pay the penalty fare. The notes on the penalty fare form will tell you of the timescales you have in which to pay or appeal.

 

Sadly, if you neither pay or appeal, they will proceed to prosecute. The notes on the firm do state this, and you deciding "I'll pay, but only later" only works if TfL agree you can pay later, not if you don't get their agreement.

 

So, you can make a statutory declaration and get your conviction set aside, but the likelyhood is that TfL would just re-issue a prosecution, you'd get summonsed again, and again found guilty. After all, you got a penalty fare notice and neither paid it or appealed it.

 

If you got a set aside it would only reset things to the "TfL can get a summons issued" stage, not the earlier "penalty fare now due" stage.

 

Be aware that you probably now have a criminal record : not for the most major of crimes, but if you needed to declare it (to the standard for "Enhanced CRB" as an example), and didn't declare it, what is a minor conviction could have more dramatic effects.

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Hello again.

 

I think this might require action from you. Can you type up what the letter from the court says please? Don't put any personal information in. How long ago were you in Croydon?

 

HB

 

i'm afraid i don't have the letter with me, i was there in april and the fine came in novermber

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yes i think its a court fine. it has some admin costs and alot of other costs too. i assumed i could speak to the TFL people but since it's now a court issue then will it be possible to pay it in instalments or something like that?

 

thanks for the response too

 

Tower Bridge County Court (as per your previous post) : in which case this was a civil rather than criminal case, or Tower Bridge Magistrates Court?

(Edit: I can't find that there is a Tower Bridge County Court, only Magistrates ....)

 

http://magistrates-court.co.uk/tower-bridge-magistrates-court/

 

Are there details on the letter of contacts for the court where you might ask for time to pay / make an arrangement?

 

If not, and if it is the Magistrates Court rather than the County Court, the web page I listed quotes a contact number:

London Collection and Compliance Centre: 020 7556 8500

Edited by BazzaS

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I agree with what Bazza is saying about an unpaid fine. I couldn't find a county court in Tower Bridge when I searched, but there is a magistrates one, and that's who normally deals with fare cases.

 

Has there been other correspondence about your case? You shouldn't just get a fine for fare evasion without knowing about it beforehand.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Sorry Bazza, crossed posts with #9 and 10. Great minds, I hope. :)

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Yes, Bazza and HB are spot-on.

 

This appears to be an unpaid Penalty Fare that resulted in issue of a Summons to Court, which you did not answer. The case will have been proven in your absence and a fine and costs ordered by the Magistrates

 

It will now be subject to fines enforcment and can result in follow up by Bailiffs appointed by the Court.

 

You need to contact them VERY urgently.

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i will find out about the correspondence letters. i moved from my mother's around may and she had not mentioned seeing any letters from the court or anything like that until this one arrived.

 

thank you all for the responses :)

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i called the number you suggested and was referred to the bailiff. i have paid my first instalment. i want to know if i have a criminal record now and will this affect me if i want to apply for a job in the future?

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i called the number you suggested and was referred to the bailiff. i have paid my first instalment. i want to know if i have a criminal record now and will this affect me if i want to apply for a job in the future?

 

 

You will need to contact the Court to be sure. It depends on whether you were convicted of intending to avoid a fare or not whether you have a record that will show up on CRB

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i called the court the person i spoke to told me to call home office and find out because he doesnt know. i researched abit more and most people say it's very likely that it will appear on my crb. so i've informed my current employer and potential employer too. waiting for their decisions on the matter but i'm sure it will be all ok.

 

but i think in the future it will be better to penalise those who don't offer to pay the ticket on the spot when the transport police arrive because sometimes these things are genuine mistakes not just people trying to dodge fares. in sheffield there is a tram operator who comes to check tickets and we pay onboard if you were in a hurry to catch the tram and couldn't buy a ticket at the office or machine.

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i called the court the person i spoke to told me to call home office and find out because he doesnt know. i researched abit more and most people say it's very likely that it will appear on my crb. so i've informed my current employer and potential employer too. waiting for their decisions on the matter but i'm sure it will be all ok.

 

but i think in the future it will be better to penalise those who don't offer to pay the ticket on the spot when the transport police arrive because sometimes these things are genuine mistakes not just people trying to dodge fares. in sheffield there is a tram operator who comes to check tickets and we pay onboard if you were in a hurry to catch the tram and couldn't buy a ticket at the office or machine.

 

 

Was it really that you "couldn't buy a ticket at the office or machine" : which would have been grounds for an appeal against the penalty fare?. Or was it that in your hurry you chose not to use a machine or the ticket office?. You didn't mention any efforts to use a machine or find the ticket office as you said "and as i saw the tram approach i ran for it and got it. i assumed i could pay for it inside"

 

You may have been in a hurry, but look at how much time you've now had to invest, the extra you've had to pay, and the criminal record that has resulted.

 

You could have bought a ticket before boarding.

You could have paid the penalty fare and avoided extra cost and a criminal record.

