Forty fare dodgers have been ordered to pay over £14,000 in fines and costs after travelling on Greater Anglia trains without buying a ticket.
The fare dodgers were dealt with by a hearing of Essex Magistrates’ Court Single Justice Procedure session at Hastings on Friday 11 March.
Some 38 offenders were fined £220 each and ordered to pay costs of £150 each. A further two fare dodgers were fined £40 each, with £65 costs each.
All the people were caught riding Greater Anglia trains without a ticket and no means to buy a ticket or with a wrong ticket by the company’s Revenue Protection ticket inspectors.
The offences took place from 9 September to 13 October in 2021 for journeys on the Greater Anglia network in Essex.
Kim Bucknell, head of revenue protection at Greater Anglia, said: “We have a team of over 130 revenue protection staff – both uniformed and plain clothes – who regularly go through our trains checking people’s tickets.
“The majority of our customers are travelling with the right ticket, but when we come across people without a ticket or the wrong ticket, then we will take action.
“It’s easy to buy a ticket, either from a ticket office, ticket machine, online or via our app, so there is no excuse for travelling without a ticket.
“We have a range of great value fares and offers available – especially if you book in advance, and it’s cheaper to buy a ticket than pay a fine.
“The railway is now entirely funded by the Government and so ultimately taxpayers. By not buying a ticket, fares go up further for everyone and there is less money to invest in the railway.”
The Revenue Protection team can also issue passengers with penalty fares to be paid on the spot.
Greater Anglia’s revenue protection teams use their discretion when inspecting tickets.
They are informed if ticket machines are out of order or ticket offices closed, so when these are used as reasons, they know if they are genuine.
As well as uniformed revenue protection inspectors, Greater Anglia also employs plain clothes fraud investigations officers who use the latest technology and systems to detect fraudulent activity, specialising in travel fraud, such as delay repay fraud rings.
In 2021, fare dodgers and delay repay fraudsters paid over £4 million to Greater Anglia in fines from fare evasion and repayment for claiming compensation or refunds for journeys they didn’t make, including £1.79 million from prosecutions.
Listen to Kim Bucknell talking about the work of her team in this episode of Greater Anglia’s Life on Rails podcast https://omny.fm/shows/life-on-rails/how-to-test-trains-travel-for-less-and-write-poetr.
Photo credit: Greater Anglia