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Unread 15-12-2013, 20:01   #1
Destructix
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Default Inspection blitz uncovers widespread free travel pass fraud

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Iarnród Éireann and the Department of Social Protection say they have uncovered widespread fraud in the use of free travel passes issued by the Department in an ongoing inspection blitz launched last weekend.
"Many holders were found to be travelling on out of date passes including one woman who was travelling on a pass that was out of date since 2007", a joint statement said.
"Many others were found to be travelling on a pass that was issued to somebody else", it added.
Passes being used fraudulently were confiscated with fines of up to €100.
Over 50 inspectors were involved in the 7 December blitz checking passes on Cork Commuter lines and services between Athlone-Galway, Mullingar-Dublin and Limerick Junction-Ennis.
Exit checks were also carried out at Connolly, Pearse, Tara Street, and Heuston stations in Dublin.
Iarnród Éireann says more blitzes are planned.
The company says it has allocated extra resources to tackle fare evasion and fraudulent use of free travel passes.
http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/1215/493...-travel-blitz/
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Unread 16-12-2013, 00:28   #2
Jamie2k9
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http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakin...wn-617225.html

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More than 300 were taken away for verification.
If that number is correct its crazy how they left it so long.
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Unread 16-12-2013, 08:10   #3
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A fine of only €100 makes it worth taking the risk.
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Unread 16-12-2013, 09:22   #4
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A fine of only €100 makes it worth taking the risk.
I think it's likely down to the relative lack of checks. If you're unlikely to be caught, the fine is irrelevant.
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Unread 16-12-2013, 16:52   #5
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Long overdue. Have seen people show those passes and blatantly sniggering at IR's stupidity after the inspector moves on.

I did see a woman use her mothers pass and it was confiscated but she was blatantly arguing with the checker that it was her pass until he left the scene. Then she just laughed and said to her travelling partner something like ah well we got away with for a good long spell. Brazen!

People with valid tickets get checked more frequently.
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Unread 16-12-2013, 17:26   #6
James Howard
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I wonder what the consequences for a valid pass-holder who has loaned their pass to somebody else would be. Hopefully a good long spell without a pass is in order unless it has been reported stolen.

The fines for abusing a free-travel pass should be a lot higher given how easy it is to get away with it. The present 100 euro fine is nowhere near high enough to be an adequate deterrent.
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Unread 16-12-2013, 18:51   #7
Mark Gleeson
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Case by case basis, fake passes are likely to be prosecuted under social welfare fraud, 3000 euro fine/jail time.

I doubt Irish Rail are really worried about the criminal proceedings outcome, its a case of get as many passes out of circulation as fast as possible.

From a legal point of view, hard data on pass misuse will allow stricter checks at point of ticket purchases. This is currently a problem due ruling from the equality tribunal that there was insufficient proof of misuse to justify checks that went beyond those of normal ticket holders.

Leap enabled passes will arrive shortly so cardboard is on the way out.

It goes without saying if you know or can identify someone using a fake pass or misusing a valid one, call the DSFA and report them.
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Unread 17-12-2013, 00:49   #8
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Out of the 300 taken away for verification a small number of these passes I imagine will no doubt be genuine and valid. Will these people be compensated by Iarnród Éireann and the DSP?
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Unread 17-12-2013, 09:32   #9
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Originally Posted by markpb View Post
I think it's likely down to the relative lack of checks. If you're unlikely to be caught, the fine is irrelevant.
It's a combination of the two.

If there were very few checks, but a fine of €10,000, there wouldn't be much evasion.

If there were loads of checks and a relatively low fine, it would have the same effect.

The second is probably preferable as you don't unduly punish people who have made a genuine mistake like losing their ticket. However, it requires more resources be invested.
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Unread 17-12-2013, 11:45   #10
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It's a combination of the two.

If there were very few checks, but a fine of €10,000, there wouldn't be much evasion.

If there were loads of checks and a relatively low fine, it would have the same effect.

