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SWT oyster card ticket irregularities. Potential prosecution?


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Hi guys, I'm having an issue over my student oystercard usage.

 

I received an email on the 8th of November stating that i would need to interview at a southwest trains station with regard to "several incomplete journeys" with relation to my oystercard.

 

Admittedly there does appear to be instances, based on my oystercard transcript showing me tapping my oystercard in at one station and not tapping out.

 

I have never been approached by a ticket inspector etc without a valid ticket, and i have never intentionally travelled without a valid ticket.

 

My question is

can i be prosecuted based on my oyster card transcript alone,

I remember a couple of occasions were i have tapped in and not gone through because I instead decided to return home.

It is also possible someone else may have used my oystercard without my knowledge.

 

I have spoken to a lawyer who has spoken to the swt prosecutor and he has said there were gaps with no recorded oyster card validation or ticket purchase,

 

 

he also said if i did not attend the interview that he (the prosecutor) would apply for a consideration for prosecution under bye law 18.1.

 

thanks for your thoughts in advance.

 

First time posting so if this is the wrong place etc let me know and sorry!

Edited by dispraportionate
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As a ex worker for the company behind the oyster system... It's not 100 pc foolproof...

 

Question is in those circumstances where you didn't tap out, did you have a season ticket or were you charged full fare penalty etc?

 

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18.1 is not purchasing the correct ticket before boarding

 

 

you should not ignore the interview

and attend and be totally honest

I would also not muddy the waters with claiming your card may have been used by another person either.. don't hang youself.

 

 

there is obviously more to his than you are telling us

esp as you've already been to a lawyer and they've made representations for you already

 

 

so

time to come clean and refrain from hiding the true facts

else this could cost you your future employment prospects as as well as gaining you a criminal record.

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Agree, who used your oyster card?

 

It is far easier to come clean and give all the facts from the start, so you can get the best advice.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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It did occur to me:

a) how did the unathorized use occur by the other person who then returned the card in such a way the OP never noticed .....

b) how many times did the OP swipe their card, and at that instant decide to return home, not going through the gates..... they could have gone through the gates and then touched out!.

 

18.1 is not purchasing the correct ticket before boarding

 

 

you should not ignore the interview

and attend and be totally honest

I would also not muddy the waters with claiming your card may have been used by another person either.. don't hang youself.

 

 

there is obviously more to his than you are telling us

esp as you've already been to a lawyer and they've made representations for you already

 

 

so

time to come clean and refrain from hiding the true facts

else this could cost you your future employment prospects as as well as gaining you a criminal record.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking "this doesn't entirely have the 'ring of truth' ; there is more going on here".

 

OP, you will find lots of help here, but you may also find that if you merely want to practice your excuses to see which "fly' and which 'crash and burn' that you'll get a lot less help.

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Not trying to mislead anyone, but I was trying to highlight that from a oyster card transcript alone there surely isnt enough evidence to prove that I specifically was the one using it, idk.

 

My dad has gotten a lawyer involved because I dont want a criminal conviction as I'm sure you can all understand.

 

At my station there isn't a barrier, so you tap in and then walk onto the platform.

On a couple of occasions I tapped in and then realised I had forgotten something and returned home,

 

 

there was also an occasion where the train was cancelled after touching in so I decided to return home (I live a minute away).

 

 

On those occasions I'm 90% sure I didnt then use the train because I decided to stay at home, I then touched in again at hampton court, thinking I was touching out, which has led to "missing transactions" on my oyster card.

 

The more concerning thing to me is that I had a travel card during the year, living up in university and it appears to have led to me being incorrectly charged for my journeys home.

 

 

Which occurred throughout the year.

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Not trying to mislead anyone, but I was trying to highlight that from a oyster card transcript alone there surely isnt enough evidence to prove that I specifically was the one using it, idk.

 

True, but to highlight this just opens up them asking:

"OK, then, who else would be using your card?"

