Fare evasion and penalty fares at Harrow & Wealdstone Station
Request ID: FOI-0007-2324 Date published: 17 April 2023
Can you please provide the figures for the number of people who have been prosecuted for evading their fare at Harrow & Wealdstone Underground and Overground Station in 2021 and 2022.
Can you also please provide the figures on the number of people who have been charged a penalty fare at Harrow & Wealdstone Station in 2021 and 2022.
Our ref: FOI-0007-2324/GH
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 1 April 2023 asking for information about fare evasion and penalty fares at Harrow & Wealdstone Station.
Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy.
I can confirm that we hold the information you require. However, the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure under section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act, which can apply where release of information would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime, or to prejudice the apprehension or prosecution of offenders. This is because the release of this information (or similar information in relation to other areas) would reveal locations where enforcement activity is less likely to be implemented and may therefore encourage people who wish to evade paying the correct fare. Whilst you have focussed your request to only one station, we must consider the mosaic effect, if we were to receive similar requests for other stations, whereby the information could be used to compile a more comprehensive picture across our network. Whilst we make no suggestion that you would use this information for anything other than your own interest, the disclosure of information under FOI is regarded as a disclosure to the public at large.
The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the ‘public interest test’ to determine whether the greater public interest rests in the exemption applying and the information being withheld, or in releasing it in any event. We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities and the fact that you have requested the information is in itself an argument for release. However, in this instance we feel that balance of public interest lies in favour of withholding the information to ensure that we can protect our revenue by preventing people from travelling with paying the correct fare on our services. It would be strongly against the public interest to release any information that would undermine this. We consider that the release of this information would lead to anyone wanting to avoid paying a fare knowing the locations where they are most likely, and similarly least likely to be stopped by our revenue inspectors.
Graham Hurt FOI Case Officer FOI Case Management Team General Counsel Transport for London