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What Happens Next ?

I’ve been reported. What happens next?

The process that is followed after a traveller has been reported for travelling without a valid ticket:

Penalty Fares

The traveller will have paid a penalty or be given a numbered penalty fare notice stating how much must be paid. Payment must be made as advised or any appeal must be made in writing within 21 days to the address shown on the notice. If any appeal is upheld the liability will be cancelled. If the appeal is rejected this will be explained in writing and the claim re-stated. An Independent Penalty Fares Appeals Service (IPFAS) exists and may be able to resolve disputed issues.

Written report made by an inspector or other authorised rail staff:

The inspector’s report will be sent to the administration office, where it will be given a reference number and the detail of the incident assessed. The assessment considers whether sufficient evidence exists to proceed, whether pre-purchase facilities were available to the traveller, if any false details were given and if any previous record of a similar matter is on file concerning the person reported. A letter will be sent by the train operator or their appointed agents, allowing a set time in which the person who has been reported may give their version of events in writing. Any reply will be assessed against the evidence already reported and any necessary further investigation will be carried out. This may include the British Transport Police being asked to retrieve any CCTV footage from cameras at stations or on board trains, and retrieving evidence of the availability of ticket issuing facilities from rail company records. Self-service machines and booking offices are continuously monitored for availability to the travelling public. Where it is maintained that sufficient evidence does exist to warrant a prosecution, an application for the issue of a summons to answer the relevant charge will be made to a Magistrates’ Court. This will be within the prescribed timescale as laid down by the Courts and will be within 6 months of the date of the offence being detected. Where appropriate, the train operator or their appointed agents may agree to resolve the disputed issue by allowing payment of the fare and administration costs incurred by the rail company as an alternative to proceeding to Court action.