 

As for "penalise those who don't offer to pay the ticket on the spot when the transport police arrive because sometimes these things are genuine mistakes not just people trying to dodge fares" : the "professional fare dodgers" are the ones who may seem the most plausible or most insistent on paying, but only the standard fare, and only when stopped.

How are they meant to differentiate between fare dodgers and an "honest mistake" : however, see below for why they weren't accusing you of fare dodging by issuing a penalty fare.

 

If they believed you were deliberately fare dodging, they don't have to offer a penalty fare. They can go straight to prosecution (which is the result you created for yourself by not paying the penalty fare!).

 

The notes on the penalty fare form state the allowed timescales for payment or appeal.

 

I have limited sympathy for your plight (that hasn't stopped me offering help, though!), given you could have resolved things at the penalty fare stage, yet you still seem to want to blame TfL, who don't have a "Magic fare dodger detector".

Edited by BazzaS

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i was not looking for sympathy i was only asking for help as i didn't have a clue about the whole system. you don't have to be so upset about it. and i'd just got off the train from london victoria and saw the tram and rushed for it assuming that like in Sheffield i can/ i'm allowed to buy it in the tram. i showed them my provisional driver's license with my address that shows that i don't live around here. so i genuinely didn't know how things work this side i thought the oyster only worked on trains, tubes and buses. i had not been on the tram around here. and i explained that i had no job at the moment so i didn't deliberately avoid paying, the form said that i can pay £40 within 21 days, which i didn't have, so i thought by the time i get the job i'd be able to pay the £80 i had to pay afterwards. seriously you don't have to be like that. i didn't come here for sympathy i just want to know how to deal with my situation which now i can deal with and it's fine. if this is how you think about everyone who comes on this site to ask for help then i don't think you should be doing this at all.

 

but thanks for the help anyway

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i was not looking for sympathy i was only asking for help as i didn't have a clue about the whole system. you don't have to be so upset about it. and i'd just got off the train from london victoria and saw the tram and rushed for it assuming that like in Sheffield i can/ i'm allowed to buy it in the tram. i showed them my provisional driver's license with my address that shows that i don't live around here. so i genuinely didn't know how things work this side i thought the oyster only worked on trains, tubes and buses. i had not been on the tram around here. and i explained that i had no job at the moment so i didn't deliberately avoid paying, the form said that i can pay £40 within 21 days, which i didn't have, so i thought by the time i get the job i'd be able to pay the £80 i had to pay afterwards. seriously you don't have to be like that. i didn't come here for sympathy i just want to know how to deal with my situation which now i can deal with and it's fine. if this is how you think about everyone who comes on this site to ask for help then i don't think you should be doing this at all.

 

but thanks for the help anyway

 

 

"But thanks for the help anyway" : that could be used as a dictionary entry for "passive-aggressive"

 

I offered help.

You none the less blamed TfL, and appear to still do so.

 

I'm not "upset", but would have hoped that the whole process would have made you realise you have responsibilities.

 

It was your responsibility to pay before boarding the tram : O.K., so you made a mistake.

At that point you could have accepted you made a mistake, but resolved things by paying the penalty fare, or appealing.

 

Your actions since show that you still haven't taken responsibility for your actions.

 

You are paying now, but only because the court and bailiffs are making it happen, and STILL, instead if saying "I made a multitude of mistakes", it is still "not your fault" : and when someone says "accept responsibility" you are happy to take the bits of their advice which will help you & it suits you, but you don't want them highlighting the mistakes you've made and more importantly the responsibility you shirk.

 

I don't begrudge helping you. I gave my time and efforts freely and didn't say "only use this if you are going to behave like a responsible adult".

 

How you behave is up to you : but if you don't take responsibility what is to stop similar in the future, and again what is a "civil" issue becoming a "criminal" one.

 

As I pointed out, your actions have meant you have a criminal record (avoidable) and extra costs (avoidable).

This was your choice.

 

It is a self-help site, not a "get out of jail free" or "absolution" site. If part of the "self-help" is to not sweeten the bitter pill that people have to accept responsibility for their actions : sorry if that upsets you.

 

If you want people to only get help that is "sugar sweet" : people are going to be helped less. Having relied on my advice it is hypocritical to say "I want your advice, but not when it involves me accepting my responsibilities : I want my woes solved but not to be held accountable for my actions".

 

It appears you haven't learnt the underlying lesson of what has happened to you.

 

I can only hope this thread helps others avoid the pitfall of ignoring a penalty fare that has befallen you.

 

Meantime, I'll keep offering advice to try and help people.

If that involves telling them things they might not want to hear, but are still applicable, so be it.

 

The site team can intervene if I break site rules (note : I've not used foul or abusive language, so why would they?), and if you disagree with what I've said you can say why you disagree ..... I note you haven't said WHY you think I'm wrong, and "I'm not listening, la, la, la" isn't a persuasive argument.

Edited by BazzaS

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An excellent assessment of many similar threads Bazza. It is always gratifying to see that many posters do exactly that and do accept that it's their action that has got them to where they are.

 

It is much better to accept with good grace that it is our own actions, which all have consequences in some form or another and many times, not what we intended..

Edited by Old-CodJA

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