Stopped by Ticket Inspector

Tomsik

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22 Feb 2021
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London
hello forums

so today morning I was travelling on south west trains Waterloo to Clapham Junction my station but my meanager change last minute destination and just call me 5 minutes before Clapham go to Byfleet & New Haw and I stay in that train and I forgot buy additional ticket from Clapham to Byfleet &New Haw....

I know this is completely my stupid mistake and I told officer can i but now that ticket but his said no . so the officer approached me and i gave all my details and was honest. he said that he has forwarded this to the rail people, and they will send me a letter.

i am really scared and do not want anything on my criminal record. I am more than willing to pay a fine but do not want anything on my record ,what am i going to find within the letter and what are the chances of me being prosecuted ?

thanks
Tomsik
 
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RailUK Forums

Fawkes Cat

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Welcome to the forum.

Try not to be scared. The worst that can happen is that the railway take you to court and you are convicted for not having the right ticket. If that happens, you will have to pay a fine (plus court costs, plus the cost of the ticket that you should have bought, plus prosecution costs). This will cost some hundreds of pounds, and may mean that you have to tell some organisations about your conviction. But you cannot be sent to prison for one offence of not paying a train fare. One point that I cannot advise on is whether this might have any impact on someone's immigration status (but I don't know if this is something that would matter to you).

But that's the very worst that could happen. What is much more likely to happen is that
- the railway (or possibly a company working for them - lots of railway companies subcontract this work to an organisation called Transport Investigations Ltd (TIL)) will write to you to make sure that they are talking to the right person and to find out your side of the story. My advice would be to reply to this letter explaining what happened, apologising for not having the right ticket, explaining that you now know that you should have had the right ticket for your whole journey before getting on the train, and offering to pay the train fare and any costs that have been incurred.
- the railway or TIL will then get back to you. If you are lucky they will allow you a chance to settle out of court by paying for the train fare and costs. This will come to maybe £200 or so (almost certainly less than you will have to pay if the matter goes to court) and you will have no criminal record. If you are not lucky, they may still want to take you to court. In which case, reply again, being apologetic and asking if you can settle things out of court - sometimes you have to be a little persistent to get a settlement agreed.
 

WesternLancer

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12 Apr 2019
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2,941
hello forums

so today morning I was travelling on south west trains Waterloo to Clapham Junction my station but my meanager change last minute destination and just call me 5 minutes before Clapham go to Byfleet & New Haw and I stay in that train and I forgot buy additional ticket from Clapham to Byfleet &New Haw....

I know this is completely my stupid mistake and I told officer can i but now that ticket but his said no . so the officer approached me and i gave all my details and was honest. he said that he has forwarded this to the rail people, and they will send me a letter.

i am really scared and do not want anything on my criminal record. I am more than willing to pay a fine but do not want anything on my record ,what am i going to find within the letter and what are the chances of me being prosecuted ?

thanks
Tomsik
Plenty of examples on other recent threads to help you get an idea of an answer to your question. Only difference would be if you have ever been stopped by this sort of thing before? You need to wait for a letter from them, so presume you gave an accurate postal address when you were stopped? It may be some weeks before they contact you. You MUST respond to that when you get it or very likely it would end up in court.

You will need to apologise and ask if they will consider settling the matter without recourse to court action. If so that may cost you in the region of £100 to £200 or a bit more at a guess.
 

Tomsik

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22 Feb 2021
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Location
London
Plenty of examples on other recent threads to help you get an idea of an answer to your question. Only difference would be if you have ever been stopped by this sort of thing before? You need to wait for a letter from them, so presume you gave an accurate postal address when you were stopped? It may be some weeks before they contact you. You MUST respond to that when you get it or very likely it would end up in court.

You will need to apologise and ask if they will consider settling the matter without recourse to court action. If so that may cost you in the region of £100 to £200 or a bit more at a guess.
Hi,

I never even missed buying any tickets, even today Waterloo to Clapham I buying 06:00am 20 before my train. I give all my details true.
I already apologise this officer about that situations.
 

SteveM70

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11 Jul 2018
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1,231
It might be worth trying to get evidence that backs up what you say, it might be useful mitigation later. Can you prove the time of the phone call? Can your boss put something in writing to confirm he asked you to change where you were going at very short notice?
 

Tomsik

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22 Feb 2021
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Location
London
Welcome to the forum.

