Revenue Protection & Prosecutions Policy
- Greater Anglia is committed to reducing the level of revenue loss due to fare evasion.
- Anti-social behaviour towards our customers and members of staff is unacceptable; such behaviour can cause discomfort, distress and may be dangerous. Greater Anglia will not tolerate any such behaviour.
- Greater Anglia complies with the National Rail Conditions of Carriage 2012.
- This document outlines the policies and procedures of the Revenue Protection and Prosecution teams.
- Greater Anglia recognises that a conviction in the court is a serious matter which could have ramifications in both your personal and working life. Greater Anglia will ensure that all the evidence and mitigating factors are investigated and considered before any such action is considered.
- Greater Anglia works in connection with the British Transport Police. If the offence is deemed very serious it may be passed to the British Transport Police to investigate and possibly prosecution.
Greater Anglia Enforcement and loss of Revenue Policy
- National Rail Conditions of Carriage, Section 1(a) Sub-section 1(b): Tickets remain the property of the relevant train company each is issued subject to the applicable byelaws
- Fare evasion on Greater Anglia is contrary to: Either the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, or the Railway Byelaws 2005.
- Serious fraudulent practice, persisted fare evasion, the use or production of forged or counterfeit tickets or revenue fraud may be prosecuted in accordance with the Fraud Act 2006.
- Assaults against Greater Anglia staff or contracted staff employed by Greater Anglia are an offence contrary to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Offences against the Persons Act 1861.
- Each case is unique and must be considered on its individual facts and merit.
- Any decision to prosecute must be fair, independent and objective. They must not be based on any personal views about ethnic or national origin, disability, sex, religious beliefs, political views or sexual orientation of the offender, victim or witness.
- Any decision to prosecute must not be affected by improper or undue pressure from any source.
- Any decision to prosecute must be in the Public interest with a conviction a realistic outcome. However although there may be public interest factors involved in a particular case Greater Anglia could proceed with the prosecution but put these factors before the court prior to sentencing.
- Entering any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway without a valid ticket entitling travel.
- Failing to hand over a ticket for inspection and verification when asked to do so by an authorised person
- Travelling on the railway without previously paid the fare and with the intention to avoid payment.
- Having failed to pay the fare, giving a false name and/or address to an authorised person.
- Being a person liable to pay a penalty fare did fail, at the time, and in response to an authorised officer did give a false name and/or address.
- Travelling in part of a train where there is a notice indicates that is reserved for a specified ticket holder. E.g. travelling in a first class compartment with a standard ticket.
- Altered or counterfeit ticket(s) or knowingly using any ticket which has been altered / forged in any way.
- Smoking or carrying any lighted item on any part of the railway.
- Any person believed by an authorised person to be unfit to be on the railway due a state of intoxication.
- Use of any threatening, abusive, obscene of offensive language on the railway.
- Behaving in a disorderly, indecent or offensive manner on the railway.
- Any other unacceptable behaviour such as Soiling any part of the railway, damaging or detaching any part of the railway, spitting, dropping litter, molesting or wilfully interfering with the comfort or convenience of any person on the railway.
- Any other travel offence in contravention of the Regulations of Railways Act 1889 or Railway Byelaws 2005.
- Penalty fares in accordance with the Railways Act 2005 where the offender has failed to pay a penalty fare due within the requisite time scales.
The above list is not exhaustive and Greater Anglia may prosecute other offences relevant or incidental to fare evasion and fraud, criminal damage, or assault on employees, outside of the list of offences set out in this policy.
Greater Anglia regards the following as aggravating factors.
- Previous conviction for similar offences.
- Substantial revenue loss or offences persisting over a prolonged period of time.
- Being previously warned for a similar offence.
- When stopped and questioned failing to answer any reasonable question at the time.
- Using abusive or threatening behaviour towards any person on the railway.
- Any behaviour which is deemed to be anti social and fails within the Railway bye-laws.
Decision to Prosecute
Greater Anglia recognises that any court conviction is serious and may possibly be life changing, therefore the decision to prosecute will only be made after careful examination of all the evidence and mitigation. Such a decision will be made subject to the satisfaction of the following criteria.
- The evidence shows that a conviction is a realistic outcome.
- Reliable evidence relating to the identification of an alleged offender.
- Relevance and admissibility of the evidence available.
- Reliable observational evidence of the alleged offender.
- Reliability of any confession and admission, verbal or recorded in the authorised persons notes or report of ticket irregularities and byelaws offences statement.
- Reliability of a Prosecution Witness.
Greater Anglia’s policy is to prosecute fraudulent travel and Byelaw offences. However, in the interest of justice you may be contacted and asked to provide further mitigation or information before deciding to prosecute. You may be contacted by:
- Verification Letter: We may send a verification letter if you have no record of any similar offences, asking you to verify it was you travelling and to give any explanation of the incident involving the alleged offence with any additional mitigation.
- Warning Letter: We may send a warning letter in lieu of a prosecution when the following conditions are met.
- Admittance of the ticket irregularity or Byelaw offence.
- Exceptional mitigation or information is provided so that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute.
- The offender being of previous good character has provided sufficient explanation to the fact that no subsequent offence will be perpetrated.
- Telephone Call: If a telephone number was supplied either at the time of the offence or in reply to a verification letter, contact may be made to discuss exceptional circumstances.
- Greater Anglia’s Prosecution team, in the event of any court proceedings will comply with the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 and the associated Code of Practice in the disclosure of prosecution materials.
- Greater Anglia’s Prosecution team will endeavour to preserve and retain all relevant evidence that may form part of the prosecutions case.
- Greater Anglia’s will disclose any evidential material requested by a Defendant or their legal representative.
- Greater Anglia will review the policy periodically to reflect any changes in the law, regulations, Byelaws or internal policies.
- Greater Anglia will publish a copy of this policy on its official website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why was I not issued with a Penalty fare?
A. The authorised Person will establish all the facts before deciding what course of action to take, if they have any reason to believe that an offence has been committed they may caution you, a statement/report taken and the facts reported to the company.
Q. Last time I was stopped I was allowed to pay a £20 penalty fare, can I just pay the £20 this time?
A. If you have been issued a Penalty Fare previously it would be more likely that you will be cautioned and reported for the offence as a suspected persistent fare evader.
Q. It was not my intention to avoid my fare?
A. If you are charged under Railway Byelaw 18 (1), it is known as a strict liability offence. This means that the Prosecutor needs only to prove that you boarded the train without purchasing a valid ticket at the start of your journey and the proof of intention is not required.
Q. I have received a Verification letter regarding someone who is not me, what can I do?
A. You need to send proof of your identification to the address on the letter, along with any other evidence which will prove that it could not have been you. Your case will be reviewed accordingly
Q. If convicted will I get a criminal record.
A. If you are convicted under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 it is a criminal conviction. However if the case against you is proved under the Railway Byelaws 2005, this is a recorded conviction with the magistrates courts.
Q. I admit that my fare would have been avoided, is there anything I can do to stop this going to court?
A. Don’t wait until you have received a summons, in exceptional circumstances we may feel that in the interest of justice that we could resolve this matter without the need of court involvement.