A persistent fare dodger who travelled without a valid ticket for nearly five years was asked to pay a hefty fine after being caught in West Ham.

East London and South Essex rail firm c2c revealed that a ticketless customer recently travelling from south Essex to London was ordered a penalty of £10k in historic unpaid fares dating back to 2019.

A c2c spokesperson said the passenger was told to present their rail ticket to a Revenue Protection Officer as part of a routine inspection.

The customer however was found to not have a valid ticket for full length of the journey they had just made.

Read More: c2c train timetable to see an increase in off-peak services

After further investigation, the spokesperson said, it came to light that the customer had been making this same trip for nearly five years.

Iain Palmer, c2c’s Head of Revenue Protection & Security highlighted that fare evasion, whether deliberately or inadvertently, is a criminal offence and those found guilty will be prosecuted by the operator.

He said: “We have recently increased the number of Revenue Protection officers patrolling our stations and trains, especially during the off-peak, and we now have more eyes and ears monitoring and closing in on customers who frequently travel without a valid ticket.” 

Working in partnership with the British Transport Police, c2c’s Revenue Protection and Security Teams are reportedly out on the route seven days a week – from first trains until last – to catch and apprehend fare dodgers.

During 2023, the rail company collected £315k in penalty fares and fines while £130k was received so far this year in its crackdown on the crime.

Iain continued: “Our work isn’t just about catching and issuing penalty fares to customers who travel without a ticket, the intelligence provided by our digital sales channels and ticket barriers also help us identify those using c2c services without a valid ticket for the entirety of their journey.”