Try not to be scared. The worst that can happen is that the railway take you to court and you are convicted for not having the right ticket. If that happens, you will have to pay a fine (plus court costs, plus the cost of the ticket that you should have bought, plus prosecution costs). This will cost some hundreds of pounds, and may mean that you have to tell some organisations about your conviction. But you cannot be sent to prison for one offence of not paying a train fare. One point that I cannot advise on is whether this might have any impact on someone's immigration status (but I don't know if this is something that would matter to you).

But that's the very worst that could happen. What is much more likely to happen is that
- the railway (or possibly a company working for them - lots of railway companies subcontract this work to an organisation called Transport Investigations Ltd (TIL)) will write to you to make sure that they are talking to the right person and to find out your side of the story. My advice would be to reply to this letter explaining what happened, apologising for not having the right ticket, explaining that you now know that you should have had the right ticket for your whole journey before getting on the train, and offering to pay the train fare and any costs that have been incurred.
- the railway or TIL will then get back to you. If you are lucky they will allow you a chance to settle out of court by paying for the train fare and costs. This will come to maybe £200 or so (almost certainly less than you will have to pay if the matter goes to court) and you will have no criminal record. If you are not lucky, they may still want to take you to court. In which case, reply again, being apologetic and asking if you can settle things out of court - sometimes you have to be a little persistent to get a settlement agreed.

One point that I cannot advise on is whether this might have any impact on someone's immigration status (but I don't know if this is something that would matter to you).
Yes I’m immigrants.
 

Islineclear3_1

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Do you normally work in Clapham Junction? Is this a regular journey you make?

Is this the first time your boss has called you at the last minute to go to a different workplace? If not, how have you travelled to Byfleet & New Haw previously?
 

30907

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You bought your ticket at about 06.00.
What time did your train leave Waterloo for Clapham Jn (there are lots of them even at that time!)?
About how long did you have to wait at Clapham Jn?
 

Fawkes Cat

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Yes I’m immigrants.
I understand that there are laws about who can give advice on immigration matters, so we can't give advice here. But you might want to have a look at https://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/settled-status/ ('Self help information on a wide range of issues that criminal convictions can affect: Settled status: what you need to know if you are an EU citizen and have a criminal record'). While you may not have or be applying for settled status (and you may have come from a country outside the EU) one paragraph might be helpful:

The vast majority of applicants with a criminal record should find their criminal record is not a barrier to settled or pre-settled status. That said, you may still be refused settled or pre-settled status because of the suitability criteria.

As I say, we're not able to give advice on the immigration issue. But if you are able to sort this out without it going to court, that will mean that there's no criminal record to worry about. So when the railway or TIL write to you, we might be able to help by looking over anything you want to send back to them, so that there's as good a chance as possible that they will agree to an out of court settlement. Just put what they are asking you for, and what you are thinking of telling them, in this thread, and there will be people here who can suggest whether you have got the wording as good as you can.
 

CrispyUK

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You bought your ticket at about 06.00.
What time did your train leave Waterloo for Clapham Jn (there are lots of them even at that time!)?
About how long did you have to wait at Clapham Jn?
The OP has stated they purchased their ticket 20 minutes before departure and stayed on the same train to Byfleet & New Haw, so sounds like they were on the 06:20 departure from Waterloo as that’s the only direct service around that time (05:32 and 07:20 being the preceding and following direct trains).
 

MotCO

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It might be worth trying to get evidence that backs up what you say, it might be useful mitigation later. Can you prove the time of the phone call? Can your boss put something in writing to confirm he asked you to change where you were going at very short notice?

I think this is good advice. You may need to take a screenshot of your phone proving when your manager phoned you.

The other thing to do now is write down everythng that happened this morning whilst it is still fresh in your mind. Over the next few days you may remember other points, so you can add to the note. You won't hear from the rail company or agent for a number of weeks, and your notes will help frame your response.

The sort of things to note are the times of the trains you were on, the sort of ticket you bought, how much it was etc. Next you need to recall as much of the converstion with the ticket inspector as possible - what you said, what questions were asked. Did you remain polite, or was there a heated discussion.

