Transport authorities such as Transport for London should not bring criminal prosecutions against someone for fare dodging on the first occasion on which they are caught. They should impose a fixed penalty fine instead.

Why is this idea important?

It is disproportionate and illiberal to give someone a criminal record for a single minor misdemeanour such as failing to pay a £2 tube or bus fare. It is also a waste of the public resources involved in preparing a prosecution. Fixed penalty fines administered on the spot should provide sufficient deterrence and punishment for non-persistent offenders, with prosecution reserved for recidivists. How would motorists react to being prosecuted for overstaying at a parking meter on the first occasion?

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