Ticket terror? Police security around Metrolink stops sees fare dodgers run scared as fines drop by 35%

Fare dodgers appear to have been frightened off ‘skipping’ the Metrolink as the number of fines issued at Bury station dropped by 35% this year.

The decline follows 137 days of dedicated Greater Manchester Police deployments over the last year to combat a spike in fines being issued during 2012-13.

A Freedom of Information request to the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) revealed that in 2010-11 the number of fines (also known as standard fares) issued stood at 226, with five fewer in 2011-12.

This number shot up to 339 in 2012-13.

However, the figure dropped to 221 – a 35% decrease – in the past year, which dedicated police deployments from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

The partnership with GMP aimed to tackle anti-social behaviour and fare evasion on the Metrolink network and TfGM insist those who want to evade fairs in the future should think again.

“We will catch you and you will face a fine or prosecution,” a TfGM spokesperson told MM. “Quite simply, don’t do it. Fare evasion is the same as stealing and can result in a criminal record.

“Fare dodgers are stealing from honest customers, because our fare paying customers effectively subsidise every journey made by a dodger.”

The organisation praised the help of GMP and insists the problem will continue to be minimised.

“It is [fare dodging] very high on the agenda and is something we take very seriously,” the spokesperson added.

“We’re confident that the measures we are taking are all the necessary measures to tackling fare evasion head on. But we remain vigilant and are always looking for new ways to crack down on fare dodging.

“All the money raised through fares goes back into the Metrolink network in some way: to operate it, maintain it or improve it.

“So fare dodging is self-defeating as it directly affects the amount we can do to improve the services people rely on.”

Those caught without a ticket must pay a £100 standard fare within 21 days, although it is reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

Image courtesy of Duncal Hill, with with thanks.

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