Also, did you provide the correct contact details, that is, an address where you can regularly receive your post?
 

dave4jackie

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one question you might get asked is why did you wait 20 mins for a train, you could have got the 06.03, 06.09 or the 06.12 train,
 

WesternLancer

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I don’t know how I go sleep tonight:(.
don't worry too much - plenty of help on this forum when you get contacted to explain what happened.
If you can't sleep do exactly what @MotCO says - save evidence from your phone of managers call, write up your notes of what happened from point of buying ticket for journey with approx times and reasons etc - so you have the notes to hand when you need them.
 

madjack

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In the interests of supporting the OP properly, I think we should assume that the change of destination is a red herring.

A paper ticket Waterloo-Clapham Junction is £3.70 single, £6.70 return - it would be cheaper with an Oystercard or debit card £3.10 single PAYG (even more so if the OP had to travel from somewhere to get to Waterloo) so if I were a revenue officer I would be suspicious of a paper ticket from the start.

Other posters have noted the timing issues.

This isn't to judge the OP, but to suggest that we don't encourage them to follow a line of defence that leads them into more trouble.

Edit: PAYG Waterloo-Clapham Junction would actually have been £2.60 as before 0630, so the OP would have lost £1.10 by buying a ticket at Waterloo.
 
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Tomsik

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You bought your ticket at about 06.00.
What time did your train leave Waterloo for Clapham Jn (there are lots of them even at that time!)?
About how long did you have to wait at Clapham Jn?
I buy that ticket when I was in the bus and my train was 06:20am.
I mostly time come to Clapham and another driver always tick up from there to my Depot .
But today that driver have day off and last minutes I need to go Byfleet & New Haw .
That inspector was old lady and I was very polite and helpful find my address but I was soo stressful what happened and I give wrong flat but is same house .
 

Flange Squeal

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That inspector was old lady and I was very polite and helpful find my address but I was soo stressful what happened and I give wrong flat but is same house .
Well in that case your neighbour will be getting the letters, so you'll have to hope they'll give you the mail rather than just put it in the bin or return it to sender. Obviously you'll then have to contact the people dealing with the case and explain why you 'accidentally' gave the wrong flat number as well as "forgot" to buy the additional ticket to your new destination (which happens to not have ticket barriers) in the first place.
 

AlterEgo

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hello forums

so today morning I was travelling on south west trains Waterloo to Clapham Junction my station but my meanager change last minute destination and just call me 5 minutes before Clapham go to Byfleet & New Haw and I stay in that train and I forgot buy additional ticket from Clapham to Byfleet &New Haw....

I know this is completely my stupid mistake and I told officer can i but now that ticket but his said no . so the officer approached me and i gave all my details and was honest. he said that he has forwarded this to the rail people, and they will send me a letter.

i am really scared and do not want anything on my criminal record. I am more than willing to pay a fine but do not want anything on my record ,what am i going to find within the letter and what are the chances of me being prosecuted ?

thanks
Tomsik
One of the things we probably should do to people who find themselves in this situation is to explain exactly why the railway will be suspicious of your behaviour and explain their case.

So far, we have:

- OP travelling to an unbarriered station where the fare is significantly more expensive than Clapham Junction
- OP buying a paper ticket (huge red flag) for Clapham Junction, the closest station on the route. Almost nobody buys paper tickets because they're a lot more expensive and the only real advantage to them is their ability to open gates without requiring a tap out at your destination to avoid a maximum fare
- OP giving the wrong address

That's a RORA offence of intent to avoid payment of the fare. If someone asked me to give them a classic example of someone avoiding the fare I'd say "someone buying a paper ticket to Clapham Junction and continuing on to an unbarriered station hoping not to get caught".

I recommend the OP contacts his neighbour (he will know which flat number he gave), retrieves the letter when it comes, and attempts to settle out of court. The story about the manager calling him isn't going to be helpful here as it's not a convincing one even if it is true. Just try to settle out of court.
 

TEW

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One of the things we probably should do to people who find themselves in this situation is to explain exactly why the railway will be suspicious of your behaviour and explain their case.

So far, we have:

- OP travelling to an unbarriered station where the fare is significantly more expensive than Clapham Junction
- OP buying a paper ticket (huge red flag) for Clapham Junction, the closest station on the route. Almost nobody buys paper tickets because they're a lot more expensive and the only real advantage to them is their ability to open gates without requiring a tap out at your destination to avoid a maximum fare
- OP giving the wrong address

That's a RORA offence of intent to avoid payment of the fare. If someone asked me to give them a classic example of someone avoiding the fare I'd say "someone buying a paper ticket to Clapham Junction and continuing on to an unbarriered station hoping not to get caught".