"With your permission or without"?

"If without, how did they manage to get your card, then return it without you knowing"

"Here is a list of journeys made using your card, please highlight which ones were you are sure were made by you, and any you are sure werent made by you"......

 

 

My dad has gotten a lawyer involved because I dont want a criminal conviction as I'm sure you can all understand.

 

At my station there isn't a barrier, so you tap in and then walk onto the platform. On a couple of occasions I tapped in and then realised I had forgotten something and returned home, there was also an occasion where the train was cancelled after touching in so I decided to return home (I live a minute away). On those occasions I'm 90% sure I didnt then use the train because I decided to stay at home, I then touched in again at hampton court, thinking I was touching out, which has led to "missing transactions" on my oyster card.

 

You talk of your home station, and also hampton court. Are they the same? If not, why did you not touch out at your home station when you changed your mind / had a cancelled train and decided to return home (after touching in) ......

 

The more concerning thing to me is that I had a travel card during the year, living up in university and it appears to have led to me being incorrectly charged for my journeys home. Which occurred throughout the year.

 

I'm not clear what you are concerned about here : being overcharged or undercharged, and how you feel the incorrect charge has arisen ....

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Hampton court is my home station (where my family lives).

We have a communal draw full of oysters so there's always that 1% chance one of them used it.

I'm not suggesting they did, we both know they didn't.

 

 

I am/was simply trying to get an answer as to whether an oyster card transcript is enough to prosecute someone given the various possibilities over its usage, I have yet to find a case where someone has not been stopped by a ticket officer.

 

 

For the missing transaction journeys from hampton court, I am genuinely at a loss as I am sure I did not use the trains.

 

On a separate note I am concerned that I have been undercharged by not using those pink touch in gate things (specifically at Wimbledon) and that consequently it will look like ticket avoidance, where i should have paid the maximum fare to go to hampton court.

 

 

On a couple of occasions I did not tap out at hampton court because the oyster reader I was going to use was broken.

 

 

I was not concerned at the time however as I thought i would simply be charged the maximum amount, which is less than what the journey would be with my student oyster.

 

 

Obviously I was wrong but they don't seem to want to ask me questions about that.

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Hampton court is my home station (where my family lives).

We have a communal draw full of oysters so there's always that 1% chance one of them used it.

I'm not suggesting they did, we both know they didn't.

 

Are the cards in the "communal drawer" still in the (different!) cases that identify the Oyster cards that attract a reduced fare?

 

I am/was simply trying to get an answer as to whether an oyster card transcript is enough to prosecute someone given the various possibilities over its usage, I have yet to find a case where someone has not been stopped by a ticket officer.

 

 

For the missing transaction journeys from hampton court, I am genuinely at a loss as I am sure I did not use the trains.

 

On a separate note I am concerned that I have been undercharged by not using those pink touch in gate things (specifically at Wimbledon) and that consequently it will look like ticket avoidance, where i should have paid the maximum fare to go to hampton court.

 

Surely the pink "route validator" works in the 'opposite direction', allowing you to show that your route wasn't by zone 1, allowing you to pay a lower fare if you use the pink validator?. So, not using it may mean you pay a higher fare ....., so not using the pink route validator can't lead to an offence, just that you might be paying more than necessary?

 

https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/oyster/using-oyster/pink-card-readers

http://www.oyster-rail.org.uk/wimbledon/

 

On a couple of occasions I did not tap out at hampton court because the oyster reader I was going to use was broken.

 

They'll be able to match the dates to the records of the broken reader ... although they may well ask if there was another reader you could reasonably have used instead ....

 

I was not concerned at the time however as I thought i would simply be charged the maximum amount, which is less than what the journey would be with my student oyster.

 

Maximum fare (which you'd also be charged if you touch in and out at the same station without waiting 2 minutes!)

https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/oyster/using-oyster/touching-in-and-out

is £8.80.

