In the ten months since the beginning of this year, East Midlands Railway (EMR) has recovered more than £600,000 from fraudulent travellers either through fines or by taking fare evaders to court.
Between 1 January 1 and 13 November, East Midlands Railway revenue protection officers and staff onboard trains have issued 11,510 notices. East Midlands Railway has also pursued successful prosecutions of 2,033 fare evaders through the courts, resulting in a combined total of £684,667 that has been returned to the company, which has in turn helped to reduce costs for taxpayers.
Various reasons resulted in travellers being fined or prosecuted, which included travelling without a valid ticket, attempting to fraudulently travel using a child's ticket, and travelling beyond the destination stated on their ticket.
Travellers were only prosecuted through the courts if after travelling without a ticket they had refused to pay for their journey and the corresponding fine.
Earlier this year East Midlands Railway introduced new digital season tickets that have a barcode and are stored on customers' mobile phones, making it more difficult for potential fare evaders to attempt to travel without a valid ticket. They also help to prevent fare evasion by making it more difficult for fraudsters to take a screenshot and fraudulently share tickets.
East Midlands Railway has published details about its fare policies on its website, which can be accessed here.
Dave Meredith, Customer Services Director at East Midlands Railway, said: “The vast majority of our customers always buy a ticket, and understand that for the railway to successfully operate, improve, and secure investment, fares need to be paid for.
“Sadly though, there are a minority of determined people who think they can get away without buying a ticket.
“Simply put, fare evasion is a criminal offence, and our revenue protection teams and fraud team are working everyday to catch people trying to evade paying for their journey.”