Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Plumstead, Transport

Police launch operation at Plumstead station

Courtesy Greenwich police

British Transport Police carried out an operation at Plumstead station this evening working alongside Southeastern and the Met which saw the installing of metal arches and ticket checks.

The operation saw 97 people issued with a penalty fare and a further 26 summonsed to appear at Magistrates Court for fare evasion.

According to police, there were also “34 stop and searches for drug and weapon offences. Of those 4 are positive for drugs” with a metal detector used in the station building. Though a separate police account states 1 arrest and 5 reported.

A similar operation was carried out in Lewisham last week.

Courtesy @MPSGreenwich

It has long been suspected that fare evasion on the line is high, with the next station along at Abbey Wood seeing an increase of over 50 per cent in counted passenger numbers after barriers were installed and staffed from first-to-last train.

Having 123 people caught in one evening does suggest a problem – with the true number of passengers not being accurately counted and thus provision of carriages lagging behind actual usage and demand?

Liked it? Take a second to support fromthemurkydepths on Patreon!

17 Comments

  1. Jo

    Wow that’s a lot of people. TfL knew what they were on about when they proposed staffing each station and putting barriers in where possible.

    Imagine if 100+ are travelling each evening without a ticket at just ONE station (which is plausible as checks are rare) then the whole network must be losing huge sums each day let alone across a month and year.

    Gain that income = money for extra staff and a safer, cleaner, better network. It pays for itself and more.

    • Gina

      Minf: I do pay for all my travelling, good karma. BUT how SouthEastern are running their network in hte evening they allow ‘free travel’ (and they don’t care, as theyve overpriced the people every day by day so ‘actually laugh’ evil in the end

  2. Glenn

    You would think MET would be out arresting Proper Dangerous Criminals. But that might be a Bit Dangerous. A absolute joke , being as the Met are So short of Police on the Ground !,,

    • J Stedham

      Met or Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police are different Policing units Glenn.
      The BTP, British Transport Police were responsible for last nights crack down at Plumstead Station.
      Do try to read the article to educate yourself before being so outraged and presumptuous when ignorantly posting?

  3. CDT

    A very good job done by Southeastern, British Transport Police who were supported by the Metropolitan Police who all worked closely together on this operation.

    Fare evasion cost the train companies and fellow passengers hundreds of thousands of pounds each year as we have have to pick up the cost of lost revenue through fare evasion. by paying increased fares.

    Yes TFL take over all the stations on the Greenwich and Bexleyheath Lines and then install more barriers and fully staff stations from first to last trains 7 days a week.

    With so many schemes offering reduced or discounted fares is there really any need for fare evasion these days.

    I do except there are exceptional circumstances where a passenger may do it as a one off because they lost their wallet or purse containing their money and train tickets for example and just neeed to get home which can happen to anyone.

    • Charles Calthrop

      There are always those who will cheat and they are factored in as a loss upfront (the kind that wind up paying their fine off at £1 a week) . I’m willing to bet a lot of those caught at Plumstead were more law-abiding sorts risking the run, seeing it as a soft victimless crime alongside downloading videos of Game of Thrones. They see empty unmonitored stations month into year and begin calculating that the cost of the fine dwarfs the cost of paying for a ticket never monitored beyond the terminal stations. Once they’re caught, it’s usually enough to straighten them out again for a few years

      As long as the government remains committed to non-committal the train service will suffer and all we’ll do is clog the courts with people who had no interest in paying in the first place. Manned and barriered stations are indeed the only way forward.

  4. CDT

    Agreed Charles we do need all stations to have barriers and be better monitored and staffed 7 days week to monitor the barriers and platforms from first to last trains.

    This will also mean more staff will be on hand to provide assistance to disabled passengers. So if TFL do take over all the stations on the Greenwich and Bexlweyheath Lines this would be a good thing for passengers using these lines.

  5. Look. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. There is immense fare evasion on the line. As I’ve said umpteen times on this site, just go and look at Charlton, Woolwich Dockyard, Deptford and the like. Outside rush hours most (and I mean most) people wander through without tapping in or out.

    Yes, I know not all are fare evaders, but the vast majority are. This is NOT a victimless crime. We all pay, just not especially directly.

    And, sorry, but the ‘more law-abiding’ line does not work. What laws do you think it’s okay to ignore? Where does it stop? Who decides? Spot of shop-lifting anyone? Vandalise the Charlton Station garden? No victims there. They are laws. Pick and choose which ones you like and you’re on a very slippery slope.

    No. Staff the stations and learn from Abbey Wood. Also, people (especially the more vulnerable) feel a little safer when stations are staffed. How do you price that?

    • Mike

      Not tapping in and out doesn’t necessarily mean people are fare evaders. I have a season ticket and often can’t be bothered to tap out if the machines are crowded, or if I’m running to catch one of the rare trains that haven’t been cancelled!

      • Jo

        While true that not everyone failing to tap is an evader, it’s a little off when the vast majority of people don’t tap at some Southeastern stations on lines where no barriers is the norm. Go to another station and line in London where many more adjacent stations are gated and see how many people tap. Far more at ungated stations. As someone who used c2c and SWT in the past its clear as day that Southeastern is different.

        The only way of course to tell 100% is these operations.

    • Charles Calthrop

      Unfortunately this is a city where respect for the law operates on a sliding scale rather than a simple yes/no switch. In between those who play by the rules at all times and those who just like to get everything for free are the rest of us – the ordinary people. These are the ones who sometimes keep quiet if they find an unclaimed tenner in the street, may return a dress to Asos after the weekend (with no real intention of keeping it) or try their luck with a ‘free’ train ride. After all
      the only people hurt in these scenarios would be the ‘fatcat executives’ or ‘greedy shareholders’ (pick your rich faceless entity accordingly). Very few would dream of shoplifting from a struggling corner store but if Amazon mispriced the headphones you ordered, would you be immediately on the phone to ask them to charge you the rest? Even I would have to think about it

      Try this: drive strictly to the speed limit indicated on the roads and see how many other drivers honk at you.

  6. Jo

    Back of a fag packet maths. 123 people paying £20 fine = £2460 fines in one evening.

    A shame though it goes to Southeastern with a franchise on its last days and none will be reinvested into services. If TfL were in control all would go back into the system.

  7. Steve Day

    The stations should have their gates operating at all times like the tube..many stations in the evening keep these doors open encouraging fare evasion. It would surely pay for itself if a member of staff was in place to monitor the gates (if that was required).

    • Steve, the entrances/exits at many of the stations on this line are NEVER monitored. They are open at all times unless there is an operation similar to the one Murky has reported on.

  8. Plumstead Resident

    The ticket hall at Plumstead is often closed after the morning. Despite the website saying it’s supposed to be open until 19:30. They can’t even be bothered to keep it open to the agreed times. I go there to buy a long distance ticket on the day of travel and there is no one there to serve me.

    Agree that fare evasion in a problem and I wish there were staffed barriers at all stations that prevented free evader e.g. like at Woolwich DLR. I’m sure there is a business case to hire to hire a couple of staff to do this at each station.

  9. Mark

    Massive fare evasion problem at Woolwich Arsenal DLR station lots,of fare evaders walk through push the barriers open and gain access from that point on the system,the station has minimal staffing and no deterrent
    Lots of anti social behaviour in the surrounding area,a knife arch needs to be set up indide the DLR main station and there needs to be a operation there involving the met police and the BTP maybe CID also, plumstead and woolwich is becoming lawless “bandit country”

  10. malik S

    Absolutely Mark totally agree with you. Also more TFL Revenue Offficers and British Transport Police checking the buses more often too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Theme by Anders Norén