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Revenue Protection Policy



  • Merseyrail is committed to reducing the level of revenue loss due to fare evasion.
  • Anti-Social behaviour towards our customers and members of staff is unacceptable; such behaviour can cause discomfort, distress and injury. Merseyrail will not tolerate any such behaviour.
  • Merseyrail complies with the National Rail Conditions of Carriage 2018.
  • This document outlines the policies and procedures of the Revenue Protection and Prosecution teams.
  • Merseyrail recognises that a conviction in the court is a serious matter which could have ramifications in both your personal and working life. Merseyrail will ensure that all the evidence and mitigating factors are investigated and considered before any such action is taken.
  • Merseyrail work in connection with the British Transport Police. If the offence is deemed very serious it may be passed to the British Transport Police to investigate and possibly prosecute.


Merseyrail Enforcement and loss of Revenue Policy

  • National Rail Conditions of Carriage, Section 1(a) Sub-section 1(b): Tickets remain the property of the relevant train company each is issued subject to the applicable byelaws
  • Fare evasion on Merseyrail is contrary to: Either the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, or the Railway Byelaws 2014.
  • Serious fraudulent practice, persisted fare evasion, the use or production of forged or counterfeit tickets or revenue fraud may be prosecuted in accordance with the Fraud Act 2006.
  • Assaults against Merseyrail staff or contracted staff employed by Merseyrail are an offence contrary to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Offences against the Persons Act 1861.


General Principles

  • Each case is unique and must be considered on its individual facts and merit.
  • Any decision to prosecute must be fair, independent and objective. They must not be based on any personal views about ethnic or national origin, disability, sex, religious beliefs, political views or sexual orientation of the offender, victim or witness.
  • Any decision to prosecute must not be affected by improper or undue pressure from any source.
  • Any decision to prosecute must be in the Public interest with a conviction a realistic outcome. However although there may be public interest factors involved in a particular case Merseyrail could proceed with the prosecution but put these factors before the court prior to sentencing.
  • Merseyrail will make every effort to adhere to the Data Protection Principles set out within the Data Protection Act 1998.


Enforceable Offences

  • Entering any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway without a valid ticket entitling travel.
  • Failing to hand over a ticket for inspection and verification when asked to do so by an authorised person
  • Travelling on the railway without previously paid the fare and with the intention to avoid payment.
  • Having failed to pay the fare, giving a false name and/or address to an authorised person.
  • Being a person liable to pay a penalty fare did fail, at the time, and in response to an authorised officer did give a false name and/or address.
  • Altered or counterfeit ticket(s) or knowingly using any ticket which has been altered / forged in any way.
  • Smoking or carrying any lighted item on any part of the railway.
  • Any person discovered by an authorised person to have their foot/feet on a train seat/seat structure.
  • Any person believed by an authorised person to be unfit to be on the railway due a state of intoxication.
  • Use of any threatening, abusive, obscene of offensive language on the railway.
  • Behaving in a disorderly, indecent or offensive manner on the railway.
  • Any other unacceptable behaviour such as Soiling any part of the railway, damaging or detaching any part of the railway, spitting, dropping litter, molesting or willfully interfering with the comfort or convenience of any person on the railway.
  • Any other travel offence in contravention of the Regulations of Railways Act 1889 or Railway Byelaws 2014.
  • Penalty fares in accordance with the Railways Act 2005 where the offender has failed to pay a penalty fare due within the requisite time scales.


The above list is not exhaustive and Merseyrail may prosecute other offences relevant or incidental to fare evasion and fraud, criminal damage, anti-social behaviour or assault on employees, outside of the list of offences set out in this policy.


Prosecution Criteria

Merseyrail regards the following as aggravating factors.

  • Previous conviction for similar offences.
  • Substantial revenue loss or offences persisting over a prolonged period of time.
  • Being previously warned for a similar offence.
  • Using abusive or threatening behaviour towards any person on the railway.
  • Any behaviour which is deemed to be anti-social and falls within the Railway bye-laws.



Decision to Prosecute

Merseyrail recognise that any court conviction is serious and may possibly be life changing, therefore the decision to prosecute will only be made after careful examination of all the evidence and mitigation Such a decision will be made subject to the satisfaction of the following criteria.

  • The evidence shows that a conviction is a realistic outcome.
  • Reliable evidence relating to the identification of an alleged offender.
  • Relevance and admissibility of the evidence available.
  • Reliable observational evidence of the alleged offender.
  • Reliability of any confession and admission, verbal or recorded in the authorised persons notes or report of ticket irregularities and byelaws offences statement.
  • Reliability of a Prosecution Witness.



  • Merseyrail’s Prosecution team in the event of any court proceedings will comply with the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 and the associated Code of Practice in the disclosure of prosecution materials.
  • Merseyrail’s Prosecution team will endeavour to preserve and retain all relevant evidence that may form part of the prosecution’s case.
  • Merseyrail will disclose any evidential material requested by a Defendant or their legal representative.


Policy Review

Merseyrail will review the policy periodically to reflect any changes in the law, regulations, Byelaws or internal policies.


Frequently Asked Questions

For any questions regarding penalty fares or prosecutions just take a look at the FAQ sections at the bottom of this page.


Contact Us

If you require further information please email our Prosecutions team on [email protected]