FOI request detail

Plain-clothed ticket inspectors

Request ID: FOI-2896-1819
Date published: 15 February 2019

You asked

I'd like to know how many times plain-clothed ticket inspectors travelled on London Underground services in the year of 2018 and the number of passengers who were stopped by plain-clothed ticket inspectors for not being in possession of valid ticket/pass. Please break this information down monthly, and by line. The lines I require are listed below: Bakerloo Line London Overground Central Line Circle Line District Line Hammersmith & City Line Jubilee Line Metropolitan Line Northern Line Piccadilly Line Victoria Line Waterloo and City Line

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-2896-1819

Thank you for your email of 29th January 2019 asking for information about the use of plain-clothed ticket inspectors on the London Underground in the year 2018.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold the information requested.

However, as was the case with your related request of 8th January 2019 (TfL ref FOI-2634-1819), to provide the information would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

Under section 12 of the FOI Act we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating it, retrieving it and extracting it, would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.

TfL does not record, in any reporting system, whether an inspector was in uniform or plain-clothes when on duty. As explained previously, the inspector would document this fact in their notebook, in case it was required for a witness statement in prosecution cases, but to retrieve this information would mean checking all such entries in all such notebooks for the entire year. Furthermore, TfL does not record in any single system the breakdown of passengers found without a valid ticket on a line by line basis. This information would need to be collated from several different systems, involving the cross-referencing of different records. We therefore estimate it would take in excess of 18 hours to source the information requested, and hence the costs exemption is engaged.

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope, bearing in mind the advice above and in our previous response.

Please note that we will not be taking any further action unless we receive a new request.

In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely,

David Wells

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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