How many inspectors does it take to catch a fare dodger?

Ticket Inspectors at Blackheath Station

Well, let’s think…  One to check the tickets, and one to do the booking?

No, maybe one to check the tickets, one to do the booking, and one to grab the dodger?

Okay okay, two to check the tickets, one to book the dodger, and another one to hold him down…  So that’s four.

Maybe one more to chase them if they run off?  And a couple more to stand around looking officious…  Yes.  Seven ticket inspectors for the only exit at Blackheath station from the platform coming back from London.

And they wanted to see the photo after I’d taken it.  Probably to check that I captured their good sides.

I know they’re just doing their jobs, and really, that’s fine.  But you me and everybody else sweating on those miserable trains is paying £712 a week year for this.

It ain’t great.  They didn’t even reply to my email yet.

Presumably another seven people are looking into it as I type this.


Filed under blackheath

21 responses to “How many inspectors does it take to catch a fare dodger?

  1. Kate

    Hey, it could be worse – like at Brockley station where they have one inspector and therefore a one-at-a-time system in the evening rush hour …

  2. Maisie

    £712 a *week*?

    I would hope you get a private carriage for that amount! ;)

    I have to say when I complain to SET I usually get a pretty prompt (albeit useless) reply.

  3. Jo

    If this was taken yesterday then a couple of them were on my train home – they must have sent out for reinforcements a bit later!

    I wondered, given that the ticket collector stepped out of the door just before me, if he’d ask to see my ticket but I think I had a few minutes grace as he was just setting up.

    I’ve got a ticket of course but mine’s a slightly more horrifying £1,136 per year for the privilege of travelling across London.


  4. In reply to Andrew K Brown’s comment
    “How many inspectors does it take to catch a fare dodger?
    A lot, but another question is surely how many do they catch and do they pay for themselves or do they add to the £712 that the Bugle’s paying for the privelage of riding the sardine tin.”

    A rail enforcement officer earns £22k after 12 months:
    If seven of them were to be placed on every job, that would mean £154,000 per year. If you are allowed 4.8 weeks off for holidays, that makes 47.2 weeks in a year for working… So you would have to apply fines of £3262.71 per working week in order to break even. That’s £466.10 per day, or if we assume that each fine is £20, then 23.3 fines per 12 hour day. Or are my numbers way off?

  5. Fiona

    Hey, at least you have the privilege in getting off at Blackheath and not Eltham!

  6. You’re right, and I do really love living here… Don’t know anything about Eltham, I wouldn’t want to do it down…

  7. A Rail Enforcement Officer

    Ok Firstly a REO doesn’t get 22k he gets 26k (with 1k commission ontop of basic wage – the SE website is 3 years out of date). The people you see in that picture are NOT Railway Enforcement Officers but are Revenue Protection Officers – if you had bothered to read their cap badges or name badges.

    Secondly there are over 250,000 people travelling on SE trains at peak times, so each station will get HUNDREDS of passengers it will take at least 4 officers to check tickets at any one exit. Because believe it or not there are LOTS of passengers who don’t pay for their journey or buy (knowingly) the incorrect ticket (one stop but continue their journey). If I am at a busy station in a period of 3 -4 hours I can get over 15 passengers who have no ticket or the wrong ticket, so do the maths and you see there are hundreds of passengers who are committing FRAUD. These passengers are the ones you should be moaning at as its one of the main reasons for fare increases.

    I go out and deal with passengers (fare dodgers) who have no tickets, who are abusive (both to passengers and staff) I also deal with minor crime and issue railway byelaw infringements, I can issue fix Penalty notices and penalty fares I assist the RPO’s with their station blocks.

    So before you make a stupid comment take a breath and OPEN YOUR EYES, there is more to the world than your little commuter bubble – get up wash,eat, leave house, get coffee, get train, get off train, go to work etc, a lot of the commuters haven’t got a clue what goes on outside this routine they take every day. There is always one passenger who says “how many of you does it take to check tickets” – a lot more than YOU realise, take a look at a ticket – believe it or not people amend their tickets! (by cutting up other tickets and sticking the bits on their own – to extend the date or add new stations to the ticket) holding their fingers over the information, showing the ticket back to front or upside down etc……

    How many inspectors does it take to catch a fare dodger? more than the amount in the picture matey. –

    • rod james

      To a rail enforcement officer I would say that you act like parasites, patrolling trains sometimes with your really threatening looking plastic enforcement officers who do nothing but intimidate decent people. ASK YOURSELF A QUESTION MISTER RAIL ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. Why do you think so many people are fare dodging then???? does it has something to do with the fact that this country has the most ashamedly expensive rail fares anywhere in the western world? maybe, just maybe, that may be a pointer? if the fare was FAIR then nobody would evade or part buy, the railways of this country are the authors of their own misfortune, and for your hyper inflated salaries, personally I would like to see you on your hands and knees scrubbing the absolutely filthy floors with a toothbrush, we may all actually get value for money then. Fare dodgers are pushing up fares? what a lot of cobblers you do talk.

