Teenager fined £150 for feet on seats

I don’t know if I am the only one who thinks this (you are ed.) but I was surprised when I read in the newspaper the other day that a teenager was miffed because she was pulled up for putting her feet on the seat on a train as ‘it was only for a minute’ (whatever). I do think perhaps that it is a little harsh to pull her before the beak and potentially fine her £150 – it is a hard knock for a teenager. But I find myself somewhat happy that someone has been pulled up for breaking the rules and rather than the inspector falling for a sorry etc line and letting her off. Sometimes you have to make the point and make an example. This same situation happened to me – I asked a girl ‘resting’ her feet on the seat next to me on the train after a busy lunchtime shoplifting I expect – to move them so there was no danger of me getting my rather nice suit dirty – responded to my polite request (I bet) with a string of abuse and with the retort ‘these shoes are nearly new and not dirty anyway’. The problem with making the seat dirty for other people didn’t cross her mind. Now I may be alone on this (you still are ed.) but I think sometimes you have to make it clear your disapproval because when there is no cost to a person there is no motivation to correct maverick behaviour and the acceptance of a ‘it was only a minute’ excuse is an excuse for inaction and a sanction of the behaviour itself.