Ticket dodgers out of pocket by £87k after riding Greater Anglia trains without paying
Ticket dodgers ended up over £87,000 out of pocket after they were caught by Greater Anglia ticket inspectors on the railway in Essex and Suffolk.
A total of 284 fare evaders were taken to court between Monday 22 January and Monday 5 February after they were caught taking the train with no money or cards on them to pay for tickets.
On Monday 22 January, Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard 144 cases and imposed fines of £22,715 and costs of £21,600.
The next day, Tuesday 23 January, 36 cases were taken to Ipswich Magistrates’ Court, where magistrates imposed fines of £6,995 and costs of £3,600.
On Monday 5 February, a further 92 cases were heard by Basildon Magistrates’ Court, resulting in fines of £15,920 and costs of £11,770. Meanwhile, Ipswich Magistrates’ Court dealt with 12 cases and imposed fines of £3,640 and £1,200 costs.
Offenders appearing before Basildon Magistrates, had been caught without a ticket or the means to pay for it on Greater Anglia trains on the Southend Victoria to London Liverpool Street line.
Ipswich magistrates dealt with fare dodgers who had tried to make journeys on Greater Anglia trains between Ipswich, Manningtree, Harwich, Colchester, Clacton and London Liverpool Street without tickets.
Revenue Protection Inspectors can choose either to issue penalty fares - if people are travelling with a wrong ticket such as an Oyster card beyond Shenfield, or in first class with a standard ticket - or start prosecution proceedings if the passenger had boarded the train with no intention of paying.
The company issues between 4,000 to 6,000 penalty fares a month and prosecutes between 500 to 700 people a month.
Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia Customer Service Director, said: “Money from tickets is invested in the railway. People refusing to pay for tickets could result in ticket prices going up for everyone.
“Our ticket inspectors regularly patrol our trains, some in uniform and some in plain clothes. At the end of the day, it’s much cheaper to buy a ticket than to end up in court with a fine and order to pay costs.”