East Anglia: Taking action to beat train fare-dodgers

RAIL operators and police said they were taking a robust stance on fare-dodgers after new figures revealed that just 19 people were caught in Suffolk and Norfolk last year.

New figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that only a handful of passengers were charged, cautioned, reprimanded or issued final warnings for fare evasion by British Transport Police (BTP) staff.

However, despite the low figures, officers and rail staff said they were not being complacent over people trying to avoid paying for their journeys.

Figures obtained from the British Transport Police show that 560 people were caught for fare dodging in 2011/12 in the London North area, which covers East Anglia.

However, only 19 of those cases were in Norfolk and Suffolk and 78 of those 560 incidents occurred on the Norwich-London Liverpool Street main line. In 2010/11, 24 people were caught for fare evasion and 97 on the Norwich-London line, according to the figures.

A BTP spokesman said it was down to the train operating companies to keep an eye out for fare dodgers.

“These figures show that received reports of fare evasion incidents at stations in the London North area are low. However, we are not complacent. We have officers who tackle crime and passenger safety issues on trains and at stations across Norfolk and Suffolk, and we will continue to work closely together with Greater Anglia to provide an increased visible deterrent for these matters,” he said.

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A Greater Anglia spokesman, which took over a short-term franchise in February, said they were making improvements.

“We take a robust stance in addressing issues of fare evasion and since operating the Greater Anglia we have increased by around 140 the number of revenue protection and making travel safe officers on our network.”

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