Tuesday, June 18, 2024

C2C: Fare dodgers watch out as they are stepping up patrols

TRAIN operator c2c, which operates routes through Thurrock, has announced it is stepping up patrols to try and catch fare-dodgers.

It has has extended patrols across the routes served by stations at Stanford-le-Hope, East Tilbury, Tilbury, Grays, Purfleet, Chafford Hundred and Ockendon and uniformed and plain clothes officers from its revenue protection service will be deployed.

A statement from the company says: “Passengers may not be able to easily spot them, but it is certain that officers will spot those avoiding paying their way.”

The Italian-owned operator has already claimed more than £100,000 in prosecution payments taken this year on its London to South Essex rail routes,

Since the start of 2023, there have been 2,394 penalty fares and almost 500 people reported for potential prosecution. This totals 2,884 fare evaders, an average of 412 per month.

More than 350 people have gone through the court system in the past 12 months due to fare evasion on c2c services with every individual being found guilty.

Failure to supply a valid ticket for an entire journey may result in a hefty fine, as recent cases demonstrate.

An individual travelling without the correct tickets was recently fined £2,048 due to purchasing Basildon to Laindon tickets but was actually travelling to West Ham.

A couple who were short ticketing on their repeated journeys from Basildon to Laindon were fined after being stopped and questioned by Revenue Protection Officers at West Ham. The couple are having to pay back a total of £2,221 to the train operating company.

c2c’s Head of Revenue Security and Protection, Iain Palmer, added, “Fare evasion costs the rail industry millions of pounds a year. Everyone travelling by train must hold a valid ticket to travel – for the entire length of their journey – those who don’t risk a fine or potential prosecution and a criminal conviction.

“The impact of fare evasion is also felt by our fare paying customers. It’s not right for others not to pay for their travel, and I’m sure our customers do not want to sit next to someone who hasn’t paid for their full journey.

“Our teams of officers do a fantastic job in bringing those to book for evading their fares, and c2c will continue to tackle this problem. If you know of a fare evader and want to let us know, then please contact us via c2c’s Twitter direct messaging platform.”

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