Zero Tolerance: c2c cracks down on fare evasion

02 August 2023

[2 August 2023] Trenitalia-owned train operator c2c is clamping down on fare evaders travelling on its London to South Essex rail route, with more than £100,000 in prosecution payments taken this year so far. 

The Revenue Protection team at c2c operates across the network,both in uniform and undercover, to catch those without a valid ticket for their journey. 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. More than 6,000 people are currently being dealt with for fare evasion by c2c’s Revenue Protection team; to-date this year this team has taken more than £100,000 in prosecution payments.

Fare or ticket evasion is travelling on public transport without paying the correct fare, whether deliberately or inadvertently. Fare evasion is a criminal offence and one may be prosecuted and if convicted, will receive a criminal record.

c2c has extended patrols across the route to catch people who repeatedly dodge paying for their journeys. The train operating company’s Revenue Protection and security staff work both in uniform and plain clothes in order to successfully do so. Passengers may not be able to easily spot them but it is certain that officers will spot those avoiding paying their way.

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 atWest 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, said, “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 Revenue Protection 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,” he added. 

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