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Avoid paying your fare

Andrew Steeds


One of the confusing things about this is the central image. The black coffee and (empty) pad and pen (pen? not pencil or biro?) is intended presumably to represent a police interview desk, borrowing from any number of tired TV stereotypes; but what’s the picture in the middle? Why the composite picture, beyond the obvious idea that anybody can be convicted (as long as they’re male, it would seem)? And what does putting ‘yourself in the frame’ mean in the context of this picture (which, incidentally, doesn’t have a frame)? And will any of the people travelling on the DLR who don’t have English as their first language understand it?

‘Fare evasion is a criminal offence’ just about says it clearly enough; ‘Conviction could bring serious consequences’ doesn’t. The ‘could’ doesn’t help, however legally required it may be, and ‘serious consequences’ is just too vague. We’re either talking about punishments here, or we’re reminding people that a criminal record may close more doors than it opens. But ‘serious consequences’ does neither.

And that first line? Before you get to the criminal record bit, doesn’t it read like many of the other advertising inducements to ‘do/buy this thing and your life/fortunes will improve dramatically’? If that was the intention, then I bow to its sophistication. Somehow, I think it wasn’t.