How come your student oyster fare from Hampton Court (Zone 6) is more than £8.80?

(Hampton Court to Amersham or Brentwood [zone 9] is less than £8.80

are you headed outside the Zonal area (in which case why are you using Oyster to do so?)

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How come your student oyster fare from Hampton Court (Zone 6) is more than £8.80?

(Hampton Court to Amersham or Brentwood [zone 9] is less than £8.80

are you headed outside the Zonal area (in which case why are you using Oyster to do so?)

 

Youre right i meant it should have been more to not touch out. But as i tapped in at a zone1/2 station it came to a total of zero.

 

Also the pink things would have notified tfl i was leaving the underground and that would have therefore let them know i was no longer in zone 1/2 hence it would have led to the maximum charge being applied if i didnt tap out.

Edited by dispraportionate
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Also the pink things would have notified tfl i was leaving the underground and that would have therefore let them know i was no longer in zone 1/2 hence it would have led to the maximum charge being applied if i didnt tap out.

 

But you get a maximum charge anyway if you don't tap out, having tapped in (at Hampton Court...... or later, in Zone 1/2)

How is using the route validator making you worse of?

 

No difference if you don't use the validator or don't tap out, fare calculated as the lower ("avoiding Zone 1") rate if use the validator and do tap out?

 

Either I'm not understanding you, or there is still more to this than you are letting on / telling us.

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But you get a maximum charge anyway if you don't tap out, having tapped in (at Hampton Court...... or later, in Zone 1/2)

How is using the route validator making you worse of?

 

No difference if you don't use the validator or don't tap out, fare calculated as the lower ("avoiding Zone 1") rate if use the validator and do tap out?

 

Either I'm not understanding you, or there is still more to this than you are letting on / telling us.

 

No that's everything (as far as I'm aware) but I think I wasn't charged because it registered the station entry through my oyster onto my travel card so my charge was £0. I had no idea this is how it worked until I saw the transcript.

 

I think this is seperate to the Hampton court 'incomplete jouneys' where I am sure I have done nothing wrong.

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No that's everything (as far as I'm aware) but I think I wasn't charged because it registered the station entry through my oyster onto my travel card so my charge was £0. I had no idea this is how it worked until I saw the transcript.

 

I think this is seperate to the Hampton court 'incomplete jouneys' where I am sure I have done nothing wrong.

 

Charge £0 : had you already reached the daily cap if on PAYG.

If on a season / travel card: for which zones?

Travelcard or season?.

Discounted? (e.g. Student)

 

If a student travelcard : even more reason to suggest not saying "someone else may have used it"!

 

Not trying to mislead anyone, but I was trying to highlight that from a oyster card transcript alone there surely isnt enough evidence to prove that I specifically was the one using it, idk.

 

Oyster card logs together with CCTV would show who was using it.

They'd have to have had concerns for a while to be collecting both, or have an unusually high proportion of "failed to touch out" to warrant that degree of attention from revenue protection.

 

Is the proposed interview an "interview under caution", and which dept. has sent you the letter: revenue protection?

 

Is the proposed interview an "interview under caution", and which dept. has sent you the letter: revenue protection?

 

Correction : email rather than letter.

 

I'm now wondering : are revenue protection now using email to communicate with possible offenders or is the fact that initial contact was by email a reassuring factor for the OP?

However, the OP mentions that the "SWT prosecutor" is already involved ......

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Hello there.

 

Do you mean your travelcard was from Hampton Court to zones 1-2? From a quick google, it looks as if Hampton Court is in zone 6?

 

I have another question please. Are most of the journeys on the card the same ones, like you going to work or whatever you did over the summer?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Just to clarify how rail operators and London Underground deals with potential cases like yours:

 

]The Oyster system automatically flags suspicious patterns up to the operators.

 

This is then monitored electronically for a bit longer to see if it is an ongoing problem.