I recommend the OP contacts his neighbour (he will know which flat number he gave), retrieves the letter when it comes, and attempts to settle out of court. The story about the manager calling him isn't going to be helpful here as it's not a convincing one even if it is true. Just try to settle out of court.
Just to add, fare evasion at Byfleet & New Haw is absolutely rife, paticularly this kind of fare evasion, so the inspectors dealing with it were even more likely to be suspicious.
 

WesternLancer

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One of the things we probably should do to people who find themselves in this situation is to explain exactly why the railway will be suspicious of your behaviour and explain their case.

So far, we have:

- OP travelling to an unbarriered station where the fare is significantly more expensive than Clapham Junction
- OP buying a paper ticket (huge red flag) for Clapham Junction, the closest station on the route. Almost nobody buys paper tickets because they're a lot more expensive and the only real advantage to them is their ability to open gates without requiring a tap out at your destination to avoid a maximum fare
- OP giving the wrong address

That's a RORA offence of intent to avoid payment of the fare. If someone asked me to give them a classic example of someone avoiding the fare I'd say "someone buying a paper ticket to Clapham Junction and continuing on to an unbarriered station hoping not to get caught".

I recommend the OP contacts his neighbour (he will know which flat number he gave), retrieves the letter when it comes, and attempts to settle out of court. The story about the manager calling him isn't going to be helpful here as it's not a convincing one even if it is true. Just try to settle out of court.
These are points well made.

If the OP's manager asked him at short notice to proceed to another destination, and the OP wishes to use that point as part of their argument as to why they did not have a correct ticket beyond Clapham Jct, perhaps the manager could be asked to provide a short written supporting statement making it clear that that they phoned @Tomsik and what time they phoned. Being able to verify the time of the call - which must be in the OPs phone record, would also be of help to detail / screen shot as supporting evidence. Of course one would expect this time to have been very shortly before or soon after the train departed Waterloo if it is to be of any use to the OP.

It might be simpler for the OP to just offer an genuine apology, a request for a settlement that does not involve court, and a promise not to do this sort of thing again.
 

MotCO

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- OP buying a paper ticket (huge red flag) for Clapham Junction, the closest station on the route.

What is the OP's usual commute? If it is Waterloo to Clapham Junction, then I'd agree it is strange. If the OP was travelling, say, to a client, then it would not be strange to buy a paper ticket, although most(?) people would have an Oyster ticket of some sort.

- OP travelling to an unbarriered station where the fare is significantly more expensive than Clapham Junction
... coupled with the fact that the OP may have let a few trains to Clapham Juction go before he decided to catch the 06.20, which just so happened to also call at New Haw where his manager asked him to go to, unless ...

I buy that ticket when I was in the bus and my train was 06:20am.

...did you buy a ticket whilst on the bus, to pick up from a machine at Waterloo, and the ticket booked you on the 06.20?

P.S. Did you use Oyster on the bus, or do you have a bus pass since I think you may be a bus driver? If you used an Oyster on the bus, then why did you not use it on the train?

[To the OP: I'm not trying to be difficult, just that these are the sort of questions the railway company may well ask, so you need to fill in the gaps.]
 

RunawayTrain

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One of the things we probably should do to people who find themselves in this situation is to explain exactly why the railway will be suspicious of your behaviour and explain their case.

So far, we have:

- OP travelling to an unbarriered station where the fare is significantly more expensive than Clapham Junction
- OP buying a paper ticket (huge red flag) for Clapham Junction, the closest station on the route. Almost nobody buys paper tickets because they're a lot more expensive and the only real advantage to them is their ability to open gates without requiring a tap out at your destination to avoid a maximum fare
- OP giving the wrong address

That's a RORA offence of intent to avoid payment of the fare. If someone asked me to give them a classic example of someone avoiding the fare I'd say "someone buying a paper ticket to Clapham Junction and continuing on to an unbarriered station hoping not to get caught".

I recommend the OP contacts his neighbour (he will know which flat number he gave), retrieves the letter when it comes, and attempts to settle out of court. The story about the manager calling him isn't going to be helpful here as it's not a convincing one even if it is true. Just try to settle out of court.

Worth adding that there appear to be 6 services from Waterloo to Clapham Junction between 6 and 620am, only one of which goes on to call at Byfleet and New Haw. It could be just a coincidence (1/6 chance that he boarded the right train) but it is another coincidence that doesn't point in his favour.

