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TfL implements increased penalty fares and body-worn cameras in London

Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled a series of measures aimed at combating fare evasion and protecting its staff.

TfL announced that is increasing the penalty fare for fare evaders from £80 to £100, following approval from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

This decision aligns with the Department for Transport’s move to raise penalty fares to £100 across National Rail services.

Fare evasion is a significant concern for TfL, not only because it constitutes a criminal offense but also because it deprives the agency of vital revenue needed for investment in public transport infrastructure.

In 2023 alone, TfL prosecuted 19,614 individuals for fare evasion, marking a substantial 56% increase compared to the previous year.

To further deter fare evasion and ensure the safety of its frontline staff, TfL has made body-worn video cameras mandatory equipment for all customer-facing personnel. These cameras have been proven to reduce the risk of assaults on staff, and their footage can serve as crucial evidence in legal proceedings.

In addition to tackling fare evasion, TfL is also cracking down on instances of staff abuse. Incidents of violence and aggression towards staff often stem from fare evasion confrontations. By implementing body-worn cameras and increasing penalty fares, TfL aims to create a safer environment for both passengers and employees.

The agency has also enhanced its capabilities for identifying and prosecuting habitual fare evaders through its irregular travel analysis platform (ITAP). This system analyzes ticketing and passenger data to detect patterns of fare evasion, allowing TfL to prioritize investigations and interventions.

Recent cases investigated by TfL highlight the extent of fare evasion and its impact on revenue. One passenger was found to have evaded fares on 193 occasions, totaling over £1,200 in unpaid fares. Another individual used a bank card with insufficient funds to pay fares, resulting in a court order to pay TfL £1,795.60.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “TfL relies on revenue from fares to be able to deliver the safe, clean and reliable public transport that Londoners deserve. Fare evasion deprives us of much needed revenue and so I welcome this tough new action from TfL to increase enforcement and ensure more fare evaders are brought to justice. Latest figures show real progress is being made, but I will continue to work with TfL and the British Transport Police to crack down on fare evasion, and build a better, safer and fairer London for everyone.”

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s Director of Security, Policing and Enforcement, said: “The overwhelming majority of our customers pay the correct fare, however a minority do attempt to travel without a valid ticket. Fare evasion is a criminal offence. Fare evasion robs Londoners of vital investment in a safe, frequent and reliable transport.

“Fare evasion impacts our customers and our staff, and can make public transport feel unsafe. Sadly, fare evasion is often a trigger for violence and aggression towards our colleagues. We strive to ensure that wherever possible it is fare evaders themselves, not fare or tax payers, pay the cost of fare evasion. As today’s data shows, anyone who fare evades will be caught and have to pay the consequences.”

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