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Fare dodgers told to pay nearly £3m in fines and court costs last year

PUBLISHED: 15:08 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:08 12 February 2019

Fare dodgers have been ordered to pay £2.9m in fines and court costs for riding without a ticket on Great Anglia trains. Picture: Sonya Brown

Fare dodgers have been ordered to pay £2.9m in fines and court costs for riding without a ticket on Great Anglia trains. Picture: Sonya Brown

Archant

Nearly £2.9m in fines and court costs were handed out to fare dodgers last year after Greater Anglia prosecuted passengers caught without tickets.

More than 10,000 people were prosecuted by Greater Anglia last year for travelling without a ticket. Picture: Greater AngliaMore than 10,000 people were prosecuted by Greater Anglia last year for travelling without a ticket. Picture: Greater Anglia

In 2018 more than 10,000 people across the region were found on board Greater Anglia trains without tickets and brought before magistrates’ courts where fines of £1,203,974 and costs of £1,676,124 were imposed.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court only hears appeal cases and had just one in 2018, which was awarded £67.70 in costs. Most of the cases are held elsewhere in courts across Essex, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and London.

Greater Anglia’s commercial and customer service director, Martin Moran, said: “We will take action against people who travel without the correct ticket and will always prosecute people who have boarded our trains with no intention of paying for one.

“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.”

Only travellers who board a train without a ticket and without the intention of buying one are taken to court, which equates to around 500 to 700 people per month.

A further 4,000 to 6,000 people are given penalty fares for using the wrong ticket to travel, such as an adult travelling on a child’s ticket or using a railcard discount when they do not have a railcard.

The company’s revenue protection teams use discretion when inspecting tickets and are privy to information regarding ticket machines that are out of order or ticket offices that are closed, so will know if those using these excuses are genuine or false.

Greater Anglia also employs plain-clothed fraud investigation officers who use the latest technologies to detect fraudulent activities such as delay repay fraud.

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