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Please help! Ds and british transport police(54 Posts)
Yesterday DS (19) was travelling home from visiting his girlfriend.
According to him: He arrived at the train station in good time but the guard at the barrier would not let him on the train as he said his ticket was not valid without a code. DS showed him the online booking screenshot that showed he was booked on the train, his ticket and railcard thinking this was the code he wanted. The guard said thats not good enough. DS then got really upset and started swearing as he had no money in his account to buy a different ticket and his train had left. Other staff confirmed that DS had the right ticket but didnt want to get invloved. And then the original guard said that it didnt matter anymore because DS behaviour was unreasonable and said leave or I'll get the police. DS said yes please get the police as he thought they would help him with the ticket issue. He waited for the police with the guard for 20minutes. When they arrived they said they couldn't get invloved with ticketing disputes but interviewed DS for his behaviour. He had to give a statement and may be charged under byelaw 6. Which apparently can be a level 3 fine. he wont find out whats is happening for weeks. He has never been in trouble with the police before.
When he got home (we had to transfer money) I checked all his tickets. I think what happened was that he showed the guard the ticket, his rail card but did not show him the seat reservation and this is the code the guard was on about. It says on the ticket that its not valid without the seat reservation. It was all there in his wallet. He has a mild SEN that impacts his processing so the fact that he needed to show this may not have been obvious to him. And its clear that the guard did not explain to DS that it was this he needed to show.
DH has written a complaint to the train operator saying that he should of been let on the train as he had correct ticket and the guard only got the police when he realised that DS did in fact have a valid ticket to divert from his mistake.
DS is extremely stressed by it and so am as I am worring about the implications of a criminal record would have on his life. DS wants to email the police officer to apologise as he doesn't want this hanging over his head. DH is saying no to this as he believes that the guard is in the wrong.
What should we do for the best? DS definitely swore but he also had a valid ticket for the train he was not allowed on. Do you think apologising for swearing would make any difference?
Mountain and molehill spring to mind! Everywhere there are notices saying offensive language won't be tolerated. Next time he will know to show all parts.
Whether he had a valid ticket or not as soon as he started verbally abusing the guard it was only going to end one way.
You may get sympathy from the police when you show he has LD and wasn't being abusive.
In these times there will be extra checks and working to rule, better to explain and plan ahead.
I'm going against the flow here to say that the ridiculous situation regarding multiple tickets in GB would be enough to make a marine weep.
Of course he shouldn't have sworn, but it sounds like the guard was at the very best unhelpful and at worst obstructive. If your DS hadn't spoken English, or was elderly and confused, or his SEN was more obvious, good customer service would have been to help him properly.
I'd contact BTP tomorrow and try to find out the likelihood of this being escalated. I'm not sure there's any point in emailing the police to apologise as surely if any apologising is due it should be to the station guard, and I'm guessing at this point it's all out of his hands.
Thank you. Yes I agree to all and say he shouldn't have sworn. And he knows this too.
Also can anyone comment if he does get charged will this mean he has a criminal record?
DH has written a complaint to the train operator saying that he should of been let on the train as he had correct ticket and the guard only got the police when he realised that DS did in fact have a valid ticket to divert from his mistake
No he didn't. He threatened to call the police as a warning to your DS that his behaviour was unacceptable. Your DS then asked him to call the police (according to your explanation)
Does your DS have a diagnosis of SN and did he advise the guard if the SN are not obvious?
Yes he has a diagnosis. No he didnt say it to the guard. Yes he asked him to call the police as he thought they would sort it out.
Have the police been informed of diagnosis? If not, I would do so ASAP. Plus DS apologise. To police and to guard.
Was he interviewed under caution? Cause someone with SN interviewed under caution should only take place in the presence of an appropriate adult?
I think it is possibly a section 6 byelaw offence may not result in a record if it can be dealt with by paying a penalty. But this is not something I know much about.
You need advice- from a solicitor, or possibly CAB.
No I don't think it was under caution. I spoke to the police officer on the phone and he said he was taking statement now to see what happened and to decide what to do next. Caution not mentioned. I didn't really think about his SEN til after as I didn't really know what was going on. And it was only when he got home and I saw the tickets that I realised what probably happened re his confusion with tickets.
As above I don't think your husband's complaint is helpful.
Contact police and railway, explain about SN diagnosis, mention that your son was confused by being asked for a code - I would have been too- mention this but not as a complaint. Apologies from your son to everyone. Fingers crossed they decide not to proceed.
If they do proceed, get legal advice.
When something is difficult/scary/frustrating its easy enough for any us us to swear. With SN, esp if poor impulse control or empathy is involved, it can be hugely problematic. Just knowing it's not the right thing to do isn't always enough. Practising just keeping those words inside own head, and having ridiculous substitutes can sometimes help.eg ' oh, fish fiddle dee dee' is what we could say to people in uniform, but not swear words. Profound apologies if this reads as patronising or inappropriate. I just mean to convey that problems of swearing in front of police etc, when DS has SN, and ensuing troubles- not uncommon. Faced by many parents with SN DC.
Hope it ends well.
I don't think that a 19 year old grown man should have his dad to be the one to write to get him out of trouble, when he clearly was being abusing by swearing.
I agree with above but his point was that good customer service would of helped DS identify what he needed to show the guard. The guard was shown the booking email, the ticket, the rail card and the collection receipt. I have no idea why DS did not see the seat reservation in his wallet but had the guard said "look check in your wallet for something that looks like this" etc. then he may of found it. It was obvious to all that he had the correct ticket for the train. But he said code and therefore the only code DS new was the booking ref.
Yes he agrees he did wrong to swear!
My point is though, he is a grown man. He should learn by now to fight his own battles. He's not a child.
I might have sworn too if i was in this situation. It sounds quite frustrating.
The guard needs a lesson in good customer service. Why didnt he explain to your ds that he needed to see the seat reservation.
Please don't use "would of" in any letter. It's bad enough reading it online.
Sorry for the double. I wondered if the guard had had notice.
I'm a bit confused that he would have had to show the guard his seat reservation to get through the barriers? I've only ever had to show that on the train, the ticket should be enough to let him get through the barriers. Surely his booking reference would have shown the train he was booked on? The whole situation sounds very stressful and frustrating, theres no code on his seat reservation? If id been there I would have been very frustrated, the guard should surely be able to describe the seat reservation ticket. Whilst your DS was wrong to swear I can see why he would get upset and angry in that situation.
I think contacting the police about his SEN and I would get DS to write a complaint to the train company, not DH about the way the guard treated him.
On the ticket it says, only valid on booked train and only valid with reservation. It does not say the time of the train. This is what he showed him.
On seat reservation it says the time of the train and it has a code on it that matches a code on the ticket.
DS showed him the email confirmation which had the time of the train on it but that wasn't good enough.
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