The second is probably preferable as you don't unduly punish people who have made a genuine mistake like losing their ticket. However, it requires more resources be invested.
It is about striking a balance. The most honest 10% will go to extraordinary measures to pay. Most people will normally buy a ticket. The least honest 5% will go to extraordinary measures to not pay - it can cost money to make some of these people to pay. It is about chasing the middle group, in particular the last 5-20%.
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Unread 17-12-2013, 14:17   #11
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There would be no reason why they couldn't keep the current 100 euro fine for those who had a commuter or free pass but forgot it and produced later but have a 500 euro fine for those who were really fare dodging.

It isn't difficult to have your pass to hand. I've done something like 2,000 return journeys and forgotten my pass precisely once due to taking the wrong jacket. In that case, the ticket collector knew me from seeing me every day and gave me a ticket to get out of Connolly.
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Unread 17-12-2013, 14:36   #12
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There is no obligation to offer the 100 penalty fare, they can go direct to the court summons if they like,

1000 euro/3 months in jail

Equally where the issue involves a DSFA pass, the case can be handed over to the DSFA who can prosecute as social welfare fraud and audit the persons social welfare history and payments.

IE/DB/BE/Luas now have access to a DSFA hotline to validate passes, so any pass retained is more than likely to have been done so where the DSFA have indicated to do so.

In many cases its fairly easy to retain a pass, trainers, tracksuit, blue pass don't mix...

It won't be long before ALL DSFA passholders will be required to tag on/off if they have the new pass.
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Unread 18-12-2013, 09:43   #13
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Originally Posted by Destructix View Post
Out of the 300 taken away for verification a small number of these passes I imagine will no doubt be genuine and valid. Will these people be compensated by Iarnród Éireann and the DSP?
I understand that the verification is done over the phone on the spot and in the event everything checked out the pass is handed back with an apology. Further compensation would not be relevant.
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Unread 03-01-2014, 03:21   #14
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Kinda off topic but one of my friends has a free travel pass and she needs to go to Belfast to get a crown on her tooth. Is the free travel pass accepted on The Enterprise and if it is I assume they will give her one ticket Limerick-Belfast return?
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Unread 03-01-2014, 09:00   #15
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Ticket to Dublin and separate ticket to Belfast, an application form has to be completed at Connolly for cross border travel as the Northern Irish authorities demand a full audit of journeys taken
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Unread 03-01-2014, 21:42   #16
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There's normally a supply of those application forms in the leaflet rack on the concourse at Connolly (and/or at the information desk beside the doors) for customers to fill in and hand-in. White form with blue header I think.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 13:52   #17
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Had my first experience of the new 'in your face' style ticket checkers last night. I appreciate it's a dirty job that someone has to do and it's great that chancers are going to suffer at last but the guy checking around me was just a little bit obnoxious and condescending to several people.

I know if he spoke to me the way he spoke to a student a few seats back and also 2 'children' . I would have been very annoyed.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 14:08   #18
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If this was the 1905 to Sligo, then I saw the same blokes. I had headphones on so didn't hear what was going on around me but there were polite enough (but assertive) to me. They seemed very diligent in checking the details on the student car of the girl sitting opposite. I'm happy to see more of this given that I pay my way and would have to pay less if everyone else does. It is quite absurd how rarely this happens given the amount of fare-dodging going on.

Rather disgustingly, some scumbag left a little souvenir in the accessible toilet - I wonder if this was in reaction to getting nabbed by the RPU guys.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 15:10   #19
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Yes it was the 19.05 Sligo train alright.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 16:25   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AD11 View Post
Had my first experience of the new 'in your face' style ticket checkers last night. I appreciate it's a dirty job that someone has to do and it's great that chancers are going to suffer at last but the guy checking around me was just a little bit obnoxious and condescending to several people.

I know if he spoke to me the way he spoke to a student a few seats back and also 2 'children' . I would have been very annoyed.
Was the ticket checker rude or what - no call for that if that was the case, people deserve to be treated with respect, especially those who have valid tickets.
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