      • A Rail Enforcement Officer

        Mr James,
        I am not a parasite, I pay tax and my dues. I have even served my country for 14 years, you do dare to judge me based on your biased knowledge of railway enforcement officers and railway fares. This country does not have the most expensive rail fares in the western world, obviously you have not travelled anywhere in the western world as there are lots of countries that cost MUCH more than the UK to travel on trains.

        So tell me how £1.70 to travel 8 miles is expensive? err maybe not.

        Secondly if you dont like the prices then dont pay! simple but then I will catch you and send you to court for fraud and yes you will get a criminal record.

        Your argument has no bite to it and you sound like a criminal to me. My salary is not inflated either, it is adequate for London. Since our introduction in 2005 crime on the railway has dropped by 40% I deal with criminals almost every day either getting them arrested or reporting them for crimes. So if people like you had their way the railway would be a very bad place indeed.

        So I think you are another person who lives in a little bubble no different to that commuter one I mentioned before totally clueless to what is going one around you.

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  9. Brian Townley

    Great rant by the bloke, noticed the orignal poster hasnt botherd to responce. Good stuff and keep catching those fare dodgers, I have to pay 2,500 for my season ticket and I would gladly show it to a dozen RPO’s or REO’s a day. Get a life the people who are moaning, you idiots these blokes are protecting YOUR money. What a stupid comment to make. DUH

    • rod james

      To brian townley I would say that you are living in a dream world if you think that by erasing all fare dodgers youa are going to see your fares come down! huh! I so love that ! I think you need to wake up to reality lol!

  10. Stigy

    It looked like they were on some sort of special exercise or “block”…They do that occasioanlly you know…Soley to annoy most commuters, as we all know that the typical commuter at rush hour is an arrogant, obnoxious..person.

  11. rod james

    Cor! so now I have found the formula! To all of you fare evaders out there here is a personal message: As from today stop fare dodging and pay the extortionate fares just for a while, I know its gonna be hard for all of you but its going to benefit all of us because as you know once that all stops everybody overnight will see the cost of their journeys quite literally cut in half if not more! my word this is fantastic news! then after that we will no longer have to endure the daily ritual of tickets please!because there will be no jobs for them! and the Enforcement officers will find it hard also to fill their days and we wont have to endure the nuisance of them strolling up and down the carriages like some bloody gestapo officer without any real powers, dressed like coco the clown and trying to make you feel intimidated. Rail fares in this country are a disgrace but nobody ever addresses that problem do they! when did anyone ever remember rail fares coming down? Alice in wonderland some of these comments are.

  12. A Rail Enforcement Officer

    Oh and also what powers do you mean? I have all the power I need to conduct my job efficiently and professionally. I can eject you from our property so what more do I need? I can detail you if you commit a crime, I can issue you with a Fix Penalty Notice, I can report you under the railway by laws all of which are backed by the law and the courts. So what other powers do I need? xray vision or no hang on maybe super human strength like the hulk? oh no hang on that would just be a fantasy – a bit like your comments LOL

  13. rod james

    well get you mr plastic policeman, and I thank you for the geography lesson but I think I have travelled to more western/ eastern/ northern and southern countries in this world than you have hot dinners fella so do’nt talk to me like a fool save it for your naughty boys and girls on your choo choo’s. The fares are are disgusting and if you think otherwise take your blinkers off for a moment and read this. London victoria/ Gatwick airport £19 single! amsterdam (its in the netherlands) central station to schipol airport 3 euros 20 cents, (about £2.80 ! hmm ! only a very slight difference there and it is echoed in just about every european nation and do’nt even get me started on canada and the states.

  14. rod james

    And do’nt dare call me a criminal. your nazi talk does not scare me since I do’nt use trains in order to dodge fares in the first place I use my car its more comfortable and economic. OOOOH detail me please.

  15. rod james

    And finally if I do’nt like the prices and do’nt pay (Mr rail enforcement officer) the only way you will catch me is run down the A127 at 70 mph and tap on my car window, has your extensive training taught you to do that then? You may have noticed that I’m not even on your patch lol! do yourself a favour mate! look in the mirror and stop being an earhole, you have no powers, the power is in the uniform, all you are doing is animating it, and when you are surplus to requirements you will be thrown on the scrap heap like everyone else. Am i sounding too intelligent for you now ????

  16. adiewadie247

    A very amusing set of rants by Rod James. I am hoping that this is all tongue in cheek otherwise Rod maybe appearing on the Darwin Awards soon…

  17. A Rail Enforcement Officer

    Nice troll but hey I have a great life thanks.

  18. A Rail Enforcement Officer

    Oh and I must of hit a sore spot! good. Enjoy your daily drive into the office as no doubt in a few months you will be out of a job due the the backlash of the recession, guess I’ll still be here though…ah well Ill just suffer with my 3.5% pay rise this year..Lifes a bitch…..LOL