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Today I was stopped when I left the station without a ticket. I was travelling from Station A to Station B. I am 19 and am a student. The last thing I would want it a criminal record! I just have to wait for the letter now. What should I expect, and is there anything I can do in the mean time.

 

Thanks

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Hi welcome to CAG,

 

Were you 'cautioned' by the revenue inspector? Were you given any paperwork?

 

Is there any valid reason for not having a ticket?

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Hello there.

 

Don't worry about a criminal record, you'll get a penalty to pay - it'll likely be of a higher sum than the ticket. If you wish to appeal there is a process - although you'll need a sufficient ground to do so.

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My only worry is that she told me that I may get a caution. I am on a policing course at uni and this would ruin my chances of joining the Police.
.

 

Was she referring to a police caution I wonder, were you read the standard caution at the time?

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Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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Perhaps it would be best then to write and admit the offence, offer to pay the penalty fare or what ever the procedure is quickly then it may go no further.

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Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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Hmm... Wigan/Warrington/Preston etc?

 

Unfortunately if you were caught by Revenue Protection teams at one of the above stations, Virgin Trains have started to take a different approach to revenue protection on this route, and will almost certainly end up in court.

 

You will have to wait for the letter asking for your version of events before you do anything.

 

I suspect that this isn't the first time you've done this, as you are evidently a regular user, and decided to take the chance.

 

Either way, regardless of what happens, the form for the police asks, "have you ever been involved in a criminal investigation, whether or not this led to a conviction?" - to which, to be honest, you will have to say yes and explain.

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Which would be the best way doing this? Email, letter, phone call?

Always by recorded/signed for post!

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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How should I go about writing the letter? Should I state that I pursue a career in the Police? Also, where would I find the address?

 

Slow down here - you SHOULD NOT write to them until they have sent you a letter asking for an explanation, which may take 2-3 months.

 

Your file will be one of about 50 for that day alone. They need time for the MG11 statements produced by the Inspectors to be forwarded to London (Prosecutions HQ), processed electronically, initial decision taken, then a letter produced and sent to you.

 

By keeping quiet for the time being, you could benefit in the unlikely event that they lose your file or decide to take no action.

 

I appreciate you want to know your fate, but you have to expect the worst, and hope for the best - for up to 6 months from today.

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I have to say I never get this. I understand being late and not getting a ticket at the station but then you pay on the train or at the other end. In fact travelling from Hinckley to Birmingham there is no ticket office in the afternoon and if (as often happens) no guard checks your ticket you have to buy one before you go through the barrier.

 

Maybe give us a clue as to which line you were on

Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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Yes. I just don't want to go to court or have a caution on my record.

 

In that case, did you have over-riding reasons to travel without a ticket?.

How did you reply at interview (assuming you were asked the standard questions as to why you couldn't produce a ticket and if you would have paid your fare had you not been stopped)?.

 

The only robust way to avoid a criminal record is to buy your ticket or have one of the statutory defences for ticketless travel.

 

I'm unsure if mentioning you want a career in the police would work for you or against you - if you had reasons for being ticketless, even if you were technically guilty of an offense that MIGHT persuade them to seek an administrative resolution, while if you were caught "bang to rights" fare evading they might think "should have known better if wants a career in the police" or "is this really who we want as someone who might get called as a police officer to assist our staff with a 'difficult' fare evader" ?

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Since the incident, I bought a ticket. I was asked do I have a valid ticket, and I replied no. Most other questions where about personal details. I was not asked why I didnt have one or if I would buy one.

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Buying a ticket after being caught doesn't help.

The offences are failing to produce a ticket on demand, or traveling without previously paid their fare and with intent to avoid the fare. Buying a ticket after being caught doesn't preclude either of these.

 

Still, if it goes to court and you are found guilty by plea or verdict, as well as the criminal record you'll face a fine, administrative costs and the cost of the fare, you'll at least be able to state "fare already paid".

 

I'm unsure if mentioning you want a career in the police would work for you or against you - if you had reasons for being ticketless, even if you were technically guilty of an offense that MIGHT persuade them to seek an administrative resolution, while if you were caught "bang to rights" fare evading they might think "should have known better if wants a career in the police" or "is this really who we want as someone who might get called as a police officer to assist our staff with a 'difficult' fare evader" ?

 

Are there reasons in mitigation for you not having a ticket that we can work into any reply when you get "the letter"?

Edited by BazzaS
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Whilst we do not need exact details, I think the very sketchy nature of the OPs posts thus far does make it difficult to make detailed suggestion as to how this might go.

 

I agree with firstclassx & Bazza, VT are pressing a hard line in many areas now (in common with other TOCs) and prosecution is a strong likelihood.

 

I understand BRIGADIER2JCS's advice that a 'penalty' may be offered, but travellers who fail to comply with National Railway Byelaws (2005) and other relevant legislations must not rely on being able to 'pay to avoid prosecution' in every case.

 

Hello there. Don't worry about a criminal record, you'll get a penalty to pay - it'll likely be of a higher sum than the ticket. If you wish to appeal there is a process - although you'll need a sufficient ground to do so.

 

The suggestion by sequenci that the OP should 'not worry, you'll get a penalty to pay' is not always the case. Penalty Fares do not apply on Virgin Trains and even where PFs are issued, NO rail company is ever obliged to accept or allow an administrative payment when an offence has been reported.