 

Normally, plain clothes inspectors / fraud team then start to take an interest. If you board/alight at a certain time based on Oyster transaction records, they will likely hang about at the station around that time and see who is using it, and where you go etc. They can do this for a surprisingly long amount of time, without you noticing.

 

The rail operator then has seen enough and decides to call you in for an interview, but doesn't give too much away at this stage.

 

At the interview, you are given lots of opportunities to explain your side of the story. The operator probably will not tell you what they have been up to in the background, to see how honest you are.

 

At the end of the interview, or in a follow up letter, they may then let you know that they can prove you're lying, and will be prosecuting you for deliberate fare evasion or fraud, at which point you have absolutely no defence, and they have a formal statement with you lying to them.

 

 

There was a TV series called "The Tube" that had an episode on this, where London Underground fraud teams were monitoring unusual Oyster activity, and then dispatching plain clothes officers, before confronting the offenders with the evidence several weeks later.

 

Finally, if your Oyster Card has a discount on it, (student perhaps), or a season ticket, and somebody else has been using it, even accidentally, you are going to have to come clean.

 

It looks to me as though you are only touching IN/OUT within Zones 1-2, with the reality that you are travelling beyond those zones, meaning you are deliberately not touching out because you know your ticket is invalid.

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It looks to me as though you are only touching IN/OUT within Zones 1-2' date=' with the reality that you are travelling beyond those zones, meaning you are deliberately not touching out because you know your ticket is invalid.[/quote']

 

Bingo!

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At the interview, you are given lots of opportunities to explain your side of the story. The operator probably will not tell you what they have been up to in the background, to see how honest you are.

.......

 

Finally, if your Oyster Card has a discount on it, (student perhaps), or a season ticket, and somebody else has been using it, even accidentally, you are going to have to come clean.

 

It looks to me as though you are only touching IN/OUT within Zones 1-2, with the reality that you are travelling beyond those zones, meaning you are deliberately not touching out because you know your ticket is invalid.

 

Well, the OP said they'd touched in at Hampton Court for a number of the 'incomplete journey's (Zone 6).

They then say they have a Zone 1-2 travelcard.

 

OP : why do you only have a Zone 1-2 card?

Can you see why this looks suspicious if you have a Z1-2 travelcard and have been tapping in at Hampton Court and not tapping out?

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Youre right i meant it should have been more to not touch out. But as i tapped in at a zone1/2 station it came to a total of zero.

 

Also the pink things would have notified tfl i was leaving the underground and that would have therefore let them know i was no longer in zone 1/2 hence it would have led to the maximum charge being applied if i didnt tap out.

 

The op touches in/out within zone 1/2 covered by his travel card and then does not complete the journey getting a £0 charge.

Occasionally he has touched at Hampton court and because he's got a student card, the toc can access his address which is near Hampton court.

2+2...

Op lives near Hampton court, occasionally touches there (early morning?), but mainly he has uncompleted journeys within zone 1/2 which results in a cheaper fare.

That's why prosecution dpt have called him in.

They've probably found dozens of such journeys.

Pointless to deny this if presented with oyster journey record showing this.

And as suggested, avoid at all costs mentioning that someone else might have used the card.

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Sorry it was a letter the email was from the lawyer. Yes its an interview under caution and yeah its a student oystercard with a travelcard for zones 1-2 some of the affected period (summer).

 

3 days from OP's last post / last log-in.

 

My earlier post was:

OP, you will find lots of help here, but you may also find that if you merely want to practice your excuses to see which "fly' and which 'crash and burn' that you'll get a lot less help.

 

Who knew, eh?.

OP, if the tricky questions by the forum regulars (who aren't trained investigators) such as "why did you have a Zone 1-2 pass, and then 'incomplete' trips from touching in at a Zone 6 station?" arise from what you have posted, and then cause you difficulty in answering : I'd suggest an interview under caution by skilled / experienced revenue protection staff may not go well for you!.

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