Over a three-month period, Greater Anglia found that 1,032 people were found to be travelling on their network, with no intention of purchasing a ticket.
The fare dodgers were found travelling ticketless and with no plans to purchase between May and July this year on the Greater Anglia network, with main areas covering Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire.
Greater Anglia has taken action against the fare dodgers with courts ordering them to pay fines and also court costs, which add up to a huge £325,000.
Cases were handled by Single Justice Procedure courts in Reading and Hastings with Magistrates getting through 586 cases for the May to June period, which totalled a huge £110,901 in fines alone with £69,280 in court costs.
For the June and July period, 446 cases so far have been handled with fines already reaching £80,553 in fines and £63,505 in court costs, and there are still more people awaiting prosecution for this duration.
Court action is only taken when people board a train without a ticket and with no intention to purchase one. Before the pandemic, this worked out at around 500 to 700 people each month.
Penalty fares are handed out to hundreds of other people for using incorrect tickets to travel, these circumstances might include adults travelling on a child’s ticket or using a railcard discount when they have don’t carry the railcard.
Greater Anglia’s revenue protection team do use their discretion when tickets are inspected and are aware of out-of-order ticket machines, and also if a ticket office is closed and are always aware if the reasons are given for travelling without a ticket are genuine.
Uniformed Revenue Protection Inspectors are employed by Greater Anglia and also plain clothes Fraud Investigation Officers who use leading edge technology to discover fraudulent activity and are specialists in travel fraud such as delay repay fraud rings.
Kim Bucknell, head of revenue protection at Greater Anglia said: “Our revenue protection staff – both uniformed and plain clothes – are regularly going through our trains checking people’s tickets.
“Obviously most of our customers are travelling with the right ticket, but when we come across people without a ticket or with the wrong ticket, 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 – and it just ends up pushing up prices for our fare-paying customers.
“For every £1 spent on rail fares, 98p is invested in the railway. By not paying for a ticket, there’s less money available for investment to improve the railway for everyone.
“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.”
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