 

At their discretion a TOC may choose to do so, but it is not a general right that can be expected by any rail user.

 

 

Today I was stopped when I left the station without a ticket. I was travelling from Station A to Station B. I am 19 and am a student. The last thing I would want it a criminal record! I just have to wait for the letter now. What should I expect, and is there anything I can do in the mean time. Thanks

 

This says very little, it would be very helpful to have a little more information to help make suggestions as to what might benefit any OP.

 

For example;

 

Did the station from which you travelled have ticket issuing facilities?

Did you attempt to leave the station before being spoken to by the inspector?

Why didn't you approach on train staff and declare the journey?

Did you have means to pay the fare?

Did you have any ticket for any part of the journey?

Did you show any invalid ticket at all?

 

The best thing to do is wait until you receive a letter from the TOC, you will then have the unique reference that is allocated to your case and will know exactly who you need to address your written reply to in order to get it dealt with promptly by the office concerned.

 

As an example of needing to be sure of what is happening, it is sometimes dangerous to assume that any particular TOC is dealing with any matter.

 

Where there is only one rail operator using a station it will of course be that company who is dealing with any matter, but where more than one TOC use a particular station, each company may have inspectors checking at a station in combined teams, or one company only and all inspectors have authority to deal with & report travellers without tickets. Agreements between TOCs allow for this so you can see how important it is that you wait until the letter arrives.

 

Come back once you receive the letter and let us know exactly what is alleged and perhaps CAG users can offer you suggestions that may help

Edited by Old-CodJA
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The suggestion by sequenci that the OP should 'not worry, you'll get a penalty to pay' is not always the case. Penalty Fares do not apply on Virgin Trains and even where PFs are issued, NO rail company is ever obliged to accept or allow an administrative payment when an offence has been reported.

 

At their discretion a TOC may choose to do so, but it is not a general right that can be expected by any rail user.

 

Thanks for that, that's really interesting. I never knew that different firms had different policies. Would you be able to send me a PM with a bit of further info - so I can update my notes in this area; I would be really grateful.

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To be fair it used to be the rule of thumb that the first (and only the first) time a person was caught without a ticket they 'could' (depending very largely on their attitude with the RPI) be offered a settlement fee.

This was commonplace on FGW when they started taking RP seriously (well semi seriously anyway) in the mid 90's, however it doesn't surprise me one jot that TOCs are taking these matters much more seriously.

 

Ironically I remember suggesting that before ticket barriers were installed we ran a number of random blocks outside of stations away from the direct line of sight from incoming trains, it was like shooting fish in a barrel frankly.

 

ALL of those people had at least 3 places they could have bought a ticket and still they didn't.

Needless to say none of them got offered a settlement.

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To be fair it used to be the rule of thumb that the first (and only the first) time a person was caught without a ticket they 'could' (depending very largely on their attitude with the RPI) be offered a settlement fee.

This was commonplace on FGW when they started taking RP seriously (well semi seriously anyway) in the mid 90's, however it doesn't surprise me one jot that TOCs are taking these matters much more seriously.

 

Ironically I remember suggesting that before ticket barriers were installed we ran a number of random blocks outside of stations away from the direct line of sight from incoming trains, it was like shooting fish in a barrel frankly.

 

ALL of those people had at least 3 places they could have bought a ticket and still they didn't.

Needless to say none of them got offered a settlement.

 

I think the problem is people are starting to realise that they can still get rather good "value" from taking the risk and paying a settlement, compared to the cost amount of fares they are actually evading. So in certain problem areas, you have to occasionally take a zero tolerance approach, even if it's just temporary enough for word to get around.

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I think the problem is people are starting to realise that they can still get rather good "value" from taking the risk and paying a settlement, compared to the cost amount of fares they are actually evading. So in certain problem areas, you have to occasionally take a zero tolerance approach, even if it's just temporary enough for word to get around.

 

Exactly and this is precisely what is happening in many 'problem' areas at present.

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Have to agree, as fares get dearer it's relatively 'sensible' for the easily tempted to think it's a simple calculation of £ x so many days I DO get caught minus £ saved when I don't.

 

Frankly I was always a little more than suspicious when someone who purported to have spent 'thousands of pounds' in fares and how this was the only time in xxx years they'd ever been cautioned/caught without a ticket didn't have a season ticket or a good reason why they hadn't considered one.

 

Every single rail traveller who plays by the rules not because they have to, or even because they think they're getting VFM but because they know they should,- should realise when their tickets been checked umpteen times or they have to queue up for ticket barriers or the train is held up waiting for the police when some ticketless numpty is being an arse it is squarely the fault of those who make it a choice to steal their travel.

 

Talk to the general public about what does a fare dodger look like and 99% of the time they'll answer incorrectly:

Teenager

Scruffy tramp

Drunken lout

 

Not a bit of it: less than 1% tops in 15 years in my old job as a railway guard and RPI were they these stereotypes.

They were 99% the besuited indignant to be woken up 'forgotten where I got on', 'how dare you question me' 'I pay your wages' (ha flipping ha!) 'do you know who I am' type.

Always amusing to find someone sound asleep within 2 minutes (I kid you not) of sitting down: I know Harley street clinics who'd pay to know that secret!

 

The individuals that stand out don't fare dodge -why? because they stand out, pure & simple.

It's the ones who look the same as all other commuters who are the regular thieves and that's why a zero tolerance approach is the only surefire way of dealing with this.

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