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lozza123

FCC I've been cautioned for travel without a ticket

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This morning, Wed 20th March I travelled from Enfield Chase, changing at Finsbury Park. I touched in with my Oyster Card at the barrier between to get on the tube at Finsbury Park and a man watching over the barrier in plain clothes asked me to talk to his colleague. This colleague scanned my oyster card, I genuingly thought that I had tapped in at Enfield Chase and it turns out that I didn't which I explained to the inspector.

 

He scanned my oyster card and mentioned some of my regular journies and asked where I was travelling to and told him Westminster. He asked if I had any ID with my address and I only had a passport, but then found a letter from HMRC and showed him that. He completed the form with my name and address and then cautioned me. I paniced and said do you do this to everyone and he said yes. I was led to believe that it was standard, but was quite shaken up about it. He then read off 3 yes/no questions from the form. One of them was about was I intending to pay the fare, I think I misunderstood this as I thought he meant to pay the on the spot fine and so got my purse out to indicate that I was willing to pay the fine. He showed me the form and I he had written that I had not touched in and I asked him to add 'in error', but he said I could write it in the comments section, which I did and then signed. I then asked if I had to pay an on the spot fine and he said no they will write to you and let you know if you will be fined or not. He sent me on my way without a carbon copy of the slip, without anything.

 

I was really paniced at the time, and I still am now.

 

Also:

- The man was in plain clothes and not a uniform and neither was his colleague who first stopped me

- He did not show me any ID

- He did not explain who he was or what was happening

- He didn't explain why he was cautioning me

- They never asked me to pay an on the spot fine, even though I questioned about paying one

 

Sorry this post is so long. I am really worried about this and would like to know what I should do. Reading some other posts I need to wait until they write to me in 6-8 weeks, but there are going to be a lot of sleepless nights in that time.

 

Any help and advice about the best course of action is most appreciated.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I hope the forum regulars will be along over the course of the day.

 

It's quite hard to predict what is likely to happen before the letter arrives I'm afraid. And as you may have read, there is no point contacting FCC before they write, because they're unlikely to be able to find your paperwork.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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- The man was in plain clothes and not a uniform and neither was his colleague who first stopped me

Makes no difference. They can wear a Smurfs outfit for all the difference it makes.

- He did not show me any ID

Did you request that ID was shown? Incidentally, no ID is required to be shown when requesting your name and address for the purposes of Section 5(1) Regulation of Railways Act 1889 anyway

- He did not explain who he was or what was happening

But you obviously knew he was an Inspector and you had a ticket irregularity. By the nature of the questions, I'm sure you worked out the problem.

- He didn't explain why he was cautioning me

But you say he explained about the Oyster Card not being touched in correctly/at all

- They never asked me to pay an on the spot fine, even though I questioned about paying one

Why would you pay an on the spot fine if you've done nothing wrong? He will have written a report and sent to his prosecutions department, who will write to you in due course regarding the matter

 

You've probably breached Railway Byelaw 18(1), but more seriously, Section 5(3a) Regulation of Railways Act 1889 may be pursued if it can be shown that you deliberately intended to pay the cheaper fare by touching in at a stop further down your journey. CCTV and Oyster Card records are likely to be checked. If you have a history of touching in further down the line, i.e. not where you start your journey, "intent" is fairly easy to prove. Oyster makes it so much easier to track irregularities.

 

You are likely to be prosecuted by First Capital Connect unless you can negotiate an out of court settlement to avoid such action. The cost will vary on whether you have deliberately intended to avoid paying the correct fare, your previous actions and/or whether you are prepared to admit liability. Reported "settlements" have been between £80 and £350.

Edited by firstclassx

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Although Firstclassxx's answers are correct, it is unprofessional for an inspector to fail to identify himself properly when not in uniform if what you said is correct, sounds like a straight forward Byelaw 18 prosecution so you are best waiting until FCC write to you and then offer to pay costs in order to keep it out of court. As for the issues such as the inspector not identifying himself then you need to complain to FCC's customer service department if you believe that you were not treated correctly.

 

As an RPI myself i am always very concious of correctly identifying myself when not in uniform and always show my warrant badge and keep it visible whilst I speak to any passengers.


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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Hi

 

Thanks for your speedy reply. I meant to say a penalty fare. Is the procedure that the ticket inspector should charge me with the penalty fare or part of the penalty if I am unable to pay for all of it, take my address and give me 21 days to pay the balance? Should I refuse to pay then isn't it then that the inspector should write a the report for him to send to the prosectutions department?

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Hi

 

Thanks for your speedy reply. I meant to say a penalty fare. Is the procedure that the ticket inspector should charge me with the penalty fare or part of the penalty if I am unable to pay for all of it, take my address and give me 21 days to pay the balance? Should I refuse to pay then isn't it then that the inspector should write a the report for him to send to the prosectutions department?

 

 

There is never any obligation on any inspector to charge or accept a penalty fare (or fare) if he or she believes that an offence that warrants further action is evident.

 

In accordance with PACE (84) codes of practice a reporting officer who cautions a suspect for purposes of a report should identify him or herself and should state the nature of the allegation for which the report is being made.

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