A traveller on an East Midlands Railway train who boasted about not paying for train journeys and shared tips for how to do it on TikTok has been caught and fined.
The fare dodger shared numerous videos on her social media account telling how she avoided paying for her train travel and encouraged her followers to do the same.
East Midlands Railway (EMR) and the British Transport Police collaborated in an investigation that led to her being successfully prosecuted under Regulation of Railways Act, fined £773, and receiving a criminal record.
Staff at East Midlands Railway's Derby station's was also recently caught when the team at the station's gate line alerted the railway's Fraud and Prosecutions team about a person who had claimed to be crossing over to the Pride Park entrance but had instead boarded a train.
Using CCTV records and other surveillance techniques, the customer's travel history was investigated and resulted in the person being stopped by the British Transport Police and £5,500 in unpaid fares. Being recovered.
Customers should be aware that if they travel on East Midlands without a valid ticket they can be fined £100 as well as having to pay the price of a single ticket. Anyone intending to travel can purchase tickets before they travel, either from a ticket office, a ticket machine, or online. If the ticket office is closed, they can either but their ticket at a ticket machine or online. Also, if customers are using pay as you go or a smartcard ticket, they should make sure to touch when they start their journey.
Dave Meredith, Customer Services Director at East Midlands Railway, said: “The vast majority of our customers always buy a ticket, and they understand that for the railway to successfully operate, improve, and secure investment, fares need to be paid for.
“However, there are some people who try and work the system and look for different ways to evade paying.
“Our revenue protection, fraud and security teams work both in uniform and plain clothes in order to monitor and catch fare evaders, whether they are travelling without a ticket, have a ticket for part of their journey or fraudulently travelling on a child's ticket.
“The impact of fare evasion is felt by our law-abiding fare paying customers and ultimately the taxpayer. It's indefensible for certain individuals to believe they're exempt from paying for our services, and as these cases show, our teams are across our network looking for people who think its ok to break the law.”
PC Lisa Scott-Savage, Investigating Officer for the British Transport Police, said: “We're extremely pleased with the result in this case, which highlights the price of evading fares – hefty fines and a criminal record.
“It is the legitimate fare paying passengers who end up bearing the brunt of the cost of the dishonest people who think they can get away without paying.”