Edited to add: just noticed MotCO has just made the same point. Although this goes to show that others are likely to spot it too.
 
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SouthernOne

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The Amazon warehouse is close to Byfleet & New Haw station. At certain times of the day, you wouldn’t think we were in the middle of a pandemic! The station is chaos! It wouldn’t surprise me, if that Station becomes gated before long!
 

theironroad

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Just to add, fare evasion at Byfleet & New Haw is absolutely rife, paticularly this kind of fare evasion, so the inspectors dealing with it were even more likely to be suspicious.
+1
The Amazon warehouse is close to Byfleet & New Haw station. At certain times of the day, you wouldn’t think we were in the middle of a pandemic! The station is chaos! It wouldn’t surprise me, if that Station becomes gated before long!

Let's just say that SWR are very aware of the issues at Byfleet and aren't ignoring them!
 

30907

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The OP has stated they purchased their ticket 20 minutes before departure and stayed on the same train to Byfleet & New Haw, so sounds like they were on the 06:20 departure from Waterloo as that’s the only direct service around that time (05:32 and 07:20 being the preceding and following direct trains).
Sorry, I missed that.
Worth adding that there appear to be 6 services from Waterloo to Clapham Junction between 6 and 620am, only one of which goes on to call at Byfleet and New Haw. It could be just a coincidence (1/6 chance that he boarded the right train) but it is another coincidence that doesn't point in his favour.
Trying to find a non-coincidental explanation:
I assume the OP bought a ticket on an app. Do such tickets name a specific train automatically? In which case it might have named the 0620 (x minutes from purchase) and the OP might have thought they had to wait for it?
 

Haywain

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If the OP's manager asked him at short notice to proceed to another destination, and the OP wishes to use that point as part of their argument as to why they did not have a correct ticket beyond Clapham Jct

just that these are the sort of questions the railway company may well ask,
I think the idea that any train company is interested in convoluted explanations is rather unrealistic. They just want to close the matter having recovered the fare and costs along with some reassurance that the offender understands what they should have done and feels some regret.

It might be simpler for the OP to just offer an genuine apology, a request for a settlement that does not involve court, and a promise not to do this sort of thing again.
This is a much more sensible suggestion.
 

theironroad

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These are points well made.

If the OP's manager asked him at short notice to proceed to another destination, and the OP wishes to use that point as part of their argument as to why they did not have a correct ticket beyond Clapham Jct, perhaps the manager could be asked to provide a short written supporting statement making it clear that that they phoned @Tomsik and what time they phoned. Being able to verify the time of the call - which must be in the OPs phone record, would also be of help to detail / screen shot as supporting evidence. Of course one would expect this time to have been very shortly before or soon after the train departed Waterloo if it is to be of any use to the OP.

It might be simpler for the OP to just offer an genuine apology, a request for a settlement that does not involve court, and a promise not to do this sort of thing again.

I'd suggest that the only part of the final sentence that most TOCs would be interested in after catching someone without a ticket is a settlement (whether involving a court or not) that is punitive enough to stop the person doing it again and having a valid ticket next time they travel.

"Genuine apology" and "promise not to..." add up to nothing in revenue protection books as they aren't worth uttering. Revenue protection officers on the frontline and in the back office processing evasion have literally heard every excuse in the book, heard stories of woe and then also endure being verbally and physically assaulted for the temerity of asking someone for a ticket.

I don't know whether we will hear anymore from the OP or the outcome, but in this case I think the chances of success in avoiding action are slight.
 

WesternLancer

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I'd suggest that the only part of the final sentence that most TOCs would be interested in after catching someone without a ticket is a settlement (whether involving a court or not) that is punitive enough to stop the person doing it again and having a valid ticket next time they travel.

"Genuine apology" and "promise not to..." add up to nothing in revenue protection books as they aren't worth uttering. Revenue protection officers on the frontline and in the back office processing evasion have literally heard every excuse in the book, heard stories of woe and then also endure being verbally and physically assaulted for the temerity of asking someone for a ticket.

I don't know whether we will hear anymore from the OP or the outcome, but in this case I think the chances of success in avoiding action are slight.
Indeed. I tend to agree. But the OP asked what they can do about the circs they are in and the advice is given accordingly. All they can do is pretty much what has been suggested. As to whether it will work as a way of avoiding court is another question....
 

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